Wednesday, July 29, 2015

San Francisco Marathon (26.2 miles)

This marathon is now in the books. A wonderful and unforgettable experience. The highlights and random thoughts during the run:
  • At mile 4 after crossing Fort Mason and Fishermans Wharf, you could see the thick fog dissipating through the Golden Gate Bridge, an unforgettable beautiful picturesque scene -- Wo Xiang Ni. Wuo Ai Ni.

    Official Time 3:44 (meh...)
    • At mile 11 while running down through the Presidio watching the sunrise along the Pacific Ocean—Wow… How do you make yourself worthy of the love that she gave to you. You don't. You can't. You're not.
    • At mile 15 while running on JFK Drive, I nearly stepped on what appeared to be some kind of rodent or maybe a squirrel or a chipmunk--  That's gotta be a chipmunk. Yes, a chipmunk. In a perfect world there would be a disease called Chipmunkiosis, a beautiful terminal diagnosis.
    • At mile 18 while climbing up Golden Gate Park I began to experience intense nausea and abdominal cramps. Marching to the side of the road I began to puke. Several runners looked on but they kept on running. The thought came – at some point in my life someone has probably seen me and thought "Well... at least I'm not that guy." This is that moment. 
    • At mile 23, I hit the wall. The cumulative result of puking, dehydration, and depleting my glycogen stores. The 3:30 pacing team passed me –  what am I doing here? why am I doing this? 
    • The last 3 miles... It felt like the longest 5K of my life, a stretch filled with flashbacks of things that happened October 31, 2013-October 31, 2104. Almost like a mirage—Is that the Ghost from Taiwan?   No.   No it's not.
    • After the finish line – ask where is the Grand Hyatt Hotel?
     


                   



    Monday, July 13, 2015

    Fifteen miles into a long run, I arrived at the Rose Bowl stadium to complete two laps tagging along with several of the Pasadena Pacers runners. Halfway into the first lap a bald chubby man strides pass me and yells, "Weak sauce!" I begin to chuckle as he runs beyond me. He then turns around and says, "Remember me Doc?!"
    This man had been my patient 18 months ago in the cardiac care unit. I had treated him for a nasty anterior MI that required two drug eluding stents. Adding insult to injury, his hospital course had been complicated by an ischemic stroke. Barely recognizable... he'd gone from morbid obesity to 'chubby status,' having lost well over 100 pounds in the span of 1.5 years. He flexed his right arm and made a waveform with his hands to demonstrate how the deficits from his lacunar stroke had resolved. I was bewildered seeing him sprinting lol. He gave me a hug, thanked me, and said I looked gaunt... We had a good laugh and talked for another half mile.
    Once he appeared fatigued and over exerted, I gave him a tap in the back and sprinted away jesting, "Hey! you don't look like Peter Griffith anymore. I expect to see you here three times a week! " 

    Saturday, July 4, 2015

    inspiration...


    Wishing i could adopt this kid...but i figure his Mama is like my Mama...
    If it is important to you, you will find a way. 
     If not, you'll find an excuse.

     









     

    Tuesday, June 30, 2015

    last day

    Cleaned out my locker.
    Turned in my pager.
    Returned my 'resident physician' badge.
    Gave back my white coat.
    Got a fancy diploma.
    Taught an intern how to manage and work up an acute splenic infarct.
    Walked out of to the hospital quietly...
       Holding in my hands a miniature 'The Flash' doll--a treasured gift.
              Thinking most of all...on how things end. How memories last forever.
                      Starkly reminded how the most meaningful part of all happened October 31, 2013-October 31, 2104, precisely.
                            Prayed to Him, 'take me to a place where doors are open, a lovely little place where no one is broken."
                                  How I ended somewhere on 34th street, I don't know, but
                                       Instead I ran 15 miles in Santa Monica; running as if fleeing from that ghost from Taiwan
                                            Running--meditating in motion                                         
                                                     Meditating on Neruda's Sonnet XVII, on why its true; why i still believe in it.

                                      
                                          

                                
                         

    Sunday, June 21, 2015

    "Fathers Day Run" (Half Marathon 13.1 miles); Van Nuys, CA


     PR 1:37



    Cherishing the memory of my old man on this special day.
    Sometimes the most humble, unprivileged man can give his children the priceless most treasured inheritance imaginable.
    Thank you Dad... Porque a pesar de todo lo que paso sigo adelante.

    "When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."     - Mark Twain






    http://www.abetterworldrunning.com/#!fathers-day-results-62115/ctmo

    Monday, June 15, 2015

    My last "overnight call" of residency

    Residency is arguably the hardest and most unforgettable phase of someone's medical career:

    ...the exhaustion...the bonds you create with your fellow trainees...the drama...the way your skin gets thicker...the blunders...the procedures...the tears no one gets to see...the skills...your first needle stick injury...the chaos...the patient you publish into a case report...the miracles...the facial hair phase of my career...the tragedies...families who will love you forever...families who want to crucify you...the precision...wearing scrubs (aka pajamas) on most days...eating, sleeping, and showering in the hospital...the confusion...the patient who thinks they're in love with you...the patient who blames you for everything...the youngest patient you've lost...the centenarian that never seems to die...being reprimanded for charting "condition at discharge: Alive, but without my permission."...The patient you wish you'd never seen...the double Facepalm when the Fail is so strong, one Facepalm is not enough...losing your faith in humanity and having it restored...losing the love of your life...realizing that no one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they had plenty of sleep.

    They say life is dramatically better as an Attending physician, we'll see about that.
    As I look into the future, all I think about these days is October 31, 2015.




    Saturday, June 13, 2015

    found this gem


    “Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”
    "One day you will ask me which is more important? My life or yours? I will say mine...and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life.” 
    "And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth."
    "Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

    -Kahlil Gibram

    Tuesday, June 9, 2015

    on trail running

    Figuratively speaking, all of us have had mountains to climb. I've been running up them summits many times ever since that certain solid fragrance left to Santa Monica and beyond...I'd like to think I'm done climbing those kind of mountains but I find some degree of comfort in knowing that some mountains are meant to be climbed.  As you ascend and descend each peak you come to the stark realization that mountains are so unforgiving. You also realize that trail running is lonely. I'm a sucker for punishment, idk. The devil on my shoulder says, "the perfect place to fight your demons is running up a mountain." You'd think that when you're alone, the monsters in your head would come to say "hello," but this is not true... in most instances you're a victim of your own mind. There's never a dull moment up there; there are no distractions, rattlesnakes will keep you vigilant. It's true what they say-- the best views come after the hardest climbs.

    Without realizing it, I've been training for my next marathon.
    What fuels the fire inside us?

    Sunday, May 31, 2015

    subconjunctival hemorrhages

    The most beautiful brutality I've ever seen has taken place inside a boxing ring. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I've been put to sleep in the past, and by the very same token, I've brought others to their knees. I'm neither proud or ashamed of it. I admire the courage and grit of the pugilist and I can watch or partake in a match with reverence and humility, but as to why people rejoice in the suffering of another human being is beyond me... It is true that in the heat of the moment one can become numb or unperturbed to pain inflicted upon others, but still there is nothing noble in being superior to your opponent. At one time, in my search of something higher, I thought boxing could help me in some twisted way. For a very long time, I've associated boxing to the realm of redemption or second chances and with defeating opponents to prove ones worth, which is probably why I've felt strangely attracted to it. But I was mistaken. First, true nobility lies only in being superior to your former self, and secondly, you can't redeem your past inside a boxing ring. Besides, it must look ridiculous to have a doctor counseling you on healthy lifestyle habits with subconjunctival hemorrhages and cuts above his eyebrow.




    Tuesday, April 21, 2015

    lost heart beats


    As internal medicine physicians we have many drugs at our disposal-- medicines to treat, diagnose, and prevent countless diseases. But amid all the emotional suffering and physical pain, the spirit of a man can only endure so much and when it is broken only a miracle can mend it. If only there was a drug that could heal a broken spirit...perhaps the most effective medicine we have is what some call "Love unconditional."

    I lost a young patient this week.
    There are things in life that once they've been lost, you can't recover--each lost heartbeat after minutes of CPR... time from days which keep coming without fail...the trust after its lost.

    Still, I wonder what is redemption and its relationship to Love-- the kind which JC talks about in the gospels-- where does it come from and how does it work?