Wednesday, March 30, 2005

My second impression of Dr G

The second impression I had of Dr G?

That guy is really sneaky!

At that time I was using a motorcycle to get around. Dr G had an office in this quaint little town full of rich people. I was to meet him at the office for an interview/appointment.

As I mentioned before, I had a strong case of anxiety. The idea of meeting new people was not pleasant for me. Going to meet someone who might be able to help me with the health problems held so much hope that the anxiety skyrocketed! I was really nervous and uptight about the meeting.

The appointment was at 1:00 or so in the afternoon. I rode into the town on the motorcycle on a warm and beautiful day. I had never been there before. The town was like a small town in the midwest, except it was all fancy shops and rich people dressed in a leisurely way. The buildings were all small one or two stories tall.

The town actually had a main square. It was large and open with picnic tables and bike racks. The bike racks were important because that was a part of the ambiance of the town. There was a high usage of bicycles among the population because it was "the thing" to do. The square was paved with an attractive smooth red brick. There were trees dotted about. A very pleasant and homey atmostphere.

I rode the bike only a little past this square. The office was just a little bit off to one side. I found a place to park and walked back to the office. The office was on the second floor. The entryway was a door to the outside that opened immediately onto some stairs that led upwards. The door had glass in the upper part.

I was early so I walked over to the square for a look around. The shops were mostly food shops or touristy type small stores with clothes or art or sport supplies like skates, skateboards, bikes and skis. The upper class kind of sports. The reason that made such an impression on me was because of the way I was dressed.

The area I lived in could be cold, 50 or 60 degrees on a regular basis. To stay warm I wore a black leather jacket and usually some jeans or maybe some of those big padded warm leggings for motorcycle riders. Most people associate leather jackets with troublesome people. Like from the movies or TV. I did that myself at one time.
After riding the motorcycle though, I understood that the people have no choice. If you want to stay warm, leather is excellent. It is hard so it stops the wind. Just a little insulation on the inside can make you so warm you sweat while wearing it.

People would always give me the eye when I was riding the bike and wearing the jacket. Here I am in this fancy rich town, walking up and down the sidewalks in a black leather jacket. These were the type of people who would be polite to a thief who was robbing them. No one treated me poorly or said anything. I felt out of place enough so that I walked back towards the office.

I checked the door. It was still locked and there was no answer to a knock. I walked to a park that was close by. It was secluded with just a few people so I felt OK with the anxiety. I waited a bit and headed back to the office.

I went to the door and knocked. No one answered. Looking in the glass, all I could see was a stairway. There was no way to tell if anyone was around. Whether they could hear me knock or not. I knocked again and still no answer. I started to get anxious thinking about missing the appointment or having the incorrect address.

I left and went for a walk around the block. I was not feeling happy about walking around in public. For some reason I would never understand until much much later, I attracted trouble and attention. At the time I blamed it on the motorcycle and the leather jacket. Here I was walking around this rich town for maybe 20 or 30 mintues now, looking in windows and not really doing anything.

The anxiety was really kicking in now. I was certain that whatever it was that attracted attention to me was going to kick in. I had walked to the office 2 or 3 times to check the door to see if it was unlocked. I had walked around the block at least 2 or 3 times. In my own mind, I felt like I was loitering. I was certain that one of the shop owners would call the police. That kind of thing happened to me constantly. No matter where I was, police would just happen to drive by.

By now I was really worked up. I told myself I was just going back to the motorcycle and leave. I must have the wrong address or something had happened to Dr G so he could not make the appointment. On the way back to the motorcycle I would check the door one more time.

I walked up to the building and entered the small entryway to check the door. No luck, it was still locked. I turned to leave and there walking up the sidewalk was a smallish Asian man with some keys in his hand. He was headed for the doorway I was leaving. I told him I had an appointment with Dr G and he said that yes, he was Dr G and he was sorry he was late.

Without a bit of hesitation or doubt, I thought to myself "That guy was checking up on me. He was parked in a car on the street somewhere watching me. He wanted to see who walked up and how the person acted when they found the door locked. He had let me walk around for 15 or 20 minutes to see if I would continue to return to the office. In other words, how interested was I in meeting Dr G?".

I thought, "What a sneak this guy is. What the heck kind of thing is that to do to a person?".

I had heard of how some people would make a person pass some test before they would accept them. Make them wait for an hour outside a class, make an appointment and be late for it, whatever. I understood the mind set and I could sympathize with the need to check people out so that only the sincere ones would stay.

Still, there was something that just did not feel right to me. No matter the reasoning or the justification, I could not rid myself of the idea that the man had been sitting in his car, watching me walk back and forth and judging me.

I think it is the same reason I was so suprised when I realized money was important to Dr G. At the American College of Chinese Medicine, I was used to people who were kind and considerate and seemed to care about nothing but my health. I expected Dr G to be the same. When it was obvious he cared about money and was choosy about who he would see, spying on them to get an idea of who they were, I felt let down on some level. I could not reconcile his attitudes with my vision of how Chinese medicine doctors were supposed to act.


After writing this, I can say that, looking back, Dr G and I looked at life in entirely different ways. I was looking for a place to learn something to be healthy. I wanted to be friendly and like the people I was dealing with. Dr G had more of a military or organizational or corporate outlook on life. He wanted to choose only certain people he would deal with. They had to measure up, to meet his specifications or he did not want to be bothered with them.

As an adult, he is entitled to live his life as he sees fit. My point is that, at the time, I could not conceive of a regular person who would think like this. To judge and accept or reject people based on his criteria. To me, medicine was about helping sick people. How could a Dr pick and choose which patients he wanted to treat? A Dr was supposed to be dedicated to helping all sick people.

Altruistic and naive. Yes that is a good description of my attitude back at that time. It is also honest. Maybe the revelation will help explain things further along the way in this narrative.

No. I haven't forgotten. Dr G and I are standing in the entryway to the stairwell leading to his office.

Monday, March 21, 2005


I knew this chronicle was going to be of help.

While thinking over the last post, I remembered what it was exactly I spoke to Dr G about on the phone when I was explaining my situation.

Recall I said that I felt I was asking for health help while it seemed to me that Dr G thought I was after his martial arts.

When I spoke to Dr G on the phone, I mentioned I had been doing breathing exercises. I thought I was doing them incorrectly and this could be causing my health problems. I was open to any therapy that would cure this. I said I knew that martial arts included breathing exercises and I wanted to know if he knew how to correct me and/or fix the health problems caused by the exercises.

It was at this point in the conversation that the mention of Ba Gua was made. I did not specifically ask Dr G to teach me martial arts or his particular style of martial arts. The subject was broached as a result of my description of the breathing exercise situation.

Whew! It would really bother me if I felt that I was responsible for Dr G thinking I was underhandedly trying to get at his martial arts. That sentiment will make more sense as the context of the relationship is fleshed out in future posts.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Why did I meet Dr G in the first place?

Before I get started in relating my experiences with Dr G, it would be a good idea to describe why I met Dr G.

I was sick. I had been doing MA wrong and had made myself ill. I had gone to a doctor for maybe a year straight trying to find some relief from the problems. I had no luck at all. The doctor might make me feel better for a week or so, then I would feel bad again.

I was desperate and I communicated this desperation to one of the Dr's I was seeing. This Dr said that they might know of someone who could help me. Once I heard this I could not let it go. I insisted that I be able to meet this person because I needed help in a big way.

The person who was reputed to be able to help me was Dr G.

When I spoke to Dr G I said that I was ill and that someone had told me that he could help me. I said that a person had told me that he could correct my practice of martial arts so that I would no longer be ill. There was no doubt as to the motive for my contacting him. I was ill and I needed a Dr.

This is important because in the story that will begin to be unraveled here, you will find that there might have been a miscommunication between Dr G and I. I needed help for a medical problem caused by the incorrect practice of kung fu. I needed my kung fu corrected so that I was no longer making myself sick. Dr G indicated at some point in our relationship that he felt I was there to learn the kung fu that he taught. Not for health reasons but because I wanted to learn what he knew.

This miscommunication lead to a myriad of misunderstandings. Eventually it lead to a situation in which it was made known that my presence was no longer acceptable.

I have made a point of emphasizing this because I think that people either write about relationships out of love and respect for the other or because they have a problem with the other. I have no problem saying that I think I was not treated correctly. One of the things that I learned from Dr G was the importance of honesty. Even if the honesty causes trouble, it will usually be better to be honest.

If people want to believe I have an axe to grind against Dr G, that is OK. I do have an axe to grind to a small degree. I want to air these situations so that I can look at them on a printed page, in black and white, and decide once and for all how I feel about what happened.

Was I treated poorly? Or am I a person with an axe to grind? I don't care what the answer is, I can accept either one.

I also think that it might help anyone else who gets into a similar relationship to read of my experiences. They might be able to avoid the problems I had or follow what worked for me in their own relationships.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The first impression I ever had of Mr G

When I look back and think about the very first impression I had of Mr G, I think, "why the heck was I so blind back then?" The answer is simple actually. I was a scientific guy who did not believe in intuition or signs and portents.

Foolish me. ;)

What was that first impression of Mr G that made such a lasting impression on me?


I suppose that sounds like a reasonable request huh? I was a starry eyed young guy who, at that time, believed that people did what was best for others. I was very sick and was recommended to Mr G as someone who could help.

I spoke to him, sick as I was, thinking I was speaking to a caring doctor who would be interested in what was wrong with me. I knew he was an acupuncturist and a Dr of Chinese Medicine. All my previous experience with these people was one of extreme caring, solicitousness and helpfullness. Some of the best people I had ever met in my life.I had purposefully turned aside from Western Medicine and Western Doctors and gone to acupuncturists and Dr's of Chinese medicine for just this reason. The honest caring and concern that they put out.

Western medicine doctors are about money. They treat you brusquely, as if you are a component part in some factory assembly plant. The only emotions they show are impatience, hurry and greed. I have also been subjected to humiliation, disrespect and disbelief by Dr's of Western Medicine.

When Dr Guen said very strongly and clearly, "CAN YOU PAY ME", if I had a brain in my head, I should have known then that, even though he was a trained acupuncturist and Dr of Chinese Medicine, his heart was Western. He was in it for the money.

That misjudgement on my part lead to a world of misunderstanding and disappointment that ultimately culminated in a mutually agreed parting of ways between the two of us.

OK. Let's be honest here to avoid anymore misunderstandings.

I was treated so rudely and coldly that I did not have to be asked to leave.

If you want to know why I was treated rudely and coldly. If I was a bad guy, if some situation came up that caused me to be kicked out or if I went broke and could no longer pay.....

Come on back in awhile when I make the next post. ;) I plan on writing a book and these are my notes. You can get a copy of the book just by reading the first draft here.