Sunday, May 01, 2005

In The Begining A Search For Meaning

For years I'd dreamed of becoming a doctor. As each phase of my life passed I'd found myself with a new reason to dredge forward against what seemed to be at times insurmountable odds. Through family and personal illness, near death experiences, love and monetary constraints I continued forward. The sacrifices never ceased. During my residency I found that the joy I received by taking extra time to really connect and empathize with patients, an act so fundamentally important to the treatment of illness, was repeatedly stolen because of the need to conform to 20 minute slots as if that was not discouragement enough the looming red tape of medicine created by the constant fear of litigation seemed absolutely crippling to the patient/physician healing relationship. Dehumanization of disease and lack of empathy plagued the system. With the slow realization of these facts I found myself nearing the attainment of my dream with a numbing sense of sadness. It seemed as though my core was becoming bitter and the reasons I so desperately clung to were so far in the distant past that they were unreachable. "What am I doing this for...?" echoed in my mind with every 5 am alarm sounding.

The desire to throw it all away and go back to working at the Clearview mall in Butler, PA (my home town and my first job) seemed tempting; however, my loans (which could purchase a small island off the coast of Tahiti) prevented me from just such an action. So....... I did what every American does so well.... I went on vacation and like a "good" catholic.....I went to church.

Amazingly I believe God heard me. Despite my crabby, negative attitude he heard me. In a tiny two bottle wine store in a cheesy little tourist town in Southern Florida my life would change forever. I met a man that told me of a tragedy which melted my heart and brought to the surface the purpose I had lost.

Somewhere in Honduras a group of children were suffering at the fate of a tremendous loss. I was being asked to go there to do something about it.

And so begins my journey.....somewhere in Honduras.


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