WanderingDan’s Weblog

the knife’s edge
November 27, 2012, 8:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Ever notice how you never take pictures on bad days? So, without some sort of verbal commentary, pictures alone can elude to erroneous presumptions. Misleading snapshots if you will (pun intended). Just to clear the air for those of my beloved friends and family who may have been mistakenly led to believe I am merely cruising around the world in a state of bliss, curing the ills of countless rich travelers with frequent pokes of a needle…that picture is cropped. This posting is not a rant, just an honest equalizer of the actual situation in which I now find myself residing. It is true, I am curing the ills of many rich travelers, and I do often find myself in a state of bliss…though half of those moments involve $1 shots of single-malt scotch from the crew bar…or rather several of them. Walking down thousand-year old cobblestone streets is indescribable. Ofcourse not everyone derives pleasure from such mundane acts…but I do, and it contributes to my bliss. Queen Elizabeth is unquestionably a beautiful ship, but it is also very stiff. I am told it is unfriendly compared to other ships, with rules, regulations and enough red tape to mummify itself. They don’t properly take care of their employees (in mine and many others’ opinions), which casts a general dismal gloom over the morale of workers abiding their time in routine work activities, many suffering physically or emotionally.


I am finally getting over my personal struggle with the business aspect of medicine. Not saying I’m completely on board and converted to corporate acupuncture…quite the opposite in fact. But I am at peace with the fact this is how I have chosen to practice this medicine during this chapter in my career. I work a lot. When I’m busy and treating, I don’t mind…I could work all day if there are people in need and willing to see me. It’s the slow days that drag on and poison my mind with temptations to throw in the towel and move on from ship life. That’s the difficulty of being in a half-good, half-bad situation…it is so easy to sway from one edge of the knife to the other when both columnsof the pro/con list are equally balanced. All of my managers from corporate have encouraged me to stick it out, and in very compassionate and complimentary ways. The last couple days have been on the rougher side, but reading over the testimonials I got back today from two of my patients turned the tide…permanently I think. Now I have something tangible speaking directly to my heart about why I’m here. No amount of bullshit can stink out the sweet, blissful high I am feeling reading these stories/letters of gratitude and thanks.


Cruising into Malta during sunset is nothing short of epic. The ubiquitous light yellow stone used in the forts, buildings and city walls glow from the radiance of the declining orange globe. Breath taking. Valleta, the capital, reminds me somewhat of old-town Dubrovnik, only bigger and more ‘real’. In response to my inquiry about the national language, Maltese, the waitress tells me it’s like a cross between Italian, English, French and Arabic…then with my insistence she spouts off a couple of sentences. Wow…I’ve never heard anything like it…beautiful. Ofcourse I just finished that bottle of Maltese wine…by myself….so she could start speaking Cornholio and I probably wouldn’t know the difference.




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