Nanowrimo

I have finished my first try at Nanowrimo.

I do NOT have a coherent novel at the end. I have pieces and sections and chapters and questions. I have to look up a bunch of microbiology and also how the goblets cells in the stomach work, because I don’t remember and anyhow, I am sure it has changed since I was in medical school.

BUT I DO have 50,000 words.

I got stuck twice at the beginning and had two days where I didn’t write anything except this blog. And then another two. I kept dreaming about an ogre who wanted to be in the novel. Well, ok. I finally decided that the goal was to write the 50, 000 words, not stick to an outline. I added the ogre and have not missed a day since. To finish 50,000 words in 30 days, it breaks down to 1667 per day. If you miss four days it is more. I had two days where I wrote over 5100 words. That helped a lot.

Now I think I will rest for a day or two and then start looking it over. Write a list of questions, work on some needed research, think about it. That ogre is interesting. Unexpected.

I think it was fun! At least, some of it was. I got stuck writing about something based on when I was ill, so that was difficult. It brought up the fear and the deep loneliness of that time. I learned to skip to something else when I get overwhelmed.

Anyhow, HOORAY!

The tweeter is twerked

Ok, I never signed up to twitter. Bunch of twits.

But I did write another verse for the song SAVED. It might not be the one that comes up on the You tube search. I learn it as a teen from side B of Moondog Matinee by The Band.

I sang it to my father. He said, “Where did you learn THAT?” I didn’t know and did an internet search. I forgot what album I leaned it from. It was his album, that I recorded on tape before I went to college.

Here is my new verse:

I used to Tweet, I used to Twerk, I used to Tweet, Twerk, I was such a Jerk

I used to tweet and twerk, tweet and twerk and I was such a jerk

But now I’m standing on the corner, it was too much work

That’s cause I’m saved, that’s cause I’m saved

People let me tell you about Kingdom Come

I’m saved, I’m saved, I’m going to preach until you’re deaf and dumb

I’m in the Salvation Army, beating on the big bass drum!

_____________

Who else sang it? Laverne Baker! She is the earliest I’ve found. Recorded in 1960, though the videos are later.

And here too, along with her hit “Jim Dandy”.

The authors: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saved_(Leiber_and_Stoller_song) .

Anyone else? Oh, yes, and I haven’t even listened to them all. But one is Elvis Presley. A gospel album:

And here is the dance video:

So, chief twit, tweeting gets a verse. I do not mind if it dies other than the verse. Shake your money maker, twitter!

Birds

Rainshadow Chorale is going to sing like Shakespeare birds on November 5th and 6th. I think this will be another delightful and really fun concert. I tried out for a solo wearing a cowgirl hat. My hat got a solo. I got a small group part. I’m too jealous of my hat, of my hat.

Why a cowgirl hat for Shakespeare? You’ll have to come to the concert to find out! We have composers ranging from Purcell to modern, all using Shakespeare’s words.

Anyhow, mark your calendars. My father was one of the initial eight choral members in 1997 and I joined in 2000. Sing on!

Here is our website: Rainshadow Chorale.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: birds.

Practicing Conflict II

Practicing conflict II

In Practicing conflict, I wrote about practicing conflict by arguing different sides of a topic inside my head. I wrote that I don’t fear conflict and have learned to enjoy arguing with myself. I am a physician and physicians argue all the time.

What? No they don’t. Well, the doctor persona does not argue with the patient much. Some doctors give orders to patients, others try to negotiate, some try to convince. But behind the scenes, doctors are more like the Whacky Racer Car with the Cave Guys, running with their feet and hitting each other with clubs.

In residency in Family Practice at OHSU in Portland, Oregon, I start on General Surgery during internship. This is in the early 1990s and there was not much in the way of “disruptive physician” rules. I have to cover Trauma and Plastic Surgery and General Surgery at night on call. The resident is present but I get paged first for patients on the floor. I learn that I should go to all Trauma pages in the emergency room. If I know what is happening with the new Trauma patient, it’s a lot easier to handle the phone calls for more drugs and so forth. Also, the resident is less mean to me.

We attend the Trauma “Grand Rounds”. These are unreassuring to a new intern. A resident presents a trauma patient, giving the history in the accepted formal order. The Faculty Trauma Surgeons interrupt, disagree with management of the patient and yell. They yell at the resident and at each other. The upper level residents yell too, being well trained. The Trauma Surgeons do not agree with each other. They are inflammatory and rude. I am shocked initially: medicine is not a cookbook, is not simple and it appears that it is a controversial mess. It turns out that medicine IS a controversial mess.

There is not as much yelling on the next rotation. At that time Trauma Surgeons yelled more than any other set of doctors that I ran across. They yelled in the ER, at each other, at the staff, at the nurses, at the residents. The culture has changed, I suspect, but that’s how it was then.

I take Advanced Trauma Life Support as a third year resident. The Trauma Surgeons at OHSU helped write the course. They don’t agree with it. On some questions the teaching Surgeon says, “The answer to this question is (c), “ followed by muttering loudly, “though I totally don’t agree with that and I would do (b).” Another Trauma resident or surgeon then might start arguing with him, but they moved on pretty quickly, to teach the current agreed best practices in the book. Which change every few years. Great.

Years later (2009) I join the Mad as Hell Doctors, to go across the US talking about single payer. They are a group from Oregon. Physicians for a National Healthcare Program are a bit cautious with us the first year: we might be whackos. We have an RV with our logo and we have a small fleet of cars and what do you think we do in the cars? We argue. Or discuss. Or whatever you want to call it. We spend the driving dissecting issues and how to present things best and tearing apart the last presentation and rebuilding our ideas. The group does 36 presentations in 24 days. Each presentation takes an hour to set up, two hours to do and another hour to break down and debrief. We get more and more exhausted and cranky and um, well, argumentative, as the trip proceeds. Even though I think of the Whacky Racer Cave Guys running with their feet and bonking each other with clubs, this is the most wonderful group of doctors I have ever been with. A common goal that we all want to get to, discussing and disagreeing on strategy all the way! I feel closer to those physicians in a week then I feel to any of the physicians that I’ve worked with for the last 9 years in my small town. Conflict with a common goal.

Doctors are TRAINED to argue, even with themselves, to document every decision in the chart with reasons why they have reached that decision. And that they have thought about all of the reasons for say, a low potassium, thought of every possible cause and worked their way through testing. The testing always has two strands. One strand is rule out the things that could kill the person NOW, even if rare. The other strand is what is common? You have to think about both at the same time, always. And argue with yourself about which tests should be done, in what order, what is most important, how do you treat the person while awaiting results, and have I missed anything? And if we aren’t sure, we call another doctor, run it by them, wait for them to shoot holes in our logic or to say, no, I can’t think of anything else.

We can deal with conflict. We must deal with conflict. The world is too small not to deal with conflict, with disagreements, with different viewpoints and positions and ideas. If doctors can do it every single day at work, then everyone else can too. Trying to see all the positions and possible diagnoses saves lives in medicine. We need to extrapolate that to everything else. Try to see other positions, try to understand them, to respect them. We can and we must.

Blessings.

Here are the Whacky Racers:

And Madashell Doctors blog: http://madashelldoctors.com/category/uncategorized/page/3/

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: discuss.

The photograph is from my clinic once we had stopped seeing patients and were selling everything. Mordechai was our clinic skeleton, made of plastic, from China. This was in January 2021.

Dream travel

I time travel in dreams.

Two dreams last night. In one I am in a hospital and trying to finish up and go home, but there are two babies. I check and one is my daughter. I check the other and it is a boy. He has a label saying “Call police.” The story is that he is sent from a smaller hospital for some testing that I am not sure about and that the mother was supposed to pick him up. She has been discharged but has not picked him up. I feed him and my daughter, feeling anxious. Where are the nurses? Why is my daughter here? I will take her home, but I have to make provision for the boy first. I feel sorry for him, abandoned. Both babies are clean and alert and swaddled, but the nurses are not around. I wake up.

In the second dream, I am still married to my first husband/but it’s a more recent gentleman friend at the same time. We are in southeast asia. I want to go home but for some reason we have stuff, including skis. My daughter is in her 20s in this dream. We take the skis to a house. Right before we reach it, there are police nearby, having a shootout with someone. Gangsters. This worries me and my daughter/friend. My husband/the guy meet us there and he boasts that a rich friend lets him use the room in the house. “I can have it for a whole month.” I am unimpressed and don’t care. I want to go home. My daughter/or it’s a woman friend and I go back. I think that my husband/guy is getting the car, but I hear his voice. He is singing in a karaoke bar. It is a very trashy glittery place and he loves it. I do not like the lounge style of singing and I decide to get the car myself and with my daughter/friend, get out of there. I hear my husband/guy making excuses and calling after us, but I am leaving. He lies to me and he excludes me, he wants to be the center of attention with his rich friends and when he sings, he’s afraid I would take attention away from him.

My daughter/friend and I retrace towards the building where the skis are. We have to walk on the edge of a massive fountain, with a cliff on one side. We are in a city. I think that we are retracing but then we come out into an open area. There is a police car parked there. I know we are visible, with a full moon reflecting off the fountain pool, so I wave with no concern. Just tourists here. I study the edge of the fountain to see if we could go in the water and climb to the next section, but it is not safe. I can’t tell how deep it is nor how fast the current. We will have to backtrack. The city is beautiful, with a giant lion building on the skyline and buildings with the Thai curved rooftops stacked up. It is gorgeous. Suddenly the other person is my friend and I worry: where is my daughter, where is the baby? I wake up.

My daughter is in her twenties now, not a baby, but in the dream she was a baby and then later in her twenties. When I wake I think, who cares about the stupid skis? Get out of there and leave the stuff. The babies are most important.

The first dream has three people. The second has four, because I can see the policeman. All the people are aspects of myself. My husband who is my ex now/a recent gentleman friend and then a male southeast asian policeman, though the police car is one of the large blue SUV style ones that I see at home. All of these complicate elements. Both my children have been to Thailand but I have not. Dreams are definitely time travel for me.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: time travel.

Certain songs

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is certain.

I certainly did not have an instant brilliant response. I look up the definition and think, well, how about songs?

I find this search site: https://www.lyrics.com/ , where I search on the word certain. Oh, GOLD! What fun results.

This song is covered by Jackie Gleason, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and others, but I am choosing this one:

A change of mood: Elvis Costello.

Certainly: Day One & Marcus Lee

Oh, there are pages and pages of certain songs.

Next: Iggy Pop, Death is Certain.

Next The Yardbirds: A Certain Girl

But I like this version even better: Allen Toussaint: A Certain Girl

The photograph is the sunrise yesterday. I am pretty certain the sun will rise today. I hope.