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  • Life is short

    Just found out an ob/gyn colleague died last night. Different group from me but same hospital. Nicest guy. Everyone loved him. He was in his early 60's. Massive MI out of the blue. I'm in shock over this.

    Life is short. Take more vacations. Spend time with people you love.

  • #2
    Leaned that in 2008 when a colleague in a group in town had stroke that left him with hemianopia and massive loss of quality of life along with millions accumulated for that retirement enjoyment.

    Started vacations actively that year, going to Grand Canyon and Machu Pichu the next year. If I am disabled now I would had done something with my money in the last decade.

    Sorry about the loss.

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    • #3
      This is one of the reasons I don't much believe in delayed gratification. There are no guarentees. I still carry student debt, am in no rush to pay it off or mortgage for that matter. I spend for experiences , stuff and both more than many and am happy for it. Balance sheet doesn't bring happiness.

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      • #4
        True. I have told this story multiple times. Of six guys (including me), in my fellowship class, two were dead by age 50, both friends also from residency, both at my wedding, etc.

        Live life like there is the possibility that the end is near, at least at the back of your mind. In Radiology, hardly we a week goes by that I do not make the diagnosis of a devastating, terminal malignancy that is completely out of the blue for the person. This week it was a GBM in a previously healthy woman in her early 60’s, whose chief complaint was that her brain felt “scrambled”. Sounded crazy to the ER doc, who ordered at CT while preparing her discharge for a UTI. Bam! Game over.

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        • #5
          Sorry for your loss.

          Last year my previously healthy Aunt died at 65 from GBM. She got to be retired for two years before getting diagnosed and fighting it for 18 months. I also had a 40 year old coworker pass away leaving behind a 9 year old. Luckily 2018 has been better (so far)

          There is obviously a balance between delaying gratification and taking advantage of being healthy when you're healthy. This is why I do make sure I attend every one of my kids baseball games.

          But people are living longer healthier lives. Not saving for the future is irresponsible as well. My grandfather was able to cut all of his own firewood till he was 90. Now if only he had some money to go somewhere.....

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          • #6
            So true. Everyone's balance between being financially responsible for later yet enjoying now will be different. We are not suffering by any means but are saving aggressively for the future. I had some twangs of "ugh" from our recent weekend away - was a bit more than I expected. But got over it by reminding myself we need to enjoy ourselves too. Now I am debating a conference in Hawaii vs. Florida. I think I'll choose Hawaii.

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            • #7
              It's even shorter if you think there's nothing after it. Better wring all the juice you can out of this raisin!

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              • #8
                The sobering reminder of our mortality always hit hard.  My hope is that we can all find fulfillment and joy in our employment while at the same time save and hope for retirement.  I often ask myself would I be doing anything differently if I knew I was going to die soon.  Probably not.  We should all hug our families daily, let go of resentments and bitterness towards others, and live our best life now. Sorry for your lost.

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                • #9




                  The sobering reminder of our mortality always hit hard.  My hope is that we can all find fulfillment and joy in our employment while at the same time save and hope for retirement.  I often ask myself would I be doing anything differently if I knew I was going to die soon.  Probably not.  We should all hug our families daily, let go of resentments and bitterness towards others, and live our best life now. Sorry for your lost.
                  Click to expand...


                  The more discrete questioning would go along the lines of...

                  1. What would I do differently if I knew were going to die at age 75 (22 years)? (Probably nothing)

                  2. What would I do differently if I knew were going to die in 10 years? (Might give notice tomorrow or next month, might work another year or two, it depends...)

                  3. What would I do differently if I knew were going to die in one year? (Call work and tell them I am not coming back, plan some amazing trips, plan some visits with family and close friends, etc.)

                  4. What would I do differently if I knew were going to die tomorrow? (Spend as much time as possible outside, weather permitting, with immediate family, have a great dinner and drink bottle of wine that I have been saving)

                  Going through an exercise like this helps you refocus your priorities at your stage in life.

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                  • #10
                    My best friend's college roommate spine ortho 47 died 3 months ago from lymphoma.

                    Med school classmate general ortho 43 died 5 ago from pancreatic CA.

                    Former chief resident FP 44 died 4 years ago breast CA.

                    College/family friend radiology(non interv)friend 44 died of lung CA(non smoker) 4 years ago.

                    Former employer/ER 65 died 8 yrs ago pancreatic CA.

                    Former employer/ER 60 something died 10 yrs ago, crashed his plane into the Puget Sound

                    Wife's colleague hospitalist/ her husband(psychiatrist) has end stage parkinson's. Their daughter(21) hung herself at our local park last year.

                    Ortho I referred to for 10 years(high school team doctor)/ 60 died of pancreatic CA 3 years ago.

                    Urologist I referred to quit and died of pancreatic CA last year(referred to him, didn't know him, but my patient apprised me) late 60's.

                    Buddy from college 46 died  of Thymus cancer last year, he was a lawyer.

                    Wife's colleague FP 43 died 5 month ago pancreatic

                    Best friend's ex girlfriend 44 died 3 years ago(not an MD). MVA

                     

                    We're not extroverts, so I don't think I know that many people, but to me that seems like a lot of 1 degree separation casualties to me. As this list grows, it hasn't changed my spending pattern or vacation frequencies or amount of work I do. However the stuff that used to grind on me, I'm at peace with, I even find it borderline enjoyable. And borderline is enough for me. IMO I think we've all won the cosmic lottery. Recognizing it helps but is not mandatory.

                     

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                    • #11
                      Sorry about your loss.   Time IS fleeting.  Make the most of it.   'Seize the day' - a fav of mine.

                       

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pRqFPgFNWY

                       

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                      • #12




                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pRqFPgFNWY

                        Seize the day –
                        Click to expand...


                        I think getting an M.D. and applying those skills for the betterment of others counts. I get it though, once it's routine, it seems insufficient, even though it actually is more than sufficient. Arguably, living an honest and kind life is sufficient. Very buddha and vague, but kinda true. Kinda.

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                        • #13
                          This is something I need to be constantly reminded of.  Whenever I start getting negative about this or that, I have to remember how lucky I am to even be alive.  Count your blessings everyday.

                          Just in my small close circle of friends my age:

                          Close childhood friend died of a MDS (developed a brain fungal infection following bone marrow transplant) at 32 y/o

                          Another friend developed a brain tumor at 33, underwent surgery to remove it and had a massive stroke on the table, now paralyzed on his left side

                          31 y/o girlfriend of a close friend developed lymphoma and had to go through months of chemo destroying her ability to have further children.  She was lucky enough to have 1 before it happened though.  (fortunately looks like it was a curable lymphoma as she's now doing great 4-5 years after treatment)

                           

                          Physicians are uniquely aware of the preciousness of life.  Sometimes it's depressing to be surrounded with illness and death every day, but other times it makes us even more able to enjoy the time we have.

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                          • #14
                            One of my favorite songs and a pretty good motto to live by:

                             

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9TShlMkQnc

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                            • #15
                              Death is certain... the time is not.

                              I always liked this from 'Zen Flesh, Zen Bones':

                              17. Stingy in Teaching...

                              .....Nan-in said: 'Zen is not a difficult task. If you are a physician, treat your patients with kindness. That is Zen.'

                              Kusuda visited Nan-in three times. Each time Nan-in told him the same thing.' A physician should not waste time around
                              here. Go home and take care of your patients.'

                              It was not yet clear to Kusuda how such teaching could remove the fear of death. So on his fourth visit he complained:
                              'My friend told me when one learns Zen one loses his fear of death. Each time I come here all you tell me is to take care
                              of my patients. I know that much. If that is your so-called Zen, I am not going to visit you any more.'

                              Nan-in smiled and patted the doctor. ‘I have been too strict with you. Let me give you a koan.' He presented Kusuda with
                              Joshu’s Mu to work over, which is the first mind-enlightening problem in the book called The Gateless Gate.

                              Kusuda pondered this problem of Mu (No-thing) for two years. At length he thought he had reached certainty of mind.
                              But his teacher commented: "You are not in yet.'

                              Kusuda continued in concentration for another year and a half. His mind became placid. Problems dissolved. No-thing
                              became the truth. He served his patients well and, without even knowing it, be was free from concern over life and death.

                              Then when he visited Nan-in his old teacher just smiled.

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