Tuesday, February 21, 2017

3 AM Lougheed Highway

For several weeks now I’ve been waking periodically at 3 am.  I remember Paul Simon and Garfunkel’s album 3 am Bleecker Street. I think that’s what it was.  3 AM comes to mind. It’s since I returned from New York City.  I put it down to the jet lag at first. Then it was just the stress of closing an office and trying to find places to put the bodies.  Where can I see people and how can I schedule them.  It’s been stressful.  All the while January and February as the most difficult months for psychiatric patients.  I’m in the midst of the fentanyl overdose crisis as well.  The deaths disturb me.  It’s not the same as the suicides. I felt those more deeply in my early years of practice when I didn’t understand the nature of anger.  I saw so much depression back then as simple sadness.  Now I know it’s true nature much better.  I’m less likely to see people die as I attend to the anger and hence the fear.
We are afraid.  Many do a lot to block this out.  The rage about the “change" in politics is so ironic.  The very people who cried out for ‘change’ , now facing it are desperate and alone. Minority in despair.  I am at least hopeful. I’ve been worn down by the weight of taxes and the burden of doing the work of a half dozen men and women while watching so many grow rich off my labour.  Yet I’m not ‘suffering’ in the area of ‘things’.  I don’t have a house, not any more.  Women in my life took those things leaving me with what I wanted, the vehicles.  I have to admit I love vehicles far more than I like the boxes that people live in. It’s childish in a way. The whole system is geared to the ‘little tricky tacky boxes’.  Yet I’m living in yachts or on wheels unable to commit to the insanity of the city.  I’ve committed so much, my time, my life.  I’m now even deeper into the denseness of humanity.  Once working mostly alone I’m now in the depth of clinics with lots of people and bodies about.  It’s so much like my first general practice. This business and hustle.It’s invigorating.  I’m leaving a monastic zone in a way. There’s less couch and more stainless steel and sterile environments.  I’ve examining tables and the accoutrements of medical equipment all around me.  I ‘m tempted to do surgery again. I miss cutting out lumps and bumps.  I really enjoyed the office procedures.  I like the ER and the scope procedures. The cutdowns and the lumbar punctures. I’ve come full circle.  I’m back in the setting I began.
I’m still asking questions. Still recording.  Still offering answers.  I’m ordering tests.  MRI’s and EEG’s and blood work. Tomorrow I get to see the results of an ultrasound I ordered. I’m interested in that. I’m writing letters advocating for my patients despite the outrage of the judge and the bureaucrats who couldn’t accept that I’d taken an oath as a doctor to be an advocate for my patients.  The Judge and the Bureaucrats were so far removed from the human reality that they’d left their own oaths far behind. It didn’t matter that years later I was vindicated. I paid a horrible price for allegiance to the sick and dying.  The robust are such bullies.  I am afraid.
For a year a man who threatened outright to kill me and kill my dog roams free and continues to threaten me.  It’s a wake up call to the death of the country. The systems failure blazes bright in the death threats of a lone stranger.  Nothing is more poignant to me than the system is in crisis and people en mass are more and more afraid. I don’t blame them. So am I.  I look over my shoulder and sometimes carry a knife. I need the pliars for my various vehicles but the knife is there and it sometimes comforts me.  So much of my tax dollars goes to protection and I’ve known so little protections. I have been robbed repeatedly , white collar crimes and blue collar crimes and here my life continues to be threatened.
No wonder my patients are insane.  I like the the expression that the inmates are running the asylum. That’s certainly my take on the world today.  The judge was peculiar and there was no real system to address his peculiarity.  The impairment of individuals is tested in the world of medicine and flight and yet so many areas that should be considered ‘safety sensitive’ are left to the jungle.  The expressions of anyone are like the tip of an iceberg. So much rumbles underneath. I listen all day to the inner worlds and am truly amazed that the world unfolds as it should. That judge might simply have had a brain tumour or liver disease more likely and yet there he was red face and in rage shouting in the court at me who to my mind was simply doing my job. And no doubt he was doing his as he saw it too.  But arrogance and fear exploded.
I don’t know what to make of so much of my life as I look back. It’s so often been about bullies and then I have to in humility wonder why I didn’t walk around the shit in the street.  I keep coming back to that.  Now that I learn weekly if not daily of those my age with disease or dying. There’s little time left and I’ve never figured it out and it really doesn’t seem much different than when I came on board. More confusing really.  More troubling.
I’m waking in the middle of the night.  I’m immersed in long days and it hearkens back to internships and other times in my life when I worked 12 hour days and was up in the night.  I have gone so many nights without sleep, Delivering babies. Midnight calls of suicidal.  I answer calls most days now. I like that so very late in the game I’m being paid for things I did for free for 30 years.  It’s about the money for so many and yet it wasn’t for me and now it is.  There’s so little time it seems.
And I bought the truck. I accepted the debt.  I felt I needed to drop an anchor. The temptation to run away to sea was getting ahold of me.  My dog is sick, an eye gone blind and he does like trucks.  Mine had been so unreliable at times.  It wasn’t the trucks fault. It just was old and this year the diesel mechanics didn’t find the problem I took it in for until they’d had the truck three times and I’d lost days in caring for it. I love my Miata on warranty with the Mazda shop maintaining it with amazing professionalism. It’s the same with the Harley dealers, Trev Dealy. Now I’ll have a truck that’s on warranty and the manufacturer will ensure that it’s running for me and I can trust them as I’ve done in the past and did with this truck till the warranty ran out last year.  It was just the trouble light in the end.  Nothing wrong with the machine but this light would come on and I’d respond.
I’m like that with beepers and alarms. Too many nights of being awakened by alarms and minutes later being at the side of some one injecting drugs or bagging them. It’s 20 years since I did that. At least 5 years since I was at a near death event.  If I wasn’t a psychiatrist I’d call this ptsd.  I’m thankful the nightmares are silent now.  I don’t know what wakes me.  I go to sleep at 10 or 11 and get several hours of restful sleep and then I’m asleep again for a few hours. I’m tired in the day though.  It’s wearing.
Psychiatry is being in the room with despair and grief scratching finger nails on a chalk board.
It’s no wonder people are like this.  Look at that Judge.  The power he had and how much he abused it.  Look at the beurocrats I’ve known and how much they’ve abused their power. And I’m no better. If I point a finger I must see that three are pointing back. I couldn’t have made that judge’s job easy, interfering as I did in his killing of my patient.  Dragging the process out.  In his mind if I’d not have got involved they could have killed her earlier quicker.  Alternatively he probably thinks that my involvement killed her.  I doubt he thinks. He didn’t seem to have much capacity left but then I was blinded by my own partisan ship.
That’s what transference and countertransference are about.  I am always looking at my own face. What I see in the judge is what I reject in myself.  He represented the State, the Emperor, the Bastille, the God and I represented the patient who long ago had spent all her money and her family’s money fighting a Borg.  I often have thought of ‘identification with the aggressor’ when I’ve come up against these beurocrats and officials who Kafka wrote so well about in the Castle. They were equally well described in the Trial of Camus.  Maybe even 1984.  I think of suicide.
Then I remember Patton who upon hearing Hitler say that ‘our soldiers will die for the fatherland’, answered “that’s exactly what I want them to do.”  Now I could same the same for the judge and beurocrats but I don’t because spiritually I know I ‘attract them”.  I stand up and make myself a target. I wear bright clothes and I attract the blood sucking insects. I wave the red flag at the bull and call it out of the shadows. I'm a distraction. I show the sickness to the world and then the world chooses or chooses not to deal with it. I've learned more about corruption by the 'cover up' than any other means.
I buy a truck and the thieves will be watching me.  I see it as reliable and able to the do the job and a debt I must pay which will keep me working for a while longer when I really should be running off to sea. I could put the dog on the motorcycle and take to the open road.  Done. Not coming back. I'm out of here.  Take that Jack.  Hit the road Jack. Paul Simon's songs keep coming back.  I’d like  to join a circus if I didn’t think I was already in one.  The politics of the country astonishes me but so much is a consequence of seeing the world through the eyes of journalism and so many of them are seriously insane and drug addicted and serving what big money partisanship wants to hear.  It’s like knowing the workings of the internal combustion engine.  Once just driving the machine not knowing how motion was achieved.  Today I understand what is happening under the hood and yet it’s all still just energy and motion.
I am awake at 3 am . I was on Bleecker Street. Now I’m near Lougheed Highway.  I’ve eaten some left over pizza.I’ve gone to the bathroom a couple of times.  I’ve drunk some juice. I’m feeling tired again. I tried reading but the history I’m reading of the Sumer and Assyrian empires and now the Persian empire is just dull. It doesn’t put me to sleep. I’ve read a dozen books about that region this last year.  One was a history of Armenia. Another was a history of the Ottoman. I really do like Ataturk.  Another was a book on the Christian church before they were conquered and all the priests killed and a million or so murdered or forced to convert.  I read a history of Egypt too and one of Ethiopia. I’ve read so much about the region and  I've seen so many people who once lived there but now have come here.
City dwellers are at home no matter what city they are in, as if city’s are just different houses now. They talk of ‘culture’ but the culture to my mind is in the land. It’s in the mountains and streams and flora.  Cities are symmetrical.  They lack so much that I only find when I drive a truck out to the country and camp and hunt and fish.  It’s been too long since I was in the woods.  I understood this in New York City where so many never leave that space ship place but I’m a product of the wilderness. I’m too long without being in the outdoors.
I’ve walked this week by the river in the park where men live rough in the woods. These wilderness places in the city. They’re sordid compared to the wonders of the truly wild Canada. We’re planning on going out there again in a week or two. Maybe this weekend.  I worked this last weekend and many weekends before , not all the weekend but enough , paper work and forms and reports.  And people just say ‘it’s just a little bit of writing' and object when I say they have to pay since they see that I ‘m 'free' , a government service that the government no longer pays as it pays itself.  I languish whenever I wait in government offices where the pace is that of a snail. I miss the courts where there’s that pre scientific revolution sense, pre industrial age, the age of old men in wigs and cigars.  But today its’ the smell of pot.  these places are all the traffic jams in the modern world. Passive aggressive and covert aggressive bastions of pout power.
I am ‘law and order’. I was so thankful that in dealing with judges I knew, dozens that were outstanding and only two, the lecherous divorce judge who couldn’t keep his eyes off my ex’s crotch and breasts and lied through his teeth as I was told so well he would; and this other fellow.
And my addicted mind doesn’t focus on that other brilliant man whose mind was truly a wonder. That was a judge to behold.  Here in Vancouver. He’d been head of the Law Society I was told. What a truly brilliant fellow. There was so much material to understand and he summed it up with an erudition of genius. Then he gave a judgement that would have impressed Solomon. I liked the lady judge who tried another case I was involved in. Her questions were so insightful.  I really truly admired her.  I loved the Mark Twain like humorous brilliant American judge I lunched with often best. My father's friend was a judge.  Then there was that drunken judge who lived down the street.
Yet my mind doesn’t focus on these or the dozens more incredible judges I’ve known who I most admired. Tonight it’s a resentment. I’m thinking of this man, this one judge,  who I was told later whether it was true or not, was a notorious drunk ,which certainly would explain his ignorance and buffoonery.  He hated my patient for her long term sobriety and had utter distaste for me while all I was trying to do was educate him about the gross deceit and utter devilry of the psychologist whose report killed my patient more than anything else.  But then her lover did too but that’s too simple.
The suicides wake me in the night. I used to see their faces like stacks of cards angry and haunting. All were calling to me and demanding why I didn’t save themselves from themselves. I awoke hundreds of times to their accusations. I’ve never done enough.  I’ve failed them.  I’ve failed life not being able to sell life to the dying. It’s not like I’ve had any help from this government.  Since PM Trudeau has come to power it’s been all about the killing of the spirit and the bodies. Physician assisted sucide and pot and sharia communism.  “Don’t get me going” he said when he did that show. photo op number about quantum computers showing he didn’t know Shroedinger’s cat from a neutrino. What an idiot! But then I’m tried to ignore the idea of my own description of genius.  I’ve denied the high IQ and the education and the different take. That’s been not about superiority but about difference.
I talked to another Mensa today and loved how he descried his disability and how our government and society have never understood our “difference’.  A low brow thug wouldn’t grasp the ‘difference’.  There’s such a trade in disability and hidden deficits.  I loved hearing Candice say how difficult it was to be beautiful.  The ugly are so full of envy and anger and fear.  I loved Leonard Cohen’s line “We are ugly but we have the music”.
The judge was a thug that day but for all I know his wife was dying or more likely cut him off sex long ago when she caught him with some barnyard animal.
Trudeau reminds me of the stupidity I had 25 years ago when my father tried to caution me about the bullying of the French Canadians and how they had always stolen from the west, Montreal is built on the imperialism of their relationship with the west. It's been going on since the fur trade days.
But then the cities today are just the same with the rural regions. Imperialists.  It’s a really silly lens , this ‘privilege’ and ‘racism’ lens, These paranoid ideologies of I and me.
My task is to know God.
I’m one in the father. I’m one in the spirit. I’m needing to get myself out of the self pity and out of the division within. I have to identify with Carl Jung’s collective unconscious. I have to pray that I am more able to help my patients. Some are battling with cancer and I wasn’t able to help my brother.  But that’s my selfishness. I just feel alone and afraid.  It’s like when we were told to climb under our desks and put our hands over our heads and I asked “but what about the radiation’.
The pretty teacher ran around like a top in a circle screaming and ran off to get the principle who came back and badgered me and my friend Kirk saying we weren’t supposed to talk about radiation and look how we’d upset the girls.  The men and boys  weren’t supposed to upset the girls. But the girls have the vote. Meanwhile the teacher was crying,   I was just thankful they didn’t give me the belt again.   The principle liked using the belt.
I remember the teacher throwing the wooden hammer at my head and hitting me so hard I fell down. The egg I had on my head lasted days. My mother complained to the principle and school board but they all said I deserved it because of the questions I asked .  The kindergarten teacher pulled down my pants in front of the class and hit my bare bottom with a ruler saying I was disruptive.  "all you boys are disruptive.  Billy you're just the worst today'.  And i took my turn being stripped and caned as a child as the girls giggled and giggled and another different boy got his bum bared another day.  They loved the spectacle and these women teachers loved to impose punishments but I can't tell which were worse.

It's sad that I remember the beatings and the canings and the belts and the hammers and all that negative stuff when there's so many days I just loved to learn and how I loved the library. I loved the library. I met Leonard Cohen and Souster and C S Lewsis and Ray Bradbury and Plato and Jesus and so many more incredible people in the library.  And the librarian was always nice and some of the finest people I knew in the world were teachers. Only one threw a wooden mallet at my head. Only another one caned my bare ass in class. All the rest were fine.  Really  But the principle liked the brutal ones best.  The principle was a devil.  I learned that when I was a professor and understood better how he did his work. The school was a major success thanks to him and he didn't sweat the small stuff. Not when he expelled me.  Overall I'm thankful for the teachers he brought in and the education I had. I was the fortunate one.

Did you know that Einstein asked that same question about vacuums, he said to me after the class had all laughed at my question before they knew I was the highest scorer in physics. I liked chemistry better. I could see the molecules in the air. Everything was the periodic table for me at one time. I would see the world as if through an electron microscope and it was so beautiful.
I miss the meditation. I miss the early morning hours with the symphony cello player, the lawyer and the businessman sitting silent as the sun came up, our minds focused on the breath and the awakening of a new day.
I miss so much in my life.  The love making as a young man with a young woman.  My first wife is still the beauty she was back then. My mom and dad and brother. The dogs.  The home in Fort Garry. I can be wistful and in tears with all the love I’ve known and how much I took for granted.
Today I have to force myself to see the glass half full. The doctor said I was going deaf and wants to take an MRI. They ‘re find there’s nothing there or their pictures will show a brain tumour that’s been a hidden secret. I wouldn’t want to lose it. They’ve taken so much of me. I'm probably just a cancer that's not been cured.
EE cummings talked about them too. And Thoreau.  He knew them.

It’s a problem of perception. This identification with the aggressor, the externalization of the fear.  God is love.  All is love.  All is peace.  “I am the bubble make me the sea.” Yogananda.
“Do not be afraid’ Jesus said, not as a suggestion but as a command.
When the man pulled the gun on me I made him put it away. How. I talked to him.  Another time I pulled a knife on the young man with a gun and chased him back to his friends with their motorcycle.  It was a very little knife.  I always carry a steel pen since the solder held me hostage and said he’d kill me.
the plane crash was something.

I’ve been blessed with experiences. I’ve had an adventure this life.
And my friends let me breakfast with their sons and daughter and my nephews actually wanted to play with me.  I always am amazed at my good fortune.
I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams. Not really. I wanted a spaceship. But this earth is just a really big space ship hurtling through space.
I ‘m enjoying the old star treks on netflix.  I watch them at night when I come home remembering how I watched them after school as a boy.
My mom made me a birthday party with a star trek theme.  There’s a picture somewhere.  My fondest memory.

I’m tired.
Maybe I’ll get a few hours before the day and the time i suit up and jump into the ‘chute’ to slide into the day of people coming with requests and mysteries.  I have so much to learn, so very much to learn.  So very much to learn.  So very very much to learn.  Do not judge the stupid.  you are one.   The more I know the more I know how little I know.  I struggled today with an old antidepressant drug and it’s dangers. It was from when I began. A dangerous compound like cancer medication but this one had kept this person alive. “It saved my life.”  I had to agree. It was potent. Even now I’d hold it carefully. How easy it killed back then. I saw the challenge in it.  It was all we had.
We saw people suicidal and gave them medication that could kill them with just a handful of pills . It was years before the new medications came , the ones with a large margin of safety. You’d have to take a bushel to overdose and die not like the medications I trained on.  Loaded guns and we’d wait and wonder and it would be months before we’d know and all along the person would be threatening to kill themselves and I’d be in terror they would and struggling to find any reason for them to live.
Now I’m old and it’s not so important now.  I feel truly that my government wants to kill me. I really do.  For a year or so I’ve felt the globalist agenda is to kill millions according to UN Agenda 21 and that this PM is the one to be the executioner and he will kill the western canadians  before his beloved Montreal lot.  I’m tired now.
I can go back to sleep and be thankful .  Really gratitude is the key.

God is love.  Thank you Love.

I liked how the English waitresses said that to me, in cockney, after I paid for my bit of eggs and hash and left a wee tip.  Thank you Love.

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