IMG_2863Have you ever noticed that the games at the carnival are rigged?  You play them anyway.  There’s always the chance that you’ll beat the odds.  You’ll be the one walking around with that giant panda bear and the crowds will part and marvel at your greatness.  Yeah, that’s right, my dart throwing skills are legendary, you’ll think to yourself.

I took my kids to the carnival.  Of course, they had to play the games.  When did the games start costing $5 a pop?  I guess I haven’t been to a carnival in a while.

Those carnies, man, what a fascinating crowd!  What it must be like to be a carnie!  What it must be like to have complete and utter control of the game.  Don’t underestimate those people.  All the odds are in their favor and you are the sucker.  The kids played the games and they each won a little toy.  The carnies always let the kids walk away with something.  That’s really sweet.  And brilliant.  Because the kids start believing that they can win.  No one really wins a rigged game.  Unless it’s your rigged game and you’re a carnie.

Somehow medicine became a carnival.  Somehow the insurance companies/hospitals/corporations became the carnies.  Somehow I ended up a dumb kid throwing dull darts at half-filled balloons, hoping for the promise of the big giant panda, but walking away with a small stuffed poop emoji.

From a distance the carnival looks like the place to be, bright lights, loud music, crowds mulling about, the smell of sweet and savory carnival food in the air.  I want to be there.  I want to be where the action is.  The energy.  The vibe.  Back in the day, I’d tease my hair out, wear my cut up jeans and Bon Jovi shirt, and strut around like I owned the place.  I’d check out the guys with long hair, buy some new patches for my jean jacket, and dream of the same time next year when it all rolled back around again.

I wish I didn’t know any different.  I wish I still believed I could win.  Now that I know, if I keep playing the game, what will I become?  I don’t want to play the game, I don’t want to be a carnie, I don’t want to run the carnival.  I want to get off the ride because it’s making me sick.  The rides always do.  I think I’ll just take my stuffed poop emoji home now.  I think I just might need to find a new game in town.  Maybe stop playing games all together.

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13 Responses to Carnival

  1. 2ndhalfolife says:

    You win every time you touch someone’s life…and I KNOW you do just by how you share here. You are THAT kind of carnie. Because ultimately you run the real show Doc. And that’s about taking care of patients. Sure it gets harder and harder to do that in healthcare because corporate doesn’t want you to, but they can’t take away the ultimate prize. And that’s bedside manner, true kindness, giving a crap about one’s patients. So don’t get discouraged….hang in…we need more like you and just try to find a way to rig the rides better to beat those who try to beat you! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks friend. I have had a hard time lately. I took 3 days off for my mom and when I got back it was like an onslaught-no compassion. I almost walked right then. My patients keep me grounded and my staff. I’m searching for a kinder gentler way to be in this system. After almost 10 years on my own I can actually say that I’m feeling burn out. And it’s not even the work it’s everything else that goes along with getting paid. It sucks. Corporate wants to get paid. They’re the pimp and you know what that makes me….

      Liked by 2 people

  2. MIke Kizer says:

    great writing as always. Please don’t get out of the game. We need caring folks like you. If I lived in your town, I’d pay double to have a Doc like you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Unfortunately it’s not just carnivals that are rigged. However I do have to admit, I still enjoy the food. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. edsazebra says:

    Very powerful blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. wgr56 says:

    Very nice writing job on this!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. V.J. says:

    Pretty powerful message!

    Liked by 1 person

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