Saturday, September 26, 2015

Weekly Whine: Lost

I was complaining to my mother the other day that I found it hard to get to an ATM, and I never ended up having enough cash on me.  She said to me, "I'll give you some cash next time I see you. Just don't lose it."

I found that remark completely baffling. She says that to me all the time, whenever she gets me something, that I shouldn't lose it.

The confusing thing is that there is absolutely nothing I have ever done to make her think that I would lose money that she gave me. Even as a kid, I never lost things. And as an adult, I definitely don't lose things.  

Is there a point when your parents stop thinking of you as a three-year-old?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

2 Driving Stories

This is a story about something that happened to a friend of mine:

A while back, he was parked in a lot during his kids ball game. Somebody was pulling out of another space and smashed into the back of his car. Then they drove away without stopping or leaving a note.

However, as it turned out, my friend was actually in the car. He got bored during the ball game and was sitting in his car, playing with his phone. He got out of the car after the impact, but the woman who hit him apparently didn't notice in her eagerness to speed away.

But he did see her license plate and wrote it down. They managed to find her and she had to pay for the damage to his car and there were some charges for having driven away.

Moral: if you smash into somebody's car, leave a note.

This is a second driving story that I also found kind of satisfying. It also happened to a friend of mine.

She was pulling alongside another car, and her rearview mirror scraped against the other car's mirror. She was at fault, and she pulled over to exchange information.

Unfortunately, the old guy that she hit was a huge jerk. He started blaming her for all sorts of other damage to his car and yelling at her for having a car that was "too big." (She had several children so she had an SUV, but it wasn't that big.)

Anyway, a week later, she was shopping at a department store, when she ran into none other than the old man who gave her a hard time after the accident. Bizarrely, the man was actually shoplifting. She saw him stuffing products from the store into his pockets surreptitiously. Nothing huge... she said that he took a coffee filter or something like that.

In any case, she alerted the store management on the way out.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

New release!

"What is your pain level on a scale of 1 to 10, where zero would be no pain, and 10 would be if you had an attack of kidney stones while in active labor, and while all that was going on, you were set on fire. Starting with your genitals. And then you were disemboweled, and the bowels that were removed were then also set on fire. And then while you were running around in active labor, passing a kidney stone, on fire with your bowels also on fire, you accidentally stepped on a Lego with your bare foot. And that Lego was also on fire."

"It's an 11."

At long last, I have assembled the book of humorous medical short stories that I've been talking about for freaking ever:

We've got 36 stories for you: true, fiction, and in-between. Admittedly, about 25% of them are stories you may have read on this blog or another, but at least 75% is entirely new material. I worked really hard to put together an enjoyable experience for you.

Please check it out!

After much thought and discussion, I've decided that all profits will be going to Deworm the World Initiative. It's incredibly sad that there are children out there who are riddled with parasitic infections that they could be rid of for a medicine that costs only pennies. Even if you don't want to buy the book, consider donating individually to this worthy charity.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hand sanitizer challenge

I contend that there is far too much hand sanitizer in the dispensers at hospitals.

This is the amount of foamed hand sanitizer that was dispensed into my hand:

This is the amount that is still left after 15 seconds of scrubbing:

After 30 seconds, it was mostly gone, although my hands were still somewhat damp.

Honestly, I think it's way too much.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


I am almost done working on the stories anthology, but I'm still paranoid about typos. Would anybody like to volunteer to read through the anthology just to look for typos? Not grammar errors, not anything else, just blatant typos like missing words or whatever.

If you can do it within the next day or two, please send me an email! It would be much appreciated.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Weekly Whine: Women are slow

Seriously, why do women take so long to use the bathroom?

Being a woman myself, I really don't understand it. I feel like when I am waiting for a woman to get out of the bathroom, I am just waiting forever. Whereas two or three men will come out in that period of time. What takes so long???

You'd think since they take so long, they would at least be able to clean up the urine splashes I find on the seat like 1/3 of the time.

I think I must take less time to use the bathroom than any other woman. I'm the only woman who gets out before my husband. I wash my hands, I swear.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


I recently had a patient who we had The Code Discussion with, a guy in his early 80s who had a hip replacement, and he emphatically said that he wanted to be DNR/DNI. We recorded his wishes in the chart. End of story, right?

Except the next day, the patient's wife called us into the room. She said she wanted to change her husband's status to full code. He wasn't particularly happy about it, but was agreeable. She said to him, "I'm not ready to lose you yet."

That story, to me, demonstrates two important facts about code status:

1) When elderly patients are made full code, it's often family members pushing for this status, rather than the patient himself.

2) People not in the medical field really just have no concept of what survival rates are when somebody goes through cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

For a patient over 70 years old, the chance of ever leaving the hospital after being resuscitated is only about 18%. But it gets better. If you do leave the hospital, you have a 60% chance of going to a nursing home, a 50% chance of having moderate to severe neurologic deficits, and a 50% chance of dying in the next year.

So basically, if you have CPR and are over 70 years old, your chances of returning home and not having severe disability are well under 10%. And the worst of it is that the person often pushing for the full code status isn't the patient who actually has to live through it.

I believe that patients over the age of 70 should not be given the option to be full code. That removes the stress and anxiety of having to make a decision, especially when the decision is not based on facts. Yes, maybe that 5% of people who would've lived happily for several more years might be sacrificed. But we will save 95% of people from weeks or months or even years of suffering, save probably millions on medical costs that could be better utilized, and also remove the guilt from family members.

But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Electronics Day

My daughter informed me today that she's very excited about her new teacher because he has something every year called "electronics day." Apparently, all the kids are invited to bring in one electronic device, such as an iPhone or an iPad for the day.

Then I made my daughter cry because I told her there was no way she was bringing a $300 piece of electronics to school with her.

I mean, the kid can't even manage to bring her water bottle home. And even if she were entirely responsible, she goes to an afterschool program where her backpack is out in the hallway, unguarded.  Someone could easily just steal an iPad.

I don't know what they were thinking asking a bunch of eight-year-olds to be responsible for expensive electronics. seems like a recipe for trouble. Plus if anyone doesn't have those devices, they feel really left out.

I'm not sure what to do now. I don't want her to be only kid who doesn't have something with her. But I'm not letting her bring a $300 items to school with her. She'd be more upset than anyone if the iPad disappeared.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


From a note I read:

The patient is on a dose of Neurontin 100 mg tid, which is much too high and is causing her to be confused. Therefore, I have decreased the dose to 200 mg bid.

(Note: TID = 3x/day, BID = 2x/day)