Chapter 13 ~ My Favorite Prescriptions
Patients expect prescriptions, and doctors deliver. The problem is, what most patients need can’t be delivered in a little pink pill. During the past twenty years, I’ve written a lot of prescriptions. Here are my favorites:
Have great sex three times per week!
Take a vacation to the coast.
Go on a seven-day silent retreat in the woods.
Find a girlfriend!
Quit your job!
Reconnect with deceased relatives.
Have your husband do the dishes for a week.
Go on a media fast for a month.
Fall in love with yourself.
Have your children massage your feet before bed.
Speak your truth.
Get a puppy.
Write a book.
Come with me to a writers’ conference. I’ll pay.
See an energy healer. I’ll go with you.
Get an exorcism.
Sell your car and commute by bike.
Avoid your mother-in-law.
Maybe people don’t need so many medical appointments. Most people just need to relax, have fun, and hang out at a petting zoo.
Chapter 90 ~ The Raw Truth
I often wonder: why am I a doctor?
The truth is, I want to live in the real world, a world without pretense, a world where people can’t hide behind money or status.
Illness uncovers our authenticity. Doctoring satiates my need to be witnessed and to witness the raw, uncensored human experience. I crave intensity.
Like an emotional bungee jumper, I live to inhale the last words of a dying man, to hear the first cry of a newborn baby, to feel the slippery soft skin in my hands, to cut the cord and watch a drop of blood fall on my shoe, to wipe a new mother’s tears, to introduce a father to his son, to hold a daughter’s hand as she kisses her father good-bye one last time.
I am a doctor because I refuse to be numb. I want to live on the precipice of the underworld, the afterworld, to look into patients’ eyes, to free-fall into an abyss of love, despair, death and then wake up tomorrow and do it all again.
Maybe doctoring fills a hole, a void. I doctor for connection, to be needed—to be loved.