It’s best not to categorically expect the very worst. It is fair to say that there is wisdom in being prepared for the worst. Delightful surprises can ensue.
About a month ago I interviewed a new cardiologist. He seemed to have very good communication skills and a genuine interest in my case and story. He was referred by the EECP treatment center I was going to and attached to the same hospital cardiology group. I thought I might have a shot with this guy. He requested films of all my prior tests since I was hospitalized two years ago for congestive heart failure and offered to review them with me on my next visit in a month. This was something new. It was encouraging. Never heard this before from any of my care-givers. He picked up the fact that I was an active participant in my own healing. An extremely active one. Proactive, even. It was only on the way out the door that I realized that he was a intervention cardiologist. It was right there on the appointment card.
Through all my dealings with these guys, I’ve learned to be suspect of them. Especially intervention doctors. They tend to be Hell bent on doing angioplasties and implanting stents and such. Of course they are. That is what they are trained to do. I imagined myself having to fight with him to avoid some kind of procedure that I really knew I did not particularly need, and prepared many mental dialogues, come-backs and logical conclusions. Adamant alternative treatment people like myself are poison to most of these doctors.
So, I got the films, brought them along with my collection of PDF files of every report and written record from the last two years on a separate disc ( my history, as they call it). The nurse/practitioner I’ve spent some time with adjusting and reducing my medications over the last few weeks was duly impressed. As it turned out, there was a problem with the office computer system, so I left the films on loan until they could upload them to the hospital network. In the following conference, my new guy agreed that what we really needed was a radioisotope scan to see what was going on since the EECP treatment, adding that in all probability, nothing more need be done. It appears he gets it.
It also appears that I have made the right decision about my care for the second time in a row. Looks like I found an advocate outside of myself- in the most unlikely of places.
She is indeed accustomed to hours in hair, make-up and costuming devoted to a relative minute of actual performance. I should think so. She’s been putting on stage make-up since she began at the ballet at the age of four. And all manner of complicated costumes. My daughter. Runway model… add that to singer, lyricist, dancer and alternative photo model.
This was a part of her epic birthday celebration, as I’ve reflected upon in earlier posts (“Birthday Party” and “Birthday Party- Part Deux (The Dance)”). And a booking. Many of the other girls walked too quickly or appeared a bit nervous. But not Devin. She knew what the job to be done was all about- to show off the outfit. And she did it with absolute poise and confidence. Magnificent!
Days later she reached out in a Facebook status update about how she was feeling quite down after several days of awesome experience. This struck a chord with me. I know all too well the letdown that one feels after seemingly endless preparation followed by a great show. Then the sinking feeling that it is over- back to the ordinary, with the uneasy uncertainty that the euphoria will ever happen again. I’ve experienced that same feeling many, many times in the music world. I responded with a comment of understanding, encouragement and hope.
A comment response to that was left by her husband. More to the point, he thought, was the realization that she was tied down by local promoters and “artists” who never seem to get past the point of self-service- ergo they remain local. This struck a chord with me as well. Possibly a larger one. In my career I never seemed to make the right connections to make my work be what some people would consider “successful”. But the work remains.
Dedicating one’s life to the arts is a difficult choice and an even more difficult road to follow. It’s just as tough to do on top of a “day job“. I hope she can make those connections that will allow her talents to truly blossom. I don’t see any signs of her ever stopping. Game on.
Of the listed events on my daughter’s four-day birthday extravaganza, this is the one I decided to attend. I’m glad I did.
As it turned out, it was her first appearance as a runway model and she listed it so friends could share it with her. It was an arts festival of sorts held in a night club in the Warehouse district of Philadelphia for and by young people of alternative life-styles (for the most part). The event included artwork and photography hung on free-standing cyclone fences, edgy fashion shows by local designers, industrial crafts, a sword swallowing lady billed as “Sideshow Queen” and, surprisingly, a belly-dance troupe. No- I was not expecting that…
The troupe was a huge hit with the crowd. They were in traditional costume and danced beautifully to the traditional music of the art. Following their performance, they posed for people to sketch them at a table provided with a stock of paper, pencils, color pencils and like supplies. That table was PACKED. The overwhelming acceptance of this tradition by the young, multi-pierced and inked up crowd was impressive and enlightening to me.
For most people in what is considered my peer group, all this body art is deemed simple rebellion, and they look at these young people as shiftless and of no worth- a sub-caste, if you will. The counter argument is “I wear my art” and is a sign of commitment. I can say that art- and the art of living- is of high importance to this crowd that I was among and taken very seriously. I can genuinely appreciate that. These “kids” paid $12 each to support this. I reckon that dollar amount translates to nearly two hours of work at the jobs most of them are able to get- given the art that they wear permanently. Considering that corporations (who hands-down will not accept these folks) are destroying our country by the minute, maybe a little tolerance is in order. But then again, corporations are historically known for crushing creativity of the individual.