Nothing Less

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I was away at a conference this weekend.  We were there to work on the better application of computers to our practice.  We give good care, but could do a lot better.  There are folks out there doing incredible things, and we need to do them for the sake of our patients.

Lots of information, lots things to do coming home.  This is important stuff.

Blogging has become a bigger deal too.  More recognition and more visitors.  It\’s nice to get good rubs.  A hobby has become much more than that; and that\’s still hard to grasp.

Famous?  The thought boggles my mind.

Then comes phone call #1.

My niece was hit by a drunk driver.  She is a very gifted athlete and was hit while walking after an evening with brothers, sisters, and good friends.  She has massive injuries to her lower body, facing many surgeries and long rehab – in the best-case scenario.  We hope she will walk again.  We hope she will run.  We pray that she won\’t turn for the worse.

Now time is spent on the phone with family, answering questions and figuring out if there is anything to do.

Then comes phone call #2.

One of my colleagues, a general surgeon calls me this morning to tell me that one of my patients – the son in a family that is dear to me – died of complications from an acute abdominal process.

I\’ll call them today.

Life seems pretty important sometimes.  The things in my life that occupy time and thoughts are not trivial, but then comes a reality check.

Life is fragile.  It is not about accomplishments or control.  It is not about fame or entertainment.  Tomorrow is no guarantee.  Love life; nothing less.

Stay strong, my friends and family.

Stay strong.

49 thoughts on “Nothing Less”

  1. What terrible news. My thoughts are with you. I hope your niece recovers quickly and fully.
    And I hope the driver is thrown in jail for the rest of his/her life.

  2. What terrible news. My thoughts are with you. I hope your niece recovers quickly and fully.
    And I hope the driver is thrown in jail for the rest of his/her life.

  3. What a double whammy! I hope that your niece recovers as fully as possible and as fast as possible. It stinks that there are so many morons out there that are willing to hurt people.

  4. What a double whammy! I hope that your niece recovers as fully as possible and as fast as possible. It stinks that there are so many morons out there that are willing to hurt people.

  5. Life IS fragile. Went to the funeral of a 40 year old internist yesterday who died of complications from brain cancer. Left 5 beautiful children and a wife. I’m with you, man. Makes me want to squeeze my own children and husband and not let go.

  6. Life IS fragile. Went to the funeral of a 40 year old internist yesterday who died of complications from brain cancer. Left 5 beautiful children and a wife. I’m with you, man. Makes me want to squeeze my own children and husband and not let go.

  7. Healthcare Today

    Nothing Less…
    Life seems pretty important sometimes. The things in my life that occupy time and thoughts are not trivial, but then comes a reality check.

    Life is fragile. It is not about accomplishments or control. It is not about fame or entertainment. Tomorro…

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about your niece and the death of a patient. I’ll be praying for your niece and all your family. You’ve made some friends, too, with this blog. It’s not all hobby and fame. It’s also caring. It looks like a lot of folks care. I know I do.

  9. I’m so sorry to hear about your niece and the death of a patient. I’ll be praying for your niece and all your family. You’ve made some friends, too, with this blog. It’s not all hobby and fame. It’s also caring. It looks like a lot of folks care. I know I do.

  10. Dr Rob,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your niece. I have no doubt that being a physican places an extra layer of responsibility on you when your family is looking for answers to questions that probably can’t always be answered.

    What a shock to learn of this young man’s death. His family must be stunned. I have no doubt your relationshiop with them will be a great comfort to them in the coming days, weeks and months.

    Don’t forget to draw strength from others as you’re giving out so much. Cyber hugs!!!

  11. Dr Rob,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your niece. I have no doubt that being a physican places an extra layer of responsibility on you when your family is looking for answers to questions that probably can’t always be answered.

    What a shock to learn of this young man’s death. His family must be stunned. I have no doubt your relationshiop with them will be a great comfort to them in the coming days, weeks and months.

    Don’t forget to draw strength from others as you’re giving out so much. Cyber hugs!!!

  12. I am so very sorry for your pain. There is nothing worse than feeling helpless but I hope that changes since you will be of great comfort to those around you.

  13. I am so very sorry for your pain. There is nothing worse than feeling helpless but I hope that changes since you will be of great comfort to those around you.

  14. Dear Dr. Rob,
    Your post really struck a chord with me today. First, I am so sorry to hear about your niece, and my prayers are with her and your family that she will recover fully and run again oneday. I am also sorry about the news about your friends’ son’s death. Your readers are coming here to post to let you know that there is support out there for you. We care.

    Today, I drew up my will and had a lengthy discussion with my 40 year old husband about what to do with my personal belongings should I not survive bilateral adrenalectomy scheduled for 9/11/08. Your last words resonated with me: “Life is fragile…..Tomorrow is no guarantee.” 20 years ago, before I got a pituitary tumor, I was a runner, like your niece. Now I am facing down losing a second 1/3 of my endocrine system (the first two surgeries removed my entire pituitary) and there is STILL that pesky tumor, now in the cavernous sinus, growing ever closer to the carotid, inoperable, a ticking bomb in my head, always near in my thoughts.

    I cried for an hour when I learned I would lose my hair after radiation. Then I sobered up and realized my goal, like that of your niece, is to just make it through these next steps. Just to survive.

    Surviving — it’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t gotten close to the fingers of death. Oh, how it makes one want to live! I get choked up when I hear that song, “Live Like You are Dying,” because it’s so true — talking sweeter, loving deeper, giving forgiveness that had been denied….

    I hope, somehow, there will be comfort found in the incomprehensible senselessness of your friends’ son’s death. And for your niece, hope.

    Who knows, maybe someday there won’t just be survival — there will also be living — and, if God is merciful, running again, too. Perhaps, even for us both.

    One can surely hope.

    Pax,
    Kate

  15. Dear Dr. Rob,
    Your post really struck a chord with me today. First, I am so sorry to hear about your niece, and my prayers are with her and your family that she will recover fully and run again oneday. I am also sorry about the news about your friends’ son’s death. Your readers are coming here to post to let you know that there is support out there for you. We care.

    Today, I drew up my will and had a lengthy discussion with my 40 year old husband about what to do with my personal belongings should I not survive bilateral adrenalectomy scheduled for 9/11/08. Your last words resonated with me: “Life is fragile…..Tomorrow is no guarantee.” 20 years ago, before I got a pituitary tumor, I was a runner, like your niece. Now I am facing down losing a second 1/3 of my endocrine system (the first two surgeries removed my entire pituitary) and there is STILL that pesky tumor, now in the cavernous sinus, growing ever closer to the carotid, inoperable, a ticking bomb in my head, always near in my thoughts.

    I cried for an hour when I learned I would lose my hair after radiation. Then I sobered up and realized my goal, like that of your niece, is to just make it through these next steps. Just to survive.

    Surviving — it’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t gotten close to the fingers of death. Oh, how it makes one want to live! I get choked up when I hear that song, “Live Like You are Dying,” because it’s so true — talking sweeter, loving deeper, giving forgiveness that had been denied….

    I hope, somehow, there will be comfort found in the incomprehensible senselessness of your friends’ son’s death. And for your niece, hope.

    Who knows, maybe someday there won’t just be survival — there will also be living — and, if God is merciful, running again, too. Perhaps, even for us both.

    One can surely hope.

    Pax,
    Kate

  16. Dr. Rob,
    I’m so sorry to hear of the tragedies you have faced today! I will pray for all involved, and for your niece to have a full recovery!

  17. Dr. Rob,
    I’m so sorry to hear of the tragedies you have faced today! I will pray for all involved, and for your niece to have a full recovery!

  18. Dr. Rob,I’m so sorry for everything your family and friends are facing. I will keep all in my prayers.

  19. Dr. Rob,I’m so sorry for everything your family and friends are facing. I will keep all in my prayers.

  20. Dr. Rob,I am sorry to read about your tragic news. You and your family are in my thoughts during this difficult time.

  21. Dr. Rob,I am sorry to read about your tragic news. You and your family are in my thoughts during this difficult time.

  22. I too am sorry to hear about your niece, tragedies like these are tough especially when it could have been avoided. It is so unfair for her future to hang in the balance because someone chose to drive drunk.
    I pray for a better tomorrow for you and your family

  23. I too am sorry to hear about your niece, tragedies like these are tough especially when it could have been avoided. It is so unfair for her future to hang in the balance because someone chose to drive drunk.
    I pray for a better tomorrow for you and your family

  24. Dr. Rob, I’m very sorry about your niece. I hope all goes as well as they can for her and your entire family.

  25. Dr. Rob, I’m very sorry about your niece. I hope all goes as well as they can for her and your entire family.

  26. My sympathies too.
    My Godmother’s daughter had a similar collision with a drunk when she was about 13. She’s recovered, which is more than can be said for her swimming career, which might have made Olympic level! 🙁

  27. My sympathies too.
    My Godmother’s daughter had a similar collision with a drunk when she was about 13. She’s recovered, which is more than can be said for her swimming career, which might have made Olympic level! 🙁

  28. mottsapplesauce

    Dr. Rob,I send you the most heartfelt sympathies for you & your family. I’m a firm believer that ‘tomorrow holds no guarantees’, & I try to live by that. Godspeed to your niece I hope her recovery time is short, & very sorry for your loss. We’re all thinking of you & hope these words bring some comfort to you.

  29. mottsapplesauce

    Dr. Rob,I send you the most heartfelt sympathies for you & your family. I’m a firm believer that ‘tomorrow holds no guarantees’, & I try to live by that. Godspeed to your niece I hope her recovery time is short, & very sorry for your loss. We’re all thinking of you & hope these words bring some comfort to you.

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