I thought I would relate something that happened to me right before my last OHS in 2006.
The date was August 4th, 2006 and the time was 7 am. It was a date and time that I will never forget. I was at St. Mary’s hospital in Rochester, MN and I was scheduled for my 9th open heart surgery at 8am that morning. At 7am I said goodbye to my Mom, I thought it was going to be the last time I was going to see her in this world (0f course I didn’t tell her that). I was tucked and strapped into a warm stretcher and rolled down several floors to the preparation room before surgery. The room was huge with a lot of people laying in stretchers who were preparing to go into surgery and some of them had just come out of surgery. I remember staring out the small 3x5ft window and I was happy to see that my window of all windows was pointed towards the statue of Our Lady that was on the top of the hospital. I looked up and imagined that at the same time Our Lady was looking right back at me. As I prayed and tried to prepare myself to meet God, two anesthesiologists came in to my area and spoke to me about what I was going to go through and how they were going to be the two guys that were going to help me make it through the surgery. I told them that I was a pro at this after 8 surgeries and they could skip the prep speech if they wanted. =) We then began to joke about fishing and we were having a grand time laughing about ‘huge’ fish that most likely none of us had actually ever caught, only dreamed of catching.
I remember hearing a door slam against the wall and startled I looked over to my left to see my surgeon come storming into the room and he made a bee line towards my two anesthesiologists and chased them away, he told them that this was no time to play, to get to work. He seemed like he was in a bad mood and I thought “The guy before me must not have made it”. In all the surgeries I have had with this great doctor, I had never seen him in such a mood. It scared me. Just as quickly as I felt that fear, I again felt a calm come over me as Dr. Francisco Puga reached out with his right hand and held mine in his. He leaned over the stretcher and gently asked me how I was doing. I remember looking him in the eyes and holding back a few tears I asked “What are the chances of me making it through this Dr. Puga? I have had 9 open heart surgeries and with each operation, my chances for survival become slimmer”. A fierce look shot across Dr. Puga’s face and I heard two clicking noises as he kicked the brakes on the stretcher into the off position and he then swung the stretcher with me on it to his left and quickly to his right again and then slammed on the brakes. I was jolted and clearly feeling a bit disoriented. As the room came back into focus (I didn’t have my glasses on anymore, I had to leave them with Mom), I saw Dr. Puga leaning over me and he said “LOOK, 50% of you making it through this surgery has to do with the goals in your life, what plans you have and what you want to do with the rest of your life, the other 50% is God and what he has planned for you. I… I am but an instrument in God’s hands“.
Dr. Puga then reassured me that everything would be alright and he turned and walked away. I was speechless as I lay there, it was as if the heaven’s had just opened up and God had spoken to me. I knew then that I was going to make it and it was one of the most memorable things anyone has ever said to me. I think about it all the time, most especially when I feel down or depressed. These words mean so much to me. What a man! What a Doctor! I was so blessed to have him work on me during my last 5 open heart surgeries. I owe my life today to Dr. Puga and of course to God. You see, Dr. Puga recognized that his gift came from God and he realized that he was an instrument in Gods’ divine hands. He saw that what ever he did, it was for the greater glory of God and everything that he did was a product of the mission that God had sent him on.
Think today about your life and think about how you can be an instrument in God’s hands! Live your life as that instrument and watch as the blessings flow and your life becomes a life of great worth for all those that you help.
Fired - How My Mechanical Valves Upgraded an Office...
Journal posted on October 23, 2015
In 2005 I was working for a temp agency and bouncing around many different odd jobs. One week I'd be at an office and the next some warehouse. During one of these stints, I was assigned to the AOL headquarters in Northern VA where I had to play the Grinch just a few weeks before Christmas. They were doing massive layoffs and as the poor souls that were being called down to the HR office to be given their pink slips, I and a team of other geeks were sent up another elevator to clean out the persons office, pack everything up, and send it down to the 'shipping' dept. It was a horrible experience. After a week of watching people's lives being torn apart right before the holidays, I requested a new job. I was sent to a Vector Security in Northern VA. Little did I know.. in 3 short months of working there.. I was single handily going to be responsible for upgrading my bosses office, his PC's, and driving the poor man crazy. What the devil did I do you might ask? =)
I was hired on as a 3 month temp with an almost guarantee to be hired at the 3 month mark. I began work as a paper pusher, filing paperwork for new jobs, old jobs, and just things that no one else wanted to do. After a month of being a glorified paper pusher, I was assigned to the VP's office, I was to help him do data entry. He had a decent sized office, enough for 3 people to sit in with large desks. When you walked into his office, you'd see his desk in the middle of the room, with a large black leather chair tucked neatly under it. My desk, which looked like it was a piece that was scrapped from Noah's ark was pushed up against the front of his nice mahogany desk. 3 days a week I'd come in and do data entry. It was working great. I'd been working now in his office for 2 weeks and I was so excited about my new job.
One day I arrived and sat down as usual, the boss looked over his large antique dell monitor that would pretty much guarantee a broken bone were it to fall off the desk onto a body part. He stared at me for a few minutes and then asked "Do you hear that noise?". I stopped and said "What noise"? He replied "That ticking noise.. it's driving me crazy!!". I thought to myself "Oh snap... " He got up and preceded to walk around the room, stopping at the old clock on the wall and then moving back to his desk. He turned and again looked at me inquisitively and said "that clock is old.. it needs to be replaced.". I thought to myself "Oh no". (here's the deal, do you tell him that you have a mechanical heart valve and then lose your job or keep it quiet?. I have been fired in the past b/c I told ppl that I had a bad heart at work and they said they felt having me on the job was a liability; Yes, I know you 'can't' do that.. but ppl do).
I left work and returned two days later to see brand spankin new LCD clocks all over his office. He jumped from him desk when he saw me and exclaimed loudly "HA! I found out what was making that noise.. it was the clock.. finally.. I have had some peace and quiet". I knew.. I was in trouble. So I sat down and tried to regulate my breathing, thinking that if I breathed slower, he wouldn't hear it as loud. About two hours into work, he looked at me strangely and then began to cuss, saying that he again heard the ticking sound. He got up and went around the room again.. this time settling right behind me. He cursed again and exclaimed "It's your blasted PC"!.
I again.. just didn't know what to do. It was time for me to go, so I grabbed my things and told him I'd be back in two days for my next scheduled work day. Two days later, I arrive and he had a look of tranquility on his face, I sat down and noticed immediately, the two brand new dells in the office, with nice LCD screens. He said he'd found the problem and was finally able to work. This time.. I knew I was really in for it! =)
I sat down and began to work, he again got up and cussed up a storm, he stormed out of the office and then brought in two other people who he had go around the room listening for the ticking sound, both people stopped when they got behind me. I knew it was time to come clean. I stood up and told him that I have two mechanical heart valves and that is what the ticking noise was. He had a blank face and seemed to take it calmly. I then asked him if he had signed my paperwork that would transfer me from temp to full time hire. He said, he'd look at them that afternoon. He said I could take an early lunch and when I got back, we'd chat about it. I left happy, feeling relieved. I went to McDonalds to grab a not-so-health-but-oh-so-tasty burger when I got a call from my Temp agency notifying me that I was losing my job there and that I was no longer working for them either.
I was devastated. 4 months later I interviewed for a job right next door to this place! I got the job! It was with American Military University and everyday I got to park in front of the security firm and walk by them to APU. LOL. In all great stories.. everything works out in the end. About two months into my new job, I was walking in the front door of APU when I heard a 'screeching noise" and turned just in time to see 3 black SUV's with men in full tactical gear hanging onto the sides slide into the front parking lot. The men jumped off the sides and ran into the security firm. A few moments later, they emerged with 6 men in suits in handcuffs. It turns out, the executives were running an illegal gambling ring out of one of their homes.
I like to think that the guy that fired me.. was one of the guys arrested... =)
Weird title right? Ya, I totally invented that word a few yrs ago. In 2011 I found myself exiting a Seminary and Monastery and was back in the world without a clue of what I was going to do in life. I thought up until that point.. I had everything figured out. Once I got home and began to get settled again in the 'lay-life', I was offered a job as a videographer for a tech guy from Church.
I ended up setting up large staged recording sessions with lights, mics, the whole tamale.. During our first international recording, I had over 1000 people on a live video cast with some VIP's. I recorded 3 beautiful hours of video and the following morning as I compiled the video, I came to realize.. there was something wrong. Throughout the entire video there was a distinctive "Tick, Tick, Tick..." Oh ya. Believe it or not, I had left a lapel mic on the table I had my sound board set up with cameras, and it was a 'hot mic'. I didn't know quite what to do, everyone wanted that pro video. So I took it to my boss, didn't say a word to him, he turned it on and a few moments later, looked at me one time, and then he put his face in his hands shaking his head. My 'Tickerbombing' ended up costing us 3k because we couldn't sell the videos.
I was reminded of this tonight, while I was online with a business partner, I was recording a new piece of software we created over the last 4 months. Afterwards, I watched the video only to hear a very loud and crisp 'Tick, Tick Tick... " HAHA!
Gotta love having a mechanical heart valve... I stopped by Church recently and knelt down in a pew near the front. There was another person 1 pew ahead of me to my left. I was sitting there pouring out my heart (no pun intended), when I began to notice the poor soul in front of me looking around, searching the walls, ect. Finally the lady turned and whispered "Do you hear a ticking sound, it's driving me crazy?!". I thought to myself.. time to move...
So I got up so the lady could concentrate and I moved to the 'cry room' in the back, which is pretty much glass enclosed. I swear. The moment I sat down, the sound of my two tickers sounded like something you would expect to hear from the movie 'The Hunt for the Red October' as the sonar was bouncing around. I went from annoying a lady trying to pray to finally driving myself out of the cry room because the sound of my own valves reverberating off the glass walls was driving me crazy. Hence.. my moment in prayer was over. I retreated outside to finally lose myself in the noise of a busy city.