welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Monday, November 15, 2010

deliverance river trip, how bout them cowboys

people have asked me about the river trip when i was
in medical school

have you seen the movie deliverance
well it wasnt quite that bad but close

as junior medical students we rotated together in groups
of fifteen students
we suffered through the year together  and wanted to do an
end of the year camping trip
we decided to do a canoe float trip down the buffalo river in
north/north west arkansas
usually the weather is warm and clear in late may

well not that year
there were ten of us that went together-future family
physicians, gynecologists, hand surgeon, general surgeons,
and pathologist
it turned out to be one of those experiences you always
remember but for the wrong reasons
can just hear the banjos playing now(like in deliverance)

we carpooled up that day from medical school
its was in the 50s windy and misty rain
we were expecting 80s and sunny
we should have stopped and came back home

we had our fishing gear and our tents
we were ready to go
no fish were ever caught

last week was opening my old medical school annual
and there was a picture of one of the traumatized shoes
from that trip      brought back the memories of the trip

we got there and set up camp then went to the canoe
renting place and rented 5 canoes      we did not return
one of them      the river kept it and probably still has it

the river man hauled us and the canoes back up river
20 miles    we got out   it was cold     it was windy
it was misty rain    the river was up and the river was fast
we should have stopped there   we didnt

we started the trip hoping for an 8 hour journey
we would fish and drift along      that day there was no
drifting going on

two of our class mates would take side trips on water
that would be away from the main river      then they
would come back onto the river later on     one is a
practicing gynecologist in the city where some of you
live who read this blog  the other is an hand surgeon in
a large metropolitan city     they almost never made it
into their senior year

we had gone about a mile when these two went into
one of their side streams but they never came out back
into the river      later their stuff in a plastic bag   their
apples  their ice chest came floating down the river

my friend and i were the closest to the side stream
the others were farther down stream
we rowed against that heavy current up the side stream
until we found them
the future hand surgeon was in the water holding onto a
rotten tree limb in the water      she was grasping the hand
of the future gynecologist whose whole body was under
water up to his chin     his head kept bobbing in and out
of the water      he had the look on his face    sure he
thought he was going to drown  

he managed to cry out   his foot was caught between
the canoe and a submerged log     the only thing
keeping his head above water was the future
hand surgeons grasp on his hand and her grasp
on the rotten limb

my friend and i climbed onto the bank and walked
to where they were      we could see a mangled canoe
under the water with the far edge under a log-this is
where the future gynecologist foot was lodged

we looked at each other and said lets go for it
we jumped in and when we did we hit the canoe
as we jumped in the limb broke and the future hand surgeon
started floating down stream  
the future gyncecologist head went under water
when we hit the canoe it pulled him under but
dislodged his foot and he popped back up to
the surface

now we had 4 cold wet shivering blue medical students
in one canoe       we reached the others     we all stripped
to our whitey tighties and the others shared their clothes
with us     the future gynecologist had only a pancho on
he took a bottle of wine and drank it on the way back
to the camp  shvering all he way

we had 18 miles of river to go so we just rowed as
hard as we could until we got back
turned the canoes in
we built a large fire to stay warm by and got more
clothes on
the shoe that was in the annual was the hand surgeons shoe
it  was placed too close to the fire and the toe was melted
thats the only picture  have of that trip

but the memories of that trip is more vivid than any picture

how bout them cowboys
maybe coaching change helped

the organicgreen doctor


  1. I remember it all too well. Let's do it again as a way to be young again. On second thought let's just drink a beer and tell stories about it- The pathologist.