WHAT IF YOU COULD REWRITE YOUR STORY?
My beeper goes off in the middle of the night.
“He’s spitting up buckets of blood”, the nurse screams at me over the phone.
I floor it up the 405 freeway to find my patient writhing in bed spitting out huge blood clots.
Everything I say to calm him down is futile.
The nurses are desperately trying to help, wiping up blood, changing basins, running around frantically, knocking trays over as they absorb his hysteria.
I could have rushed around the room. Yelled orders. Bumped into trays. Fumbled with instruments. Unable to hear any sound louder than my own heartbeat pounding out of my chest.
Instead, I remained calm as I alerted the nurses and operating room that we have an emergency. I know my goal. To save this patient’s life and not be affected by all the distractions. To not absorb the energy and thoughts around me.
Within minutes, we are in an operating room. The anesthesiologist can’t see where to place the tube. All she can see is blood. So she goes for it but it’s in the wrong place. He is not breathing. His oxygen levels are dropping. He is turning blue.
I yell “Get a trach set in here now!” His oxygen levels have been way too low for too long.
I take a knife and slice down the center of his neck, and spread a hole in his trachea and jam a trach tube in, suction out clots and connect the tube to the ventilator.
He is breathing again.
And so are we.
I suction his throat to find the squirting artery and tie it off. The bleeding stops. He is alive.
I learned in med school and residency that I can absorb the energy around me and react to it, or I can lead and change the energy I enter.
As a doctor and leader, I choose to improve the situations I enter, whether it’s a code or all the negativity in the news.
I can rewrite the story.
You can do the same.
The stories that we tell about our lives are not necessarily the truth. They may be what we believe now. Those stories can either paralyze us and keep us stuck, or fuel us and propel us forward.
When I came to understand this,
I redefined success. I rediscovered my purpose.
And I took transformational steps to a better me and a better life.
Breaking out of the medical mindset is what I have learned and why I am happy.
Change starts here.
No one can answer these questions for me or you.
No one can live my life for me. Or for you.
But we can support each other and feed each other fuel.
We can show each other another way.
I interrupt old patterns with change and do it differently.
We can provide each other alternatives that replace old habits.
All doctors are not only excellent students, but lifelong students.
Now is the time to become a student of possibility and potentiality.
What is possible?
What is the new story you want to write about your life? About your future?
If I want to change my world, I must start by changing my thinking.
For me, my happiness came out of declaring and owning my own life and not living within the limitations set by my role models, parents, mentors, our healthcare system or even by what I envisioned as a child.
There is a price to pay to be who I want to be and to have the life I dream of.
I know that.
We have paid a premium already.
I am willing to keep paying that price to have the life I want.
Don’t be who you are if you are not happy there.
Become who you wish you were and make choices from that space.
That is how change begins.
That is how I feel fear and go there anyway.
The more I have followed these strategies... felt scared and moved forward anyway, the more I have advanced my life.
Those uncomfortable unknowns are the moments I look back at with pride and see a change in my direction.
What if where you are right now is not the end of who you are and where you must remain stuck forever but instead, it is the beginning of who you can be?
What if the pain and struggle you feel right now is necessary to make you stop and pivot and accept the discomfort of change?
I want to help lead you out of the woods.
Are you ready to become unshackled?
I am already part of a future that is my dream coming true.
Change begins NOW.
You can change your story and change your life.
That is how I rewrote my story.
How would you like to rewrite your story?