Eleven / Once : A Memoir

Photo by John Keith Hall, III

Photo by John Keith Hall, III

 

Eleven / Once : A Memoir is the tell-all memoir of the last 11 years of my life. Eleven has always been my favorite number. I’ve been planning to put these last 11 years of my life on paper, as I always told myself that if I wasn’t happy as a doctor, I would just become a famous, successful singer/actor/songwriter/artist/author/athlete instead.

Presently, I am less than 24 hours out from my first triathlon, the Nautica Malibu Triathlon. It’s a fitness goal I sent a year ago when I had no one to come see me run my 8th half marathon. I wanted to inspire my patients with fibromyalgia and mental illness that they can do anything they put their minds to. To share stories of superhuman Olympic athletes and inspire them. My pain is debilitating, and I’ve never asked for money even when finances have been tough. But if you’re reading this, I hope you’ll consider donating at the link below to help fight pediatric cancer. Or, if you can’t afford it, give me some virtual money: clicks, likes, retweets, sharing my story with others it may inspire. https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/nauticamalibutriathlon2019

To track me on race day (Classic Distance is 9/15/2019 7 AM PDT): http://www.nauticamalibutri.com/results/

In 8/2018, I was forced to resign from my primary care medicine job due to fibromyalgia. I traveled to Tulum alone on a vacation prescribed by the doctor that I credit with saving my life and preventing me from becoming another statistic of physician suicide - a cause I have worked hard to fight since 2012 when I was a resident at the Cleveland Clinic. At that time, the wheels were already in motion for me to start working for the closest Federally Qualified Health Center to the San Ysidro - Tijuana border crossing. It was another incredibly stressful job that I would ultimately be advised to leave for multiple reasons by multiple people in my life, though I’m grateful for the chance to provide care to a population. I had my job with Brightside lined up before I left in 3/2019. I got more active on social media to spread the beauty of California with my friends and family who are scattered across the country, as many of my athletic adventures I do alone: skiing, running, swimming, biking, hiking, weightlifting, snorkeling, kayaking, surfing, etc.

While I was in Tulum on vacation 10/2018, I reflected and enjoyed the beauty around me. I listened to Carrie & Lowell and worked on covers of songs that spoke to me, as I always have. It was an album I’d avoided despite being a huge Sufjan Stevens fan due to the content matter. I discussed emojis with the Mexican giving me the tour and bought souvenirs of Philadelphia Eagles made by locals. Hay partes del libro escrito en español, y idealmente tengo el plan de lanzarlo en los dos idiomas, para que todos que hablan inglés o español puedan aprender, tal vez, un poco de un otro idioma mientras que lean mi historia. Escribo mucho de mis experiencias en Argentina, España, y Mexico, y me gustaría compartir mi historia con todos mis amigos en todo el mundo. Es una historia de languaje, de la voz figurativa y literal, y de tantas otras cosas. No quiero tener las limitaciones con respeto a publicarlo con respeto al idioma. Con tiempo, este sitio de web va a incluir más en español. Mi computadora y Facebook y mucho de mi vida existen en español. Así que es muy importante para tener control de mis palabras en cualquier idioma.

For legal reasons, I have not been able to start writing this book until 2019, when I quit corporate medicine. I started writing Eleven / Once in 4/2019 as I waited for my job with Brightside to start. The last 5 months have been a whirlwind of 27-dimensional chess, juggling a variety of issues. But I’m excited to share my entire story with the world, and the book will soon be done.

After publication, I plan to release it as an audiobook. A major theme of the book is how music, exercise, and art healed me in a way that traditional medicine never could. Another is our interconnectedness, how we share our stories with each other, and how we integrate our work and personal lives. Thus, having an audiobook will allow me to share my singing and music and my authentic voice, both literally and figuratively with the world.

With regard to the rest of my website, the best way to stay up to date is to follow me on Instagram, like my Facebook Page, read my blog, follow me on Twitter, pass the word on…

Sincerely,

Rich LeBano, MD / Tenor 1

All content created by Rich LeBano, MD, unless otherwise credited