My, how quickly time passes. It seems it was just the other day I was sitting down to pen last year's Annual Holiday Greeting. Looking at the calendar on the wall, it appears that the time is near, so near in fact that one can almost hear the sleigh bells jingling in the distance. The elves toil and the candles burn. The sands of time run quickly through the hourglass.
During this season of merriment and rejoicing, which even your family physician partakes in from time to time, it is important not to lose sight of (for lack of a better word) the big picture.
It is a season of change, a transition from one year to the next, a leap of faith, as it were. Winter is upon us and before long the towns and cities of these northern latitudes will be covered with a blanket of snow, wind blowing briskly through the trees, stars hanging silently in the sky.
Rather than stumbling blindly into the abyss of the new year, I pose the question, why not make this a time for reflection, inquiry and insight?
I will attempt to lead by example and begin the discussion by offering a few reflections of my own.
It is not easy being a doctor. What a strange thing it is to have one person charged with the responsibility of taking care of of an entire community. It is rather mad, come to think of it. Whatever the rationale, society clearly demands such a person - a man, or a woman for that matter, who is trained in the healing arts and sciences, who acts with professionalism, tact and discretion at all times.
The holidays are an especially busy time around the office. When it rains, it pours, as they say, and if it is not one thing, it is the other. In any case, we are always booked solid right around this time of the year. If you are presently considering picking up the telephone to book an appointment, I urge you to wait until after the new year unless, of course, you are on the verge of expiring. Perhaps it is something in the air that causes so many people to "blow a gasket" in these weeks and days leading up to the calendar change. Clearly, the collective cup runneth over.
There is rarely a dull moment in my line of work. The maladies are numerous and the conditions diverse. It is, at times, almost overwhelming.
I see all of the usual cases, of course: sprains and strains, head aches and upset stomachs, fractures, heart problems, venereal diseases, eye problems, back aches, burns and lacerations.
And then of course, there are those patients who are not sick, but who believe they are. Conversely, you also come to know the patient who is in fact quite ill, but who will never admit to it.
Try to imagine any complaint one might have about the physical aspect of the human condition, and chances are I have heard it.
"What is it exactly I do?" you might ask. That is an excellent question, and one that is rarely asked so directly. My job is to determine the cause of a person's illness and then to find a cure for that illness. This is a rather straightforward task, and yet in practice it is rarely an easy process. Often, an illness will appear to have one cause at the outset, however as the facts emerge and as the story progresses this cause turns out to have its own underlying cause, which in turn, undoubtedly, has an entirely different cause, and so on and so forth, until before long, you are an hour and a half into the patient interview and all you have to show for it is a Russian doll-esque assembly of causes, with nothing resembling a proper medical diagnosis. And, this is not your standard Russian doll with a finite number of dolls within dolls. This a Russian doll, if you can possibly imagine it, with a potentially infinite number of dolls within dolls. In my experience, the more one inquires into an illness; the less one is able to diagnosis it.
One is often compelled to attempt to simplify the situation. Instead of addressing the myriad of causes and corresponding effects, examining carefully the unusual and particular qualities of each case, the clinician is often forced by the constraints of time to pick one cause and run with it.
Rheumatism, for example, may have a variety of causes and may present itself in a variety of manners, however rarely does the family physician get beyond the textbook diagnosis of rheumatism, case closed, end of story. Thus, it is not surprising that that same physician may see the same patient each each winter with the same complaint of what may now be termed chronic rheumatism.
To be honest, it is rare for a work-a-day doctor, such as myself, to find even a moment to consider the possibility of such reflective rumination (not to be confused, of course, with "rheumination"). In any case, I am sad to say that a day at the office often resembles a game of whack-a-mole, the arcade diversion where the player attempts to "bop" mechanical moles on the head as they appear in rapid succession from their respective holes.
Perhaps the holiday newsletter is not an entirely appropriate venue for this debate, however in a discussion such as the one we have already begun I feel it should be at least noted that the production and sale of drugs, and the associated revenues, may in some cases have a considerable influence on the practices of some physicians. I shall try to avoid making unfounded claims here, however suffice to say, if there were no drugs to be prescribed, I suspect the medical industry would be a great deal smaller than it is today.
I often find myself wondering, is there not a better, more effective and perhaps more efficient way to go about this terribly cumbersome business of healing? Wouldn't it be nice if even a fraction of one's patients would follow the axiom "heal thyself". However, if all of one's patients were to take this approach to heart, I imagine one would be in serious danger of putting oneself out of business. After all, what is a doctor without any patients? A paradoxical arrangement if ever there was one!
Now that I take a moment to reread this letter, which I am presently in the midst of composing, I am afraid that I may have, at times, veered somewhat off course, deviating from the form of the conventional holiday letter. If at any point along the way I lost your attention, I do apologize. You must understand, it is not always easy to express oneself in a succinct and orderly manner. On occasion, I admit, I do allow the content to dictate the form.
With all of this in mind, I will make haste and bring this greeting a close. A festive season to all, and to all a good night.
This is Rock And Roll Radio!
Please excuse the absence of Rock And Roll Radio emails in the past few weeks. I have been busy preparing for my trip to Brazil. I have just finished pre-recording all the shows that will air while I am away (December 26th to January 24th), pre-recorded, but still new and exciting. In the next month you can expect to hear more from much acclaimed Freaks of the Week Luke "The Wild Man" Forster and Field Commander Draimin. All kinds of hits coming down the pipeline for you in the new year!
See below for details from the past three weeks' of Rock And Roll Radio, featuring Freaks of the Week Luke "The Wild Man" Forster and DJ Kenny G.
December 2, 2011 - Hour One
Dave And Ansil Colins – Double Barrel
Ghostface – Beat The Clock
Afrika Bambaataa And The Soul Sonic Force – Renegades Of Funk
Santo And Johnny – It Must Be Him
Afrika Bambaataa And The Soul Sonic Force – Funk You
Ghostface – 2getha Baby
The Hands Of Time – Midnight Rider
Ghostface – Purified Thoughts
Dave Allan And The Arrows – Rockin’ Angels
Them Two – Am I A Good Man
Dave Allan And The Arrows – The Unknown Rider
Dave Allan And The Arrows – Wild Angels Ballad
Thin Lizzy – Angel From The Coast
The Standells – Why Pick On Me
The Gestures – Run, Run, Run
December 2, 2011 - Hour Two (Luke "The Wild Man" Forster)
Ewan Maccoll – Dirty Old Town
Michael Hurley – Be Kind To Me
Donovan – Colors
Neil Young – Birds
Gonzales – Like Janis
Van Morrison – Cypress Avenue
Bob Dylan – Wigwam
Bob Dylan – Just Like Tom Thumb Blues
Neil Young – The Losing End (When You’re On)
John Phillips – Holland Tunnel
The Lovin’ Spoonful – Daydream
Melanie – Brand New Key
Reporta And The Delrons – Captain Of Your Ship
Bob Doroogh – “3” Is The Magic Number
December 9, 2011 - Hour One
Lee Tillerman and Buddy Stewart's Top Notches - If I Ever
Bobby Mitchell - Send Me Your Picture
Waylon Jennings - When Sin Stops Love Begins
Robert Parker - Across The Tracks
Wu-Tang Clan - Hollow Bones
Blue Cheer - Summertime Blues
Elvis Presley - I Feel So Bad
Leonard Cohen - Everybody Knows
Danny And The Juniors - School Boy Romance
Erol Buyukburc - Hop Dedik
The Moody Blues - Go Now
Joe Guitar Morris - The Git Back (Part 1)
Nancy Wilson - Never Less Than Yesterday
Paul Marvin - Hurry Up
December 9, 2011 - Hour Two (DJ Kenny G.)
Scarface - On My Block
Terrence - Rap
Heleyos - Zia
Metimet Emmi - Edip Akbayram
Christy Azuma And The Uppers International - Naam
Michael Magne and Yean Yanne - Petrol
Joe Ki Pefer Sound Group - Mao
Science Fiction Dance Party - Visitor
Los Mirlos - El Mi Largo Verde
Lindo Sontio Delirate - Fabio
Rainbow Team - Dreaming
Los Dug Dugs - World Of Love
Fairuz - Nahua Wil Amar Jiran
December 16, 2011
Slim Gaillard – Tip Light
Slim Gaillard – Arabian Boogie
Slim Gaillard – The Hogan Song
Slim Gaillard – Money, Money, Money
Every Mother’s Son – Come On Down To My Boat
Wade Frugé – Grandfather’s Tune
Nancy Sinatra – Bang Bang
Wade Frugé – La Valse A Wade Frugé
Slim Gaillard – Organ Oreenee
Slim Gaillard – Little Red Riding Wood
George Jones – Unfaithful One
George Jones – I Don’t Love You Any More
Wade Frugé – Evangeline Playboy Special
Wade Frugé – The Crowley Waltz
The Undertones – Teenage Kicks
George Jones – The Fightin’ Side Of Me
Slim Gaillard – Galope
Wade Frugé – The Little Calf Is Dead
Wade Frugé – Wade’s Blues
Wade Frugé – Catch My Hat
Tiny Tim – Little Girl
Tiny Tim – Strawberry Tea
Al Green – Love ritual (Alt. Mix)
Al Green – I think It’s For The Feeling
Al Green – So Good To Be Here
George Jones – Till I Hear It From You
Al Green – Up Above My Head
Al Green – Ride Sally Ride
The Furious Five – Step Off
George Jones – I Made Leaving Easy For You
Al Green – Strong As Death (Sweet As Love)
Al Green – Surprise Attack / Highway To Heaven
GZA / Genius – Fame
Joe Gibbs And The Professionals – Cork It
Al Green – Mimi
Download / Podcast / Stream it all here:
PodOmatic | Podcast - Rock And Roll Radio
PodOmatic | Podcast - Rock And Roll Radio