Tuesday, June 30, 2015

last day

Cleaned out my locker.
Turned in my pager.
Returned my 'resident physician' badge.
Gave back my white coat.
Got a fancy diploma.
Taught an intern on his first day on the job how to manage a splenic infarct.
Walked out of to the hospital quietly...
   Holding in my hand a miniature 'The Flash' doll--a treasured gift.
          Thinking most of all...on how things end. How memories last forever.
                  Starkly reminded how the most meaningful part of all happened October 31, 2013-October 31, 2104, precisely.
                        I pray to Him, 'take me to a place where doors are open, a lovely little place where no one is broken."
                              How I ended up somewhere on 34th street, ready to explain, God only knows, but
                                   Instead I ran 15 miles in Santa Monica; running as if fleeing from that ghost from Taiwan
                                        Running--my meditation in motion                                         
                                                 Meditating on Neruda's Sonnet XVII, on why its true; why i still believe in it.



Sunday, June 21, 2015

"Fathers Day Run" (Half Marathon 13.1 miles); Van Nuys, CA

 PR 1:37

Cherishing the memory of my old man on this special day.
Sometimes the most humble, unprivileged man can give his children the priceless most treasured inheritance imaginable.
Thank you Dad... Porque a pesar de todo lo que paso sigo adelante.

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."     - Mark Twain


Monday, June 15, 2015

My last "overnight call" of residency

Residency is arguably the hardest and most unforgettable phase of someone's medical career:

...the exhaustion...the bonds you create with your fellow trainees...the drama...the way your skin gets thicker...the blunders...the procedures...the tears no one gets to see...the skills...your first needle stick injury...the chaos...the patient you publish into a case report...the miracles...the facial hair phase of my career...the tragedies...families who will love you forever...families who want to crucify you...the precision...wearing scrubs (aka pajamas) on most days...eating, sleeping, and showering in the hospital...the confusion...the patient who thinks they're in love with you...the patient who blames you for everything...the youngest patient you've lost...the centenarian that never seems to die...being reprimanded for charting "condition at discharge: Alive, but without my permission."...The patient you wish you'd never seen...the double Facepalm when the Fail is so strong, one Facepalm is not enough...losing your faith in humanity and having it restored...losing the love of your life...realizing that no one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they had plenty of sleep.

They say life is dramatically better as an Attending physician, we'll see about that.
As I look into the future, all I think about these days is October 31, 2015.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

found this gem

“Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”
"One day you will ask me which is more important? My life or yours? I will say mine...and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life.” 
"And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth."
"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

-Kahlil Gibram

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

on trail running

Figuratively speaking, all of us have had mountains to climb. I've been running up them summits many times ever since that certain solid fragrance left to Santa Monica and beyond...I'd like to think I'm done climbing those kind of mountains but I find some degree of comfort in knowing that some mountains are meant to be climbed.  As you ascend and descend each peak you come to the stark realization that mountains are so unforgiving. You also realize that trail running is lonely. I'm a sucker for punishment, idk. The devil on my shoulder says, "the perfect place to fight your demons is running up a mountain." You'd think that when you're alone, the monsters in your head would come to say "hello," but this is not true... in most instances you're a victim of your own mind. There's never a dull moment up there; there are no distractions, rattlesnakes will keep you vigilant. It's true what they say-- the best views come after the hardest climbs.

Without realizing it, I've been training for my next marathon.
What fuels the fire inside us?

Sunday, May 31, 2015

subconjunctival hemorrhages

The most beautiful brutality I've ever seen has taken place inside a boxing ring. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I've been put to sleep in the past, and by the very same token, I've brought others to their knees. I'm neither proud or ashamed of it. I admire the courage and grit of the pugilist and I can watch or partake in a match with reverence and humility, but as to why people rejoice in the suffering of another human being is beyond me... It is true that in the heat of the moment one can become numb or unperturbed to pain inflicted upon others, but still there is nothing noble in being superior to your opponent. At one time, in my search of something higher, I thought boxing could help me in some twisted way. For a very long time, I've associated boxing to the realm of redemption or second chances and with defeating opponents to prove ones worth, which is probably why I've felt strangely attracted to it. But I was mistaken. First, true nobility lies only in being superior to your former self, and secondly, you can't redeem your past inside a boxing ring. Besides, it must look ridiculous to have a doctor counseling you on healthy lifestyle habits with subconjunctival hemorrhages and cuts above his eyebrow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

lost heart beats

As internal medicine physicians we have many drugs at our disposal-- medicines to treat, diagnose, and prevent countless diseases. But amid all the emotional suffering and physical pain, the spirit of a man can only endure so much and when it is broken only a miracle can mend it. If only there was a drug that could heal a broken spirit...perhaps the most effective medicine we have is what some call "Love unconditional."

I lost a young patient this week.
There are things in life that once they've been lost, you can't recover--each lost heartbeat after minutes of CPR... time from days which keep coming without fail...the trust after its lost.

Still, I wonder what is redemption and its relationship to Love-- the kind which JC talks about in the gospels-- where does it come from and how does it work?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Memories flash incessantly throughout most of my long runs 
Like in the marathon
 each time at the intersection of Santa Monica and N Crescent Drive
my chest feels tight and my eyes began tear
-Learning so much over the past 5 months-

Sunday, March 29, 2015

early morning ascent

During a 4:30am night run to Mount Lowe, on my steady ascent to the summit, I began to think about the strange presence in my apartment--it must be a ghost. Indeed, it is a ghost from Taiwan. A beautiful ghost with more soul and love than the hollow substance that beats within my chest. As I watch the sunrise from 5600ft above sea level and I ponder whether to jump into new waters, I realize how much this ghost means to me...  I'm attached to it, for better or worse. A reckless man who searches for redemption realizes that to live with ghosts requires solitude.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


Old used book stores and thrift/antique stores are amazing places...the randomness and intrigue that comes with finding a literary gem makes it a worthwhile experience. These days on my spare time I'll dedicate a few hours looking for these "gems." For example, to the left is the fascinating back cover of a random book--  I still couldn't tell you what this book is about lol... or whether its truly a gem or not, but inside it was a remarkable quote that stayed with me: