Editor's Note Vol 3: Iss 2

When I think of the contributions in this issue, the thought that comes to mind is reflection. The written pieces tell stories of life moving forward and stories reflecting on life past; stories of pain and suffering and of letting go of too much too soon; the reflection of the life of a beloved parent, an addict, and those contemplating retirement—even a story of the serendipity of the unexpected desire for a shot of tequila.

The visual art pieces highlight the hands of a surgeon, the hands of an athlete, and the "hands" of an eagle; a shoulder series, and an inviting autumn day.

—Max McMillen, ELS

The Creation of KP Me

Poetry, Volume 3; Issue 2

Queer things come ere it’s o’er and done, and a life is deemed a success.
And I’m far from old, the truth be told, may much remain to confess. 
But let mine be an example for thee of a life that I did not rue.
With considerable thought I regret not that I’m Kaiserized through and through. 

My story commences, nude and defenseless, in Kaiser in West L.A.
Ninteen fifty-eight, that marks the date my life came into play.
My parents were smart, they’d done their part when it came to choosing care.
All four of my sibs, all five of us kids, all Kaiser born here or there.

So there I am, swaddled and trimmed, and I opened up my eyes.
I don’t recollect, but easily project that I thought to myself “Oh my!
No coincidence that I am here, hence, here I am meant to be.
The scene that I face, this is MY place, Kaiser-Permanente!”

Two sobering events, not heaven sent, happened to me at two.
Lucky for me I’ve no memory, but assume the stories are true.
First in the fall, swallowed moth balls and an emergency stomach pumping.
And then came the croup, with a cough and a whoop, and a tracheostomy thumping.

In the midst of fifth grade my dear father made a move in his stellar career.
A rocket scientist, an offer not to miss put our family in gear.
It took us back East, and need to say least, So Cal ain’t Pennsylvania!
And as far as Kaiser, well I’m sorry sir, it might as well have been Transylvania!

Fast forward a bit, and before I knew it I’m graduating medical school.
Like everyone, ‘natch, as far as the Match I wanted to go somewhere cool.
While not a surprise, a lot of high fives, Kaiser Oakland it would be!
Into the fold again, like finding a long lost friend, back in the land of KP.

I survived internship with a stiff upper lip, two years of training to follow.
I became Kaiserized and increasingly wise, then certified ready to go.
My Kaiser reward, Medicine in Hayward, for passing residency.
A brand new attending, continuing not ending my career with Permanente.

The rookie years so long ago, hard to feel I really know how did we do it then?
Rounding lists and overnight call, procedures done as night would fall, inpatient medicine.
Notification calls at 7 am, round before clinic and after then, your schedule a mess.
Conferences with families, “Would you wash your hands, please?” Thank gods for Hospitalists.

And documentation? Beyond exaggeration the changes need no hyping.
Cutting edge perhaps I’m not, computer user not so hot, I wish I’d taken typing.
But even I will gladly say EMR is here to stay, I wouldn’t go back to paper.
Lugging charts was really rough, when men were men and docs were tough, the keyboard is much safer.

Patient care is, of course, the ultimate driving force behind all that we do.
I’ve had some winners, saints and sinners, and more than a joker or two.
More often than not, which adds up to a lot, there is a kind of love.
Which, I dare say, often goes both ways, ‘though just one with the nitrile glove. 

I’ve been a doctor, that’s for sure, but I’m also a KP patient.
With a Colonoscopy, a cystoscopy, and rectal digitation.
I’ve been phlebotomized, lobotomized (“kidding”), had MRI investigations.
My PPD’s done annually, flu shots right at my Station.

Throughout my time here, currently my 26th year, the only constant is change.
Whatever you know you might have to let go, paradigms sure rearrange.
While neither the quickest nor, I hope, the thickest, I’ve ridden this turbulent ride.
Health care’s a gas, a hoot and a blast, which so far I’ve managed in stride.

Time dulls the senses, and my rose-tinted lenses make retrospect rosier still.
It wasn’t all blissful, no matter how wishful I make my memory will.
Sure there were issues, misunderstandings and miscues, more than I care to admit.
But overall speaking, without too much tweaking, KP and I have a fit. 

So there behind me, that’s my legacy as it stands at the halfway spot.
What is left to assure that Kaiser endures as my ultimate earthly thought?
K-P-P-A-C-C, our skilled nursing facility, or as we call it “K-Pack.”
I’ll schedule a date, Twenty Fifty-Eight, for my near fatal heart attack.

Queer things come ere it’s o’er and done, and a life is deemed a success.
And I’m far from old, the truth be told, may much remain to confess.
But let mine be an example for thee of a life that I did not rue.
With considerable thought I regret not that I’m Kaiserized through and through.

Comments (1)

  • LaVon Hall

    LaVon Hall

    15 February 2013 at 20:08 |
    I love it!

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