I COULDN’T HAVE SAID IT BETTER

Are you wearing your mask?  I hope so!  As usual, there are a multitude of attitudes about wearing mask ranging from the guy I saw yesterday who was masked while driving his car to the women I saw in Food Lion who glared at everyone, daring anybody to say a word about her not wearing a mask.  There are people who will tell you there is no proof that masks help and those who will quote the latest research and data.  I’ll tell you that if there is even a small chance that mask work, you should wear a mask.

ZdoggMD did an excellent 3-minute podcast yesterday debunking some of the misconception surrounding wearing mask. Click on the underlined text to view that podcast. I couldn’t have said it better.

Please learn to put your mask on properly.  Click on the underlined words to watch s short instructive video.

Here’s your song of the day and a joke or two.

What’s the difference between a G-spot and a golf ball? A guy will actually search for a golf ball!

Why does it take 100 million sperm to fertilize one egg? Because they won’t stop to ask directions.

LUCKY

Does it ever feel like the world is conspiring against you?  Does it ever feel like if you didn’t have bad luck, you’d have no luck at all?  Does it ever feel like you just can’t win?

I’m taking a poll.  I really want to know if these are universal feelings or if I’m just screwed up.  My hypothesis is that these, in fact, are universal feelings and that healthy individuals get over them fast.  On the opposite side, I believe that depressed and emotionally labile individuals live with these feelings.

Why is this important?  Quite frankly, it’s important because I woke up this morning convinced that the universe hates me.  Yes, Covid-19 has gotten to me.  The move has gotten to me.  Parkinson’s has gotten to me!  Right now, life sucks.

Yesterday, my dear friend sent me pictures of my home in Long Grove.  I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to sell it but buyers are scarce and looking for an open floor plan, so it remains on the market.  Yesterday’s pictures were heartbreaking.  New water pipes are being installed in the neighborhood and my front lawn and driveway have been excavated.  

In the end, new water pipes will be a good thing, but for the next month I fear it makes my house unsellable. I never expected to have two houses; but I do, and it is a burden.  Parkinson’s is enough of a burden; I didn’t need another problem. So, given the circumstances of my life, what do I do?

It’s easy, I write about it!  Writing about this is like puking up a bunch of bile. It’s miserable when you are puking but feels better once you’ve vomited it all up.  If I was a betting man, I’d bet that the vast majority of my readers answered yes to the questions above.  I’d also bet that each of us has our own way of cleansing ourselves of these feelings. 

Cleansing yourself is important.  If you don’t realize that you are no different from everybody else and put an end to feeling persecuted, worsening depression sets in and you can spiral into abject misery.

The point of this article is that you need to review and shore up your coping mechanisms.  Covid-19, social unrest and whatever the next crisis is are going to keep impacting us and how we handle the emotional strain of life is directly related to how happy or depressed we are.

I woke up this morning convinced that the universe hates me.  I no longer feel that way.  In writing this, I remembered that yesterday afternoon a friend/patient sent me an air fryer cookbook, just because.  I remembered that Bruce, one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met, called to check on me.  Bruce has a book of positive sayings that he has accumulated over his lifetime.  I kept a copy of that book in my office and used to pull hopeful sayings out of the book to share with people in need.  Bruce is sending me a new copy.

Yesterday, I spent the day with my granddaughter.  She showered me with love and smiles. Nothing is more cleansing than a child’s unconditional love.  I’ll spend next week with my grandson.  Turning to family and friends for support, during trying times, is healthy.

Talking about family and friends, my most valuable weapon against depression is the love of my life, Renee.  Waking up next to her every morning and going to sleep next to her every night can get me through anything.  Yes, she edits these articles, and yes, my usual motive behind mentioning her in glowing words is trying to get lucky, but this time it’s simply to say, “I love you and everything will be fine.”

Here’s your music for today and a joke.  

I love everyone. Some people I love to be around, while some of them are people who I love to avoid. And then there are some who I would love to punch in the face.

,Love is getting mad at someone, telling that person to go to hell, and hoping that they get there safely.

SEX

SEX IS THE ONE TOPIC THAT ALMOST NOBODY WRITES ABOUT. YET WHEN I MAKE SEXUALLY ORIENTED REMARKS IN AN ARTICLE, MY STATISTICS SHOW THAT MY READERSHIP GOES UP AND MY REFERRALS INCEASE AS WELL.  SO, IF YOU’RE OFFENDED BY SEXUAL MATTERS, STOP READING NOW.

Did you notice the all cap, bolded print above?  I think my keyboard got excited about the topic.  Why don’t more people write about sex? The obvious answer is that, even in our open/liberal society, talking about sex is still taboo.  I suspect that the real answer is that the majority of people aren’t sure they’ve got it right! 

Over the 40 years I practiced, I learned that everything sexual is normal for somebody.  Yep, we all have different beliefs, rituals, turn “ons” and turn “offs,” fantasies and libidos.  Most of us never get comfortable with our own sexuality, so how do we expect a partner/significant other/spouse to be comfortable with our needs and how are we expected to be comfortable with their needs? 

Libido is the trickiest of all the issues listed above.  Libido is not a stable entity, being affected by many variables.  My practice taught me that God really does have a sense of humor.  I’ve found that, in the majority of cases, if the male’s libido is high, the female’s libido is low.  I would estimate that 98% of the time, male libido is high and female libido is low.  Strangely, when female libido is high, male libido is generally absent.  

I suspect that there are major reproductive and social reasons for the imbalance between male and female libido.  In order to guarantee the survival of our race, males need to impregnate females which means females need to attract males.  So, at some point in time, libidos have to rev up and coincide with your partner.  Correct?

Yep!  It works well at the onset.  However, if Renee’s libido continued to match mine, we’d never leave the house.  There would not have been a Lake Zurich Family Treatment Center, there would not have been money to buy food and I would have happily died at home from starvation, but I WOULD HAVE DIED WITH A SMILE ON MY FACE.

Remember the article I wrote about balance.  Sex is one of those things that require a carefully orchestrated balancing act.  Unfortunately, talking about it is taboo, leaving many couples stranded and stressed.  Since they can’t talk openly about it, they suffer in silence, sometimes leading to needless divorce.

Believe it or not, the longer you are married the harder it is to discuss sex.  What do you think?  Is it time to talk honestly and establish a happy balance with your loved one?  Is it time to demystify the taboos that haunt you?

It appears the LGBTQ has started a healthy conversation about sexuality.  Shouldn’t the straight community do the same?  My answer is obviously yes!

Here’s a true story to illustrate my point.  The story is an amalgamation of many patients’ stories in order to comply with privacy rules. John when in the office for a minor cold.  The cold was so minor that, at first, I couldn’t figure out why he was there.  John was fairly quiet and withdrawn.  I asked John if something else was going on and he quickly said,”NO!”  As he was leaving, he said, “Can I ask you an embarrassing question?”  I assured him that there was nothing I hadn’t heard, and, in the exam room, there was no conversation that was out of bounds.

“Doc, I’m dating a beautiful, loving, young innocent girl who I think I want to marry.”

Me- “Congrats!  That’s fantastic! So, what’s the problem?”

“Doc, when we’re making love she does something really weird.  Don’t get me wrong, I love it but don’t think it’s right.”

Me – “Take your time. So, you love it but not sure that’s it’s right.  Why wouldn’t it be right?  Can you tell me what “It’ is?

“Doc, she puts her finger up my butt, presses on something and I orgasm.  Have you ever heard about anyone doing that before?”

I assured John that prostate massage was a fairly common act between consenting adults and that it was non-harmful and often males found it pleasurable.

John married his beautiful, loving, young innocent girl and just celebrated their 20thanniversary.  They have three beautiful children. Had John not discussed his feelings with me and branded her behavior “taboo’” he might have broken up with her, forever changing his life.

Here’s today’s music and a joke or two. Doc

Doc – I’m so sorry to tell you that you have a fatal illness and only have 10 to live.

Patient – Ten what? Days? Months? Years?

Doc – 9.10? 10 what? Months? Weeks?!” Doctor: “Nine.”

A GOOD CLEANSE

I just got a message from one of my computer programs.  The program cleans my hard drive, dumping useless files and freeing up space for future computations. The message read, “It’s time to clean your hard drive.” I told Renee my hard drive needed cleaning and she laughed at me.

Seriously, wouldn’t it be nice if humans had programs they could run that cleaned their brains of useless data, stressors, emotional garbage and a vast trove of long-ago issues that we carry around with us for questionable reasons? Would you be surprised if I told you we actually have the programs we need to cleanse our brains, most of us just have not activated them?

Yep, not only should we identify these programs, but we should activate them and use them often:

  1. Exercise – So, you never thought of using exercise to cleanse our brains of junk.   If you exercise, you know that regular workouts decrease your stressors, both physical and mental.  A routine exercise program can release endorphins, giving you energy and an emotional boost.  So, if you don’t exercise, start.  If you exercise regularly, never quit.
  2. Guided Imagery/Meditation – Meditation before medication should be our national motto.  Everybody has the ability to meditate built into their brains.  They just don’t understand how meditation could possibly help, nor how to activate it.  “Doc, that’s a bunch of hippie/yuppy/millennial crap,” was something I heard daily. Unfortunately, you really can’t appreciate the benefits of Guided Imagery until you’ve actually done it.  Belle Ruth Naperstak holds the key to activating your own abilities.  Click Here!
  3. Counseling – Think of your counselor as belonging to The Geek Squad at Best.  If you can’t figure out how to install or use your newest computer programs, call The Geek Squad.  For a few bucks, they’ll get you all set up and ready to work.  While your counselor will cost more than a few bucks, helping you cleanse the crap in your brain should be well worth it.
  4. Medication – There are medicinal activators that can help optimize your brain function.  I’m on a medication called Sinemet. Sinemet activates areas of my brain that otherwise would become dormant due to my Parkinson’s.  

When you buy a program that cleanses your hard drive, many times you will end up with a suite of programs that not only cleanse your drive but also optimizes its functions and helps prevent viral attacks.  When you are dealing with your brain, I recommend the suite of programs (1-4) above.

My literature suggests that depression is on a sharp rise.  Stress related illness is on a sharp rise. Spousal and child abuse is on a sharp rise.  Cleansing your brain of stressors and old junk is not going to be easy but the benefits should be phenomenal and, perhaps, blunt the rise in emotional distress that’s haunting most of us.

Here’s your music and a joke of one liners..

Laugh and the world laughs with you.  Snore and you sleep alone.

“Today I’m wearing a lovely shade of I slept like crap so don’t piss me off!”

W.C.Fields – The only time that most women give their orating husbands undivided attention is when the old boys mumble in their sleep.

CONSTIPATION

Are you full of shit?  When I was young, FOS meant something completely different than it is now.  Now, FOS is a literal term and means you are constipated.  The older I get, the more my conversation revolves around the morning “dump.”

Today, you get your joke early.  Three old guys are sitting at the breakfast table in the nursing home.  The first guy says makes those “grandpa sounds,” oye, oye, oye, I can’t shit.  I sit on the toilet for an hour, straining to get out a few little pellets.  It’s horrible.  The second guy says he can poop just fine.  He just can’t piss.  He says he stands over the toilet and pushes and strains for an hour and finally he pees a little all over the toilet.  The third guy laughs and says he pees and poops fine.  He just does it an hour before he gets up.

As a young doctor, I knew this joke was true but found it hilarious nonetheless. I no longer think it is hilarious and am living proof that it’s real.  There are lots of reasons for constipation.  There are dietary, disease state, medication and mechanical reasons. Sometimes, the cause is multifactorial.  My constipation is a direct result of the Parkinson’s and the medications for Parkinson’s.  I’ll cover urinary problems in a future article.

So, what do you do about constipation?  The first thing is to make a joke out of it.  Believe it or not, relaxing can help and laughing at constipation is better than crying.  Afterall, potty jokes are some of the first we learn.  The older we get, the more child-like we get.  If we live long enough, we will all be back in diapers.  Luckily, my generation has sexy diapers as seen in TV commercials.

Dietary changes are tricky.  What constipates one person gives another person diarrhea.  My advice is to play with your diet, observing what your response to various foods.  Greasy foods, as well as foods high in fiber, often help.

Next on the list is pharmaceutical.  There is an entire row of products for constipation in every pharmacy in the US.  I usually recommend a bulk fiber substance like Metamucil as a starting point.  If that fails, I’ll recommend a product named polyethylene glycol (Miralax) to be taken daily.  I’m not a big fan of oral laxatives as they often cause diarrhea.

Probably the best tool in the medicine cabinet is a glycerin suppository.  Inserted anally, it almost always produces a stool you can be proud of in under an hour.  Convincing a patient to use a suppository is not easy.  It seems that touching your anus ranks right up there with first degree murder. GET OVER IT!  If you can muster the intestinal fortitude to insert one, you’ll realize how easy it is.

I would be remiss in my “dooties” if I didn’t remind you to see your doc before starting any medications for diarrhea.  If you haven’t had a colonoscopy recently, you may need one.  Assuming that your exam is all normal and everything discussed above has failed, you may need an oral laxative.  Your doc can discuss the use of oral laxatives with you.

Here’s your song of the day.  I had no idea there were so many songs on poop.  Here are a couple of extra songs to make you smile.

https://youtu.be/U3iOmhIIc_s    https://youtu.be/Vtq1XV6ZVOc

What did one fly say to the other?  “Is this stool taken?”

SPECIAL NEEDS

The following comment was posted on this site in response to my CRS article: 

Yep, my CRS is stress related because there is NO way to make life normal for my Special Needs child…. for the 199th time today… “no you can’t go back to work.” “NO you can’t swear, beacause if this Covid 19”, “No I don’t know the answer to that.” “Stop asking, I don’t know” Yep I have CRS! I am inundated with “Why”, “Why Not” “When can I”, “No I won’t”….. only God knows if I really have CRS but right now it’s my lifeline to sanity to say “I CAN’T REMEMBER when I KNEW the answer for my child. . , Yep my form of CRS is hopefully situational… or God forbid my new Normal….. 

Stress is certainly a cause of CRS, and we are all stressed.  Covid-19 has impacted the lives of everyone I know.  The degree of impact is based on many factors.  The degree of impact is directly related to how good your coping skills are.  Unfortunately, no one ever taught you how to deal with stress, depression and hardship.  In the case referenced above, my friend is trying to cope with the stress of having special needs man-child who has no coping skills.

Special needs kids and their parents need as much support and understanding from the communities they live in as they can offer.  Covid-19 has hit these families particularly hard.  Special needs individuals do best when given set routines that they can depend on and give them a source of pride.  Covid-19 has deprived them of work programs, educational programs and religious activities that provide for their needs.

Parents have also been hit particularly hard as they now have to spend close to 24 hours a day providing and caring for their special need’s child. In a previous article, I reviewed the importance of asking “why.”  Children go through a “why” stage of childhood when almost every question involves “why.”  Most children grow out of the “why’ stage.”  Unfortunately, many special needs children don’t.

So, what can we do to help our special needs children and their parents?  Frankly, I don’t have an answer.  I can offer the following advice.  If you know someone with a special needs child, ask their parents what you can do to help.  Can you give the parents a little time off by sitting with their child a few times a week (create a routine)? Do you have an activity or job that the special needs child could safely do?  Again, If you have the time or skill set necessary to work with special needs kids, offer to help.

There is a lot of discussion about regarding changes in our educational system.  I have always felt that coping skills should be taught in our undergraduate educational system.  In grades 1-4, students should learn about themselves and how to live with themselves.  The questions they need to answer are many, such as, “Who am I?” “Why is my hair curly when I want it straight?”  “Why am I short?”

In grades 5-7, students should learn to answer, “Who are you?  You’re different from me.  How do I get along with you? How do I work with you?”

In grades 8-10, the question asked should be, “Who are they and how do I work with them?”

In grades 11 and 12, the question should be, “Who we and how do we cope with the world we are entering?

I catch a lot of flak from those who believe these issues should be dealt with at home, not in school, yet they have no education in child psychology.  When questioned about their own answers to the above questions, they often reverse their opinions and start actively learning everything they can to help their children answer the same questions.  

Here’s your music and a joke or 2.

Did you hear about the constipated accountant? He couldn’t budget, so he had to work it out with a paper and pencil.  (This reminds me of my trip to Italy.  I’ll have to write about it some day.)

How is life like toilet paper? You’re either on a roll or taking shit from someone.

Why is diarrhea hereditary? It runs in your genes!

TRAVELING DOWN MEMORY LANE

It’s official!  I have my North Carolina driver’s license.  Renee and I have been suffering from test anxiety.  We were afraid that we would have to take a written test.  I guess you’re never too old for test anxiety to mess with your head.  Anyway, I had to identify road signs and pass a vision test.

The trip to the DMV reminded me of my first driver’s test.  It is one of the really good memories I have of my father and his sense of humor.  The DMV had a gravel parking lot and I was driving my father’s 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint.  His car was customized with a 298 V8 and Hurtz 4 on the floor.  It was hot!

So, the officer gets in the passenger seat and gives me instructions.  At 16, I was nervous.  I accidentally popped the clutch sending a stream of gravel in the air before my rear tires gained traction.  In other words, I did a wheelie.  The officer was pissed and demanded that I pull over.  I thought I was screwed!  Fortunately for me, the officer lost his composure and started laughing.  He said “Mike,” my father, had told him to give me a hard time.  Dad walked over and the two of them had a good laugh at my expense.  My dad knew too many of the local police and over the years it became evident that his friendship with the local cops was both good and bad for me.

The next time my dad got a good laugh at my expense was that same year.  My date and I were parking at spot along the Elizabeth River.  We were innocently necking, which was a big deal in those years.  I went to start the car and take her home only to discover that the car had died.  As we were only blocks from her home, I walked her to her front door and asked if I could use their phone.  I was embarrassed to say the least.  My dad showed up and pushed started the car (you old guys will know what that means).  

When we got home, dad went to his room and mom and dad broke out in hysterical laughter.  It wasn’t funny!  I stormed into their room and yelled at them to stop, reiterating that it just wasn’t funny.  “Calm down, Stewart!  In the morning, I’ll show you why we were laughing,” was all my parents would say.  In the morning, my dad took me back to where I had been parking and showed me a heart with my parent’s initials carved in the bench facing the river.  I had been parking exactly where they used to.

They say the apple does not fall far from the tree.  I apparently never fell off the tree. Yesterday, we were going through old papers when I came across a poem written by one of my father’s friends for his 66th birthday.  Here are just a few lines: “Diets you’re on every other week. But damn your gut, you’re short and bold I’ve been told.”

Yes, I’m short, bold and FAT!  And, yes, I’m on diets every other week.  In so many ways, I am my father.  In his later years, he became more pessimistic, less bold and more fearful. I am fighting those tendencies now. Test anxiety, something I had never experienced until now, is just one manifestation of the changes I’m experiencing.

Looking back on my father’s life, both pre and post-Parkinson’s should help me navigate my future and avoid the pitfalls that plagued my dad.  Only time will tell.  Writing is cathartic, so I will continue to write.  Hopefully , in doing so, I will help others traverse this fantastic journey called life.

Here’s your song for the day and a joke or two.

What’s a teacher without students?  HAPPY!

Time is a great teacher.  Unfortunately, it kills all of its students.

CRS

Do you suffer from CRS?  I do and so does Renee.  As a matter of fact, many of my neighbors and friends have CRS.  By now, you’re wondering what is CRS and do I have it?

CRS stands for “Can’t remember shit!”  See, my CRS is not that bad.  I can still remember what it stands for.  CRS is usually not dementia or Alzheimer’s, but it could represent the earliest stages of those diseases.  There are all kind of causes for CRS.  It’s not uncommon to hear someone say, “I’m so busy at work/home that I can’t remember shit.”

So, too much on your mind/schedule can cause CRS.  It’s also not unusual to hear, “Since I retired, every day is the same as the day before.  I think my brain is stagnating and I can’t remember shit.”  I guess too little on your mind causes CRS.

I know those of us who have it don’t want to admit to having it.  No matter what I say, you are going to worry that you are developing dementia.  Now, where was I going with this?  Just joking, I think.

While I figure out what I’m doing, please read the following article by clicking hereYou could also read this from the Mayo Clinic.  OK, I’m back on track.  The take away point is that most of us are going to develop CRS at some time during our lifetimes; and when we do, we are going to scare the shit out of ourselves.

On the list you just read were the 3 “Cs”; CONFUSION, COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS AND COPING DIFFICULTIES. If you think you are losing it and any of the 3 “Cs” appear, see your doc and do a complete set of Neuropsych tests.  If you are developing a form of dementia, you can’t hide from it!  You are better off getting a proper diagnosis. A proper diagnosis will help you develop a proper treatment plan.  

If your family or friends tell you they are worried about your memory, pay attention to them and get some help. Ever hear of “worried sick?”   When your loved ones think you have a memory problem, they may get worried sick.  The cure for them is getting a proper diagnosis for you!

Lastly, all of the signs in all of the articles about memory loss also fit the diagnosis of depression.  Depression was highly prevalent in society before the Corona virus struck. Now it appears to be increasing in frequency and severity. I would write an article about the signs of depression but I just did.  All I have to do is retitle this one.

If you have CRS, figure out if you have too much or too little on your mind, then fix it.  IF YOUR CRS IS RELATED TO DEPRESSION, SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP.  IF YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONE THINK YOUR CRS IS A FORM OF MEMORY LOSS, SEEK MEDICAL HELP!

By the way, there are lots of people peddling snake oil on the internet.  Yes, you may have a vitamin deficiency or some other deficiency contributing to your problem.  Before you buy a ton of stuff, see your doc and get a proper diagnosis.

Renee, where are my pills?  I know I left them on the counter, but I can’t find them.  My CRS is multifactorial.  Personally, I think I’m suffering from a common disorder called, “Lackofsexitis.”  If I could only find the cure.

Here’s your music for the night, as well as a joke. Could be my choice of music contributes to my “Lackofsexitis” diagnosis. Again, Renee disagrees and she is editing this article.

Bud and Jim were a couple of drinking buddies…

who worked as airplane mechanics in Charlotte. One day the airport was fogged in and they were stuck in the hangar with nothing to do.

Bud says, “Man, I wish we had something to drink!” Jim says, “Me, too. Y’know, I’ve heard you can drink jet fuel and get a buzz. You wanna try it?” So they pour themselves a couple of glasses of high octane hooch and get completely smashed.

The next morning Bud wakes up and is surprised at how good he feels. In fact he feels GREAT! NO hangover! NO bad side effects. Nothing! Then the phone rings… It’s Jim.

Jim says, “Hey, how do you feel this morning?” 

Bud says, “I feel great. How about you?” 

Jim says, “I feel great, too. You don’t have a hangover?” 

Bud says, “No, that jet fuel is great stuff — no hangover, nothing. We ought to do this more often.” 

“Yeah, well there’s just one thing…” 

“What’s that?” 

“Have you farted yet?” “No…..”

“Well, DON’T, ’cause I’m in PHOENIX!!!”

HERE WE GO AGAIN

Clovid-19 – “I’m back!”  Actually, it never went away. So, what do we do?

Yesterday, I discussed the use of masks.  In previous articles, I brought up the concept of forming social pods composed of persons of like minds and risk.  What we really need is a comprehensive family/friends plan by which we live and protect ourselves against this virus and potential carriers.

Your comprehensive antiviral plan should be custom made to fit your needs and beliefs.  The government can certainly suggest what precautions should be incorporated into your plan but should not mandate them.  This is a very sensitive subject!

When I was in Publix the other day, I asked a young woman a question.  She was not masked and more than 6 feet away from me.  I was masked with an N95 mask.  The conversation went something like this:

Me -Excuse me, I … (she rudely cuts me off)

Her – If you are going to say something about my not wearing a mask, forget it.

Me – Whether or not you wear a mask is none of my business.  I was going to ask if there were any places to buy fresh seafood around here.

Her – I’m sorry I snapped.  I’m tired of being told what to do and all of the scare tactics.

People are tired of all of the mixed messages and suggestions coming from the government, doctors and the internet.  So am I.  Personally, I’m wearing masks, staying far apart from strangers and verifying what precautions family and friends are taking before I interface with them.  I’m also washing the skin off of my hands. I’m reading and digesting everything I can about the risks of clovid-19 and how to avoid them.

What I’m not doing is telling you what to do.  If you want to go sky diving, bungee jumping, or other risk-taking activities, no one tells you that you can’t.  If you want to ignore the CDC’s suggestions, God bless!

I never did find a fresh seafood market.  While I’m going to miss Chicago’s food scene, my waistline will benefit from the limited dietary choices available to me.  We ordered Chinese from a local restaurant and was surprised to have gotten dog food.  Actually, I don’t think my dogs would have eaten it.

By the way, I’ve lost another 1.5 pounds for a total of 3.5 pounds in 2 weeks.  It’s slow going.  My air fryer is rapidly becoming my best friend.  THANKS, Lynn.

Here is today’s music and a joke or two.

As the storm raged, the captain realized his ship was sinking fast. He called out, “Anyone here know how to pray?” One man stepped forward. “Aye, Captain, I know how to pray.” 
“Good,” said the captain, “you pray while the rest of us put on our life jackets – we’re one short.”

WHY

We baby sat yesterday for my 2-year-old granddaughter.  She’s an incredible kid who almost always has a smile on her face.  It doesn’t take much to make her happy.  She is very inquisitive and is starting into the “why” phase of childhood.  If you’ve raised kids, you know what I’m talking about.

Asking why is how we learn and, as a doctor, how I solved problems and diagnosed diseases for 40 years.  Since retirement, I had pretty much quit asking “why” and just accepted things the way they are.  Not only had I retired, but I had retired the whole concept of “why.”

Yesterday, I pulled my “why” cap out of the closet and have been pondering the question, “why won’t people wear mask and practice social distancing in North Carolina?”  Some “why’s” can’t be answered.  Why am I cursed with this decrypted body that houses my soul is one of those questions that has no answer. Yet, I continue to ask myself that very question.

There are some “why’s” that have to be answered! Why won’t people wear mask and practice social distancing, is one such question. Yesterday I was in Publix doing the weekly grocery shopping.  I wore a N-95 surgical mask and consciously kept at least 9 feet between myself and others.  It wasn’t easy.  It seems that residents of North Carolina must be immune to Covid-19 because 70% of the people shopping with me did not wear mask or keep social distancing rules.  People invaded my safety zone with total disregard for my health needs.

At one point an elderly woman (you know she must have been old if I consider her elderly) wearing a cloth mask over her mouth but not her nose, pushed up next to me to get a can of corn off the shelf (or she just thought I was cute).  She was close enough that I could smell her and she smelled sick.  I moved faster then I’ve moved in years.

WHY? Do you not believe that 120,000 people have died from this virus?  Do you not believe that you are vulnerable?  Do you truly not give a shit about the health of others? Do you believe that wearing a mask and keeping socially distant infringes on your rights as an American citizen?  What the heck is wrong with you?

I hate wearing masks.  I got kicked out of my surgical rotation because of my dislike of surgical masks.  It was my 3rd year of residency and I was scrubbed in on a neck dissection to remove a nasty tumor.  We had been in the operating room for what seemed like a lifetime.  The surgeon asked me what I thought about the surgery.  I know surgeons have major egos but  I didn’t care.  I simply said, “its boring as shit!”  Yep, I hadn’t done my homework.  The surgeon was renown for his neck dissections, and I had just crapped on his “art.”  He was also the Chief of Surgery. 

However, I did accomplish my goal.  I was kicked out of the surgical suite and got to take my mask off.  My upper lip felt like a waterfall.  Sweat dripped off it.  I was relieved until I got called into my director’s office that afternoon.  I was unofficially banned from future surgeries and almost kicked out of the residency.  Luckily, an excellent surgeon, Dr. Ahn, took me under his wing and completed my training.

The point of the story is that if I, a person that hates surgical masks enough to get into serious trouble, wear one, so should you.   If you don’t like wearing masks, you won’t like being on a respirator!  If you don’t believe you are vulnerable to viral infections, you are a fool.  If you are so self-centered that you don’t care about the welfare of others, there’s really nothing I want to say to you other then stay away from me.

In previous articles on this blog, I’ve listed links to teaching sites on YOUTUBE that will show you how to wear a mask and gloves properly.  Having lost my health I can promise you that life will suck without it.  Do everything you can to safeguard and preserve your health now, while you still have it.

One of the greatest pleasures I have had in life is caring for others.  You don’t have to be a doc to feel that pleasure.  Wear a mask and you’re your 6-foot safety zone. Here’s your song for today.  Here’s a joke or two:

Why didn’t the toilet paper cross the road?

It got stuck in a crack.

Why can’t you trust a burrito?

Because they tend to spill the beans.