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Life is short

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  • Avatar LizOB 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 322
    Joined: 06/05/2017

    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.

    Avatar Kamban 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2573
    Joined: 08/01/2016

    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.

    #122762 Reply
    Liked by Roentgen, Zaphod
    Avatar Complete_newbie 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 804
    Joined: 01/03/2017

    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.

    #122767 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod
    Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3486
    Joined: 01/21/2016

    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.

    Avatar ITEngineer 
    Participant
    Status: Other Professional
    Posts: 324
    Joined: 05/09/2017

    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…..

    #122804 Reply
    Miss Bonnie MD Miss Bonnie MD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 497
    Joined: 02/14/2017

    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.

    "Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time."

    Miss Bonnie MD --> Wealthy Mom MD @ http://wealthymommd.com

    #122811 Reply
    legobikes legobikes 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 298
    Joined: 05/25/2017

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

    #122815 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod
    psych007 psych007 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 65
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    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.

    Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. Ecclesiastes 5:10

    #122816 Reply
    Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3486
    Joined: 01/21/2016

    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.

    Avatar burritos 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 529
    Joined: 04/23/2018

    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.

     

    Avatar StarTrekDoc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2130
    Joined: 01/15/2017

    Sorry about your loss.   Time IS fleeting.  Make the most of it.   ‘Seize the day’ – a fav of mine.

     

     

    #122840 Reply
    Avatar burritos 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 529
    Joined: 04/23/2018

    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.

    #122847 Reply
    Avatar hightower 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1499
    Joined: 12/07/2016

    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.

    #122850 Reply
    Avatar MochaDoc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 239
    Joined: 08/25/2016

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

     

    “Money is numbers and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, your search for happiness will never end.”

    ― Bob Marley

    #122853 Reply
    Jaqen Haghar, MD Jaqen Haghar, MD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 206
    Joined: 07/27/2017

    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.

    #122854 Reply
    Liked by Dr. Mom

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