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the hero inside

She doesn’t wear a cape.  Well, I don’t think she wears a cape. She might wear a cape. Lets go with she might wear a cape. She has always had my affection and admiration. I was always a fan of hers. I cheered at the victories, mourned at the tragedies. However, I was always a fan, with or without a cape. cape

My response was simple, even inadequate. I said that it was the hero story we all wished we had.

She was on a date. Her first date with this gentleman caller. They went to the trampoline park. Going to a trampoline park on a first date is grounds for hero status independently. However, that is not what did it for me. There was another guy there. He was picking on the younger kids. He said lewd and inappropriate things. She approached him. She stood tall, all 5 foot 2 inches of her. She coiled her frame, all 110 pounds of it. She calmly said, “Please leave those kids alone.”

The insecure and lost boy echoed poor parenting and generations of hate. He barked sexual slurs. He railed against the coming of the light.

She spoke firmly and advised him that he had one chance to change what he was saying. He didn’t. Like a spring, like a warrior, like a protector, like a fierce woman, she broke his nose, like a hero. thank-you

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2017 in children, journey, Uncategorized

 

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I.P. Freely

I have made mistakes in my life. Its true. I also have learned to accept the consequences and take responsibility. It sounds easier than it is, but it seemed necessary and important. I have been on a growth journey learning to be completely honest. IT has been rewarding, albeit painful. I was about 7 years sober when I moved to Idaho. I had applied for a medical license here after having trouble in Colorado. It is a long story that can be gleened from my other posts. I met with the board here and they offered me a stipulated license. I commented that if that was going to be, please just dont give me one as it is pretty useless when stipulated. I had applied for 500 jobs and couldnt get one because of the stipulation. The board understood and awarded me an unrestricted license if I would voluntarily submit to random urinalysis tests. I agreed.

The way it works is every morning you call into the screener. I have an image of the banks of computers like in the 70’s evil genius movies. The computer then identifies you and whirls its wheels to determine if you should submit your liquid gold that day. In an even tone, the computer voice then tells you that you have not been chosen or you are chosen.  I was never chosen for teams in grade school, so this confuses me a little. I want to be chosen, to vindicate my 8 year old chubby self. But I dont want to be chosen because of the hassle that will follow. This day I was chosen. I am elated and bummed.pee

The preparations for leaving liquid gold is complex. There are rules of no caffeine three hours before testing, no more than 100cc of water 30 minutes prior. It has to meet criteria on having at least some color.  I generally would drink my morning coffee and water. I would hold it until about 10 am. Then I would pee and chase it with a glass of water. This way I would have the required amount of concentrated urine at noon. Generally, things go much better if you are proactive enough to fill out the paperwork ahead of time. The machine alerted you to the secret test that was to be done. You have checked the box and filled out the paper. You approach the building. I know it is sanitary and well cleaned, but for some reason whenever I remember it, it smells like urine in my head. You hand over the triplicate form that says, “This person has urine and we need it.”pee3

After they know you, they will get you in quickly. This is good, because generally you present needing to pee badly. The program changed after I started and all the urine collections had to be observed. This never really bothered me, but many people talked about having a shy bladder. I cant imagine exposing yourself to some stranger and then not being able to pee. It would prolong the discomfort. What do you say at that point? “Sorry, it was working earlier”?

One of the guys who watched us pee was a very large guy. He had the shape of the guy in Green Mile. His teeth were not as straight nor his voice as deep. His fingers were at least 2 feet long. If I stand up very straight, I can be 5 foot 7. My fingers are average and my voice is also not as deep as the Green Mile guy. There is no guy I have ever met that doesn’t wonder if he is long enough below the waist. The average size has decreased from 6.3 inches to 5.5, reportidly. A popular wives tale about the size of hands reflecting the size of genitalia has never been proven clinically. As the Green Mile stand in leads me to the bathroom, these are not the facts that cross my mind. I can feel my testicles hiding in my abdominal cavity. I wonder if I will ever be able to pee.  I have a thought that as I prepare, this massive guy is going to giggle and pat me on the head and say, “Good for you, little fella.” I was able to pee and two days later my testicles emerged. pee2

I have not had to pee for points in a few weeks, having completed the requirement. I still get up, drink my coffee and water and about 10 am need to pee. I consider holding it at noon every day and have often wondered if I will ever be able to spontaneously urinate without Green Mile watching me.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2017 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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dark passenger and the stranger

It rides me like a dark passenger.passenger

I was unencumbered. I strode with cocky assurance. I was unaware and feeling on top of the world. IT happened in a flash. I almost didn’t recognize it. Actually, I didn’t recognize it. I didn’t feel my shoulders slump with the weight. I was unaware of his voice in my ear. It was familiar and strangely comfortable. He whispered posing questions of my deserving to feel happy. He tormented me with thoughts of arguments lost, disappointments gained, and opportunities unattained. He reminded me of history, blotting out successes and highlighting failures. I stooped. I buckled under the weight of the stories and the pain. The sky darkened and my mood followed.

I could barely move one foot in front of the other. I lumbered on like Charlie Brown, full of hope but eyes to the ground. I tried to keep going. I tried to put on a brave face. It was a lie. The voice rumbled, echoing in my subconscious. It reminded my of hopes dashed in the past. It reminded me of love lost and pain present. The voice urged me to stop moving, to turn and flee. It beckoned me to return to the past, the known, the familiar. It cautioned against risk. It pointed to the scars on my heart and soul. It giggled as I cried. fear

My eyes rose and rested on a stranger. I cant even recall if it was man or female. It seemed unimportant at the time and even less important now. The clothing was casual and nondescript. The face seemed to glow. It radiated. IT was blinding and yet I could see clearly. It was magnetic. The eyes, the smile seemed to pull me in. It would not let me go. It would not let my eyes sink again. The stranger said, “Ask.” I knew exactly what the stranger meant. I couldnt form the words. The stranger waited patiently, stood there lovingly. The eye, the wonderful star on the strangers face, winked. wink

“Take away my Fear, take away the Dark Passenger,” I blubbered. At once, I commenced to outgrow Fear.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2017 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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my daughters, I love you

I stood on the mountain top again. I climbed to the top of the world and looked around a bit. The air is brisk and thin up here. There is a bitter wind that seems to leap frog up my spine. The view is breathtaking, but I muse that there isn’t much breath to be taking at this moment. I have already spent the time holding up my fists like a Rocky statue. I have yelled to hear the echo reminding me I am alive and alone. I sit in the crossed leg position and ponder life. I feel like the guru that is rumored to be at the top of the mountain. I sit and consider. I am not considering anything in particular, just musing. I am alive, alone, and have a leaped frog spine as I sit on the mountain top at the top of the world.

I have laughed and celebrated. Suddenly, I feel myself begin to weep. I am not sure where it is coming from and I know this is not a good oxygen choice. I can’t stop. I feel the pain of my daughters. I can feel their hurts and hearts. It screeches like a carrion bird, tearing at my soul. I want to fix it and to protect them, despite how they hold me away. I weep, my heart weeps, my soul weeps. If I had a guitar, it would gently be weeping as well.

I stop weeping and feel emotions from loved ones and loved ones lost creeping up my spine to be leap frogged by the wind. The emotions are bitter and run the gambit. They are foreign only in they aren’t mine. I have had similar feelings, but felt them as I feel them. Now I see these like the recognition of a childhood school mate decades later, familiar and foreign all at once. I am annoyed and embarrassed that I cant screen these out like I usually can. The thin air, the time alone, the wind chill has exhausted my defense and the emotions slither in. I’ve felt them before from these same sources. To be confronted with them again is painful. It is also a relief. It is a reminder I am alive, I am open, I am connected. More importantly, it reminds me that I love.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2017 in children, life, Uncategorized

 

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Wonder Wheel

It starts like any other day. The first alarm goes off and I swipe my phone to silence it. I am not sure why I have this alarm set anymore. I started with it thinking I could get up early and go to the gym on the way to work. It sounded like a great idea when the light started at 430 am. I am in North Idaho and, in the summer, the days are very long.  It has become painfully obvious, it is not like that in the winter. However, the alarm taunts me. I must enjoy the teasing because I don’t cancel it. However, there is something very rewarding about getting to go back to sleep and feeling like you stole an hour. I struggle out of bed. I have fleece sheets and this miracle blanket from Bed, Bath and Beyond. It is fantastic, but glues me to the bed every morning. There is a cost: benefit ratio I have to accept every time I go to bed. I have chosen wisely. Once out of the vortex of comfort, I spin the mood wheel. My mood wheel is somewhat like the wheel of fortune wheel. It clicks away with various moods and attitudes on it. The mood spins and I imagine the crowd going crazy. I stand there and think about trying to accept Drew Carey as a substitute for Bob Barker and how unlikely a succession that was.  wheel

Drew then says, ” ok you have landed on 25% sour. Do you want to stay with that or spin again?  If you go over a dollar, you will feel totally overwhelmed all day long, an emotional basket case.  I feel a need to remind you of last Tuesday.” I am eager to not feel sour today, even 30% sour. I am looking for an attitude adjustment, a mood lift. I spin again. The crowd groans as they were rooting for a sour day. “Misery loves company, ” Drew murmurs. anguish

The wheel clicks ferociously and slows to a crawl. It is maddening to hear. The anticipation is thrilling and torturous. The crowd noise swells and dims as various emotions and attitudes flit by. It reaches a fever pitch as vengeful crests the top of the wheel. I gulp, 100% vengeful and 30% sour, I will be pissed and overwhelmed. I begin to worry as worry appears on the wheel. It is a worn out square, grooved from the frequency of the wheel stopping there. I let out an exasperated sigh as I thought I had finished with worry. Close behind worry was resentful. The crushing reality that my sour mood could lead to resentment and consume me into vengence and disquieted plagued my thoughts. I could feel the emotions as they clicked by. They choked me and overwhelm me. Each one I lamented and reflected. It was as if each square illuminated on my soul. It clawed at me. The wheel slowed to a stop. I couldn’t bring myself to look up. I feared the results. I shuddered to think I was doomed to boring and glum at best, and engulfed in anger at its worst. Drew said I should see this. He stammered. I looked up. Slowly. I read the square and read it again. I blinked away the tears. My breath quickened as my heart pounded.

The square said, “Free to choose.” And the wheel vanished. free

 

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2017 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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sing it, Love

I do not sing. I have tried to play the piano, guitar, and sax. I have watched countless singing shows and I discovered Train before they were popular. However, my musical acumen consists only of turning on and off the stereo. It is simply not my gift. I have tried to steal it from others, or slip in the circus tent pretending I belong with the musical people. It just isn’t a match. music-1

These are the reasons I am uncertain why I have become encumbered with a certain preoccupation. I have often thought life would be much easier if we all had theme songs. Perhaps even songs that played in the background to remind us it is a scary or pivotal time in our lives. IT would be great to hear, “You are my Sunshine,” softly playing in the background when you are with someone that touches your heart and soul. Or the “Jaws” theme when you are in danger of an ass chewing at work.

I have been preoccupied with hearing peoples theme song. I think people’s soul sings a tune. I have met people that seem to exude different songs. The turmoil that comes from a soul belting out grunge music is undeniable.

I’ve always wanted to have the soul of a Jack Johnson song. It would be like someone is just comfortable and grooving. They would be answering questions about life and feeling mellow about the answers. I used to try and have the soul of a hair band. I wanted to be cool and dangerous. My soul chaffed with the leather pants and rejected the mullet hair transplants. Sadly, I was never going to be that cool. It is ok, I couldn’t tear the sleeves off my shirts or cut my jeans anyway. My mom said no.

I fit into the 80’s alternative bands for awhile. I brooded and was mysterious. My soul sang of superficial things in a deep way. It was as if my soul was stoned, thinking it had unbundled deep secrets about the universe only to discover that everyone knew that cookie dough was uncooked cookies. The techno beat clattered on.

I tried to fit into the rap scene, but I have just spent too many years trying to keep my underwear hidden. To this day when my underwear shows, I can hear my childhood friends taunting, “I see London, I see France, I see Theran’s underpants…” The baseball hat with the flat brim would also be difficult. I have spent several hours wetting, shaping, even rubber banding the brim of my hat to be perfectly suited for cool and sun protection for my peripheral vision, lest a marauding gang tries to usurp my turf, dance fighting like a Michael Jackson “Beat it” video. music-2

I decided I wanted to be really cool and decided to treat my soul to blues songs. My soul would wear a fedora, even smoke cigars. Again, my soul seemed to reject this. It got a rash and a nasty smokers cough.

There was a period of time it was the whiny boy music. I lamented all the time. I saw no hope, no future, no love. I have heard the inner music of break-up songs. I have felt alone and isolated. I have felt the insurmountable challenges. I have heard the depressing beats and the dark tunes. I have heard the motivating songs of Survivor, “Eye of the Tiger.” I have surged with power and giggled about irony. I have danced and leapt to the songs that delighted my soul. I have felt the love. I have been touched by the caring and vulnerability. I have communicated and sang the same song as the person next to me. Our souls dancing, our hearts lifted.

Sing a song for me. sing-3

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2017 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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training day

“I can’t, I am in training.”

Its my new excuse for everything. Recently, I remembered that we call medical careers, practice. It isn’t very reassuring to think that really we are just practicing on you. “Boy, I hope this goes better then yesterday,” is just not something you want to hear when you are worried about a pimple on your butt, or any number of other ailments. We doctors don’t have offices, we have dugouts. After appointments, we rush to our dugout for the next pep talk for the next appointment. We don’t really take notes, we are musing over how many times this has gone wrong in the last few days.

We started using medical gowns to keep you off balance. They used to be pretty lavish and it wasn’t working to dissuade the questions and google searches, so the back was removed. We figured that even if you were right, if your  butt was showing, perhaps it would shorten the conversation. All across the nation, we upped our game to paper gowns when that stopped working. Please don’t push this. I have been told that in Germany, they don’t use gowns at all–just saying. hospital-gown

I just came from ground rounds. After we make sure that everyone there is from a medical practice, we giggle about some of the things we do to avoid conversation. We surrendered to the insurance companies and scramble to comply with some silly guideline and goal. We even hire nasty people to be in charge of provider networks to make it harder to do anything related to medicine. Instead, we have all these benchmarks, paperwork, and formularies. If we spend 30-40% of our time doing mounds of silly paperwork, then we don’t have to look you in the face in that silly paper gown.The meeting today was about a network through an insurance company. I was impressed that the administrator was able to hold a straight face saying that the benchmarks and paperwork were used to help the patient. I was amazed that she spoke of cost savings as she dangled her Lexus keys and wore a 500 dollar pant suit. adminIt hit me in the gut when she kept saying “we” when she talked about providing care as she has no medical experience at all. I estimated the cost of medical care increases in the last decade and mandatory insurance cost. I thought about the 2.2 Trillion dollars that were added to the budget and the actual DECREASED amount spent on patient care. I think this is payback for making government officials wear paper gowns.

I personally have decided to say I cant fill out anymore silly benchmark or paperwork or medication request. I am resorting to my excuse, “I can’t, I’m in training.” When they come to the office to get me to sign, I will tell the administrator to put on a paper gown and wait in the waiting room. If you happen to see them there, make sure to ask them about the latest benchmark as it might improve your health care.

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2017 in life, Uncategorized

 

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