We have totally renovated our office! It is now a place of modern, tranquil beauty - with Italian Slate flooring, Brazilian Granite Countertops, a merrily gurgling slate wall fountain and an updated Electronic Medical Record System.
A few days ago, I - for various reasons - careened off a 6 ft high retaining wall while chasing a helicopter when the lights went out momentarily due to a power failure. I managed to somersault at the last second to save my head...but I based it anyways on the concrete. My left shoulder took most of the energy of the fall, however, as was evidenced by a complete dislocation. I probably had a mild concussion as well - but I seem to remember things just fine.
The pain was indescribable.....after what seemed to be a long while, I ended up in the E.R. and was assessed very quickly, thanks to a very kind and understanding E.R. Doc that I called while en route to the hospital.
While I was completely opiate naive - I have never even taken a tylenol #3 - I had 10 mg of i.v. morphine - and that didn't even touch the pain. What it DID do, however, is make me goofy enough that I called everybody I knew on my cell phone - even the Orthopedic Surgeon on call!
I should not have been surprised, therefore, to note that pretty much everybody I knew ended up coming to the E.R. to see me! I was touched - and I understand that I was very much a source of entertainment for these fine people with my morphine-induced goofyness.
The E.R. Doc was very good and appropriately gave me crap when I called the Orthopedic Surgeon (for some reason, I believed that I had a bad fracture - which I didn't). He was a good Doc and put my shoulder back together very competently. The dislocation was inferior/anterior...and I could feel the head of my humerus grinding into the underside of the glenoid of my scapula. It was absolutely horrible!
I have reduced many shoulders over the years and now I have a much better understanding of the subjective experience of the process!
Today, I did an operation on a very pleasant mentally retarded 30 year old man. His intellect was about the same as a 6 year old, a fact of which he was very much aware. He had a job mowing lawns for Seniors and was flabbergasted that so many seniors treated him so poorly. Last week, he asked his aid worker to attend his job with him - just to see how badly he was treated, and she was able to verify that several of his clients were abusive towards him. She struck them from the register of Seniors that were getting subsidized lawn serviced - leaving him feeling slightly vindicated.
He and I chatted while I removed the mass from his left posterior hemithorax that had been growing against a pain sensory nerve that had kept him up at night for the past few months in unrelenting pain.
His perspectives of the world were very honest, simple and uncomplicated. He still looked at the world through rose colored glasses, and was full of wonder and awe at the beauty and mystery of everything he experienced on a daily basis. I had to explain to him what I was doing literally every minute during the operation - and I was pleased to do so.
Though he was retarded - he was uniquely able to enjoy the wonderful gift of the ongoing appreciation of beauty, wonder and mystery that we as adults and busy "important" professionals seem to have lost some time over the course of our becoming "important adult professionals".
In many ways, over the hour-long procedure, this delightful retarded man was able to remind me of lessons of long ago that I had forgotten - but now have more need than ever to remember!
It was a great privilege to be able to end this fellow's chronic pain, and an even great privilege to learn something from him.
My new motto: There is NO EXCUSE for not enjoying yourself!