Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Words 4-6

You are hearing more and more about my national mentoring think tank, Mentorzz. This is something that can change lives. Keep following this blog. It might become the purpose of you life. Reaching out and thanking someone who will be surprised you remembered is a sure way to jolt your life and theirs. It was June 1979 and life was good in Miami, Florida. I had recently left the CPA firm when I decided to pursue the purpose of my life. Now I was trying to find out what that was. Today, June 17, was softball and I was looking forward to the game. Then it happened. The ball was hot to the left side and our shortstop went in the hole to field it. As second sacker, I instinctively rushed to the bag for the force. My double play partner hesitated briefly as he bobbled the ball slightly, giving the oncoming base runner another second to get closer to me. I caught the toss for the force out and pivoted. I could sense I had just a spit second before he might make contact with me. I balanced myself on my left leg and with dexterity and flair, I managed to make a strong throw to first base to double up the batter. It was a sweet play, except for one thing. The runner did get to me. That extra second plus was what he needed and he aggressively, maybe over aggressively tore into my left leg with the entire force of his body. A searing pain, one I had never experienced engulfed me. I cried out. And then silence. I couldn’t move for several seconds. When the pain subsided, I was left with a broken body. The runner, unhurt returned to his bench, accepting handshakes for a job well done. A football player is told to sack the quarterback. A baseball player is told to take out the shortstop or in my case, second baseman. He had only been doing his job. The fact that he was a senior accountant from Kaufmann and Rossin and not a base runner on the Chicago Cubs didn’t change the situation. My leg was still in shreds. I managed to limp off the field with my injured leg. Maybe a night of rest would return me to perfect health, as it had a thousand times before. Morning came and I looked down at my leg. Fear fills you as you realize there is no longer a quick solution. I had to see a professional about this and I had to do it today. Scott Piper was a 3rd generation Miami doctor. He was in the middle of a career which would see him pioneer ACL knee injuries, the knee injury every athlete knew could be career ending. On this day, 33 years ago, he looked at me and looked at the knee and said. Do you have plans tonight? I couldn’t think of any. Scott had plans for me. He booked a bed and the operating room at South Miami Hospital in Coral Gables, Florida. In a few short hours, he would perform his magic on that shattered left knee of mine. With a baby at home, my wife managed to make it to the hospital as Dr. Piper was finishing up. I recall the 40 year old surgeon as direct, to the point and having a n extraordinary energy reserve which would take him to the tennis courts evenafter operating for four hours on me. My 23 year old wife met with Dr. Piper outside recovery and assured her that all went well. He spoke too soon. Dr. Piper! Code Blue! Stat! Dr. Piper! Code Blue! It seemed that there was a problem with a 29 year old patient who was aspirating (vomiting) as he was being brought out of the anesthetic and his lungs were failing him. This young man had survived the surgery, but he might not survive the night. Dr. Piper rushed back into recovery. A cart tem with life sustaining paddles flew with him. It all might have been very exciting. But the 29 year old patient was me. Apparently, I was never asked what I had for lunch earlier that afternoon. It might have led to my widow getting a whopping 1979 settlement from the anesthesiologist, but it was not to be. There were some intense moments, but I pulled through. I left the hospital in a few days, was fitted for a fiber glass cast (big news in those days) and retreated to my Miami apartment where I spent six weeks doing nothing more than shocking denizens by jumping into the pool with my cast as people screamed NO! When I wasn’t turning as brown as a berry, I was keeping up with Luke and Laura who were the talk of Port Charles that summer. I overcame a troubling infection and managed my own rehab. I went to the therapist one time and watched as she bent my knee into a balloon toy and wished her a good life. I would never return. I saw Dr. Piper one last time and three years later moved my family to California. And 33 years passed. And in all that time, despite some stiffness and soreness, I never had one second of trouble with my left knee. Not one second! His wife gave him the phone. A now almost 73 year old Scott Piper answered the phone. I told him why I had to call and what an amazing job he had done on my knee. Scott paused on his end. It’s nice to hear. You have made my day. I felt pretty good as well. I have always loved touching people with special words. Dr. Piper couldn’t get over what I was telling him. 33 years. Where had all that time gone. The last time he saw me he was a hard charging 40 year old surgeon, one of the leading doctors in Miami. Now, he was a 73 year old man. It all seemed unreal. I had one more question. If you were a young man again, what field of medicine would you choose? Would it still be orthopedic surgery? I think I would have chosen another profession and he sounded real sad. You see, my son is a surgeon, so now there are four generations of Piper doctors. My grandfather wanted to become a doctor because he thought it was his calling. My father followed him into medicine because it seemed a noble profession. I followed my father, but by then medicine had become a business. Now my son is a surgeon and it has become a job. It is a job he does not like doing. Yes, I knew Scott Piper was a special man. Thankfully, he and I were destined to meet in Miami. But why no questions about meatballs? Is it an ethnic thing? ******************************8 I hung up the phone and remembered my favorite poem. It never seemed more fitting then right now. There is a destiny that makes us brothers; None goes his way alone: All that we send into the lives of others Comes back into our own. ****************************************************** In Orlando, I wore a suit, dress shirt with cuff links, tie, and dress shoes every day, even on dress-down Fridays. Here in Phoenix. I wear khakis with a sport coat, button-down shirt with regular button cuffs, tie and casual dress shoes; again even on dress-down Fridays. I do not mind getting dressed up once every blue moon, but if I ever do anything for a living that involves NOT having to wear a suit and tie, I will be happy about that. What would I expect to wear while taking pictures? Blue jeans and a short-sleeved button shirt (NOT tucked in) over a colored undershirt, with Merrell low-cut hikers. That, of course, works in the late spring, summer and early fall around here. In the winter I would wear my winter hiking gear (when the family goes to Aspen or Flagstaff) 4. Dearth How do you create a picture of this word? Do you have a system for making pictures out of words? Explain. For me, I believe that no one could have said it better than Adelaide Bry (with apologies to Carly Simon) when she wrote that we should become the directors of the movies of our mind. Dearth means that there is no bread in the pantry and is the opposite of copious and its abundance. 5. Fatuous It’s a power word if it should be in your vocabulary. It’s not a power word if you have no intention of using it. Make your words fun, your pictures fun and play word games to add substance to your learning. Fatuous fits for the Three Stooges. See them perform in the motion picture of your mind. 6. Fractious I love to play with words like they are the three stooges. Instead of Larry, Curly and Moe, there is fatuous, fractious and facetious. I close my eyes and picture one of the many arguments in my home growing up; a fractious place to call home.

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