Sunday, April 6, 2014

" mars or moon"

He was living and ticking as some will say at his best at age 94. He was blessed in many ways but the best part he told me was that he was able to escape from doctors until age 74 when he got his knee surgery. I saw him sitting in a chair doing his taxes and murmuring about how much Uncle Sam can take from his hard earned money.

He was suffering then from a weak heart and a frail mind. Being living was a privilege for him , and able to breath on his own was a true blessing.

He reminded me that life is a losing battle for us living beings; whatever we do will end one day and, nothing matters as nothing last so as to speak.

He died peacefully as he made his choices to keep him comfortable when he expected to be the most uncomfortable near his end. We did keep our words.

To some, life is a road of moments; one moment lead to another with no return of the same moment ever. Time well spent is the mother of all blessings. But modern day struggles of mind and machine, life and careers, us and them, power and freedom. money and food, and the worst of all, living in an age of political correctness. Our planet is not a happy place any more sadly.

To others, they believe in here and now;  no more mars or moon. They are the ones who wish to save our planet from our own mischief of wars and weapons by saying no to false promises.

We live once so lets live peacefully, eat healthy and live longer. Be happy and make others happy. I wish the secret of world peace was as simple like this.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

" the dance of recovery"


You may have heard this many times,but I will say it again. One day at a time, I told her.
She was recovering from her respiratory failure. She was being able to weaned then and was able to talk with a Passy Meuer valve. But that was not enough for her, and she was getting depressed with her pace of recovery.

She had a list of things she was not able to do like eating,drinking,walking,sleeping,eccetra, while able to talk with her speaking valve.

I reminded her of the day she was admitted after her life threatening illness on a ventilator. Then she just wanted to live, even never able to talk,walk,eat; even on the ventilator for the rest of her life. She just wanted to be there for her loved ones.

As she was recovering from her illness, she was losing sight of gains she had made. The dance of recovery: one step forward, two steps backwards,one step backward,two steps forwards was consuming her.

To some, understanding of the process of recovery keep them in sync. They move as their day swing,one day at a time.They do so like the magnificent trees standing while a storm pass by.They keep their ground, they stand to see the next good day of calm. They are the blessed one: thankful of what was left of them rather than what was not there, or may or may not come.

Others, suffer more while suffering from the initial illness. The dance of recovery continues till eternity for those; ungrateful of what was left of them, they struggle with demons of anxiety for what was not there, or may or may not come while time takes its course and fate reveals itself, as things were meant to be...........

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"life hoppers"

Everyone love life though for some living life is both an art and science. Some people love to live and others are living to die as everyone does. Then there are the life hoppers.

He was admitted again, as I saw his name on the chart. I knew him from his last admission and other admissions over the years. Every time it looked as that was his last time there in hospital but every time he made it back to life. He was just not ready to hopp off life..

What is that which makes some people like him to stay back despite of all odds. He had End stage renal disease and was on dialysis, heart blocks and got pacemaker, he got stomach bleed and it was managed, he got pneumonia and other infections, and he survived. He was an ordinary man but I saw his survival journey through medical and surgical interventions.He was a true life hopper as we called him.

Is it science of medicine which keeps people alive or there is some thing beyond that. A question with a potential answer which can trigger more questions. To some, we die as we live; life is all about an experience of dying from the beginning. The life hoppers are the ones who give us a sense of understanding of what is there, beyond and near to most of us:.A question of having a quantity life in years to count versus a life full of fervor- a qualified,dignified life of self preservation keeping private what is our privates.

Life is not a simple journey anyway..............



Thursday, November 28, 2013

"worriers or warriors"

Being in her body was not easy, but being in her head was the real challenge. She was suffering from respiratory failure with advanced emphysema, heart failure and borderline renal insufficiency. She was dependent on the ventilator to breath, and spontaneous breathing was a story of past.

She was a warrior, as her family described her, she want to get better and she will fight for it.

But we saw her as a worrier; everything was a trigger of anxiety for her.Certainly that was a disaster, if one can't breath too. I do consider shortness of breath a close cousin of anxiety, both goes hand in hand, one comes following the other

Why we struggle so much in trying to get better, telling every one that our loved ones are the fighters, though a wounded one, and why they become worriers instead. Those were the questions then, and those are questions now.

The power of acceptance and moving on with what we really know about our limitations  is one way of dealing a worrier state of mind. Acceptance can be our armor and what we want from ourselves can guide us in the journey though the end of our earthly life. It may be a choice of a good quality of life over a leased life on artificial means.The answer is usually on our faces, it is that acceptance which can liberate oneself, and can turn a worrier into a warrior. Most people know that but few do apply.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

" in search of a miracle"

He was suffering from a multitude of health issues, and nothing was new for him and his wife. Their life was revolving in and out of hospitals, and waiting for the next doctor's office appointments.

When I met him, he was not doing well. His breathing was labored, his heart rhythm was irregular, his lungs were getting filled in with fluid and  his kidneys were shutting down. Then he recovered. He was a man with nine lives as we get to know him.

Though his progress was slow but steady, his recovery was amazingly in right direction and his tests were showing signs of improvement.

One day his wife told me that she is frustrated with his condition, then she continued that she understood her husband's condition and not looking for a miracle.

To some, miracles never happen in their lives or surroundings. They may need to define a miracle differently. They may have to look at them selves, waking up every morning, walking on two feet with a balance, how it happened; they may need to ponder.

Others are the believers, and they live a life full of miracles. They know that each breath is a miracle in itself. How it happen,why it happen, no questions.Lets receive it and keep a miracle simple; that is their motto.

Just be happy to waking up every day to greet sun and moon, birds and sky,  and be in love; we are surrounded by miracles. Feel it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

" shalom"


He was a well established name while he was alive and no one knew his worth upon his death.
No, he was not an elephant.

I took care of him as he was admitted with a dying liver due to his self inflicted harms to his beloved liver with alcoholism. The logic of forbidding intoxication clearly understandable in his context. He had every thing at one point in his life until the other point arrived. He destroyed what he thought he had established until we met in a hospital room.

His condition deteriorated with liver failure and his appearance rose to the ultimate tanned body one can imagine. He was severely jaundiced. He then died.

To some, life is unfair and full of struggles until they come face to face with the dying reality of death. They may even die struggling - fighting for a life they may have no more.

Other wonder about struggles of living without worrying about death and dying. They know that the key is to live life in a dying way such as there is no struggles for tomorrow to joy or mourn.

They surrender to life and consider death as an extension of life. They respect moments of life as the time will pass until we meet again. They know the exercise; lets not struggle and be in peace - shalom.




Sunday, September 29, 2013

" broken legacy"


She was suffering from heart failure, infections, renal insufficiency and anemia on top of her failure to thrive. A ventilator was delivering oxygen to her mind and body.

As time was turning its wheel in slow motion one day at a time, we were losing her.

The problem was that she had no documented end of life wish, and her family wants to keep her alive no matter what because she was a fighter once upon a time.

Then one night things happened as it happen in hospitals, she lost her pulse and she was resuscitated in vain. She died.

To some, end of life decisions are easy and considered as a favor to those left behind. That is like really dying in peace as most of us strive for all of our lives.

Others, miss the boat of making decision on time and end up sick and incapacitated to speak for themselves. They end up even with broken ribs with a life saving resuscitation. Its sad and like dying after all with a broken legacy besides a broken promise.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

" the power of God "


She was young and dying young is not easy, one of our team member uttered, rightly so that was difficult for all of us.

She was suffering from the multi-organ system failure and the overall prognosis was poor. The medical team caring for her had their struggles; to sustain a dying body by artificial means.

As her family was grieving for the impending loss of a loved one, I was asked to clarify whether she can hear them while she was so sick at her death bed.

I struggled to answer. I was not sure what to tell her family. The patient may or may not be hearing them, only God knows that.In my silent moments I have learned that what you can't hear, you may feel that. The language of words is the voice, that needs a medium, a receptor and a processor but the language of feeling is a simple touch. A touch which can raise up life from the dead, and heal the leper.

I told them that they can hold her and tell her everything they want to share. They looked at me with a gratitude, and I struggled to hide a renegade tear from the corner of my eye as I told them also that only God knows the truth.

To some the power of God is in His creations and manifestations. Others amazed by the Almighty and praise Him knowingly that He is the One who has the power to control the nature of be and it is.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

" killing oneself "


She did it again as she did it before, and before that. This time she had almost succeeded, but we were there and she was rescued.

This time, saving her was not the same. She was not happy as she was unsuccessful in her attempt and we the health providers as a team were not happy, as we failed to stop what was happening.

Being suicidal is not easy, it may be  a desire to do something to escape from oneself. It may seem as a goal oriented task but the fact is that being suicidal is just way to a means. I wonder how much distraction, pain, fantasy and unknown there is to motivate someone to take their own life.Then, there is a religious paradigm of eternal condemnation of disrespecting the gift of life and our mortal struggle of mental health diseases.

Only questions and questions in search of some answers, like in a locked suicidal prevention unit to save one's life or wishful thinking of beaming in the life force in those poor souls to appreciate the gift of life.



" living dangerously "


Riding a motorcycle was his passion since his childhood but the trouble was that he was not a child anymore. I met him after his accident when he was wrapped up in bandages to  keep his body parts intact and aligned by the modern day orthopedics techniques.

I was curios about him since he had a hobby that cost him where he was then; lying in a hospital bed with unknown and unpredictable recovery.

As he improve over days and got ready to participate in therapy I asked him; how come now, what can be done at a younger age. I meant his lifestyle of a bike rider with acrobatic theme of living dangerously.

He just smiled and I smiled back at him.

To some, living a life dangerously is just a figure of speech. They are the ones who live in passion, a life to enjoy and a moment to live, as it brings no harm to others.They teach us that every breath in this world is burdened by sharing of life together unknown to many.We share our breath with all who are around us; to breath in and out Wi Fi oxygen we call it, air. They believe that our breath and our air in which we all breath, is the final equalizer.

Others, attempt to live dangerously by compromising others life. They want to gain and have it all for themselves.This may be in the name of fun or peace.The sad reality is that we still cannot recycle a human body completely. We can all  break and crack like he did.The truth is that our body can heal slowing but it can never be the same or as good as new.

The bottom line is that with all the happenings to us in this life, some learn and some will be taught again in the circle of life.