Dale Says

November 19, 2012

Thank you, Dr. Harris

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Dale @ 1:16 pm

I don’t know how to reach you any other way, so I hope this will find you. You are the doctor that saved my brother’s life, and while he might not have the ability to thank you, his family is most grateful to you!

You rescued him from a very deadly disease that almost killed him.

You took the time and effort to give him the tests, medicines, and support he needed to bring him back from near death.

You cared enough about a fellow human being to tell him exactly what was wrong with him and what consequences await him if he ever repeats the behavior that brought him to that point.

Instead of sending him back on the street, you sent him to physical rehab, where other caring professionals helped him further recover and gain strength.

I know you don’t expect a bunch of “thank-you” notes, and I know you didn’t spend all those years studying and working to be able to do what you do so well — to hear gratitude from your patients. But you saved a life, and we thank you for that.

Thank you, Dr. Harris, for caring enough to go beyond the basics. Thank you for doing all you could to help another person. Thank you for giving my brother another chance at life!

November 7, 2012

San Loves the Giants

Filed under: Colorful Characters — Dale @ 10:50 am

His Korean name is San, which is short for a longer name that means “big mountain.” He has always liked mountains, and he would like to go to Tahoe to see the Sierra Mountains. His American name is Peter. He’s a first-generation immigrant who moved to this country to find a better opportunity for his children. Typical of first-generation immigrants, he works very hard. He and his wife own and operate a convenience store in San Francisco, and San works at the store 12 hours per day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

When I first got to know San, I used to ask him how he was (“How are you?”) — that off-hand question we ask each other. San always said the same thing: “If the OPEN sign is on, I’m OK.” Now, I don’t ask anymore.

San loves baseball, and he loves the San Francisco Giants. During the season our conversations revolve around baseball, and we agree that (a) the Giants are good, (b) the Dodgers are bad, and (c) baseball is the best sport.

This year has been good and bad for San. The Giants won the World Series, which was good. “We are the champions!” San tells me each time I stop in his store. “We’re number one!” And as I leave his store, San and I always exchange a “Go Giants!”

But this year has been hard on San because his health is failing. He looks drawn out, tired, and discouraged. His brother (who fills in for him once in a while) points to his head and says San’s problems are in his head.

I think there’s more to San’s problems than that. I think work has worn him down, and he’s starting to give up the battle. It’s a massive burden to work that hard for that long (it’s been years) and not suffer physical and mental problems.

I greatly admire first-generation immigrants. They are the backbone of our country, and we all came from them. And I greatly admire San’s spirit and his dedication to his family.

I hope San can find a way to recover his health, and I hope San can find a way to enjoy the benefits of all the hard work he has put in over the years. He deserves a break.

For now, and for San … Go Giants!

November 5, 2012

Dealing with the Devil

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Dale @ 4:20 pm

He held the bottle in his hands for quite awhile; feeling it, looking at it, and turning it around and around. He had held hundreds (maybe thousands) of similar vodka bottles in his hands over the years, but this one was new and it felt different. It was exciting and dangerous, and his pulse raced as he thought about it.

Less than a week ago the doctor in the hospital where he had been de-toxed had told him in no uncertain terms, “If you drink again you will die!”

And now he held in his hands this incredibly powerful weapon; this devil.

After a while he opened the top — just for a smell. It was smoky and a little like turpentine. A vapor came out of the neck that stung his nose and caught his attention. It was amazing how much better he could smell now that he had quit smoking. And, probably because he hadn’t had anything to drink in nearly two weeks he could actually smell the vodka. It was definately a stong odor — an intriguing smell — something dangerous and exciting.

Just a small sip — to find out how much better he could taste things now that he had quit smoking. Just to see what it really tasted like.

He put the bottle to his lips and let just a few drops hit his tongue.

The first thing he noticed was the vodka stung his tongue and excited the tastebuds in his mouth. It was sharp and strong, and he noticed that it had an unpleasant aftertaste.

When he swallowed the little bit of vodka he noticed it felt warm on the way down his throat. It was a good feeling, and he felt he was finally going to be warm for the first time in the past couple of weeks. Ah … that really felt good!

Would the second taste give him that warm, pleasant feeling, too? He took another swallow. Now he felt what he had been missing the past couple of weeks — he had a slightly fuzzy feeling around the edges. He was happy and uninhibited. And he noticed that the bad taste in his mouth was going away. Wow … maybe he would only drink every couple of weeks. This is a really good feeling!

Another drink wouldn’t hurt if he was only going to drink occasionally.

But this time, he would try mixing it with Gatorade. That’s how he usually drank vodka, and the Gatorade helped keep his electrolights in balance. Yeah, that’s it! He was really starting to feel it now, and he finally had the answer. He would drink just enough to get happy, and he would only drink once in a while.

As he mixed a stiff drink he thought to himself, “Wow! Why didn’t I figure that out earlier? I would have saved myself all that hassle in the hospital, and in the physical rehab place, with all their rules and all their bullcrap.”  

Oh, well, he reasoned, at least he had the answer now. Yeah, that was it … he would just drink once in a while … and he would just drink enough to get a nice buzz.

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