Naked

Naked

by Leslie Masters Md

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Overview

Naked by Leslie Masters Md

In, "Naked. This is My Story...This is Our Song...", Dr. Masters has, with finesse and conviction, written a basic primer on personal storytelling. With her own mesmerizing story woven throughout, Dr. Masters successfully connects the real with the surreal. Naked is a story within a lesson and a lesson within a story. More than that Naked is life...life bubbling over with success, tragedy, pain, renewal, failure, transformation, and redemption. It is a guttural look at what it means to be a human being...both contemptible and beyond contempt.

Naked is the true story of Leslie Masters, a 45 year old physician, single mother of three, soccer mom, cheer and gymnastics coach, cosmetic medicine expert, entrepreneur, small business owner, imperfect, spiritual human being. As she tells her story in the first person singular, Dr. Masters lures the reader onto the mindboggling and at times bewitching trail of recovery and discovery.

From DEA officers in her office to mice in her kitchen, Dr. Masters' artistry in storytelling will make you laugh, make you cry and introduce you to emotions you have not known before. With the benevolence and compassion of a trusted friend she holds out her hand and both invites and emboldens the reader to tell the one story that only they can tell...their own story. Dr. Masters reaches deep within the wisdom of the ages and from Plato to Jesus, Buddha to Einstein and Sigmund Freud to Bill Wilson, Dr. Masters helps us transform teachings into "right here, right now" applications.

What makes this book special is that it is wretched, raucous, raw and real. Dr. Masters shows with brutal honesty, courage and sophistication just what "telling your story" is all about. Leslie is bright, articulate, and funny...and what she becomes to the reader is a treasured intimate friend. Before the final page has been turned, Dr. Masters has become Leslie...a flawed, broken, faulty, incomplete member of humanity. The result is a captivating work that is relevant, and even necessary, in the world that we all live in today. Fueled by the power of truth, this is a story that needs to be heard.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781452015767
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 05/05/2010
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.68(d)

Read an Excerpt

NAKED

This is My Story ... This is Our Song ...
By Leslie Masters

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2010 Leslie Masters, MD
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4520-1576-7


Chapter One

The (W)Hole

It was a sunny but brisk day in late September. Just about the time the trees start changing color and the Oklahomans pull out the jackets in preparation for colder weather. Her Oncology Clinic was packed as usual with patients fighting the dreaded "C" word ... cancer. She sat perched on a high stool at the bustling nurse's station dictating the last patient's progress note. Her RN rounded the corner with the latest update. She grabbed a pen and paper and without pausing dictation jotted down her nurse's latest report. "7 West needs orders on Mr. Swansen, Alice Carmichael is in the ER, one of Dr. Lynch's patients is having a chemo reaction and your next patient is ready in room 3, labs are on the door." Her mind clicked instinctively, re-dictate this note later, chemo reaction patient first then orders to 7 west then labs on door of room 3. The ER could handle Mrs. Carmichael for now. She slid gingerly off the stool with a slight wince and headed to the treatment room.

The patient was flushed, sweaty and with rapid respirations and heart rate, but clinically stable. "50mg of Benadryl IV, 10mg of decadron IV continue hydration and discontinue chemo for 30 minutes then resume and give over 4 hours instead of 2." Typical allergic reaction, a little reassurance, a little TLC and she'll be good to go. The chemo nurses knew the scenario well. What a job she thought, pumping poison into people to try to save their lives. How the nurses did it day after day had never ceased to amaze her. She scribbled a quick note, wrote down the orders and turned back toward the clinic.

"Dr. Masters," It was Julie the clinic manager, a sweet, caring woman who had always been willing to step between the doctors and outside intrusions. "Dr. Masters there are two DEA agents with badges out front and they say they need to speak to you." Her heart stopped and then resumed beating faster than it ever had before. She feigned a non-concerned nod though she knew the color had just instantaneously drained from her face. "Could you just show them to my office and tell them I will be in shortly." Her mind went wild and every hair on her body stood upright. What do they know? What could they know? Stay calm she said to herself, it could be nothing. Her whole world was swirling. A wave of nausea came and went and then came again. Her hands were clammy, her heart was trying desperately to jump out of her chest and her mind kept repeating, "God help me, God help me."

She picked up the phone and dialed 7 west and like a robot on auto-drive began to talk. "This is Dr. Masters and I have admit orders for Mr. Swansen.

Admit: 7 west for Dr. Masters

Diagnosis: metastatic colon cancer with recurrent ascites

Condition: guarded

Vitals: Q2 hours x 2 then Q4 hours

Allergies: none

She continued to speak but could no longer hear her own voice. The orders seemed to her to just float out of her mouth in slow motion. Why couldn't she hear herself any more. Though she knew that she was speaking she could not hear her own voice. She jotted down the name Donna so she must have asked to whom she was giving orders though she never heard herself say the words. Again she slid off the high stool cautiously and again she winced. She stared blankly down the hall at her office door. She turned and told her nurse to tell room 3 it would be a few minutes. She didn't hear herself say the words but her nurse nodded and she just assumed that she must have spoken them. As her nurse walked away she felt a dread build up from somewhere deep inside her, a dark, wretched dread like she had never felt before.

"Please God, please God," her thoughts kept saying though she no longer believed that He would answer. She didn't even know what God she was talking to. "Not now God, not now God, not now." Her temples pulsed with pain as she gently made her way down the hall. Her thoughts went to Olivia. My God she has been through so much and has been home in Tulsa for exactly one day. Just yesterday the two of them had flown in from Phoenix, victorious after a 9 month long agonizing custody battle that had finally been settled in her favor. Olivia was back at home at last. It had been 9 months of shear torture since Olivia, her then 10 year old daughter, had decided to live in Phoenix with her dad, a decision that lasted about 4 weeks. The 4 week mistake had grown into a 9 month ordeal when her father refused to allow her to return to Tulsa. Night after night she had listened to her anguished 10 year old baby girl beg to come home. Day after day she watched the wheels of the family court system move inch by excruciating inch. "Please God, not now, please," now the begging was hers and the recipient ... an unknown God. Her insides felt hollow and vacuous. There was nothing there but an echoing void.

She entered her office to be greeted by two shiny gold badges both in the shape of a star. The man introduced himself as Steve Washborne, an investigator for the Oklahoma State Medical Board and the woman whose name she didn't hear introduced herself as an investigator for the Drug Enforcement Agency. She shook their hands and tried to act cordial and curious, although she knew in her heart why they were there. She listened as they laid out their evidence. "Who is BD?" the man asked. "She is my nanny." She replied. "Why are you writing her so many prescriptions for oxycodone and oxycontin? "They knew. They knew everything. She walked over to her purse and again winced as she bent down to pull from it a prescription bottle for oxycontin. "These are mine," she explained "They are prescribed to me by a pain doctor." "The prescriptions for BD are for her pain from osteoporosis." Her explanation was weak and she knew it but she continued to insist that the fact that they were on the same meds was purely a coincidence. She refused to give in and continued with her feeble explanations. Their eyes were stern and somehow sad. They left after saying, "Dr. Masters we just want the truth. We are only here for the truth."

The remainder of the day was covered by a heavy fog. She tried to hold it all together but realized that she failed when one of her cancer patients asked her what was wrong and if there was anything she could do for her. She loved her patients, every last one of them. And they loved her. She was determined to be the loving, caring rock that so many of them needed. She vowed to be their hope. "No one has a crystal ball," she would insist "we can't see the future so let's just together do what needs to be done today." She cried with them when the news was bad and rejoiced with them when the tests came back good. She prayed with them in desperate moments and held their hands when words were too difficult to utter. She believed with all of her heart that hope had to die last and when, in the end, that hope did die she would sit with them and their loved ones as they took their final breaths. And today, in her own time of need, one of them had reached out her hand of compassion in return.

The short drive home that evening seemed long as her mind whirled. She was alone, caring about everything and about nothing at the same time. Her mind screamed, "Deny, deny, deny," but her heart knew that it was too late for that. She had been writing prescriptions to her nanny and doubling and sometimes tripling her own dose of oxycontin. Her thoughts raced from, "Shit what a cluster-fuck," to "Our Father who art in heaven." Despite the race in her mind she felt nothing. Blank, empty, hollow. From the outside she had it all, a successful career as an Oncologist, three beautiful children, a husband that also worked as a physician, a beautiful home, financial security; on the inside, however, she had severe chronic pain from a crushed pelvis injury, a daily battle of juggling the balls of being a mother, a wife, a physician and a patient. As she struggled to keep those balls in the air one was clearly falling and upon that one all of the others depended ... her health. She knew that if she crumbled the rest of the balls would coming crashing down as well and she knew that she was dangerously close to that fall. No one could help her. No one else could be inside her body and endure the pain for her. There was no escape. Her body felt like a tortuous prison. She had been running a race for so long, pretending she could somehow out run the daggers that pulsed from her sacrum and shot out both hips. There would always be this boot heel grinding relentlessly into lower back. It would not stop. No one could help her. The pain would always be hers and hers alone to endure. Pain doctors helped some. Self medicating helped more. She was running the race but the pain was winning. Now the Drug Enforcement Agency of the United States, the Oklahoma Medical Board and her ex-husband in hot pursuit of their ten year old daughter were chasing her as well. They were all aiming to bring her fragile world crashing down.

Despite the chase from the law, the medical board, despite the threat of losing her job, despite the threat of losing custody of her daughter, the only fear that felt real was the sheer terror of having to get off the medicine that made her life tolerable. Memories of pain and terror and no one to help her flooded her soul. A horror filled her being. Recollections of mind boggling pain and a dark tunnel of no relief enveloped her being. Her world was about to crash and all she could see was a very lonely dark place, alone with pain, torment and agony. She needed help. She arrived home to her husband and three children and said nothing. Just as she experienced the physical pain alone, she would endure this emotional pain alone.

A solution for the pain, that was the crucial ingredient to fixing her mess. There had to be someone, something that could help her. If she just didn't hurt she could find a fix for everything else. She put her babies to bed, walked into her bedroom, closed the door and dialed the phone. Her sister lived in Dallas and was married to a doctor specializing in pain management. Her voice was weak and shaky when she spoke. "Laura, I am in trouble. I need help. I am taking way too much pain medicine and I am afraid to stop. I have been self-prescribing and taking way more than my pain doctor is prescribing and the DEA and the Medical Board are after me. They are going to make me stop taking this stuff and I can't. I am so scared. I am going to be left hurting and alone and no one will help me. I don't want to hurt anymore. I don't want to be left alone hurting. Nobody knows. Nobody understands. Nobody can take this away. I don't want to go to that dark place again." She couldn't feel the weight of all the trouble she was in. All she could feel was the fear, the terror of that dark place where she was all alone and hurting.

By 7 am the next morning she was back in her car on her way to Dallas in search for help. She left her husband with the three kids explaining only that she was going to Dallas to find an answer for the pain. She did not tell him of her other troubles. She held them inside. Pain was something she dealt with alone. Her insides were dark and hollow and full, full of fear both emotional and physical. "Our Father who art in heaven ..." she continued to try to find God, to find something, someone to help her bear the burdens. She prayed but felt nothing. There was no God there. She prayed to one God and worshipped another. Her God had become oxycontin. Oxycontin gave her relief. She believed in that god. The God of her youth was harder to believe in. She had become too afraid of the pain to believe in that unseeable God. The amazing power that was in that blue and purple place, that had helped her in the early days felt unreal and very far away. She could not get herself to take that leap in to a faith that believed there was comfort anywhere other than in the narcotic relief.

She made one stop at a local hospital to pick up the latest CT scan of her badly injured pelvis and then just drove on. "Our father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name ..." she continued to pray to an unknown God as she drove, alone and scared, feeling everything and caring about nothing. The rest of her world was a fog. The pain, her only world was the pain that soared around her and inside her, the one dragon that she could not slay, the one dragon that controlled everything. She had held it off temporarily but it was now coming in for the kill and was about to bring her world down, it was about to claim victory. She did not know if this beast was named "pain" or " fear of pain", but she did know it had become the foe she could not conquer. It wanted all of her and was about to devour her universe. She arrived at the Dallas pain clinic as the DEA arrived at her sister's front door. She looked at the pain specialists and said, "I need help." The DEA agent looked at her sister and said, "She needs help."

She awoke from surgery in a new place. As she lay in the recovery room she felt a sting on her abdomen but something else was different. The world was strange and somehow foreign. There was an unfamiliar peace and stillness. She squinted and looked around. What was it? Where was she? She breathed in, breathed out. There was no dragon in this room. The pain was gone. She laid there and felt her breath go in and out and for the first time in many years the gnawing was gone. The dragon was gone. The chase was over. Her hand reached done to touch the new bulge on her abdomen. The relief was now inside her. A pump had been placed inside her abdomen with a catheter circling beneath her skin, around her waist and into her spinal cord. For her this was the line of life, the magical potion that had at long last slain the mighty dragon. She breathed in and breathed out, intrigued and seduced by a body that did not hurt. She knew she had other dragons yet to slay, but for now the mightiest beast was at bay.

* * *

Day after day I see patients in my cosmetic medicine clinic that have made their way to me because they want to "feel better". They rarely say Dr. Masters can you make my waist smaller or my face tighter or my wrinkles smoother or my tummy flatter, they somehow, unconsciously, unknowingly say "I just want to feel better". I can do what it is that I do which is cosmetic surgery but my own inner voice, my own inner being tells me that what they are looking for is something that I cannot give them. It is something that they already have but have, in our chaotic times, forgotten how to find. They have, like me, become too busy, too conditioned, too swept away in the rush of our body politic that they don't know how to see, to look, to seek, to search and most importantly to listen. The times have become a force so powerful that normal everyday life does not act as a sufficient impetus for us to search for something divergent, something disparate, something different. So often it takes a huge wave of reality to crash into us, slam us ruthlessly into the ground, drag us across the sand and slap us into a state of awareness sufficient enough for us to take heed and to say, "stop, enough, something is not working".

The Magical "It"

Our times have left us with the mindset that we should look for a "fix" for every problem or discomfort that comes our way ... a one-time, over-and-done remedy. We have been conditioned to look for the "solutions". And so we strive and work and toil and reach for all of the things that our society says we should want. Most often, what society tells us that we should want, is more ... more of anything. If we just had more stuff, more money, more power, more lovers, more oxycontin ... were prettier, thinner, sexier or famous or ran in the right crowd. We are all waiting to arrive. When I get the right job, when I drive the right car, when I get just one more degree, when I can build my dream home, when I get the kids through school ... then I'll be happy, peaceful and content, then the stars will be aligned and life will be grand.

The truth is that this "more of anything" mentality is not really a quest for "more". Rather, it is a desperate scramble to find something, anything that will change the way we feel, that will just make us "feel better". Our solutions, simply stated, are "feelings fixes". They are temporary ways to change how we feel. The cruel thing is this, they work, they work to change the way we feel. "Feelings fixes" titillate us with the promise of sweet serenity, lure us in and for a moment make us feel better. Like oxycontin theses fixes take away the pain, they make us feel better. They do not, however, address the problem. Like stitches in an infected wound, they close the hole but ignore the festering beneath, the aching within. Patch it up and it looks better but the hole remains and the purulence will not be ignored. "More" fixes feelings, but just for the moment. "More" is a stopgap remedy dressed as an insatiable temptress. She will dance for us just outside the firelight, spin around, pirouette and convince us to reach for her again and again and again. "More" will, however, never be enough to heal the hole, to make us Whole.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from NAKED by Leslie Masters Copyright © 2010 by Leslie Masters, MD. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Prologue....................xi
1) The (W)Hole....................3
a) The Magical "It"....................10
b) The Easier, Softer Way....................12
c) The (W)Hole....................16
d) The "Experience of Living"....................18
e) The Beginning....................20
2) The Cause, Chance & Choice....................25
a) Daemons....................26
b) Willfulness....................33
c) Worry....................37
3) The Instincts....................45
a) Fighters, Runners & Hiders....................51
i) Fighters....................51
ii) Runners....................56
iii) Hiders....................61
Hey Cinderella What's The Story All About?....................68
4) Threads....................69
a) Maps....................71
b) The Threads of Society....................77
i) Technophrenia....................77
ii) Urgency....................78
c) The Threads of Other Characters....................81
i) Both/And....................81
ii) Courage & Fear....................86
iii) Good & Evil....................88
5) The Voices....................95
a) Where am I?....................96
b) But Who Am I?....................100
c) What Have I Done?....................107
6) The Spirit....................117
a) Choosing The Spiritual....................118
b) Finding The Spiritual....................119
c) The Rational....................123
d) The Non-Rational....................126
e) Magic or Miracle....................127
7) Resentment and Fear....................139
a) Freedom....................141
b) Forgiveness....................143
c) Serenity....................151
d) Gratitude....................154
8) Sexuality....................159
a) The Body....................162
b) Cult and Commerce....................165
i) Cult....................165
ii) Commerce....................166
c) Intimacy....................169
d) Sacramental Sexuality....................171
9) Feelings....................183
a) Detachers....................186
b) Stuffers....................189
c) Charmers....................193
d) Forcers....................194
e) Feeling Tools....................197
i) People Pickers....................197
ii) Worry Wands....................199
iii) Remote Control....................200
iv) Bullshit Meter....................202
10) The Self....................207
a) The Sense of Fantasy....................212
b) The Sense of Wonder....................214
c) The Sense of Serendipity....................216
d) The Sense of Intuition....................217
e) The Sense of Stillness & The Sense of Motion....................219
f) The Sense of Solitude....................222
g) The Sense of Communion....................223
h) Attentive Sensuality....................225
11) The Tribe....................227
a) Isolation and Loneliness....................229
b) Outside & Insides....................237
c) Connecting....................238
d) Trusting....................243
e) Loving....................247
12) The Story....................249
a) Freedom....................251
b) Change....................253
c) Authoring The Story....................255
Index....................267
Citations....................277
Sources....................279

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