• Tuesday's Thoughts: Realistic Expectations

    I’ve started writing this week’s “Tuesday’s Thoughts” early Monday morning. So early that many of you are still nestled in the Sandman’s arms and have been coaxed into the dream realm (hopefully it was a good journey). It’s a little after three in the morning and you’d think that people with such minor issues as a stuffy nose would avoid waking up and braving the cold in order to come to the emergency department. Then again this place never shuts down and I’ve seen stranger things make their way…

  • Tuesday’s Thoughts: It’s More Than A Habit

    My intention is to not elicit an emotional response or seek pity, but the story below is presented with the purpose of shedding light on the issue of addiction. Let me begin by clarifying that addiction doesn’t just pertain to the dependence on a substance like alcohol, heroin or meth. It can also refer to such acts like binge eating or compulsive shopping, too. . Many years ago I had a friend with an addiction to gambling. I never knew the extent of his obsession until it was too late. As his a…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts: A Completed Novel

    I recently came across this quote, “Not everyone will understand your journey, but that’s okay. They need to understand their own, not yours.” . If you know me, you’ll understand that my greatest desire, the very thing that makes me tick, is my need to be creative. Whether it be through the visual arts (painting, sculpting) or the written word, the creative process defines a large part of my personal journey. . With that being said, I’m excited to announce that I’ve finally finished my most rece…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts: All In A Routine

    I have a routine while I’m driving into work. It’s nothing complicated, but nonetheless it sets the mental groundwork for how I approach my shift. If I mess it up, it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll be off my game for several hours. . You have to realize that there is no easing into a shift in the emergency department, especially the night shift. It’s kind of like the baseball bat of awakening being smashed across your face. You walk into pandemonium, jump in feet first and start frantically …

  • Tuesday’s Thoughts: A Short Story

    The man grunted with irritation as he stomped across the sidewalk on his way to work. His frustration only ballooned when he thought about the argument with his wife, his son’s computer crashing, daughter’s below average math grade, the leaky faucet, the car’s battery needing a jump and now he was running late. He scrolled through his phone as a way to occupy his mind or maybe it was to divert his thoughts from the stress waiting for him at the office. The headlines slid by with a swipe of his t…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts: All In Due Time

    I’m sure you’ve seen those attention grabbing videos featuring a pet doing some entertaining, funny or more often than not “the darnedest things.” Yet, working in emergency medicine I’d have to say that it’s humans who stand atop the ladder and do the…well, you know what I’m about to say next. Most of the time it’s these behaviors, together with the lack of mental foresight, that are influenced by humanity's popular friend, alcohol. . There appears to exist a relationship between a person's acti…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts: Are You Absolutely Certain?

    I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said, "Nothing can be certain, except death and taxes." I suppose you could fall off the grid and for the most part elude taxes. However, death, while I'm not one to dwell on the topic, is something that can't be avoided. . And while death, and more or less taxes, can be considered absolutes, most things in life, especially medicine, can't be defined in this way. In essence there's a lot of gray. If you're a linear thinker, or someone who sees the world in …

  • Tuesday's Thoughts: From Somewhere On The Horizon

    Here in Michigan, I would describe this past week as having the perfect Fall weather. Calm, cool and well, you know, the type that was just right for a long sleeve shirt. On one of these evenings I took my dog for a walk and thoroughly immersed myself in the stillness, the mild temp and the quiet. It was late night, and as someone who loves the nighttime, I also had the luxury of feeling safe. . Surrounded by this nocturnal bliss, I couldn’t help but count my blessings or a better way of saying …

  • Tuesday's Thoughts: Is It Time For A Tune Up?

    What does a crack pipe, a cell phone, a finger and a pair of socks have in common? If you’re thinking a murder scene in a detective novel or something from a real life television crime show, well, that’s not it. . This past week, I polled my coworkers with the following question: what are some of the strangest things patients have left behind after they’ve been discharged? I know what you’re thinking; how the heck does someone leave a finger? Although I’m fairly certain you used a stronger word …

  • Tuesday’s Thoughts: You’ve Gotta Have Art

    What is art? At first glance this appears to be a fairly straight forward question. You most likely thought of a famous painting or quite possibly a well known sculpture. Yet, when you contemplate it some more you may come up with a popular photograph, a unique building or maybe even a renowned film. . ​This list grows even further when we add things like the art of writing, the art of cooking, the art of dance, the art of…well, I think by now you get the point. As you can see the list seems end…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts From The Frontlines

    The other day while sprucing up my yard, my neighbor happened to walk by with his dog. Pleasantries were predictably exchanged and knowing that I worked in healthcare he kind of leaned forward, changed his tone to be more personable and asked me for the real scoop regarding the pandemic. . Judging by his behavior, I guessed that he didn’t believe it really existed or maybe he deemed it had been blown out of proportion. Regardless of how he felt, I became flabbergasted when he said something abou…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts: In The Words of Bob Seger, "They Were Long And Low And Sleek And Fast."

    The other day I was out for a run and lo and behold there she was. I’ve seen her before, but on this day she was stretched out across a driveway. Skin glowing under the warm sun. Her sensuous curves beckoning my hand to caress them. She made my heart thump with excitement. Practically stole my breath even more so than what the run was doing. . There was something else about her that caught my eye. I couldn’t believe it, but it was there. A “for sale” sign in the window. Was she really being sold…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts: Up A Creek Without A Paddle.

    We found ourselves under a thick canopy of leaves. Fallen limbs, branches and stumps were partially submerged in the murky soil. Somehow my wife and I had veered off the poorly marked trail. Up ahead, no more than thirty yards away, was a tarp strung between two trees. There were also blankets, a lopsided lawn chair, a couple of pots and several signs that read, “Keep Out.” . Not only were we lost, but we had stumbled upon someone’s home, probably a “woodsman;” homeless men that chose to live in…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts. When Is Silence Needed?

    I don’t know what triggered it, could’ve been the overly dramatic patient I had to deal with the other day, but one of my most influential art teachers sprang from the files of my memory. More particularly it was the story he had told me about being interviewed for a show at a prominent art gallery. The gallery owner had acknowledged that my teacher’s work was amazing and deserved recognition. However, the owner looked my teacher in the eye and asked him what made him controversial. . My teacher…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts. At Least The Dog Didn't Eat It.

    It was the approaching the darker side of dawn when I heard yelling from my neighbor's driveway. . "How did this happen?" a mother questioned sternly. "I don’t know," the teen daughter replied. "You're lying." "I'm not." "So you didn't run into a mailbox?" The mother gestured toward a car. "Then where'd this dent come from?" "It was already there. I...I think someone else ran into it." "Someone else? So you're saying you had nothing to do with it? That mailbox just happened to fall over on its o…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts From Inside The Quotation Marks

    We've all seen them, read them and even shared them. When they're presented to us at just the right time we, undoubtedly, have been inspired by them. What I'm talking about is the ever popular motivational quote. . They seem to be popping up everywhere. Not only have I spotted them on the Internet, but also on shirts, decorative wood plaques, bumper stickers, water bottles and even an occasional billboard. Things like, “Keep calm and...” “Don't wait...” “Don't quit...” “Just before sunrise...” “…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts From Space: The Final Frontier

    If you were given the opportunity to go to sleep and wake up two hundred years from now, would you do it? What about four hundred? Given the chance, there’s a part of me that would be more than willing. Why, you ask? Mainly because I want to see how far humanity has technologically advanced, but more importantly how these advancements relate to space and space travel. . It’s only obvious that working as a night shifter I have an attraction to the nighttime. Sometimes I’ll go outside at one or tw…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts From The Box Spring In The Bed of My Truck

    Normally I have an outline of "Tuesday's Thoughts" completed by Saturday and a first draft finished by Sunday. Yet, this past week has been overly busy and I'm attempting to write it on Monday evening. Why, you ask? The answer is that I've been moving. Well, not me exactly, but rather my wife. Its a bit complicated to explain, but here it is in a nutshell. . Her two children attend school in a city an hour or so northwest from where I live. So she has a place in that city and I have my home clos…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts From The Valley Of Wrinkles

    “What a drag it is getting old.” If you’re old enough or possibly a classic rock fan, than you’re familiar with these lyrics that start off the Rolling Stones tune, “Mother’s Little Helper”. I’m sure most of us can attest to those inevitable issues associated with ageing. The aches and pains that refuse to go away, that restaurant menu or fine print that has become difficult to read, the frequent trips to the bathroom or maybe it’s that extra weight that insists on clinging to your gut. . And if…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts: It's All A Matter Of Opinion

    “Opinions are like buttholes, everyone has one.” I’m sure we can all agree that this quote has several layers of meaning. I’ve heard it quite a few times over my lifetime and yes, I’ve toned down the more explicit form. Kind of made it PG-13 and I’m sure you can easily guess what that vulgar word is and what part of this sentence it can replace. . There are a few reasons why I chose to start with this quote the first being that I felt I’ve been inundated with an endless stream of opinions over t…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts From The Circuit Of A Cell Phone

    Birds sang and sent their voices echoing through the woods. Wings fluttered. A brook babbled. Two deer looked up and then stooped to eat more grass. The canopy of leaves blocked the bright sun and cast a shadow over the trail. It was hot, but even more so humid. My shirt, especially beneath my backpack, was drenched. The excessive heat slowly eroded my attempt to find some kind of mindful serenity. In no way was it helping quiet the chatter in my mind. However, there were a couple of other thing…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts From Atop A Ladder

    A falling object accelerates at a rate of thirty-two feet per second. Terminal velocity is reached somewhere around one hundred twenty miles per hour. I know there’s a formula for acceleration and falling, but it’s lost in the archives of my memory. At the moment it doesn’t matter, because if I fall I’m screwed. And even though I work in an emergency room, I have zero desire to be a patient in one let alone try and explain what I was doing. . I’m standing on top a step ladder. You know that step…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts From The Front Edge Of A Penny

    “A penny saved is a penny earned,” or so goes the quote by Benjamin Franklin. Oh sure, if you don’t have anything, than a penny is something. But, is it something worth having? For my dad it was because, as it turns out, it was one of the things he collected. . There were jars of them tucked away in the basement. Most were shiny, almost like they had been newly minted. I think that’s why he had saved them. Nothing like the intrigue of a shimmering coin; almost like discovering a treasure even th…

  • Tuesday's Thoughts (Covid is not on the frontlines this week)

    Sometimes I feel the emergency department, and the ambulance for that matter, is a beacon of light. Imagine if you will, a lighthouse with its beam reaching out into the world and guiding the way for those in need. Now, put a big Family Feud X across that image and fill your ears with that annoying buzzer. What I’m talking about is the light to a zapper; the kind that attracts bugs, or in this case, the strange, out of the ordinary humans. If you’re an old school rap fan, then you’re familiar wi…