Friday, April 29, 2016

I dropped my motorcycle

I ride a Harley Electroglyde 1600 CC with full luggage. I dress in all the black harley gear with the hot black half helmut.  Outfitted and ready to go I look like Steven Segal.  Really.  I'm a big guy. It's a big bike and I look good.

I'm a little concerned about my cockapoo's effect on my image. He rides in the seat behind me.   He'd just been to the salon.  Normally a bearded Grizzly Adams kind of mutt after being shaved he's kind of cute and adorable.  He's my side kick, my bud, my room mate, my friend.  It's not like I can leave him at home. He likes to be included.  We get along.

But I worry about my image. Without him I can really pass as bad ass.  But with him sitting up in his box all perky and freshly shaved, well, I don't know.

It didn't help that last night when I was stopped at a turn I just dropped my bike.  I've done it before.  It's not like I'm going forward and I slide out. There's no drama.  I'm just not paying attention and slyly the 1000 pounds of bike takes that moment to lie down on it's slide.

My Harley is really like a horse that way.  Sometimes a mind of it's own.  Some days I expect to find it chewing on grass rather than parked on pavement.

The dog wears a harness on the bike and has a short leash that holds it into the box with the harness. So he wasn't even flummoxed by this chain of events.  Harley wants to lie down. I'm now leaning sideways. And master is upset about something.

It's embarrassing.

I really don't think about image that much but when my bike is lying on its side the one thing that is happening is I am embarrassed.  I feel like a fool. I feel ridiculous.

No one cares. The universe is not watching only me at that moment.

I think women are giggling somewhere too.  That's the problem guys who have been divorced have. They here their ex enjoying their discomfort somewhere.

It's shame.

I looked at Gilbert though and he wasn't bothered by it.  Probably thinking it was planned.

Meanwhile I can't seem to get the bike up. The trick is to stand with your back to the bike and holding onto low use your legs to push yourself back up. I've done it once before when my last bike decided to lie down when I'd stopped at an intersection wet leaves on the road.  That bike was only 500 lbs but before I'd hardly got off too gorgeous young college girls had run over and helped me get the bike up right. They'd had a heck of a good time helping out Grand dad.

Now this time, a terrific guy jumped out of his car and offered to help. It's nothing for two people get the bike straightened up.  It's more about balance and push than lift.

I thanked the guy profusely. He really was an angel.

I looked the bike over. Not even a scratch.  No oil leak.  Gilbert entertained.  Ready to continue.

I drove on.

Thinking about Winnipeg.  Because of the snow in that city everyone every year it seems helps someone else get their car unstuck. Often a half dozen guys and sometimes girls are pushing someone out of snow drifts they've slid into. It's so easy to get stuck in Winnipeg and no one judges.  Everyone just pitches in and helps. No one is hurt and the event is as close to an old time barn raising as a group gets spontaneously.  It comforts you and reminds you of community.

Too often I read the news and forget that the vast majority of neighbours are good neighbours.  This young guy literally jumped out of his car to help and with the bike upright was waving as he jumped back into his own vehicle.  He didn't need or expect anything for his helping. He was just being a good neighbour, a good Samaritan, a good guy.

There's not much snow on the Coast. We live rather isolated lives and the sense of community in this affluent port city isn't the same as it is in a place like Winnipeg where winters make you rely on your neighbours.

As silly and ridiculous and embarrassing it is for a hip slick tough old biker dude to drop his Harley Davidson cruiser motorcycle, it was really good to be touched by the neighbourliness of that fine gentleman.

It was also good to know that Gilbert my cockapoo was safe in his box and wouldn't fall out. If anyone asks I dropped the bike on purpose to 'test' the safety of Gilbert's bike.

Yea that's what I was doing.

Right Steven Segall!  (and not a word out of you Gilbert the Cockapoo)

John 1:5

John 1: 5  “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it."
I read this today in the the one year Bible App. I’d read the Bible with a One Year Bible Book a decade or so again.  One of the times I read the Bible cover to cover realizing how each reading of the spiritual text provides a deeper meaning.  The app and the book simply break up the Bible into a daily reading which if one is religious about it results in the Bible being read fully by the end of the year.  Having done this several times I’ve missed days and either gone back and read those bits or just moved on staying with the calendar.
I’ve read John 1 countless times but today was comforted by this line today. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not over come it."
I was thinking of cancer, fear and anger.  I was thinking also of prayer as that light. I was thinking of purpose and direction.  All those grand ideas and ideals that move life forward.  Those are the light. Like love.  They move forward into the darkness.  The mystery is solved as the light illuminates.
I lose faith so often and them am reminded of my personal insignificance but that despite that there is this oneness of force and energy I can tap into with prayer.  I can rise above my cynicism and negative and know that the darkness will not overcome the light.  The light pierces the darkness.
It’s a new day.  I’m off to work. There’s a theatre production tonight.  I’ve perused Facebook and seen that my friends are still there, each in their own lives most of them rather funny.  We share a lot of humour.  I love the humour of my friends.  Humour is a light.  Its is not overcome by the darkness of despair.
I love my psychiatrist mentor friend, Dr. Phillip Ney who said, “Bitter old people are a dime a dozen.  You can become one or choose to be something different.”
I’ll shower before going out to work today and put on some clean clothes.  I notice that most people ,except maybe those who I see at Walmart sometimes, late in the evening, still do this.  But few, including myself, dress up and clean up the insides.  I have such a tendency to complain, especially about government and taxes, to be negative about the waste and laws and bureaucracy.  I waste parts of my day complaining and even sometimes gossiping.  Here I am given this wonderful capacity of speech to sing praise and thanks and I use it to whine.  I must remember at least today to celebrate life.  The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not over come it.
We will not be defeated.  Will will overcome.
Thank you God. Thank you Jesus.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Thinking Disease

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy dictates that what we feel is a product of your thinking.  Depression and anxiety are therefore a consequence of negative thinking.
Free Association was a therapy technique of psychoanalysis.  It encouraged people to express whatever came to mind without the usual mental censorship.  Eventually the analysis could see the patterns of thinking, obsessions, and resistances that the analysand struggled with.  When they were explored together the analysand could root out what were usually once useful thoughts but had outlived their value.
I have shared my own thoughts as a ‘writer’s journal’.  This was the teaching of Julia Cameron in Artist’s Way.  She recommended writer’s daily do ‘morning pages’ to free up their creativity.
“Journalling’ is a recognized therapy technique to help people in my words ’squeeze the pus out of their brains’.  When I journal in the morning I record those things that are uppermost in my mind.  In this way I tell my mind that I have acknowledged its concerns and recorded those matters most important to it.  And just as when I make a list I don’t have to keep returning to remember it but can get on with other things till I need to review the list again, so with journalling I can quiet my mind.  My mind no longer has to repeat the same concerns.
Fear and resentment are the major negative emotions and daily these primal emotions are triggered by recurrent negative thoughts.
Mostly fear and resentment resolve around security or money.  Next they’re a response to interference with ambition or expectation. Something blocks our mental plan or interferes with our intention. Finally fear and resentment revolve around status, how we see ourselves in relationship to other, all the issues that are involved with shame.
Cognitive distortions are recurrent negative patterns of thinking like ‘catastrophizing’,  jumping to conclusions and believing the worst.  Black and white thinking is the ignoring of the possibilities of grey.  Such binary thinking leads to paranoia and persecution delusions.  Grandiose thinking is believing it’s all about you when it fact the play might not even have you as a lead.  Not every theatre has you as the lead.
Logic is the study of thinking and the basis of philosophy.  Rhetoric is the study of ‘sales’ thinking and politicking. Logic endeavours to reach the ‘truth’ whereas rhetoric endeavours to manipulate and ‘win arguments’.  The fallacies are well recognized false arguments.
The one I notice most these days is the ‘ad hominem.  When I say Justin Trudeau needs to be randomly drug tested others respond attempt to ‘kill the messenger’ and attack the arguer rather than address the thesis.  Hence the standard ‘Facebook’ argument, “you’re an asshole to question Justin Trudeau’.  This may be true but it’s quite irrelevant and ‘begging the question’.
Sadly most advertising a series of ‘fallacies’.  Laboissiere teaches fallacy and sadly given the marketing and political nature of the world today it’s a topic that should be the basis of grade school just as scientific method should be taught that early.  However the profound ignorance in the Canadian population reflects the propagandistic nature of the school system which fails to teach children ‘how to think’ by instead teaching them ‘what to think’.
Cognitive behavioural therapy with it’s tools of psychoeducation and logic includes journalling especially free association journalling as a means to allow us to review alone or with another what exactly is going on in our minds.  If we can see and understand that then we can root out negative memes that are no longer useful or simply correct the fallacies and cognitive distortions that make life less joyful.
St. Paul taught us to ‘pray unceasingly’.  My psychiatrist minister friend Dr. Willi Gutowski used to described the brain as a ‘radio’ which picked up all manner of stray frequencies from the world around us.  He recommended taking two hands and turning the dial to the ‘god channel’ and holding it there.
Practicing the ‘presence of the Lord’ requires one to focus on being in the now.  God is Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipotential so to know God and all Joy is to be in the present.  As my army friend used to tell me when I talked to him, “Bill you have one foot in the future and one foot in the past and you’re pissing and shitting on the day. Get your head in the same room as your ass is.”
Mostly our mind is ranging out into the past where we have resentments or ranging out into the future where we have fears.  Meditation is a means of focusing on the present.  Mindfulness meditation as taught by Buddha is the means where by we see the thoughts as ‘creatures’.  One identifies with the Self of Kohut’s “Self Psychology’.  This has also been called the ‘Observer’.  C.S. Lewis, the great Christian philosopher encouranged us to join with God and see that God was permanent and infinite and all else was finite and transient.  This expression ‘this too shall pass’ refers to all but the essence of the flow, i.e. God.
Emmett Fox, author of Sermon on the Mount teaches that as we address the thinking disease we will find the underlying ‘spiritual laws’ of creation and be better able to live by them.
Selfishness and self centeredness is closed minded and fear based.  It’s all the response to hurt.  A child is like a fool all trusting until it learns from trial and error the dangers of the world around it.  These leads to ruts of thinking, behaviour and attitudes. These had a value at the time and may be held onto for that very survival aspect but later may indeed impede further learning.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


It’s been that sort of month.  Weeks of cough and sickness, a whirlwind plane trip, return to work with massive of back log in a few days, sudden calls for deadlines, complaints and threats, death by stabbings ,death by suicide, more suicidals.  I was thinking the sun would quiet things.  People made it through the winter and like those with depression getting well find the energy to want to die.  The lack of caring for our own.  No resources or less than necessary.  More drugs and more drugs on the street. Death and fentanyl. And anger and entitlement in the addiction community. Despair in the psychiatric community.  It’s no fun.
Then I realized I’ve been day in day out with sick people over 35 years.  Others avoid the ill. Others avoid the insane. Others avoid the criminal.  It’s been my life and the bureaucracy is ever perfect, toxic, superior and afraid.  The cowardice is palpable.  Barriers walls and boundaries, delays and paperwork and committee meetings, anything to procrastinate and avoid reality.  I’m envious.  There’s so much corruption, so much ‘free’ government money, so much criminal drug money.  I work each day, get out of bed, wash, dress eat, face the daily now traffic jams, a 20 minute commute often now an hour and a half because of mismanagement of traffic.  It’s easy to see the lack of concern for everyone but the paperwork. Increasingly the judges take a year from a trial and then months to write a report. Everyone is critical even when there’s that much time and effort and experience put into a matter.
Critics everywhere like cockroaches.
  And me no better. Self pity everywhere. Anger and self pity. And me no better.
The Myth of Sisyphus.
Existential angst.
There’s tulips blooming. The sun is coming out. Summer is coming. I love the women in spring frocks. The feminists in Canada have outlawed looking at women as “lookism’. It’s why I like to go to other countries, like Europe, where I can sit in a cafe and watch the girls go.  I indulged myself yesterday enjoying the diversity of shapes and sizes and the new fashion but every here and there seemed was an angry woman looking for some man to lash.  All the rest of the men and women seemed tired. There was little laughter on the street.  The non criminals are working long hours in Vancouver.  The faces are not happy. So many who looked at first glance happy were blatto, stoned on drugs or rushing for a drink.
It was a contrast to Moscow.  There seemed as much focus there but less fatigue and more ‘brightness’.  But then I never know if it’s my perception. Vancouver has the look of Athens though to me.  That worn down look.
But then I was in a cafe here and everyone seemed as happy as any cafe I’ve been in. Sitting, eating, meeting.
But watching people on the street, drinking coffee in an outdoor Starbucks.  Not a tourist district. The working part of the city. At the end of the day.
It was the first time in so long without sickness and overwhelmed by work and deadlines that I sat down and ‘relaxed’. Is that the word. Relaxed. So much of my life for a month or two now has been work and recover , work and recover.  Home at 8 , up at seven, work on the weekend.
But I overstate it. It’s because my expectations are out of whack. I’m working as hard as I’ve always worked and it’s just I’m a lot older and it’s harder because of that and yet I thought as I got older I’d get more respect and appreciation for all the ‘service’ , for staying at my post, for showing up, and I’m laughed at as a fool. The clever ones see the folly of my Christian upbringing.  They’re pushing marijuana and selling drugs and taking cuts on the side and lying.
I don’t lie.  Liars accuse me of lying. I know the liars but their accusation. But psychologists tell us we all have ‘white lies ‘ and I have those too but not where it matters.
I’ve lost so much by telling the truth. My dog Stuart was murdered because I told the truth.  The drug addicts wanted me to lie and say their urine was clean when it wasn’t. They threatened to kill my dog. And they did. Poisoning.  Now Gilbert’s life has been threatened.
I wonder how much my perception skews my view.
I feel bad therefore what I see is bad.
One can’t really know.
I’ve just been so hectic and when I walk into a government office it’s so slow. Like a different time zone.  I see Trudeau and he is such a ‘fat cat’.  A really fat cat.  Preened.
I’m not.  I forget to shave on the weekend. Must remember now.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Hi God, thank you for the pretty girls in the spring frocks, the fresh warm air, the cherry blossoms, this starbucks coffee, mac computer, my dog friend, Gilbert and the break from the days of hectic and overwhelming.  I’m mourning. A drowning and a stabbing.  Suicide and homicide.  The beurocrats leave little time for tears.  The dangerous tweak the old paranoia wound. I’m back and held hostage my life threatened by the violent, the crazy killer voice.  The cherry blossoms are pretty.  I have to focus on today. I have to focus on the present. I’m relatively safe here.  The threat of death to my dog isn’t a minor thing. It reminds me of when they threatened my mom.  My life is little consequence.  Corruption and filth are everywhere.  I’ve been close to the abyss.  Lots have.  There’s no special place.  Death is calling all.  I’m dying and living each moment of existence.  Thank you Lord for the knowing. Thank you for the gifts and blessings.
Thank you for the sunshine today.
Thank you for the breeze.
Thank you for family and friends.
Thank you for Gilbert.
Thank you for this moment’s reprieve.
Thank you for this body and this mind and this heart and soul.
Thank you God. What a friend we have in Jesus. Lay your burden down.
Blessed assurance.
Please God help me to see the half filled glass, the rainbow in the rain, the silver linings, the rebirth, the hope, the joy.
Thank you Lord.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


I'm grateful for this life. I'm especially grateful for Gilbert. He's been my cockapoo companion for six years.  Pretty good guy.  Wakes me squirminga and licking my face when the alarm goes off. Sometimes he's early.  Sometimes I wake and find him staring at me waiting for me to awake. I take him for a walk each morning.
I'm thankful for this clinic. It's well run, nice place.  Most of the folk are fine.  Occasionally someone is particularly adolescent but overall it's a good routine.  I especially like the people I work with.
I'm thankful for internet and access to knowledge. I'm disappointed in main stream information but love pubmed and the libraries on the internet.  I like Facebook as it keeps me in touch with family in friends. It's a bit of an obsessive thing.  I wonder about what I did before I was 'checking'.
I'm thankful I'm over the coughing but I'm still tired.  I'm having trouble getting to sleep and I think my sleep cycle has been disrupted a bit.  Otherwise I'm better each day.
I'm thankful for the rain for the plants but i loved the sunshine.
I'm thankful for my family and pray for my brother health.
I'm sorry for patients and worry for them and am doing my best but am given mixed messages by the authorities who are almost at the point of offering people death for money like companies who sell off early retirement.  I've mixed feelings about my life work 'doing no harm' and trying to 'save lives' reduce suffering and improve quality and quantity of life. It seems  that there's more money thesee days in death and I'm feeling like a dinosaur. I thank you Lord for the years of joy I experienced watching people come alive again.
Thank you Lord for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy so I can see what crazy thinking I can get into and try to stop it. Thank you for the knowledge that I'm the source of most of my negativity. Thank you for the understanding of perception and reality. Thank you for the realization that I am not my ideas and that I am a self greater than the sum of parts.
Thank you for the great ideas of life, like life itself, like God, like purpose, like meaning, like family, like community, like work, like freedom.  Thank you for the shoulders of those who have gone before me and help me to appreciate those who work in administration and government.
Help me to overcome my resentments to institutions.
Help me to be more obedient and appreciate that freedom comes with obedience.  Thank you for teaching me that the greatest leader was once the greatest follower. Thank you for the stories  of the Bible, like David, Thank you for Jesus.  Thank you history. I'm so enjoying reading about the Raj right now and the development of Europe and China.  Thank you for the advances in medeicine. Thank you Truvada the new HIV prevention drug.
Thank you for the antibiotics.
Thank you for Revia which reduces alcohol craving by half.
Thank you for the new anti viral drugs.
Thank you for chemotherapy all those anti cancer drugs which successfully kill cancer cells and protect the body from these bully cells.
Thank you for colours. I really do like that the world isn't in lack and white. Thank you for the sense of smell I still have. I'd like it if I could have my sense of smell restored but I am thankful for what I have. Thank you for the hearing I have. I feel I'm going deaf and have more difficulty hearing but I'm thankful for what I can hear.
Thank you for my truck and sports car. The F350 Ford is the ultimate rural vehicle and a great workhorse for pulling my trailer and hauling my ATV for hunting. But thank you for the Miata since it's the perfect commuter and city car and now I can even have the roof down. I'm thankful that I'll have my harley back this weekend.  Please protect me from crashing and help me be safe on the road.
Thank you for the barbecue. I've so enjoyed barbecuing this week. With my flu going I'm again really enjoying the taste of barbecue food. For weeks all I wanted was soup and didn't have the energy to cook anything. Now I'm excited at the prospect of cooking.  It's good to feel things coming back to normal.  Thank you for normal  God.
Thank you for this day God and all your blessings.  

Saturday, April 9, 2016

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?:
Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
Oh my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night and am not silent.
I opened my Bible to this page. Today I thought I should use my new big print edition Bible for this exercise. I just open the Bible somewhere and reflect on the words that first appear to my eyes.  This is what I saw today.  The fact is my Bible is worn from use. It is likely that I’ve come to this page over and over again. The Bible falls open here. It’s the opening of Psalm 22, the first words of which were said to be the last words of Jesus on the cross.
I have to be cautious though because this is a verse of self pity. In my narcissism and isolation I am prone to self pity.  I work as a healer, I’m a physician. My humility is that I insist the medication and charms and incantations cure but somehow I believe still that it is in the relationship.  I love the St. Francis prayer “Make me a channel”.
I feel this as I’m healing. At the end of a day of work I feel like I’ve had all the strength and energy drawn out of me. I can work differently. I can be removed and have the beurocratic boundaries up around me like the barriers lawyers and businessmen erect. But I don’t. I took an oath and I do the best I can to heal.
In psychotherapy it is as if we share spinal columns.  There’s a merger that is borderline in the pathological but yet is akin to walking a mile in another’s shoes.  In shared stories and vulnerabilities I meet the defeated in their wound.. I find the pain and shadow and go there. I am one with the nightmare. I find the nightmare within myself.  Then I reassure.  I rally. I cheer lead. I exhort.  I see disease as an enemy and I’m the Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Commander encouraging men and women to go another day.  I have magic potions. I have special ‘tests’ and ‘rituals’.  I have ‘names’.  I am Adam in the garden. I have a wealth of experience and secrets.
But now government has lost faith.  They are dishonourable.  They admit to defeat for the country. Like Nazis we find they have put their money overseas and are running to Argentina. That have plunged the country into inexorable debt and given themselves wages. They are spending recklessly overseas and buying future homes to flee to.
First they brought abortion and killed the children of our forefathers rather than paying mothers a living wage.  They lied and cheated and defiled.  They gave their Order of Canada to the greatest Nazi killer of our time Morgentaller, a survivor of Auschwitz who identified with his aggressor and hating catholics encouraged their abortions.
Today abortionists make more than those who deliver babies.  I am punished for keeping people alive. I am a fool. I am ridiculed in high places. They have stopped seeing patients and gone to committees. Everywhere committees gather to discuss the other. But no one wants to see the other. They take the money for the other and give themselves awards and celebrate each other in an amazing circle jerk but all the other has are waitlists.
Bombs are where the money is and dreams.  It’s Matrix all over.
Now we have physician assisted  suicide.  In Holland euthanasia began in compassion and then it developed into a profit centre like our jails.  Corruption is everywhere.  Especially in Quebec. The Liberal government of Ontario has the greatest world debt for a sub nation. I am sent letters upon letters for finding brain tumours with MRI challenged to justify my spending on the war against disease.  My patients can’t afford the medication.  The sick are impoverished while the leaders of democracy strut about like Czars and emperors.  The new Napoleon with his Sophie are a Hollywood favourite with million dollar jaunts and flaunting their wealthy living like Rothschilds in the 30’s .
And the UN has given us Agenda 21 wanting to kill off billions of people rather than celebrate the life we have.  People are the enemy.
Or so it seems.
I cry to God because my brother has cancer. My patients have cancer. And we’re all aging and death is nearer in years than ever before. I didn’t think of death like this since I worked with Aids patients.  Now in the epidemic of luxury I work with the drug addicted and they die.  I know them personally intimately and I am up against a wall.
My spiritual teaching is ‘surrender’.  I am to ‘accept’.  I pray the serenity prayer. I acknowledge my lack of omnipotence. But Jesus resurrected and resurrected Lazarus. He healed the unsealable.  I believe in miracles.  I have known so many. I have seen so many patients live who others said would die. I have truly known and walked in the sacred.
All around me the atheists are loud and they reduce everything to the limits of their own imagination. I am a scientist but their pseudoscience and their science business frauds are rampant. I am gifted in my theism by the science I have learned. I walk in Heisenberg and Planck and enjoy the multiverse and immortality. Yet as I withdraw and observe I recall Arjuna talking to Krishna about the war.  It’s not about the war but it’s about ones own participation.
I pray for my brother.
My dogs back was hurt and he was near the point of needing to be put down. But today he is well enough. I fear for his future. His hind legs lack the strength they once did but he is older as I am and my back legs lack the strength.
My life is harried. I am always trying to do so much. I’ve overwhelmed. I’m daily encountering emergencies. I’ve worked for decades in the areas of greatest need with the most vulnerable alone, without so little support.
I saw a couple of men yesterday and introduced them.  They had both suffered catastrophic brain injuries and were never thought to be well in anyway again.They really belonged in institutions but somehow struggled on the outside. I saw them.  I read literature night after night, studied journals attended seminars, asked colleagues, and did my best. It’s beyond anything I ever learned in school and there is no clear answer. Each is unique.  I was thankful for the wisdom of colleagues. Only a few of us work here and it’s not my thing though everyone says it is. It’s just so hard and no one else wants to do it.  Over and over gps tell me the called dozens of my colleagues and they’ve been turned down. There is no wealth in seeing sick. Everyone is cherry picking the well. But a decade later I watched these two interact and so enjoyed their laughter. A couple of soldiers who shared a common battlefield. I love their families. I love the community. I love health care. They epitomize all that is good.  I was so glad to be apart of it.  But there’s been so many tears.  I cry myself to sleep at night unable to help.
The rich and well get the first tier of care. There is Betty Ford for them and now they’re just opening places for the other to inject their existence away.
I am thankful. The sun has come out again today. I was so sun sufficient. For weeks now coughing all day and all night, exhausted, chest hurting from the work of coughing.  Pain in the intercostals.  Feeling in the morning like an elephant has sat on my chest.  Thinking I’m dying. Every night at 3 in the morning thinking I’m dying.  One night dragging myself to the couch and finding the phone and preparing to phone an ambulance but then I could breathe.  Breath, like everything I take for granted. Going to work embarrassed by the cough. Wondering if it’s a cold or just allergies.  Suffering and feeling the suffering of those I try to help with so few resources.
Always there are critics. The parasites abound. They are so far from the front lines but in their space station air head wisdom they can criticize but they are utterly incompetent in face of danger and lack the humility to admit to the depth of their cowardice. They are dying to. Their fear is ever obvious in their attempt at control.  I watch them cross their legs , the wrinkles at the edges of their eyes. They are in shock. I ‘d like to talk to them, reassure them. but they have gone to hide in their positions.  They have lost their humanity and take solace in the machines they worship. It’s the money. I can not but envy them. They are driven by the rankest of forces. Money buys them.  And I am little different.
I say I would be sailing if I were rich. But I am able to flee to the sea and still I linger asking myself how come God doesn’t heal me. I only ask for a miracle. A cure for cancer. I will die but let them live longer and suffer less.
I am suffering for not. I am on a cross and friends are calling, get down we need the wood. I am here another day.
There is another complaint.  I never had a complaint when I worked as a general practitioner. I never had a complaint when I worked as a general psychiatrist. I was so admired when I was in surgery and community medicine.  But now I’ve worked for years with the addicted and alcoholic and criminals, sociopaths and psychopaths.  I am alone so much in the community, one to one in a little office.  I have been attacked. Guns have been pointed at me. I’ve been held hostage. I’m afraid more easily.  A young man told me that some doctors get more complaints. I spoke with the forensic psychiatrists about ‘rate your doctor’ and how their patients loathed them.  I spoke with the head of addiction and physician care and he had two complaints against him and one to the human rights.  So I thought it was the field. I’ve had a complaint each year this last five years and each has been because the patients drug addiction has caused them to be denied work.
The last two have insisted that because I ‘named’ them ‘substance abuse’ and that because I did the urine test that showed positive then that was why they were given a DUI and that was why they were not allowed to work.  I’ve known dozens of doctors who covered for patients, colluding with their addiction and causing them to be a risk to others. There are no complaints of ‘sins of omission’.  I’ve done exactly what I was required to do and this young doctor , incredibly inexperienced, working in a beurocratic job suggests that I could somehow know better how not to get a complaint.
So it’s ‘blame the doctor’ and I really don’t want to be one any more.  It’s the soldiers fault who gets wounded in war. There’s someone in Ottawa or Washington who is avoiding the frontline themselves but studying grafts and showing how certain soldiers are the ones that get wounded.
I know this is a resentment.  The young man is a grandiose arrogant idiot but then I am the one who is suicidal. I’m the one who wants to go back to working in a hospital with all the dozens of people for every patient and the resources and the gang approach to medicine and the immense waste of resources. I miss the intensive care where no one was expected to live and they didn’t so no one could complain. I miss the years I did psychotherapy like the psychologists and wonder what is it that wants me to work where there is the greatest difficulty.
Why couldn’t I just sail a little boat in English Bay but instead sailed solo across the pacific at Christmas facing the greatest fears. What made me face 40 foot seas.  Why do I push myself to the limits. Why not get on a committee and work well within the ‘wire’.  If only I avoid the ‘other’ stay safe, play it safe, don’t rock the boat.
I really want to .  I wonder at a life with complaining hurting dying diseased people. I wonder at a life of despair.  The money isn’t good enough for the abuse I get. Accountants make a whole lot more and don’t have people pulling guns and knives on them.  I am threatened routinely. If you don’t write what I say to write I’m going to lose my job and you’re going to be sorry. I refuse to collude.  I am increasingly being the fall guy for insurance companies that didn’t want to pay in the first place but now blame the doctor and the patients complain that the doctor won’t say they’re in a wheel chair when they’re not. Increasingly there’s this lie that is being perpetrated. We’re been consumed by the bureaucracy which takes the fat and leaves nothing for anyone else.

They’re fighting for crumbs under the table.
And I’m grateful.  I can breath. My chest is only a little sore. I bought a lot less. I’m here in the sun. I”ve walked. I’m not dying myself. But I have no miracles. I pray and I can’t seem to convince God that my patient and my friends and family need to win the lottery.  I am insignificant.  A speck of irrelevance.
My God, My God.

I am thankful for the view. My little dog is looking out on the street. A young woman just walked by with perky breasts, tight summer clothes and barefoot.  I’ve been enjoying taking pictures of flowers. There is so much joy and pleasure to be had right here. I am thankful for this day. This is a Saturdayl Most days I’m just recouping for the onslaught of sickness and disease.  The horrors of addictions.  Livers coming out of the bodies like Sigourney Weaver’s aliens.  Rashes and unknown diseases. And contagion.
I know a famous specialist who told me she avoids people with disease as she is afraid of their germs.  She was glad to get through medical school and residency so she could avoid seeing patients. She writes books and others do her touching for her.  The trick in medicine is to spend the least amount of time in direct contact with illness.  And yet contagion hides for days before it declares itself.
My brother is told to avoid crowds.  The Chinese were wearing masks on planes .  The new handshake is touching knuckles. In church when they say the peace they no longer touch.
Insanity is infectious.  Like addiction.
I love the sun. I am so thankful for this reprieve.  I am so very thankful that I am able to sit here and have this table, this chair, this bible this light and this place to journal.
Journalling is like squishing the puss out of my brain. I bleed out of my ears. And then with it gone from my thoughts inside I can carry one. I can rally.
I cleaned my home.  I made my bed .  I shook out the rugs. I washed down the bathroom. I changed the sheets.  I cleaned the toilet.  I have oils burning and fans running the scents through the home.  The windows are open. I am thinking now of lying in the sun and hoping to rejuvenate some.
Let the self pity go. Let the resentment and fear go.  Pray for enemies.  Find peace of mind.  Welcome the coming of death.  It’s only years or days or hours that I have .  I liked that we walked today for hours and I remembered that last year I had such injuries and pain I couldn’t have done that. There are always blessings. It’s always perception.
Thank you God. Thank you Jesus.  Forgive me for my lack of faith. Forgive me for my whining and complaining. Forgive me for my inadequacy. Teach me yours ways. Help guide me in what it is I am to do. Show me the way.  Help me to be more helpful.  Help me be less afraid.  Let me sing praises and pray and and celebrate the wonders of the sacred. Let me see the dance of love in all creation.  Thank you God.
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Friday, April 8, 2016

Hay Bay Humans and Easter

You might think the Hays were Zoroastrian with our love of dogs.  But no, Adell and I actually got to the Trinity United Church and very much enjoyed the sermon, worship, song and communion.  A very upbeat welcoming church.  Perfect for Easter Sunday. He is risen! He is risen!.
Adell made fabulous meals as usual. She even gave a deep felt grace at Easter dinner.  We had a delicious dinner of meat and cheese fondue.  It was good to be together as a family.  Best of all, my brother Ron was at the head of the table.  Mom and Dad, were they alive today, would have been so proud of him.
I remember a colourful gorgeous African lady I met at an Azerbaijan Pro Life conference with Dr. Phillip Ney.  She said to me, “We Africans judge the wealth of a man by the number and success of his children.”   Ron’s three sons are riches beyond compare.  Adell and he are amazing parents. I remember them being so when the children were small. Everytime I spoke with them or visited, their children were centre of their lives.  They set the finest example and these men  today are the finest of citizens.
The youngest, Alan, doing his masters in child psychology, is highly sensitive and has a huge heart. I suspect he gets that more from his child teacher loving school principal mother.  Ron while really big hearted was always more the scientist and pragmatist.  With my engineer father he’d work on cars. At school following in his wake I’d hear of his exploits in the sciences.  He was a really smart guy, a real problem solver and truly courageous.  I’ll never forget him riding his little Yamaha 125 cc motorcycle across the country and stories of the ride through northern Ontario bear country.  He and Adell met in church and their love was radiant.  Then the amazing children came along with all their individual characteristics.
Alan's girlfriend, Meagan accompanied him.  I’d met Meagan before and really liked her.  Very bright and beautiful. I liked her mother and sister too.  So she’s pretty great to have around.  Allan stands taller. That’s what’s important.  Eva is his cockapoo and she adores him.  Somehow Eva likes the game chase and she’s got such an attitude.  Allan, or anyone for that matter calls her, and she sits down waiting patiently for them to come to her.  Allan walks the other way and she suddenly bursts into speed to be with him. Then she cuddles with the other love of her life, Adell.  Gilbert is probably the third love of her life but Pepper is definitely now in close competition. The girls have to stay together.
Graeme today is an engineer. He’s working in nuclear energy in Deep River after spending his first years in work with the fusion energy plant in Ottawa.  He makes movies for a hobby. I find this fun given my father’s love the 8 mm movie camera.  He had one of those little machines which cut and spliced film. Add to that my Dad’s scottish ancestry and thriftiness resulted in a collage of half minute clips of our childhood in the home movie days.  There’s Ron playing hockey, then mom getting out of the car, then the dog chasing me in the toboggan. Lots of movie camera as glorified still camera which brief clips of people waving at dad and his movie camera.  Ron continued with still pictures which he and Graeme do. But Graeme actually makes movies.  Straw films are productions with actors and props and sets and lots of lighting.  He even enters them for competitions which are by the looks of it a whole lot of fun for everyone involved.
His new puppy, Pepper was the centre of attention this Easter weekend.  She’s just adorable. The baby Hay that everyone couldn’t get enough of.  Well, the adults, she bugged the big dogs with her bottomless energy nipping at their ears, romping and chasing.
Tanya, Andrews beautiful, talented (and sometimes truly hilarious wife) brought Conan the Labradoodle with them.  He burst galumphing on the scene happy to be a part of everything delighted with the little dogs, and people, and life ,the universe and everything.  I saw Tanya first.  In the background Andrew was walking his robot.  It’s quite something to see.  A rover that follows him by remote control. He’s using it for some obtuse purpose.  It’s part of his masters work at university.
Ron meanwhile was working on his huge saltwater tank which with fish and crabs and shrimp and coral looks exactly like the reefs I scuba dived on in the tropics.  It’s like model makers, a true work of art but not just something one visits for a dive, it’s there all the time. At night the whole aquarium takes on a different character. I”ve always liked fish tanks but never made it from the fresh water tropical fish tanks to the complex chemistry environment my brother is fascinated with.  Both of us have chemistry in our background. His took him to agricultural, food science.  Now he enjoys managing this amazing underwater life ecosystem.
The weather was ambivalent while I was there, a sunny day that cleared away any remnant of snow followed by icy sleet and a scattering of snow that left the next day. Hay Bay was free of ice.  Ducks and geese and swans passed the property beyond the beach.  Tulips and crocuses were showing. Ron was watching the temperature and hoping it wouldn’t freeze his buds which had taken all the hot weather as indication to come. He’s planted an orchard of fruit trees. With the dogs we walked about the property looking at the trees and enjoying the best of civilized country living.
We visited Bath and Loyalist Cove Marina.  We shopped in town a bit.  We visited Ron’s aquarium store, Total Aquatics.  I liked the pharmacist we met across the street.  I’m used to doing this maintenance foraging alone but here it was a way to visit with Ron, or Adell or Alan.  The car rides were more tourist outings especially with Ron who loved to show me the special views he’d found.  Adell pointed out the goats. I liked the burrows.  Endless sky too.  Friendly rolling hills.
When it came time for me to go my plane was cancelled due to high winds. I was disappointed. It meant patients wouldn’t be seen and work would be backed up.  Colleagues would have to cover.  There’s so much work to get away for even a few days and so much work to make up when I come back from even a few days.  And Ron was tired. I felt badly about putting him out.  There’s only so much reserve. I know it’s lovely to see guests come but it’s always been even as good to see them go. And here was Ron having to deal with his brother and his CTScan appointment and all that anxiety.
I got away in the morning and Ron got in early for his CTScan so it all worked out. I even made it to the afternoon clinic so my colleagues and patients weren’t too put out.
All’s well that ends well.
Easter at Hay Bay was a special family time even if everything went to the dogs.

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Monday, April 4, 2016

Hay Bay Easter Gone to the Dogs

Normally easter is an Anglican week with a mixed North Shore Round Up weekend.  This Easter though, Ron and Adell, invited us all to Hay Bay.  The big attraction really was the dog gathering.  Graeme had a new brindle cockapoo, named Pepper.  Andrew and Tanya were bringing the big doodle, Conan and Alan and Adell had Eva another female cockapoo.  Gilbert hurt his back in the fall and almost didn’t make it back to this world so it’s been a real godsend to see him gaining back his old self.  He spent at least a couple of months going from totally immobile to somewhat to no just being a little weak at times. He’s actually climbing two flights of stairs and can jump up on the bed. He’s not able to spring up and down off a motorcycle like he used to but the idea of a week of horsing around with his dog buds was just what the doctor ordered. I looked forward to seeing my brother. Like Gilbert he had his wake up call  but has been rallying against the odds.   I had a cold which in fact may simply be allergies since it happens this time each year and the doctor said it was the worst count pollen in decades.  So with consultation with Dr. George and my brother and sister it was thought despite my cough and fatigue, with the antibiotics on board and no green sputum I should be okay. Ron’s white blood cell count has been up despite his chemotherapy.  So Gilbert and I took to the airways again. This time Air Canada who lost my luggage but got it back to me a day later.  Not bad.
When we arrived the snow had gone.  A day later we had a dusting of snow which also left before I did.  It was shifting weather with the ducks and geese and swan back on the bay.  IMG 0627IMG 0709IMG 0700IMG 0695IMG 0706IMG 0712IMG 0665IMG 0663IMG 0686IMG 0691IMG 0652  1IMG 0647IMG 0652IMG 0639IMG 0637