I am very content. It's hard to explain but things are turning around, and there is more joy to life. The incessant push to write is easing to one of flow and grace, as if it dovetails in with my own life goals finally. It sort of took over everything around 2012, and I would never change a thing, I have no regrets. But right now, after spending a day with my cousins, a beautiful day, and knowing I have plans to see family soon...that's how I like to be. My 'blueprint' in my mind for how I want to live my life is how I was in high school, working hard, but also having time for family and friends and a little enjoying life.
Yesterday I was on call. I was a little apprehensive about it. But as it was, it wasn't bad, and I got to sleep. Yes, I did go hungry from noon until eight p.m., there was no time to stop. I got called back in, but I was able to manage. I truly enjoyed everyone I worked with, patients, staff, nurses, surgeons. My highlight was a ninety year old, sharp as a tack, who was so amazed at the 'magic of anesthesia'--it was like ten seconds! he exclaimed, with all the enthusiasm and excitement of a little kid.
I understand that I need safety, to take care of myself, and if I need to book a room at a nearby hotel, well, so be it. It is nice to put the days of sleeping in the car or on a gurney in PACU behind me.
I also don't hold grudges. One of the people at the hotel, there's high turnover--doesn't know I'm qualified for free upgrades and am supposed to get a little gift bag every stay. She gave me a 'free breakfast' but actually, when I went to use it, it's only good on Mondays and Thursdays. I said, 'it's okay I can eat at home' and had no hard feelings whatsoever.
There was a time where I used to hold a grudge for ages, but that is no more a part of me. So by my changing, my life experience is more pleasant. And there's never, ever any expectation...for anything.
My house right now has stuff EVERYWHERE. I'm going through and organizing years and years of memories and 'stuff'. It was embarrassing a little to have my cousins see it. But truth be told, I work a lot, and Anthony is fourteen. He's not going to clean it up for me. I can barely get him to clean up after himself. But it's getting somewhere. And I also like the yard a whole lot more than the house. My self-esteem is healthy, and my insight to the situation and plan to fix it are much better than they would have been even two years ago. I recognize 'house shame' isn't healthy, so I don't let myself 'go there' any more.
Spirit--most likely Ross!--gave me the plan to spend the day with my cousins. He lived in California when I was nine until twelve. Last I saw him and his wife was two years ago at Aunt Merce's one hundredth birthday party. He took Anthony fishing. He told me when Anthony caught a fish he was so excited it was like he won the lottery. Anthony wanted to keep the fish. But he explained to him how if he's not going to eat it, the fish won't live, so it's better to put it back. He joked that Anthony wanted to mount it on the wall or something and it was just a tiny fish (he showed me with his fingers). It was fun.
Spirit said to do as California a day as possible and to 'blow them away'. So I did. We went to a local trendy shopping center. They've never been to Dave and Buster's. So we did SkeeBall and other games. There was a giant Rock'em Sock'em robots and they played. They loved the fountains and the bustle of the area. We had lunch at the Yard House. My cousin ordered orange chicken. And my heart melted because it was too spicy for him. People from New England aren't used to spicy, and what is considered mild here is a lot for them. He drank two lemonades and a water because of the heat. His wife had the macaroni and cheese. She and I both had Hawaiian mules (kind of like mint mojitos). I had a chicken sandwich and french fries. It was wonderful to relax and talk.
Then I took them to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. We saw some California sea lions and harbor seals that were on the mend. It's a small facility, and many volunteers help it. But two of the pups were playing with their food at feeding time. They would shake their heads, and half of the fish in their mouth would go flying across the tank, and they would go get it. It was a free, but also, meaningful thing to share. This is the rescue place where a mammal is stranded on the beach, they get called and the truck goes to help it.
Afterwards we went to a beach where the releases are done. It's a less-popular area, and beautiful. Seeing the ocean, climbing on the tide pools was so incredible, for them because it's a long way from home, and for me, because it was out in the fresh air and I wasn't sleepy.
I drove us home along Pacific Coast Highway. I stopped by a little coffee shop. I tried a citrus latte, wasn't very citrusy...but there was an outdoor fireplace, and we sat by it and talked.
When it comes right down to it, life doesn't mean as much without family and friends to share the joy. My work 'family' is incredible, wonderful amazing people, I love them so. But being with someone I've known since I was little? Sharing news about cousins and aunties and everyone, even knowing how much we all miss my dad...it's priceless.
I will sleep with a full heart today. Days like these are precious gifts. Treasure them. I didn't think once, not for one second, about people waking up or politics or the cost of living. I wish every day could be like this. I really do. For everyone.
I want to share about a conversation I had at work with a scheduler. Life is incredibly difficult for her. She works full time. Same shift as always. But she's basically living paycheck to paycheck and money is tight. She couldn't see her family thirty miles away for Thanksgiving because there's no money for gas. And she wants to change her hours so she can have her husband help with the child care--because no one will watch your kid here for less than twenty dollars an hour. She and her husband are looking for other options--to relocate somewhere where the cost of living is more affordable--but nothing is opening up.
This is the working poor.
It's hard because as my cousin shared, there was a woman back in the day when he lived in California, she was working with the welfare office, and also taking seventeen welfare checks in different names because she knew how to work the system.
There's government assistance, and we see some of these patients who receive the aid coming in to the hospital with super expensive designer things none of us working at the hospital could afford. It makes us sad.
But when I walked out into the cold last night, with only a paper O.R. jacket to warm me, I knew in my heart that no one should be without shelter. No one should go hungry. No one should be working poor. It's not right. It's against everything Heaven is about--nurturing, warmth, love and compassion.
How can there be help without people taking advantage? I don't know.
It is my hope that Service to Others totally overtakes and eliminates Service to Self. In the near future. Then my joy will be overwhelming!
I've heard talk of everyone getting a minimum living stipend every month. Not sure who's going to pay for it. But until the Service to Self is eliminated, completely, I don't see how greed can be prevented from raising the cost of living for everything so that the minimum stipend can help ease any of the financial distress. How can it even be possible?
I know there is a lot of 'sporting interest' in Ascension. I know there's a lot of watching this and reading that. I share those things here and it's of interest to me. However, I know in my heart, that's not where the data on how close we are to Ascending is. The changes in my personality over the years, to be more loving and calm and generous...that's it. That's the data I seek. How I'm different from how I was two or ten years ago. My contentment and happiness is another data point. How accepting I am of 'what is' is another.
How are your data points?
And when all of our points add up? That's the avalanche. There's no going back. Service to Self tries to lay low and re-emerge during these high-vibration phases. When our own vibration reaches the next level, as a collective, even then they can't hide. Their strategy of laying low and infiltrating won't be successful as it has been in the past. The low vibration of service to self really stands out. Everyone can see it for what it is. Their tricks don't work. We are free.
Here's to more good days.
This is my Carla and I love her. Our message to you is that everyone needs a break. No matter how hard they are working. And everyone has a right to enjoy something beautiful. Carla's cousin shared how he was out of work back in 1974 when he first moved to California. He and his first wife lived for two months with a cooler and a propane camp stove. They had to get ice every two days.
For the first time Carla learned that her uncle Dave got a used refrigerator and stove for them. Buddy wasn't sure if her Aunt put her husband Dave up to it, or he did it, but it meant the world to him.
Carla's grandfather Gilbert asked Buddy how the job search was going? Buddy said it was not going so well. Gilbert asked him if he had a phone? Buddy didn't, and there were no cell phones back then. So Carla's grandfather installed a phone and paid for it until Buddy could get back on his feet. A job did come along.
The couple ate dinner almost every night at Carla's parent's house. They helped to support them too.
This is family.
And Buddy, on his days before he found work, would ride his bicycle to the ocean, many, many miles, just so he wasn't sitting around.
Carla's father gave a motorcycle to Buddy, when he was working. He offered a car, but Buddy chose the motorcycle because it takes less gasoline and cheaper to maintain.
The last part to share is a story about Aunt Merce's ninetieth birthday. Another Uncle of Carla was flown out as a surprise. Nobody told her. They dressed him up in a chauffeur's uniform. So when she was being driven to the party, he was at the wheel. It took two more people being picked up from their houses for her to recognize his face, that it was him! You can only imagine her squeals of delight at the surprise, at the recognition of a loved one who lives many miles away, who went to all this trouble just to honor her. To share her joy.
With this thought I will go...
Aloha and Mahalos,
Ross and Carla
Emergency Medicine · 12/9/18
The doors closed at 7:30, but we were expected to see everyone who'd signed in, no matter how late we stayed. My record was 63 patients in one shift. 63. And it would have been more, except that some patients got tired of waiting and left. My supervisor (also a physician, but one who didn't have to work where I did) chastised me for not being happy peppy with the patients, and refusing them their narcotics or work notes or unnecessary antibiotics. I got fed up with this, and began asking to close the doors early when it became clear that we had enough patients to take us past our eight o'clock shift end. My supervisor called me up, screamed at me over the phone, and told me NEVER to do that again.He said it wasn't my decision, I didn't have the right to do that.
That was when the reality hit me. I was a slave.
Emergency Medicine · 12/10/18
Emergency Medicine · 12/10/18
Cardiology · 12/9/18
We ask too much of our work to expect it to define our personal self worth or give us place in society. Being a physician is not identity.
I do not criticize colleagues for changing geography or using their education and skills, that came at high personal and financial cost, in non clinical pursuits. We deserve flexibility, portability and the right to say enough. Choices made in our early years often based on romanticized, naive half-truths should not be forced into permanence by peer or societal pressure. This outdated sense of responsibility to a “calling” placed on all groups of providers is not reciprocated by the patients, payors or the controlling human component of the provider system: administrators.
The system component benefiting most from physicians’ misconception of their leadership/ responsibility are the administrators. Their system reputation is built on the goodwill engendered by physicians and other clinical providers .The special role tacitly defaulted to physicians that we unwittingly embrace is responsibility for shortfalls in system performance.
I suggest MD’s wake up to the facts.
Things can be different / better for providers and patients .That is a topic for rational fact based discussion..
Albert Mercer, MD , FACC
Cardiology · 12/8/18
Internal Medicine · 12/9/18
Urology · 12/8/18
Ophthalmology · 11/25/18
Psychiatry · 11/25/18