Had a long Sunday at Immediate Care. Seems that the people coming in were not interested in getting healthy, they were more interested in getting back to the way they were before getting sick. (What they don't get - they are sick because of the unhealthy lifestyle....may not seem obvious now but I can wait, when ready, I can help) So I buzzed through the walk-in patients....kept the wait to 15-30 minutes and handed out a lot of prescriptions. Kinda easy to agree with a diagnosis of infection and just write a prescription. Another symptom, another prescription; another trauma, another xray. This is "cook book medicine", if your symptoms fit the ICD9 code, you will get the predetermined treatment algorithm for that code. I detached myself from the need to educate and empower and just picked up charts and discharged patients. After work, I was looking forward to spending the remainder of Sunday with my family so we took a walk at a local forest preserve then looked for a place to eat. Son wanted Japanese food so we drove to a local place.. After reading through the menu, I asked to waiter about the portion size for some soup. He said "it was big". I wanted to make sure it wouldn't be too much to eat. He said "I don't know how much you eat". Finally I asked how many scallops come in an order/dish and he said it was "alot of scallops".....(perhaps his full time job was at a Japanese comedy club so I went on to decide my order by just reading ingredients and guestimating portion size by price point. We all ordered and received our food....except for my scallop order which seemed to take a long time to come out. I ended up having some of my wife's sushi order and asked for the check and some boxes. He came with the check and the missing order. He said scallops take a long time to cook and he mentioned it to me (of course it was probably between the fantastic descriptions he arduously built up of the menu choices when taking our order) I took the price of the scallops out of his tip and left saying the food was good but service not appetizing. Then it started raining on the drive home. I usually drive the right lane and during downpour make sure I watch my periphery and rear since people underestimate wet stopping distance. (dry = 1 car length for each 10 mph or follow using the 4 second rule) Regardless, if someone is tailgating me in the right lane, they have the option to use the left lane for passing. If they don't take the option I slow down both of our cars and increase the distance to the guy in front of me so in the event of a sudden stop, I have ample braking distance and the tail gaiter will hopefully do the same. So on this day with windshield wipers going full speed, the only thing I saw in the rear view mirror was a very 3D looking set of headlights. I let up on the throttle to "gently" indicate that he should distance himself or pass (not sure if male or female -too much rain). Headlights got even closer. I continued to focus on the scene in front of the car while my son was making fun of me pretending he was the waiter from the comedy club/sushi place we just left. (I didn't want to invite wife and sun into this movie that was taking place behind us -reminded me of a 70's film by Spielberg called Duel where Dennis Weaver was being stalked by a relentless big red 18 wheeler villain) The narrow right hand turn into our neighborhood was fast approaching and he was intentionally getting closer so I had to slow to a crawl to navigate the intersection/the rain/his front bumper.....and while my son was laughing from the reenactment, the car behind me started wailing on his horn. I did the civilized thing and made the turn waving my finger to him saying you are driving to close. I couldn't make out if male or female as my eyes were on the road hazards during the peel off. I always like to memorize the driver and license of reckless drivers thinking that one day I will be able to discover an amber alert fleeing vehicle. My son immediately says this is the worst day ever, then my wife say poor Daddy "so stressed". I then calmly say...I'm not stressed....that guy is.
This is one of the reasons why it is important to practice relaxation exercises daily. To remain calm in a fight or flight situation will help with problem solving/be a beacon for others in the frenzy to emulate me /and I believe if you react to anger or a stressful event with more stress, the options for moving forward will be limited. Think of the typical ER star- cool calm and collected physician that runs the recusitation, leaning back against the wall, calling out orders, controlling the chaos erupting over the dying patient and having everyone work in unison to bring the patient back from death. The human body can only exist in fight/flight or unity/procreation. If the only way you know to live is fight or flight, adrenaline/epinephrine/cortisol will be the dominant hormones and inflammation will be the dominant reaction in every cell. (FYI....inflammation = heart disease, autoimmune disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes and cancer.) If you develop/practice a relaxtion response regime, you can choose to be proactive/calm before an event.....(the opposite would be reactionary to all events). Having a healthy life practice doesn't guarantee immortality but at least you did what you could to shape the future.