My Life and Philosophy So Far

Rain Photo

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS

Welcome to my web page.  I have been a Physician Assistant since 1978.  When I send patients home from a clinic or emergency room it is customary to give them written discharge instructions. Those instructions are focused on their current physical problem or diagnosis. This page contains a few instructions I have picked up over the years to help you stay physically and emotionally well.  

I believe that in order to be well you have to be physically, emotionally and spiritually at-ease.  Spiritual wellness is individual for each of us.  I have found mine. Yours will be different.  All I can suggest is that you consider my suggestions for the other two and find your own spiritual peace.

I like the saying “You don’t HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul, you HAVE a body.  If you look at life that way you will see that it is important to take care of both.

TEMPORARY ART

Our lives are temporary art. We are like ice sculptures.  If we live to be 80 years old we will have 29,200 days to explore, play, work and enjoy this wonderful world we all share. If we live to be 100 we will have 36,500 days. I’m 64 so I have already lived 23,360 of my days.  It seems a shame to waste even one of my remaining days.  I never met a dying man or woman in the emergency room that said “I wish I had spent more time at work” or “I wish I had watched more TV”.  To quote a line from my poem “Television” from my poems page:   

“The choice is yours from now on.

Watch strangers live their lives,

OR

learn to live your own”.

A PERFECT LIFE

The secret to a perfect life is to perfect your life one day at a time, and then live it over and over again, perfecting as you go along. I had a lecturer while at Stanford PA school that helped me help others more than all of the other medicine lecturers combined.  His name was Julian Silverman.  He passed away in 2001 and the world is a lesser place with his passing.  He worked and administrated Esalen in Big Sur California.  He taught the difference between ease and disease and that it is much easier to give a pill to someone than to help them change their lives for the better, but the latter is more fulfilling. I call this exercise A perfect Life.

DIET

I have studied most of the diets that are in fashion now.  The last chapters of each of them are similar.  It’s how you get to the last chapters that differ.  I believe that  “Southbeach”  and “Live Right For Your Type” will get you closer to feeling and looking good the quickest and the safest.  “The Zone” is probably the best diet, but I found it difficult to follow.  I won’t go into the details.  Pick up the books from the library or amazon.com and judge for yourself. I lost over 30 pounds cheating on a combination of these diets.  I went from 4 blood pressure pills and pre-diabetes to one blood pressure pill and no diabetes with that small loss.  I can get off of all meds if I get my lazy butt on my bicycle more often.  But I guess that’s why it’s called a lazy butt.  My Diet page is a short lecture that I give my patients that are interested in living healthier.

CHRONIC PAIN

I have been walking into exam rooms with complete strangers for 37 years.  I am constantly amazed by many of their life’s stories.  “Seasons of Pain” is my philosophy about why many of them really come to me with chronic pain issues looking for help. 

Once I got past my patient’s “chief complaint” and started asking the right questions I started to make a difference.  That evolved from my understanding that many people live dis-eased lives, or have had dis-eased pasts .  My favorite movie line is from the doctor’s office scene in “Joe vs the Volcano”  when the doctor told Joe “THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU THAT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOUR SYMPTOMS”. That concept changed the way I practice medicine.  I believe that many chronic pain syndromes of abused and victimized people can be stopped. Not with pills or current medical practices, but by understanding the disease process.  Of course dangerous disease conditions have to be ruled out and treated.  BUT after a complete workup if all you are left with are unexplained pain or anxiety syndromes you may need to evaluate your past or current life situation for an answer. That concept has become one of my passions.  

“Only love can cure a broken heart.”  That is another line from one of my poems that you can find on my “Poems” page.

THE ONLY FAILURE IS FAILING TO TRY

My favorite question I ask patients is ” What are your sports or hobbies?”. I have found that people with something fun to do are happier and healthier than people that sit in front of the TV.  Creativity is fun. For me the most fun is being in the middle of the creative process, whatever form that takes.  This page is about what anybody can do with a little desire and research.  I hope it motivates you to try something new. The only way to know what you can do is try until you succeed or fail. Then—————-try something else. I like to think that in the end we are not judged by being the best at anything. The only failure is failing to try.  Stephen King once said that before he was famous he read authors that he knew he could write better than, and that motivated him to try.  I hope I can motivate you in the same way.

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF ANY PROJECT—- LIKE LIFE—-IS TO MAKE IT FUN

Most jobs, hobbies or art forms are a series of simple tasks that can be picked up with research and practice.  That’s how I have learned over the years. If you can divide 4 feet by 2 or 3 you can build a dog house, storage shed or a mansion.  If you can hold a brush or sponge you can paint etc……  I have changed my building style over the past few years.  That was partially with the help of the tumbleweed homes web page.  I prefer to build things that I can change or move to suit my needs. I prefer screws to nails and wheels to foundations. Youtube.com and your local library are great resources for learning how to do almost anything. I’m always interested in what I will find next.

ART AND PROJECTS 

My wife and I recently started painting with acrylic on canvas. Neither of us use brushes very much.  I prefer sea sponges and pallet knives.  A few of my paintings can be seen on the “Classical Gas” music video on my “Youtube Videos” page. Enjoy the paintings and try to paint some for yourself. Try to copy mine if you like them. With shiny acrylic paint anyone can paint a masterpiece.  It doesn’t matter if it ends up on your refrigerator, a wall or in a museum.  It’s fun and it’s water soluble while it’s wet so you can share it with your kids or grandkids. 

My “Youtube Videos” page has a few of my music videos.  I know I can’t sing, but until I find someone else to sing my songs you will have to bear with me.

The Projects” page will be the ongoing list of projects that I am working on. I find that my projects help me keep my peace of mind when the world keeps trying to take it away.  I will be updating all of this from time to time so check back. There is a lot of fun stuff ahead so get off your couch and go make some fun.

The “Materials” page is a partial list of books or movies that I recommend to my patients that help explain my philosophies and help them find peace and stay well.   Each picture will take you to amazon.com. You can probably also find all of them at your local library or Netflix.