Friday, August 2, 2013

This one's for you.

I want to say something important. I have spent the last 24 hours watching so many of my dear friends shatter and fall to pieces in the wake of this loss and I need, so desperately, to reiterate to you the value of your life. The impact of this loss is so severe, and has reached so far. It is staggering, unimaginable, paralyzing. You cannot possibly overstate your own value. The very act of living, of being, of filling a space, of sharing the experiences, tragedies, hilarities, sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the world connects you to the rest of us in ways that you cannot imagine. And when you go, when you tear out those roots and disappear, you cannot conceive of the damage you do, the destruction you wreak, the hideous vacuum that you create. You cannot possibly know the countless hours that the people you leave behind will spend staring into the abyss you left us, the confusion, rage, grief and guilt that will rush in to fill this space you once inhabited. And you cannot, you must not, know that everyone that you have touched, or met, or changed, or known, or caused to smile, will spend one of the most ghastly and desperate moments of their life when they recognize that empty space, when they stare into that place that you will never be again, when they realize that you were real, and you were alive, and we shared this earth, and that you are never, ever coming back. You will leave so many of us to face those minutes of loss and fear, and they will add up. You will inspire countless moments of terror, and of pain, and they will be crippling. You will leave a legacy of hurt and destruction that you cannot even imagine; you will create a loss so intense that it will overwhelm us all. You are necessary. You are loved, and needed. Even if you think you are not. Even if you think you have no worth. Even if I am mad at you, or if we haven't spoken in years, believe me, you are so important. You are a light on the earth, a miracle, a keystone. You are an inspiration, and a co-conspirator, and a friend. You are so, so important.  And you cannot possibly know, you could not have known, because had you had the remotest conception of your worth and your value you could never, never have done this. And so I needed to tell you, all of you, those of you I haven’t seen in decades, and those of you I may have just met, those of you I never will meet. You are precious, you are adored. You have a place, and a role, and there is a need for you as a human on this earth. We are all in this together, and your loss will stab the brutal fingers of anguish into remote places you could never have foreseen. Please, please know that you are valued. Depression lies. It perverts reality and it mutilates truth. The truth is that you are special, remarkable, invaluable, irreplaceable.  The truth is that you are you, and that there is nothing more devastating that you could take from us. You are precious, and you are not alone.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Like a bad penny

Damned if I ain't back. This blog took a brief vacation in the interest of actually fulfilling my responsibilities, and then was somehow subsumed by various obligations to causes that further my own ends such as ever completing my doctoral degree or making some money.

Also I got married, but don't be alarmed. This will never be a blog about a wedding. Suffice it to say that there is no limit to the shit that you can spend your money on when you are planning a wedding, and that NO ONE has a sense of humor when it comes to matching the napkins to the floor or finding a plant that people aren't allergic to to staple to a tux jacket that you may or may not recoup a deposit from. Moreover, there is so much useless bullshit that is suddenly a dramatic imperative, like somehow you won't be really married without it.
But I digress. My point is, that somehow, by hook or by crook, I had to get some money. And as an ethicist, I am morally prohibited from hooking, because that is against the law in the state of Washington.
Thankfully, there seem to be an innumerable cadre of jackasses desperate to give me a paltry sum in exchange for a modicum of effort on my part. While I formulate for your edification and entertainment pending posts about genetically modified foods, patenting DNA, water fluoridation and the consumption of neurotoxins, please occupy yourself with the following exchange. Also if you have any money you want to send me start stuffing it into an envelope because SHIT IS REAL IN 2013.
Sent: 4/9/2013 11:41 AM

Subject: Invitation to Contribute to Pain Medicine Board Prep Course

Good afternoon Dr. Emmi (REDACTED);
My name is (REDACTED) and I am the Editorial Program Coordinator for (REDACTED). (REDACTED) specializes in developing and conducting CME-accredited, board preparation courses across a range of medical specialties.

I would like to offer you the opportunity to participate in the process of writing multiple-choice questions for our Pain Medicine board prep course.

This is an opportunity for you not only to improve a rigorous educational product tailored specifically to help other pain medicine doctors prepare and pass their board exams, but also to be compensated for your expertise. We are currently offering $625 for a total of 25 questions ($25 per multiple-choice question).

Please note that we are not asking for you to recall actual board exam questions nor can we accept actual board exam questions; rather we are asking you to compose original multiple-choice questions based on the published exam blueprint. Our goal is to provide the best learning tool we can to help physicians prepare for the actual exam.

We provide specific writing guidelines and examples, explaining how to write questions for this board preparatory course and what standards we expect.

Feel free to contact me directly at (REDACTED). You can learn more about API at (REDACTED)

I look forward to hearing from you soon.



Sent: 4/9/2013 12:06 PM
Subject: RE: Invitation to Contribute to Pain Medicine Board Prep Course

I would be delighted. I agree that given our evolving paradigm of education, it is imperative that we develop more progressive and relevant methods for assessing comprehension. To this end, I have been perfecting a technique of "chronoscopic interrogation (patent pending)," which allows the test taker to envision a holistic context, further complimented by each subsequent query.  Please see my sample questions below.

1) Just what the hell are YOU looking at?

2) Do you want a knuckle sandwich?

3) Does this hurt?

4) What's your problem, pal?


Thank you for your interest in our progressive method of pain management.  The large body of evidence supporting experiential learning suggests that in order to effectively manage pain, the pain must first exist.  That should learn them real good. Please feel free to contact me for further input.
My very best,
(the "Doctor" is silent.)
I am still waiting for my check, but I feel assured that a highly professional institution such as the one above that doesn't even need to confirm that I am not an anesthesiologist will have no problem delivering the goods.
Thanks for coming back to me, babies, you know I love you dearly. This will almost assuredly never happen again.*
*this pretty much guarantees that this will happen again tomorrow. Tough shit. I don't do this for my health, you know.