Time to Blow this Popsicle Stand

The photo is that of me in front of the Wiener Staatsoper. Betsy and I had a most wonderful night at the opera in Vienna, forever fixed in our memory. The only sad thing is that of returning to the reality of Puyallup, WA.
As I write, this, the little bird in the cuckoo clock will periodically emerge from her den and remind me of who I am. That Vögelchen happens to be the most honest person in my life. Whenever she comes out to say hello, I greet her with great joy. Her running commentary remains the same, which at least suggests that one of my friends is persistent and unchanging. God happens to be the only other person in my life with a strong sense of true honesty. It must be that God is now speaking to me through my pet birdie in the clock. Other cuckoo clocks will sing Edelweiss or “Somewhere my love” to you, but my little feathered friend just lays on the cold hard facts, speaks her mind, and then shuts up for another 1/2 hour.

Today convinced me that I am too old to continue practicing medicine where I am at. The “chief doctor and Lord Executioner” of my hospital just informed me that I was a very bad boy for not dumping my asleep patient on the operating table to care for a trauma patient that was undergoing CPR in full cardiopulmonary arrest in the ER. I informed him that I would never abandon a patient in the operating room under any circumstance, and he went into a tizzy. E-mail or call me for details–I want to watch my language on the blog site and not publicly speak evil of anybody. Well, I’m going to relieve him of some tizzy-ness. I’m quitting. October 31 is the very last day that I’m contractually obligation to St. Samaritan Hospital, and then I will either a) just retire, b) accept a deal from the Franciscans in Tacoma, c) leave the state and move back to Portland, and find a job pumping gas, etc..  d) work out something with my group to be on employed rather than partner status.
Regardless of which of the above I do, I would like to do missions work. My friend from Bangladesh wants me to come. I’ve been suggested to go to Cameroon or Niger. My Bangladesh offer sounds the most appealing, since 1) it is cheap, and I could semi-retire and still do missions, 2) my wife could be involved as a nurse (hopefully), 3) they are attentive to preaching the gospel while delivering health care–there is no point to saving the body but not the soul, 4) I really like my friend in Bangladesh, even though I don’t know him well, 5) I’d love to learn some Bengali, and 6) if a short-term goes okay, and they like me, I can always return and feel like I’m really helping somebody, without fear of violation of some kooky government regulation or a lawsuit.
The other thing that will be factored into our life is me doing the PCT. In case you are wondering, the PCT stands for the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from Mexico to Canada. It’s only 2800 miles and can be done in an easy 5-6 months, starting in late April. I would like to solicit people to join me for sections of the hike. I’ve already gotten several people from the hospital, as well as my wife. You too can do it. Hike a 100 with ole’ Cuckoo Ken. I’m contemplating this in either the year 2009 or 2010, preferably the latter (2010). The time to start planning is now. I’d like to chronicle the event and have a decent camera to photograph the whole event. Stay in touch if you have any other ideas about the PCT, and when/if you would like to join me for sections of the trail.
It’s been a year since I had my stents placed. My laboratory evaluation shows normal serum lipids. I refused to take a statin drug, so did it natural including a) exercise, b) diet, with about 50% fish, c) niacin, fish oil, flaxseed oil, garlic, etc. It works, but it was hard. I now have to get the cholesterol down to LOW normal. I think I’ll try curry for that.  Meanwhile, I need some means of cutting back on pills. This is what I do for the month…

There are only four prescription drugs, which I get from India. The rest are vitamins and other dietary supplements. My blood pressure is now normal, but there are too many unnecessary hospital episodes that ruffle my feathers and send my BP up, like the episode this morning. I’ll spend a blog in the near future talking about what is really going on in medicine, and my impressions of the healthcare scene in the USA.

Meanwhile, I seriously plot my exit from the severely uncomfortable and stressful situation that I am now in.