“That is what the protocol says.”

I was annoyed. “So you want me to have the patient drive back 2 and a half hours because the protocol says…”

“I know it does not make sense and it is not logical but that is what the protocol says, Mo”.

This was going nowhere. Frustrated, I hung up the phone and I just wanted to break this rule that was nonsense. I was angry. Many things rushed through my mind at that moment. Too many rules I thought out loud. Clinic today was smooth except for this glitch. Got home and went to the gym, it helps me to sublimate and deal with situations that are not sensible.

I sometimes wonder how an idea starts and maybe a lot of you do too. Is it at the gym? Or in the shower? Or are “smart” people putting on their thinking caps? That would be a funny sight. How does one think in a world filled with rules and observations preset and pre-determined. How do you think “outside the box”? I have always thought of it as a black box that has edges that will all fall off. I have marveled at children and their innate curiosity always reacting to that which is new, how rules don’t seem to apply and how their curiosity leads to discovery and excitement. Can I access that part of me that was a child, so I am not biased by observations already made? Are all these rules necessary even when they overpower logic? How does an idea get trapped and shaped? How does it stay free and alive? How can we make our system flexible?

I always try to find a way to make it work. People who work around me know that “no” just does not cut it for me. The rule approaches me rigid. I flex it, find a hole in it, bend it and help my patient get to where they need to. I have watched other scientists do the same- that rare gleam in their eye as they see an opportunity to find a weakness in a theory or a concept. Glad these “thinkers” exist, like misfits they really help add spice to the mix.

I lost a close friend this weekend. She made me think outside the box. She made me bend cancer to fit her life. She made what I do sensible. Thank you….


9 thoughts on “Nonsense.

  1. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger
    if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  2. An intriguing discussion is worth comment.
    I do believe that you need to publish more about this topic, it
    might not be a taboo matter but typically people do not discuss
    these subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!

  3. Just so you know….I am thankful for you. My family is thankful for you. My friends are thankful for you. What you do makes a difference to so so many more people that who sit in those pretty new consultation rooms. You use your best brain…and it is such a good one. (…that is why I will not clobber you…remember? I want you to be healthy.)

  4. You did a fabulous job for your friend, Dr. Milhem! If you don’t remember me, I used to be a scheduler at the Cancer Center, and I knew her from there. She led a wonderful life.

  5. This post reminds me of a line from a story that my students once read. I don’t remember the context in which it was written, just this one line: “Too many rules make us look like fools.”

  6. Mo,

    I know this sounds strange but I am amazed at how normal you really are to the general person.
    I think people think doctors do not have feelings and thoughts to.. They put them high on a pedastal….I am glad you are a genuine kind of doctor. I am so happy that you think out of the box and bend the rules to help the common person… I have put my faith and trust in you and I know that is alot to ask of anyone. Just keep pushing to stretch the rules and do not accept no for an answer because it is all about helping that common person even if it is just something small and irritating. Life is all about silly rules and I know you my amazing doctor of science will pull through any challenge that comes to your door, and I thank you for that….

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