Life lessons You can learn from My Stroke

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

It's been a month since my stroke - a reality-altering  shot across my bow by the grim reaper himself.

My recovery?

Physically I have some very mild left hand  and left leg weakness

Congnitively I am back to normal and perhaps even better than before in some ways.

The big change is in my heart, my spirit and my moment-to-moment perceptions of reality and priority.

This brush with mortality - no one gets out of here alive, remember? - has placed a shimmer on all my senses and the scent of gratitude on every waking experience.

It's like the smell of something good in the kitchen, you get a whiff and then can't stop yourself from taking a nice deep breath and  humming mmm mmm mmm for all to hear. (except now it is everywhere, all the time!)

It has revealed all the things in my life that I have taken  for granted ... until now

~ like the ability to use my left hand
~ and have exactly what I am thinking come out of my mouth exactly the way I am thinking it - not a garbled mess.


And as far as my "work" goes ...

People have asked me if this means I will be retiring.

My answer is a solid "NO" from the depths of my spirit. 

There is so much unneccesary suffering among physicians in this world.

And I have been so very fortunate to learn a whole library of tools that can reliably create positive change for my brothers and sisters in medicine.

There is much work left to make these tools a normal component of every doctor's medical education and an essential piece of every physician's practice self-defense skill set. 

I have been spreading the word and paying it forward as best I can since 2010 and have no intention of slowing down now.

I encourage you to adopt a sliver of my post-stroke attitude. 

Take nothing for granted.

Know that you are constantly showered in blessings, celebrate them all. 

And remember your choice to be a lightworker back in the day.

You made the extraordinary choice to be a helper and a healer, to make a difference and create a life of meaning and purpose around this choice.

In light of the fact that 62.8% of physicians in the USA (that is 600,000 individual doctors) are suffering from at least one symptom of burnout ....

Let me suggest you invest some time here in January to evaluate whether or not your current job is worthy of your time, your energy, your heart, your soul ... in this one precious life.

Does this job, facilitate that feeling of meaning and purpose in your work, where you say, "thank heavens for this opportunity where I can do my best everyday?"

If your answer is"NO" ... just know that it doesn't have to be this way.

And recognize the truth in this saying that I learned long ago, " you don't get what you want in life, you get what you tolerate."

Now is the time when you can simply stop tolerating anything less than what is ideal for your practice or your family - before you have your stroke.

And as the Buddha said, "the trouble is you think you have time."

If you are reading this, we both have some time left -- the mystery is how much.

The time to act is now.

Because it is always later than you think.

And the world is a better place when more lightworkers are making their unique difference, rather than living lives of quiet desperation.

Happy New Year and here's to your Best Year Yet in 2024!!



Tags: stop physician burnout