15 November 2014

been a long time gone

i see that it has been 6 years, 6 months, and 29 days since my last blog entry.  i read through many of the old entries and notice that i was a little less gentle.  it is a nice reflection on the ways i have grown and transformed over the past few years.

i am considering making blogging a semi-regular part of my life again.  it seems like a way to journal and process, to hold forum for conversation, and indeed a way to make contact with the world.

17 April 2008

My New Wheels, Stickin' It To the Man

For years and years I have wanted to be on the seat of a little scooter of some kind. I remember in the late 80's telling my family that I was going to get a Honda Spree to ride to school when I was old enough. Well, thankfully I never did get the Spree, but I finally did get a 49cc scooter. It is a 2002 Honda Metropolitan. When I bought it there were only 115 miles on it. It has always been kept in tip-top condition by its previous owner, the race car mechanic. How did I justify the 4 hour each way road trip to go pick it up? It gets 100 miles per gallon. That's right, baby, with gas prices getting up to $4 by the end of the summer it'll pay for itself in miles to and from work.

The 1987 Honda Spree

My 2002 Honda Metropolitan

My favorite part so far has been pulling up to a stop light next to a dude on a big-ass Harley. He gave me the nod.

11 April 2008

Hasn't the Lord Already Provided?

This week I responded to a call that immediately brought to mind one of my favorite jokes. In fact, before we got back to the firehouse, the other medic was telling it:

A man is standing on his porch watching the rain fall in torrents. The water starts to rise around the foundation of his house and a friend in a huge truck drives by. Knowing that the water is rushing in the streets and that his neighbor will be stranded he says, "Come on, get in and I'll take you to higher ground." The man just smiles and waves him on. "Don't worry about me," he says. "The lord will provide." Later as the water is waist deep and it seems that no one in the neighborhood is left. A small boat approaches the man a lady call to him from it. "Come on, I have room for you. I can get you out of here!" The man just smiles as he replies, "You can go on. As for me, the lord will provide." The rains are relentless and by evening the situation looks grim. The man's house is a loss and he is on the roof, shivering in the storm. Soon he hears a helicopter approaching and a voice booming over a bullhorn. "Get into the basket and we will take you to safety!" The man musters a smile and cups his hands to his mouth and shouts, "I'm fine where I am! The lord will provide!"

That night the man dies, submerged in the flood waters that swept him from the roof of his house. When the man faces god in heaven, he is dismayed and confused. He asks, "Lord, I was so faithful, a witness for you telling everyone whom I met that you would provide. How could you forget me in my time of mortal need?" God replied, "Forget you? I provided neighbors and boats and rescue helicopters, what more did you need?"

The patient who brought this to our minds is a lady who is critically ill. She will probably die from her illness very soon. It has been more than a year since she experienced the first symptoms of her illness. I believe that if she had sought treatment at that time she could have spared herself immense pain and suffering, both physical and emotional. She has insurance and is financially stable. She has a family and transportation. She is relatively young and otherwise healthy. The reason that she did not seek medical intervention earlier is because she has a religious conviction that healing comes from god. I also believe that there is an element of denial in her particular situation. When she called 911 and I arrived on scene, I saw a woman who was very sick and very afraid. For the first time she was facing the fact that she was dying.

How should I respond to patients whose religious beliefs are so confusing to me? While I respect the differences, I become frustrated when a belief comes between my patient's health and my ability to help them.