I grew up in the 1980s in Hong Kong when Cantopop (Cantonese pop songs) was the ‘in’ thing. Many Cantopop songs simply used popular song from the west and gave it a new life with Cantonese lyrics. This was a fast and economical way of acquiring a local following.
David Bowie was an exceptional entertainer. He passed on not too long ago. He had a very interesting style and personal life. His ‘Modern love’ song was converted into a rather unpopular song called (黑的幻覺) sung by Hong Kong singer, Danny Chan (陳百強), in 1984. That was the time when I was preparing for my A-level examination and I was trying to get into dental school.
I remember watching David Bowie’s ‘Modern Love’ music video – it was a song with a powerful but pleasant melody. He was swinging his microphone back and forth dancing away on stage. Man, he could perform but man, his teeth were bad!
Yes, I remember people’s teeth better than their face and names!
When I was at UCLA, I was trained to deal with cancer cases. I remember my boss, Dr. John Beumer, was treating a very extensive (difficult) case the day I had my interview there – the patient was missing 95% of his upper jaw due to a nasty tumor. I was very impressed clinically with how Dr. Beumer and his team handled the case using dental implants while showing a sizable dose of TLC and personal touch. Dr Beumer was not treating a ‘case’ – he was treating Mr. N as a personal friend!
Later on when I was working there, I realized that Mr. N was only about 3 years (56 back then) older than Dr. Beumer, even though they were patient/doctor acquaintances, they clicked like old pals and addressed each other on a first name basis. Another senior clinician in the team passed a comment that the two of them probably identified with each other because of their similar age and Dr. Beumer (a world renowned professor) showed his soft-spot.
I recently saw a patient with some denture problems. He said he could not eat at all and he is now down to only 4 teeth each on his upper and lower jaw. He is a soft-spoken gentleman with silver hair and he came to our clinic with his grown up kid.
Upon examination I saw a very sorry state of dental condition – not only was he missing his teeth, his jaw bone were all resorbed away due to gum disease. When I looked at his chronological age, he was only 4 years older than me!
Life is not fair. I have a clean bill of health from my recent medical check-up. I routinely run with teenagers and love the fact that we out run one another from time to time. I have been having a great time with the school boy/girl runners in our Flexifitness running group. On the other hand, I am seeing a patient, similar in age with me but he is surely ageing much faster.
Now I sort of know how Dr. Beumer felt.
Miyamoto is a Japanese family name but it always reminds me of the phrase ‘mere mortal’ – we are all mere mortals.
I am not being morbid here but it is a happy note. Bhutan is known for their ‘Gross National Happiness’ Index. When asked why the Bhutanese are known for their happiness and contentment, my friend Kingley told me this – “We are happy because we think about our death many times daily. This frees us up. We are Buddhists.”
Happy New Year 2016 🙂