Hippocratic or Hypocrite’s Oath

A few years ago, early one chilly morning, I had a very interesting day. It was one of those you say, I should’ve stayed in bed. This should have been a day like any ordinary day, so I thought. At about 8:50 in the morning, as I returned to my car to retrieve my portfolio, I was involved in an auto-pedestrian accident. Here’s what happened.

As I waited to cross the street, there was a car across from me at the stop sign. I figured the driver saw me because he idled for at least 2-3 minutes. After pacing back and forth and waiting, I decided to walk across the street. Since the drivers in this area don’t necessarily stop for pedestrians, I was forced to stall in the middle of the street as those to my right were entering the parking lot.

While standing there, I looked down at the portfolio. Daylight makes everything so pretty, and I was admiring its beauty and craftsmanship. Anyway, as I continued looking down, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of the black hood, and sporty lights. I remember closing my eyes, as I exclaimed “aw shit!” The collision was inevitable! Here I was making sure to avoid getting hit from those entering, but it was the guy exiting that got me!  I felt the car’s weight and the heat emanating from underneath the engine.

My feet were the first to get drag. The scuff marks on my shoes suggest that they were nearly at a 90 degree angle, and wedging beneath the fender. I felt a pop and a crack in my knee. The pain immediately radiated through my entire body. I instinctively used my weight to fall on my side. As I did, my feet followed me, and eventually up from under the car. The kid hadn’t seen me. He braked! As he did, momentum took over and I was hurled from the hood at least 10-12 feet. I landed on all 4, and ended up facing the opposite direction from where I was traveling. It’s funny how the human body contorts.

The pavement was wet and cold. The chill had brought with it a slight drizzle the day before. So as I sat there, on the cold, wet pavement, my first reaction was disbelief. Not to mention terror! I couldn’t feel anything from my waist down. The kid tried to pick me up, and so did his little girlfriend. I yelled for him to keep his distance. My main concern was to feel something in my legs. I thought I was paralyzed! I spent an eternity trying to wake them, until I finally began to feel. The chill was overwhelming. I was immobilized and stunned; I felt a burning sensation, but thankfully it was a feeling. I knew I would be able to “walk” away from this—eventually.

The kid called for help. I was pissed; I could not believe that the most important thing was to know my name. I could have been in a million pieces, and bleeding out and “help” on the other side of that cell wanted my name! Who cares what my name was! I could have been holding my gut in my hands!

I remember yelling, “Who the hell cares what my name is? Send help now!”

The next thing I noted, apathy is alive and well in the world. At least 15 cars passed at my back, and none of the drivers stopped. Not one! Some guy from way out in the parking lot did begin to run towards me. I look back and see him almost running in slow motion. He was yelling if I was ok. The first thing out of my mouth was, “don’t touch me”, and he ran back. But I was so scared. This was still the time I was thinking I was paralyzed.

Eventually I made my way via ambulance to the emergency room. The ER had triage for me. The doctor wanted to cut my pants. The exchange with the doctor changed the direction of my care dramatically. Since I didn’t allow for them to cut my pants, my pants, I had to lower them myself. I unzipped them and wiggle them down until  the nurse helped me take them off.  The doctor noted that I was healthy enough and that the only trauma was to my knee. The knee was x-rayed, and later I was released with a splint, crutches and a prescription for pain killers. Despite that I noted back pain, I was released—this never made it into my report. Also, both my knees had trauma, but only one was noted.

I asked to see the ER doctor several times after the initial contact. I told the nurse that there was pain in my back. However, the doctor had already made up his mind and sent the nurse to tell me that I should tell that to my regular physician the next day. (My dear friend, I know you are reading this, thank you for your concern, your compassion and your friendship—you picked me up, remember?)

So the next day, I visited my doctor. I told him everything. I even told him that the ER dr. avoided my back, and my other knee. This doctor, my doctor for at least 9 years, also ignored me. It took me 6 months to finally get a diagnosis from an out-of-town doctor who confirmed a fractured knee. And it has taken me over two years to finally get an “accurate” diagnosis. And the help I need.

In the end I ended up with a fractured knee, and a herniated disk associated to the trauma. My physician was either inept, lazy or scared to go back and review my case! Worse yet, I think the impairment rating I received was fixed. Despite me trying to get the final page to one key document, everyone denied its existence. I finally saw it 1 year later.  I never gave up hope. I was relentless to get the care I needed and to remedy an injustice.

Not all doctors are the same. There are some that serve their patients with so much compassion and care. You can see it in them. The love they have for their profession. Hopefully you will be luckier than me.

I wasn’t just hit by a car; I was also thrown under a bus by my physician! If this happens to you, never give up. Get a second opinion.The insurance companies will get away with taking care of you as little as possible. Always get a second opinion. Regardless of insurance constraints, worker’s compensation, etc, there are remedies. Find the remedy that best takes care of you because big insurance is only out for themselves.


Casual Conversation: Short, Medium, and TMI

We’ve all engaged in random, idle conversations with complete strangers in various places. And yes, this includes the ever popular elevator conversation. But then again, these conversations are organized into short, medium and TMI.

Typically, these conversations almost always have some reference to the weather. While at the grocery store, you veggie-talk, and as we wait in line at the food samples. True beer and wine connoisseurs enjoy making recommendations, and bang, you spark a 2 minute conversation. At the doctor’s office, conversation is almost always of their ailments, and how long it almost always takes to get in and see the doctor. Let’s face it, we all complain about that.

You can learn a lot about a person in very little time. If you are a social creature, you are almost always prone to speak up, voice your opinion and enjoy the short camaraderie. We attract each other. It’s like we almost always have this sign over our heads that reads, “Talk to me.” Although my sister’s reads: “The Psychologist is in.” I can’t help it. I see someone, smile, and the rest is history.

Some conversations spring out of sheer terror. Flight or fight! For example, if you are undergoing a medical exam which includes some ginormous phallic thingamajig. Well, you at least have to know its maker! You know the one I’m talking about. Man or woman, science has found ways to invade every orifice quite efficiently. I am sure the technicians are just as embarrassed as you are before proceeding. Once the “wine me and dine me” statements start rolling, so do the belly laughs. Thankfully, cases like this are rare. Wow, the things we have to go through to be healthy, eh?

Today I was sitting in small claims court and the lady sitting next to me begins telling me her whole reason for being there—I mean word-for-word. She had her entire speech for the judge prepared in her head. I guess she was just practicing on me. Or she was very, very nervous, and my “talk to me” sign was on. (Regarding her case, let’s just say that with any transaction, big or small, always get receipts.)

These conversations  generally are all quite pleasant. I draw the line at the nudge though. I don’t like being nudged, poked, prodded, touched, elbowed, and jogged—hands off!  Consider this the point where conversation just becomes weird. People do tend to become overly friendly, glad this only happens to me with women. People mean well, but I do have my comfort zone. We all do.

The best part of these conversations is that you just exchange niceties, and walk away and someone brightened your day. However, what about when you are a captured audience?

I love pampering myself and leaving a few hours on a weekend for me. And what better to do with my time than go to the salon for a mani-pedi. The only bad thing is that once the conversation starts flowing, where do you go? It’s not as if you can scoot over—they’re almost always crowded. Believe me; the conversations do take a turn for the bizarre.

My weirdest and most memorable conversation at the nail salon centers on feet. How could I forget?! My recent trip to the nail salon began like any other: routine and uneventful. I patiently waited for my turn. Then at last, I sat on the captain’s chair and once my electronic shiatsu massage was over, I began talking to the nail technician. (The technician also massaged my feet.) I’ve got small feet, and tiny nails. With the exception of my big toes, the others are just little lines and a beep. The nail technician knows this too, and I joked that she had it easy with me.

I’ve seen other feet and I almost always end up getting creeped out by them–especially if they hang ten. Anyway, the older woman next to me began chiming in on my feet. She left me livid when she asked if I was a toe-nail biter. She was confident that my toe-nails were too small because I bit them. I am never at a loss for words, but what do you say to that?! For the record, NO, I’m not! However, her dirty little secrets all came out. Apparently she was trying to identify herself with me. (Small toe-nails run in my family, just ask my mom.) It seems that this woman’s daughter-in-law, her son and three of her nephews, herself included, are all serial toe-nail biters. Yes, she fessed up.

Seriously, how in the heck do people bite their toe-nails! Forget being upset, I grossed out to the max. Everyone around her was! Biting your nails is bad enough. Who knows what we touch? Much less what lurks in our shoes! Nail biting has a technical name: onychophagia. It sounds just as gross as the act itself.

Sorry I got off track there. Some conversations just take a turn for the weird. Sadly this comes with the territory. This conversation should have cured me of talking to strangers. But no, I’m still smiling and saying hello. My job requires extensive PR, so I will never really be cured of it. Even now, I trust you and I just had our own “conversation”. As you were reading, I am sure you were talking out loud and remiscing your own short, medium and TMI.

The Story of Max

My name is Maximus Aurelius, but you can call me “Max”. I am an 11 year old Border collie. I began my life in a tiny town in Texas before I was adopted by my forever family when I was 3 months old. I was the shy little runt in my doggy family. When my forever mommy found me I was hiding behind a bucket. My brothers and sisters were all vying for her attention. She grabbed me and picked me up and has never let go. She said I had an irresistible pink nose and glass colored eyes.

Growing up I got into so much trouble. All was taken in stride and my family understood that I was just precocious. I had a happy puppyhood. I ate to my heart’s content, and well you know, also all the stuff I wasn’t supposed to. When no one was looking, I ate mangoes, avocados, cantaloupes and the list goes on and on. Trouble is my middle name, and toys were my favorite, I loved to chew on those soft hands and feet—I suppose it was on account I was teething. Ah, Crayons were fun! Mommy said that when this happened it’s as if I pooped confetti for days. Then I got into some heavy duty-stuff. I ate some sheetrock by the entrance door, tried out some of the yummy couch ( and kept coming back for more). And my favorite so far, was my family’s income tax check about -5 years ago. Mommy almost had a heart attack. She asked the IRS lady if she had to mail back the piece I left behind together, but the IRS lady laughed so hard it took a while for any real answers.

All my life I’ve loved car rides! I go get groomed and pampered, and to the vet’s. I have a really caring veterinarian. I am very well cared for.  In my old age, I began to get sick. Mommy noticed that I had labored breathing and I didn’t want to eat. She was very worried and hurried me to my vet. Tests revealed that I had renal insufficiency (kidney failure). And initial X-rays showed I had a mass in my belly. My blood work wasn’t good either. I  was so scared when the nurse began subcutaneous fluid therapy. Mommy had to learn to do that for me.  I was sent to a specialty clinic outside of my hometown.

Up Mommy and I went. She and I took a 2.5 hour trip-we took two trips up. I slept most of the way.  When we got there, the news was bad. I had a tumor the size of an orange in my liver. But the veterinarian gave us hope,  she said I had a 75% success rate.

Miracles occurred all within the same week of my diagnosis, even the money for my surgery came unexpectedly. (It is an interesting story in itself, for another time.) I was scheduled for surgery the following week –for a lobectomy.

When Mommy and I arrived at the vet hospital to meet with the surgeon, he was upset. It seems that I did not have the 75% chance. Apparently, I had no real chance. My surgery was very risky to the point the first surgeon backed out. He said my only chance was a senior doggy surgeon who would attempt surgery the next day. He was my only hope as the tumor was sitting on my major arteries. It was a very difficult surgery. There were many complications with the tumor in my liver. Mommy worried about me, but it was decided, the surgery would take place. I was scheduled for surgery at noon on 2/14/12.

The doggy hospital was so nice. They allowed Mommy to visit me, and stay with me until right before the surgery. She took me in her arms, and for the first time our eyes really met. I was very scared, before going into surgery she grabbed me and said, “come back to me doggy, you go in there and fight, and come back to me—I love you!”

I was prepped and sedated by 11:55 a.m., but there were those complications. Mommy said that as the surgeon began, he realized that this was no small tumor. He asked the technician to get Mommy. It was not looking good for me. The veterinarian (an internist) met with her and she was told that the odds were very grim. They gave her three choices. 1. They would close me back up and send me home. 2. Attempt the surgery and know that I may bleed out. 3. (Mommy wouldn’t hear this one–she said NO!)

I was blood-typed and ready for option 2. Mommy said she wanted them to try to save my life and that if something bad was to happen at least I got that fighting chance. The surgeon continued. Thankfully I only needed one pack of blood. His hands were guided by a higher power. The surgery was successful! Immediately after I was taken to the post-op where Mommy got a chance to see me soon after. I don’t remember because I was on doggy morphine. I spent 3 days in the hospital. I wanted to come home so badly. Everytime I saw a door open, I would try to sneak off.

The veterinarian, internist, nurses, Mommy and everyone called it a miracle. I had a chance because Mommy and my family love me. Despite the grim odds, I am here! I am alive! I have my set-backs and at times I refuse to eat. I am still on the lactaid ring, and I take many pills, but every day I breath better and I get stronger.

The tumor had grown into my chest cavity. Before the surgery I couldn’t breathe very well. I was very heavy too. It turns out that the tumor was actually the size of a small soccer ball. No wonder I would cough and feel like I was choking most of the time. I am glad it is out of me. The doctor called it a hepatocellular carcinoma—but I call it a second chance at life. I have the will to live and a lot of love. My veterinary surgeon is my hero! I am a cancer survivor, going on 5 months, and taking it one day at a time.

One rotten legal apple of the many that go unreported!

I heard a story that shocked me yesterday. There is an elderly man being extorted and coerced by his attorney. The man committed a crime, confessed, etc. Trust that there are mitigating circumstances behind why the man hasn’t been formally charged. There are allegedly no plans to put him in jail either. However, his attorney has so far asked payment in excess of $15,000 dollars, and… continues asking for money citing protection from prosecution.

If you are going to hire an attorney, payment is almost always a flat fee or a percentage, but never both. If you do come by an attorney asking for both, walk away. Read any contract before signing and ask as many questions as you want to. Ask for clarification of the contract. More than likely if you get asked for a flat fee, you may not have a good case; however, it is always a better sign if you get asked for a percentage (usually between 30-40%).

In the man’s case, despite his crime, he has rights. Yup, criminal’s have rights too. The other criminal here is his attorney.  Extortion with coercion is a criminal offense. The old man needs to take this to the District Attorney’s office.

All of this, in one way or another, is being addressed. I’m sharing the story and just letting you know that there are legal remedies against scum like this.

Attorneys and also doctors have a strict code of conduct and ethics that they must follow. If you have ever been mistreated, treated unjustly, or you know these so-called-professionals are in violation of something, you are not alone.

If you have problems with an attorney in Texas, you can file a complaint with the State Bar of Texas. And of doctors, the Texas State Medical Board. I will post the links after this.

If you are in need of an attorney, you can get a referral through the State Bar of Texas’ website. They offer listings of attorneys by their specialization. One benefit of using this site is first visits may run you about $20.00, or you may get a fee waiver.

Since this attorney in my story has stolen around $15,000, it is a felony. However, the case isn’t necessarily over yet. In Texas you can always file the complaint with the Attorney General’s Office. In this man’s case, the AG won’t file a case on his behalf, but they will begin a file on the attorney. If enough complaints are received, then the Attorney General’s office begins an investigation, etc.

Empower yourself!




Serendipity, has a sense of humor…

Ever had anything happen that you have no real explanation for? I have, but none as this. This is one of my stories. I don’t know about you, but now I truly believe that there are no accidents here on Earth—figuratively speaking.

It’s not likely that we run into people and see forever in their eyes. But I did. On Thursday, June, 6, after work between 7 and 7:14 pm, I stopped at the usual gas station only this time to buy ice and beer. I was on the phone with my co-worker. I was on my Bluetooth. I walked into the store, nothing out of the ordinary, I went to the far right to the beer, and there were some men who looked like they were trying to decide what beer to get. This was the only thing I noticed.

I think I was loud because “the one” jumped out-of-the-way so I could get my beer. I went straight for the one particular brand, paid them no mind, and I then excused myself and walked back to get the ice. As bad habits go, if I don’t have pockets, I stick my phone in between me and the pants–and as usual, the phone had other plans. I stopped at the first cashier because it began slipping down my pants. The cashier that was open was the one on the far right. Regardless, I had to fix my phone or I knew it would just drop straight down!

As I was fixing my phone, the men stood behind me in line. I suppose I said the cashier was over there and motioned, and I said, oh please, go… I could hear amusement in his voice and  he said, “I’m in no hurry”. I didn’t see his face. All this time, I was still talking to my co-worker on the phone…and fidgeting with the phone itself.  He waited while I fixed my phone. I was a bit miffed that I couldn’t fix my phone in peace and I felt rushed, so I went to where there was a cashier. The line followed me, and stood behind me once more.

Ugh, then my hair got stuck in my bluetooth, I was still losing my phone. My card didn’t immediately work. I had all these people behind me. And in all my commotion, my phone fell.  I bent over picked up the phone, swiped my card again, and it worked. To get some of the stress out, I let my long hair cascade slowly down. After a few more seconds, I got my receipt, picked up my beer and I bent over to pick up the ice. As I did, I looked down and saw these work boots. Something compelled me to follow those boots up. From the boots, to the ankles, the knees, to the thighs, the stomach, the chest, broad shoulders, and his neck and to his sun-kissed face, the 5 o’clock shadow had a lovely salt n pepper mix; his sun-kissed skin was gorgeous! And then the most BEAUTIFUL …ice colored  eyes I’ve ever seen in my entire life! (or maybe they were green.—they were hiding under a red cap. His black pupils were suspended in all that lovely color.) I was smitten. Of course I was all in black, except for the _________ I was wearing. Why didn’t I wear my other nice suits!?  Regardless, I felt lightning strike. The exchange was impactful, full and emotional, stimulating, exciting,  and Electric!  It was a split second, yet I saw my entire next half of my life in his eyes with him. I froze. Time stopped. There was only he and I.  And now I know now what forever feels like in one second. It is amazing!

I quickly turned my eyes down.  I was shy –me shy?! OMG, why didn’t I speak! Why didn’t I say anything? I was livid and quite speechless. I then turned and ran for the door, not exactly knowing what happened. The strange part is that he felt it too. We both let out a small gasp, both stared into each other’s eyes, both were left wondering what happened?

I put my ice in my car and continued to argue with my co-worker…. then I saw him again. He looked dazed and speechless too. He came out the door, looked at me through the window as he passed. I backed my eyes. I felt intimidated, and excited and ALIVE! Why did this happen to me? Why did I freeze? Why was I shy!? Shy?! I’m never shy!  I looked down again…then up and again backed my eyes. I felt restrained, unable to move. Why, for God’s sake, why?!

After spending what seemed eternity next to my car, he walked away slowly. Paced straight and headed to his truck. As if it was his safety. His friends followed, but I paid them no mind.

In the confusion and excitement I sighed, turned the ignition on, slowly backed up and headed to exit the parking lot. I wanted to go back, I wanted to see him again. But by then the intersection was free and the light was green. I turned onto the street, looked back toward the parking lot. His body followed me…his eyes never left me….. My eyes met his again through the glass…he looked disappointed and waved his hands next to his thighs like saying “is that it?”

He is familiar…he is a stranger…but yet  I felt I’ve known him forever. I walked away from the man of my dreams. Lightning struck and it blinded me.  We both felt it.

My heart sank. My elation stayed behind as I left the gas station. My heart broke. And that moment is frozen forever in time. It is beautiful, innocent, wonderful and magical!

Though we never said a word, I saw forever in a moment. All I know is he is an oilfield worker. I know he isn’t from my hometown. The truck’s logo had two outlined squares, one red and a blue one beneath it. His truck was full of nice red pumps and gadgets and widgets with faucets. He is in my heart and mind for the rest of my life. He was perfect!

Serendipity, has a sense of humor!  Destiny, please intervene and let fate step forward once again…let me see him again…