Creating This Blog My Opinion Personal

Happy Birthday to Me….

photo(1)I’m now 53!  My birthday is 9-5.  Here are few random thoughts about my birthday and events of the past year.

The well wishes started the night before with a text from my son, Grant.  I received another 20 or so text messages and about another 90-100 congrats on Facebook.

I got 2 phone calls; my dad and my mother-in-law.

I received 4 cards;  1 each from 2 offices and the surgical center, and one from my mother-in-law.

I received my favorite birthday cake.  AM from Woodburn Surgical Center personally delivered my carrot cake…on her day off!  Thanks AM!

Times have changed.

FaceBook and Texting

I replied personally to every “Happy Birthday” I received on FaceBook and via text.  Social media and texting (from a cell phone) has made communications so much easier and convenient.  I appreciated everyone’s personal time to remember my birthday…even if electronic.

I would never think of writing to thank someone for sending a card via snail mail.

So the next time  you see someone working on their cell phone…they might be wishing someone Happy Birthday.

AARP and Health

Ugh.  Really?  Yes, I am now a member.  Truth is, they had a great dental plan for the family.  Amy switched jobs and now works for our marketing company full time and, thus, had to find new health plans.

I am in relatively good health.  I try not to doctor myself, too much.  Playing the role of patient; however, is very difficult for me.  I don’t like going to another doctor’s office.

I exercise at least 5 times a week.  Cardio tennis is my favorite outlet.  I’ve been promoting our club’s cardio tennis program for over 18 months and now have even more respect for professional tennis players.  I think they must be the best conditioned athletes.

Memory Loss and Medicine Bottles

Seems to me to be occurring more frequently.  I know I know the answer to something and I used to get frustrated.  Now, I just wait with confidence that I’ll remember…in a few minutes.  I wonder why remembering names is the most difficult.

I recently realized that my nighttime bathroom break usually does not wake anyone up, but opening my medicine bottles in the morning does.

Recertification Examination

I sat for my recertification examination yesterday.  What an experience.  First of all, no #2 pencils!

My exam was taken at a Prometric testing center.  I was to carry my photo ID at all times.  No personal articles were allowed including phone and watch.  My personal affects were stored in a locker.

I was escorted to a small booth containing my computer.  Each test taker (many people taking a variety of tests) was monitored by an individual camera.


I took a break between each of 3 parts of my exam.  This required that I sign out and present my ID.

To reenter, I had to;

  1. Present ID
  2. Resign my signature
  3. Lift my pant legs and prove my pockets were empty.
  4. Undergo hand held metal detector screening.

TSA couldn’t do a better job.  Fortunately, no cavity search…this time.

Enjoy the year!



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Creating This Blog My Opinion

Wong Turns 50!

I turned 50 this past Labor Day Weekend.  It was a fun weekend of celebration.  A couple parties Sunday and last night.  I was able to celebrate with many people, those that live close and those that don’t.

I am probably younger than most of my readers (and followers).   Retinal disease can hit all ages, but tends to concentrate more heavily on the > 50 age group.  Therefore, I am not musing about what I “think” this will mean, because most of you already know better.

Randall Wong, M.D., Fairfax, Virginia
Taken with iPhone

More Traditional

Amy and the kids threw two parties.  We had most of our close friends Sunday and my cousin and brother last night.

I received dozens of well-wishes from friends and family on Facebook.  I received none from Twitter or LinkedIn.  Several of my kids’ friends texted me.

My office staff surprised me with a lunchtime birthday cake on Friday!  Caught me off guard.  Thank you everyone.  I was touched.  Nice surprise.

More Messages

  • I received one digital card wishing me happy birthday (from my aunt).
  • I received only one email (another aunty).
  • I got one phone call (yet another aunt).

Technology Keeps Us Together

Both my father, my wife and my brother thought I’d like an iPad.  Though I’ve been shopping for one for my wife (another big bday coming up soon), I never thought about it for myself.  Apparently others had.

I misplaced my phone for the past 12 hours (seems to be happening a lot lately).  Am now much more comfortable having my “tools” by my side.  When the two college kids returned to campus last night, they texted me about their status.  I like to know they are…you know, safe.  (Without the text messages, I did call one and got an email from the other).

I started a family blog last week.  This is to involve everyone directly related to my family by blood or marriage.  There seems to be a lot of energy about it…we’ll see.  May be a perfect way for this day and age for us all to “follow” each other.

I have been in medical practice for about 18 years.  This is, more or less, my half way point professionally (random thought, but this, too, seems more frequent).

My father and I video chat at least daily.  Morning is usually best for us.  We both seem to be on the computer at the same time.  I’ve been waking up earlier and earlier these days (sounding familiar?).  He lives on the west coast (uh, oh).

The Verb “To Follow”

As I continue my involvement with the Internet, the verb “to follow” becomes more meaningful.  Initially introduced as  a term for those that use Twitter, I find it is really just a “new” synonym for describing what we have all been doing for years;  we meet people, we stay in touch, we communicate.

Moreso than any other post, I have included more personal aspects of my life today.  Those of you that “follow” my blog can see this is not my usual type of post.  I think there is now a place for some more “personality” to be injected to this site.

What Does This Mean? I celebrated my birthday with so many people this weekend, most of whom I didn’t actually “see.”  It is so easy to keep in touch these days, there are so many devices (phones, video, computer) and ways (email, text, IM, blog).  Each and every device appeals to a certain personality.

It seems trivial, at first, when someone mentions that they are “following” someone on the web via social media.  It is a very powerful concept (distinct from stalking).  For instance, learning about someone else’s preferences and opinions teaches about our options.

“To follow” someone means to get to know someone.  It’s no different than having a casual conversation with someone, following up on the phone or exchanging business cards.  We used to say that we “met” someone.  We like to meet people.  It gives insight about everything we do.

Thanks for “following.”

Creating This Blog

Attn Email Subscribers: New Email Alerts

To My Subscribers,

In the past few days I have been busy changing the service that notifies you of new articles on the web site.

The email alert is no longer coming from (Google) and should be coming from aWeber (of no consequence to you).


  • the change in the new look of the message.
  • the “thank you” you just received although you signed up sometime over the past year.
  • you may have received two different alerts about the same article

Thanks for your patience,

Still learning.

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