Some Reflections From The Procedure

So I had a little procedure this week. 


I hate going to the hospital–who doesn’t?


But I figured better to take care of something before it gets worse. 


I think of it like taking the car into the mechanic for a tuneup every once in a while. 


This analogy stuck with me years ago, when the orthopedist told me I needed to get a hip replacement and started to describe it as having a flat tire that needed to be repaired. 


Leading up the the procedure, someone sent me this funny cartoon:

This really hit a nerve too because even the best medicine these days reminds me of the truly horrible medicine not so long ago.  


Ah, have some liquor, bite on this piece of wood, and now we’ll saw your leg off!


I remember my father never even liked to go to the doctor, and he had total faith that G-d was his doctor–I think he actually managed to avoid the doctor for literally something like 30-years.


He also used to joke that many doctors were butchers, and he didn’t want to get caught under their knife. 


So that’s certainly some apprehension going in to this. 


The other thing that was interesting-sad that I saw this week when I went for an MRI was someone taking a homeless person into the radiology center for a scan. 


But when the lady asked for insurance the person didn’t have any, so the lady asks for “proof of homelessness.”


I was flabbergasted at this as the guy was obviously homeless and literally was wearing tattered clothes.


They wouldn’t do the scan until the person escorting him would come back with this proof.  


I felt so bad for him and thought to myself is this what the healthcare system and care for the poverty-striken in this country has come to? 


While I am so truly grateful for the miraculous care that I received this week, I am equally saddened at the care that others don’t get that need it, and pray that we as a “caring society” will do better. 


Anyway, I want to express my gratitude to the doctor, the hospital, my wonderful family who stood by me, and most of all to G-d for seeing me through the procedure this week and for watching over me always. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Doctors In Houston

Doctors.jpeg

With the crisis of Hurricane Harvey and the rains still battering Houston…


It was so amazing to read this morning about the doctors who are going all out to help people in need there.


Doctors staying in the hospital for days to cover their patients stuck there and requiring care and treatment.


And others that are wading through the waters at there own risk to get there to treat the sick.


One doctor mentioned was Adi Diab M.D. who trekked 3 miles through a foot of water to get Anderson Cancer Center “to attend to a patient undergoing an experimental cancer treatment.”


He did this so as not to interfere with the patients scheduled treatment for the re-engineering of immune cells to fight a tumor.


I’ll tell you, there really are some truly amazing people out there–whether doctors and nurses, firefighters and emergency responders, law enforcement and military personnel.


They run into danger and disaster zones when everyone else is running out. 


Is it professionalism, dedication, duty, or an angelic calling to help people and the nation in need.


This is our nation at its best–united!!!–and helping our neighbors, saving lives, and putting others before self.


“Houston there is a problem”, and as unbelievably horrible and unfortunate as it is, perhaps it is also a critical reminder of what’s really important and a healing to our great nation.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

It’s Like Saving The Whole World

Save A Life.jpeg

I saw this sign hanging prominently in a large local Baltimore hospital here (and it comes from the Talmud): 

“He who saves one life…It is as if he saves a whole world.”


For doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners, what greater purpose or joy in life than to save other human lives!


Each person is truly a whole world unto themselves…their thoughts, feelings, and their contributions!


Who knows what one single act of kindness or generosity from someone can have–what impacts down the line to one or even billions of others. 


Today, I have a friend that is undergoing a major operation in this hospital. 


My thoughts and prayers are with him. 


This is his third hospitalization in the last few weeks and it’s time for the doctors–with G-d’s help–to save his life.


I actually had something similar to this friend many years ago, but the technology wasn’t there yet to diagnose it, and I had to have emergency surgery where they went in “exploratory” to find out what the heck was going on.


And thank G-d that they did–they literally saved my life at the time or I wouldn’t be writing to you all today. 


I feel so grateful to G-d for his mercy to us and for giving us modern medicine and technology and all the wonderful people who work tirelessly to help all the sick people and to help save their very lives.


I am wishing the best of luck to my friend to come through this with a full and merciful healing.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Honesty, A Great Policy

Stand On Issues

So I went to the Podiatrist today for some routine maintenance. 


This was a new doctor for me, and I was going in with a healthy dose of skepticism (until I know the person is good and trustworthy). 


Well after the doctor does all these things, I test the waters and ask him, “So how often should I come back to see you every 6 months or more often or what?”


Here’s his opportunity to put money ahead of really caring about the patient and to say to come often and more frequently so they can make more patient visits and more money.


But instead he pleasantly surprised me and goes, “Well let’s see how your doing and take it from there.”


I loved it–some genuine honesty and not just business and a money-making racket. 


Now, I really do plan to go back to this doctor regularly, because I trust him. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Why Can’t We Just Stay As Superman?

Superman

So when we’re young, we think we’re Superman, Batman, or whatever superhero comes to mind. 


Our bodies are beautiful, supple, strong, and heal quickly. 


We are taught by our helicopter parents and philosophic teachers that “You can do anything you set your mind to!


In our fantasies, we surely can do amazing things–we lift unbelievable weight, fly around at the speed of light, do karate better than Bruce Lee, outthink Einstein, save the world, and then make off with the beautiful damsel to boot.


Kryptonite is no problem–we are (seemingly) invincible.


Then we hit middle age–40 something–and all of a sudden what do you know?


Oh, this doesn’t work right and that doesn’t feel right.


The Yiddish expression, “Oy vey” seems about it.


And off to the doctors we go.


After the exam and tests, doc says, “Mr. (or Ms.) [whatever], you have [fill in the blank].”


You respond, “Is that normal–at my age–already?”


Doc says, “Absolutely, this is what happens as you get older.”


I say, “Doc, does anything good happen when we get older.”


“Of course not”–we both laugh. 


This reminds me of when my dad used to sing this song in this funny mock Irish accent, “You’re not as young as you used to be you’re getting old and gray!” 


This week, a colleague was coming down with something–possibly something not good. 


I told him how I hoped this turns out well for him and how sorry I was for what he was going through.


Writing off the illness, he says to me, “We all end the same anyway” (i.e. we all end up dead!)–ah, another unhappy notion that is. 


I joked back, “But we all don’t end up in the same place.”


I got a few laughs at that too (some of my father in me). 


Well anyway, I thought about this after–about some of the special subhuman beings out there–and the very special place that I am certain G-d has in store for them:


– Serial murders and other violent criminals


– Rapists and child abusers


– Terrorists and their sponsors


– Megalomaniacs, bullies, and corrupt officials


– Thieves, cheats, and liars.


And guess what about these schmendricks–they get old too, they go to the doctor too, and then they are going somewhere warm, very warm, and it’s not to the Caribbean. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Doctor In Context

Dr and Bottles
I took this photo in the doctor’s office. 



No, this is not my doctor, but a statue of one on the countertop.  



What’s funny to me is how he looks in context of the bottles and anatomical models all around him.  



Either the doctor has shrunk or the other things are really huge.



My dad used to tell me that doctors only know what G-d tells them, so we should pray that G-d gives them the wisdom to help us. 



And my grandfather used to say in German that “G-d is my doctor.”



Maybe that’s why the image of the doctor is looking up–to get the guidance from the one above to help us. 



That’s the intersection of medicine and faith–where truly big things can happen. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Outrunning The Needle

Outrunning The Needle

This nice gentlemen who works in the medical profession was telling me a funny story today.

He grew up amidst a collection of small villages in El Salvador.

The person who gave the vaccinations to the children used to go to the school to administer the medicine to them.

When the kids saw him coming, they would run out of the school, through the school yard, over the fence, and all the way home to try to avoid the shot.

He also said that the school personnel would chase them to their home to bring them back…one way or another, they were getting the dreaded needle.

It reminded me of when I was a little kid in the pediatrician’s office, and the doctor was pulling out a long needle to give me a shot, and I hopped off the table, and ran for my life.

I ran out of her office, past the nurse’s station, and into the welcoming arms of the patient reception area.

But the doctor and nurse caught up to me as well and brought me back for my shot too.

It sort of reminds me of the saying, “You can run, but you can’t hide.”

In life, it really doesn’t matter whether we want to do something or not.

When the time comes to face the challenges that await us all, even if you try to ignore it, avoid it, or run away from it…it will eventually catch up to you.

Maybe it’s worth a run sometimes, if you can avoid an unnecessary fight, but if it is something you have to face, like your medicine, you might as well just stay and take the needle like a man/woman and get some cookies and ice cream afterwards. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Dan4th Nicholas)