A Funny Thing Happened to Me in Surgery
I Talked About What Rattles Me

There is being prepped for surgery. I had a small basal cell carcinoma on my forehead, and my surgical assistant prepared me for a Mohs procedure. I had a similar issue on my cheek a couple of years ago. After cleaning the area, the surgical assistant gave me a shot to numb the area around the site. She got everything ready for the surgeon. Interestingly, the actual prepping of me took more time than the surgery.

As the assistant went through the normal getting me ready for the surgery, we talked about Ginger, my Irish Setter, and Ti Ti, my granddaughter. Then we got into a hodgepodge of other topics. We chatted about my website with three decades of my articles, travels, and interviews. When the surgeon entered the operating room to prepare for the surgery, she listened to the conversation between her assistant and me. After a couple of minutes, the surgeon asked me what kind of website I had.

My response was that she shouldn’t have asked that question. I have a habit of addressing questions by not only addressing the significant aspects of the question and minuscule details, while true, were irrelevant. I said that my website is a type of Rogerian psychotherapy. Carl Rogers developed a humanistic way of doing counseling. He would merely respond to the client, “That is interesting; can you tell more?” His technique allowed his client to explain what was going on in the patient’s mind by asking open-ended questions.

The only difference between Rogerian psychotherapy and my website is that I am both the therapist and client. I write about what is floating around in my head. I told the surgeon that there were three transformative events in my life: feeling dumb and poor in Mt. Lebanon, two dances with death, and meeting my family in Myanmar. Everything that interests me relates to one or more of those three events. Initially, the first two events were viewed as curses, but over the years have become blessings. The third event has always been a blessing. However, my family ties me to the other two events.

I will be an octogenarian in a couple of months, but I am still teaching. Which ties to my feeling dumb and poor in Mt. Lebanon. I’m trying to get Ti Ti, my oldest granddaughter in Myanmar, to come to America, live with me, and attend the college where I teach. Education is essential for everyone, but it is vital for women. Education also benefits those who are minority groups as they attempt to get to parity with white males.

My two dances forced me to grasp that my clock was ticking. There is an enormous difference between the mindset of dancers and those that haven’t danced. Everyone knows they aren’t immortal, but dancers feel it in their gut. Unless you did the dance, you can’t grasp that reality. I didn’t, but I do now.

I rattled on and on about how white men tell women about their reproductive rights, same-sex marriages, racially mixed marriages, contraception, and the list went on and on. I was having a small basal cell carcinoma addressed. This is a photo of me a couple of days after the procedure.

Nevertheless, as a white male, I addressed many forms of discrimination. All Americans must do what is correct medically. Equally important, all Americans must do what is ethically correct when dealing with other Americans.