It’s 1:30am and my incision hurts enough to wake me up.  In addition to the pain in my surgical site, I’ve got miserable indigestion.  Careful not to wake Renee up, I rummage through the medicine cabinet and find the TUMs.  That’s when it happened.  I looked in the mirror.

Who the hell is that?  I know I am the only person in the bathroom but there is somebody else staring me in the face.  I wink and the image in the mirror winks.  I smile and the image smiles.  No, I’m not hallucinating!  Yes, the image I’m looking at is me.  The question is how I got to the point that I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror and what am I going to do about it.

Yesterday began as usual, I opened Facebook and went to my high school page.  My graduating class has been very active online and it’s fun to read about who is doing what and see photos of people you haven’t seen in years.  The first picture up yesterday was Jodi’s.  Jodi was my first-grade crush and I’ve never forgotten her.  I’ve also never corresponded with her.  It was Jodi’s birthday so I sent her a brief “happy birthday from an old friend.”

Next, I received a message from Elaine. Elaine read my note to Jodi and wrote me a note.  She thought I was in her first-grade class at Town and Country and I reminded her that she was in my kindergarten class but that I went to Suburban Park Elementary School for first grade.  I have a picture of my kindergarten class in Robinhood costumes with tap shoes on (Elaine has the same picture).  A conversation ensued transporting both of us back in time.

I’ve been reliving my youth through Facebook and it has been enjoyable.  Frankly, I’m amazed that I survived growing up.  My nickname in college was Milo.  Milo was a character in the book, “Catch 22.”  Milo was a wheeler dealer who could fix anything. The younger version of me had been described as a bull in a “china shop.”  There was nothing I couldn’t accomplish.  When I didn’t get admitted to a US medical school, I got in my car, drove across the US and Mexico and registered in medical school in Guadalajara, Mexico.  Later, when I wanted to open the office, Renee and I were broke so we turned to the banks for a loan to open LZFTC.  Seven banks turned us down.  The eighth granted our loan request.  I believed that, if there was a concrete wall blocking me from what I needed, all I needed to do was knock down the wall.  In fact, every time a wall was placed in front of me, I’d hammer at it until it came down.

So, how did I get to the point that I no longer recognized the man in the mirror?  My father and his father had Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s was the boogeyman hiding in my closet.  Rather than confront the bastard head on, I pulled my covers over my head and hid from him.  When the boogeyman actually showed up, “Milo, the Bull” disappeared and the little kid who was afraid of the monster in the closet showed up.  Frankly, the boogeyman had his way with me.

My trip down memory lane reminded me of who I was; and, once my memories of Milo surfaced, I could see vestiges of Milo in the person in the mirror.  It’s time to give birth to Milo version 2.0.  It’s time to look the boogeyman in the face and lock him in the closet. 

A lot of damage has been done, much of which is irreversible.  What is fixable is my attitude.  It’s time to make the most of what is left of me.  In future articles, you will see less of my self-pity and depression and more of Dr. Segal and his healthy, helpful advice. 

Today’s advice:  Don’t eat between meals.  Set up a fixed schedule for meals and stick to it.  Fast at least 12 hours nightly.

Here’s your music and a joke.

Sherry lost her husband almost four years ago and still hasn’t gotten out of her mourning stage. Her daughter constantly urges her to get back into the dating world. Finally, Sherry says she’ll go out, but doesn’t know anyone.

Her daughter immediately replies, “Mama! I have someone for you to meet.”

Well, it’s an immediate hit. They really like one another and after dating for six weeks, he asks her to join him for a weekend in the mountains.

Their first night there, she undresses as he does. There she stands nude except for a pair of black lacy panties, he in his birthday suit.

Looking at her he asks, “Why the black panties?”

She replies, “My breasts you can fondle, my body is yours to explore, but down there I am still in mourning.”

Obviously, he knows he’s not getting lucky that night.

The following night the same scenario. She’s standing there with the black panties on, and he is in his birthday suit…except… that he has a black prophylactic over his manhood.

She looks at him and asks, “What’s with the…uh…black prophylactic?”

He replies, “I want to offer my deepest condolences.”

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