This blog is about one ordinary guy, blessed with extraordinary experiences, and how I got Crazy Enough for Medical School. Now it's time to share those experiences with others. The name's Tim and I'm training to be a doctor. A trauma surgeon to be exact. From down right heart-wrenching to positively hysterical; come ride the ups, the downs, the twists and turns of my life. See the hardships, blessings, and lessons that have prepared me for my quest to become a doctor. Lets have some fun =)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Love the Unlovable

I admit, I do feel like a failure from time to time. Plans shot down in flames, desires of your heart extinguished, opportunities stolen away. I went to bed last night, the last thought in my mind before I fell asleep was "you are a failure."

I wake up having to motivate myself to study and go buy new scrubs and work shoes with my good friend. At the shoe store I look over and notice a severely handicapped gentleman with his parents. Wait a second, I know him! He went to my high school! But, I can't remember his name. Oh, come on Tim remember! JAMES! That's his name!

Here comes the doubts and excuses "But, he won't remember who I am. He can't talk, how do I communicate? Can he understand me? I don't want to disturb them."We have all had this situation. See a person you know you should talk to, but because we find some way to justify our NOT talking to them, we don't. This same justification permeates the healthcare field also. They see someone like James, wheelchair bound, drooling, not talking, and they leave them in their room. No contact. I've even heard people say, "I'd rather be dead" ... "thats not living"... "he is a vegetable". This infuriates me to no end. Any given person in this "instant" generation has hundreds of friends on Facebook, can't be without their phone for the fear of missing a text, constantly updates everyone about their lives. How can this generation of "connection" be so adverse to taking just a little more time to connect to others? Take the time, take the extra effort. As Patch Adams once said "You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you'll win. No matter the outcome."

People have always known me to be one of the most outgoing people. They think I don't have the same fears or doubts as others. WRONG. I have the same doubts and fears. I just learned how to deal with those pesky fears and doubts. 

In that shoe store, I took those doubts and told them to go shove it. I walked up saying loudly and smiling the entire time "JAMES! James right? How's it going buddy! I remember you from high school!" And RIGHT then. Not even 2 seconds after casting down those doubts and fears it was all worth it. He smiled the biggest smile I've ever seen. His entire persona changed, brightened up, and came alive. We then had a conversation how he is going to college, his new computer, how he flirts with his cute aides at school, high-fived, and on and on. Instead of being the blessing to another, I was now the one that being blessed. Ignore these opportunities, whether in a store, or working in the hospital it is BOTH you and the other person losing out. This so-called "severely handicapped" person just experienced joy, love, life. Sometimes life isn't worth living for these people you are right, but it is NOT because of their state of health or debilitations, and inabilities. It is because of the ignorance of those that will not take the time to connect with these beautiful and most sincere people.

We said our goodbyes and good lucks, and my friend and I left the mall. On our way out, I notice a homeless women holding up a sign for food. I get this urge, this little voice in my head "you need to connect with this person." Here again come the doubts, "but I already passed her"... "I might scare her" ... "Its not safe".  I said out loud, more for my benefit than for my friend's, "We should get her food." I quickly U-turn and pull into a In-N-Out close to where she stood. My friend said "yeah we can get her a burger and hand it to her as we drive by". "No," I replied, "That's not good enough. There is no connection, no human interaction in that. No, we are going to sit down and have dinner with her."

I walk up to her and her two dogs, invite her to have dinner with us and she accepts with a "uhhh YEAH!" She just asks for a hamburger "animal style". I come out with hamburger, fries, drink, and two different milkshakes so she can pick favorite flavor. We then sit down for a good 2 hours just talking away. Listening to her stories as a voluntary hobo: riding the trains, hitchhiking, how many people have completely avoided her due to the way she looked, hobo communities, police encounters, losing friends to accidents or drugs, etc. She admitted before she started this she was atheist, but "on the road" she could not deny that there was something there. Something that saved her many times from situations she should not have gotten out of. I was able to share my story, pray with her, and with tears running down her face, give her a big hug before parting ways.

I do not tell you these stories as a "oh look at me" moment. I tell you this to show that compassion for those around you CAN happen. I encourage you to be brave. Break those societal barriers, personal doubt, and fear. Do not listen to the falsehood that you are a failure. I thought that if I didn't make it as a top doc, I couldn't help people the way I was meant to. Truth of the matter is, whether you work as this high-to-do surgeon, or as a grocery bagger, there are opportunities to reach out to your fellow man and touch their lives. In return, you will notice it is your life that has been touched.

Matthew 22:36-40
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Matthew 25:40
"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'

Matthew 5:46-47
 46"For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47"If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?


Friday, February 27, 2015

Midgets, Dr. Bozo, and the Meaning of Life

Forgive me for the hiatus! Due to popular demand (2...maybe 3 people) I'm back to grace the world with my... me-ness. A lot has been going on and now you all get to learn about it!

When it comes to stories and life events, people can get much more out of your experiences by living it with you minute by minute. Other times, its best to wait and gain perspective. This time, I waited and I'm glad I did.

"Life sucks and then you die". That was my thought, my motto for a couple of months. And to an extent, if you leave out a very important aspect (an aspect we will discuss later in this post), that statement can be true. I became ill, yet again. Not with the same illness as before, but I was sure getting worried. It was about 2 months and I felt increasingly worse each day. I got to the point where I was coughing so hard, so often they thought I misplaced a rib, had a fever that reached 106, kept puking VIOLENTLY, lossed 25 pounds, head to toe rash, etc. It ended up being the measles with some other complications including 2 partially collapsed lungs. Yes I was vaccinated, but apparently I was a part of the 1% that just didn't "take" to the vaccine. And before anyone asks, YES I still wholeheartedly support vaccinations. VACCINATE ALL THE THINGS!

If this was a one time sickness, I would not have been so downcast. But most of you know my story already and my history with illness. Now what? Sick again? and then AGAIN? Instead of one loooong illness, I now faced multiple ones in rapid succession. Can I catch a break here?!

So there I was in ER, but not just regular ER.  Shrink that ER down to a child size. Yes, they put me in the children's ER for a lack of room in the big boy center (My mom must have told them stories). This pediatric ER was completely fine and wonderful to stay in, that is if you were a 3 foot parka wearing Eskimo midget that was only staying there for a few hours. Unfortunately, I am not a midget. So here I am like:

AND laying on my happy meal size bed like:

A good foot or foot and a half of me was hanging off the edge. I half expected them to whip out a child size hospital gown too. I mean, I have the legs for it don't get me wrong, but you really don't want to see THAT much Tim. And lastly, the "negative pressure" room was so drafty and cold I swear my dangly bits were frozen to my leg. You heard me. I started laughing at the scene, always trying to find the humor in any situation. But staying in that condition for DAYS, tends to suck out any humor that may have been found before. Dr. Bozo kept wanting to check out my junk for some reason, and then here comes 3 interns, oh and then 2 more residents, oh look a homeless guy they picked up off the street to come help them assess my ... assets. Well GOOD LUCK, IT'S FROZEN TO MY THIGH DR. PERVY -________- .

As I was sitting there, lonely, cold, angry, hurt and brooding about how unfair life is, this blood curdling screaming and crying started up in the middle of the night and went on for a day or so. I wanted to go out there and see what it was, but I was under "quarantine" and not allowed outside. I finally found out, while I was sitting there in my ice box feeling sorry for myself and very justified in feeling so, the crying came from a woman who had lost her son. She laid there all night and all day weeping over her 3 year old boy. That put a quick end to my own self-pity. However, now the crying was even more unbearable to hear. To say it was depressing would be an understatement. My heart broke for this woman. And yes, my heart broke for myself. All I wanted to do was go to her and wrap my arms around her. Life sucks.... and then you die. Does this statement really hold true?

The answer is two fold. The first part, I answered in my previous post. This is a broken world. There will be heart ache and God gives you the tools to fight against these slings and arrows of the enemy.

The second was discovered by a pretty wise dude who once saw life as utterly vain. Meaningless... MEANINGLESS is everything in life he would say. From desires, to hard work, to wisdom.  Just as a fool dies and is forgotten so too is the wise, the great, wealthy, the unwealthy, the healthy and the ill, the cheaters and the upright. The deeds you do will melt away, the success you've created will disappear. No matter who you are, this thought seeps into everyone's mind from time to time. What this man, Solomon, finally understood after watching people try to GET the most out life but ultimately being as successful as grasping at the wind was this: Life is not the ultimate end. Our treasures, our hope, our future does not lie in this life. The grass withers and the flowers fall, the mountains will crumble and the seas dry up, Earth itself will fade away but the Lord endures forever. Yes, without God, everything IS meaningless and you BETTER get as much out of life as possible, because once it's over, you are done pal. There is no reasoning, there is no hope in a picture like that and life get depressing real quick when faced with life changing hardships. With God, there is a future, there is hope. This life is not all we have. We may endure heart ache, pain, and yes even death but 1) Contrary to popular belief death is not the worst thing that can happen to you. Losing your eternal soul is and 2) we have everlasting life where "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelations 21:4).

Oh no! I just preached! Sue me.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, He gave His only son that whoever believes in Him shall not die but have eternal life"

Ecclesiastes 7:1 "A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death better than the day of one's birth"

Phillippians 1:21 "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."