It is as though someone has drilled peep holes into the walls of emergency rooms, operating rooms and doctors' offices. I can't look away.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Dr. October is . . . MDOD Part Two
Q.1 Do I really have to call it the ED? I don’t like the negative connotations ED raises.
A.1 bad habit of which you have just disabused me. i had an attending physician in residency who would nearly pop a blood vessel in his brain if someone called it the "emergency room". his point being that we are really a department and not a 'room'. whatever. most of us who work in the ER suffer from ED. [What a way to kill a fantasy~MA]
Q.2: If MDOD were a boy band, who would be the bad boy? the heartthrob? the gay one? the shy one? the one who can't dance?
A.2 i think ETOTHEIPI, 'cat, and I could compete for the bad boy and heartthrob moniker especially looking at our picture, we are dead sexy no? since erdoc85 is new to the 'band' i will have to reserve judgement. (DRX refused to be in the photo). Oldfart is not so much shy as just grumpy. he's more like eeyore. DRX definitely cannot dance (nor can most of us) and he might come across as shy but that's just his barely concealed anti-social psychosis. none of us can sing or we would have a band and suffer only from hangovers and the clap.
Q.3 We read all the time on the medblogs about what sucks about practicing emergency medicine, tell us what is rewarding about being an emergency medicine physician.
A.3 there is a lot that is rewarding. i do try to write about this stuff when it happens but i guess i have fallen into the trap that traditional newspapers do which is that the good stuff does make me reflect and does give me warm fuzzies but somehow does not spark the writing impulse. the things they tell you in med school that ARE actually good about emergency medicine are the obvious: no beeper, no call, no clinic, and mobility. ironically, many of those things cut both ways. after years doing this the big saves matter a lot, making a difference in an instant IS gratifying, but the thanks from a worried mom or the "hey doc, you don't remember me but you took care of me three months ago..." meeting in the supermarket are just as good.
Q.1 Sorry, but I have to ask. Is the cat dead OR alive or dead AND alive before we open the box to check?
A.1 The CAT, which is me, was and is obviously alive, however it will not be the vial of poison that will kill me; I die slowly inside with every 3:00 am toothache. This is not a paradox, but a sad reality. I will soon be starting a SAVE THE CAT fund, to which all can contribute. All contributions will be matched and multiplied by the Hamiltonian operator.
Q.2 Tell us an embarrassing story about your residency.
A.2 As for me, I visited a friend in another state and after imbibing many screwdrivers, decided it would be a good idea to shave my head. Returning to the ED that next Monday brought many stares and snickers, and the attendings thought I had lost my mind. As for patients, two come to mind. Undressing a 55 year old "normal" appearing gentleman after an MVA only to find a silk victoria's secret thong left a lasting impression. Also, interviewing a crazy lady while she left a steaming pile of shit in the middle of the floor was another time I won't forget, but I wasn't embarrassed. The CAT remained calm and collected throughout residency.
Swear word- bullshit or mother-scratcher
Ice cream- chocolate
Vice president-George Clinton because he was a P-funk all star and is no relation to Bill
Love song- Endless Love
State- tie -Arkansas and Utah
Q.1 OMG –you not only see dead people, you touch dead people, then you cut them up into little pieces. Maybe I'm thinking about something else. What exactly do you do? Describe your typical workday.
A.1 I look through a microscope for about 6 hours a day. This allows me to:
1. avoid human contact; 2. not talk to patients; 3. shun interpersonal interaction.
Basically, I make all the tissue, blood, fluid etc. diagnoses in the hospital, write them down, then go home and turn off my pager. Sometimes I cut up dead people. I love my job.
Q.2: What's your guilty pleasure?
A.2 Masturbating with a Kermit the Frog puppet.
[These are the only questions I know how to ask in Russian--MA]
Q.1 âû õîòèòå êóïèòü ìåí& ïèòüåì? (Do you want to buy me a drink?)
A.1 What is the cost?
Q.2: âû õîòèòå come up ê ìîåé êîìíàòå? (Do you want to come up to my room?)
A.2 Are there any hidden listening devices or cameras there?
Q.3 âîë&, êîòîð âû íîñèòå ýòè scrubs? (Will you wear these scrubs?)
A.3 Da, I mean 'yes', after my food-taster/bodyguard has had a chance to inspect and clean them.
Q.4 òî áûëà ïîòåõà. ìîæåì ìû äåëàåì åãî ñíîâà? (That was fun. Can we do it again?)
A.4 I cannot commit to such a proposal but there is a strong likelihood that we can, at a time and place of my choosing.
Q.1 Old farts usually like to give advice. What is the best piece of advice you can give a young doctor?
A.1 stop now! find a new job...
Q.2 I find it interesting that you love to hunt and that you really wish you were a veterinarian. If you were a vet, after you shot the creature, wouldn’t your first instinct be to run over and see if you could save it?
A.2 I don't generally shoot dogs, horses, etc...
Q.3 Tell us about the good old days. Best changes? Worst changes?
A.3 a) CT Scanners; b) government
Q.1 So, what's the 85 stand for? Wouldn't erdoc69 be more fun?
A.1 '85 is the year I graduated from college. It's also the year I got married, but mostly I celebrate the former. erdoc69 WOULD definitely be more fun, but wouldn't get much done. Besides, when the doc leans close to listen to your heart, wouldn't you rather smell coffee breath than fish-face?
Q.2 Tell us your funniest "foreign object" story.
A.2 Hands down, this was the 82 year old with an antique porcelain door knob up her vagina. She "slipped on some newspapers". She waited 3 months to come and be seen (I'm safe in assuming no one else was paying a visit to "the creepy old dry cave"). I have photos and xrays to illustrate this one (patient name redacted). After I removed the object...she wanted to tell me this object's history! Like I said, it was an antique. >[10/27/07 -- I apologize to the visitor who arrived here by searching for "antique porcelain door knob cleaner". I don't think this is what they had in mind. Well, it is the Internet, so maybe it was. MA]
Q.3 We don't know that much about you. What kind of car do you drive? What color is your hair? Are you a glass half full or half empty kind of guy? How much money is in your wallet right now? Lefty or righty? Favorite fast food? Do you own a hat?
A.3 In order...Chevy Tahoe, brown hair, ONLY half-full (cautious optimist), $150, righty, Whataburger (they are the only 24 hour restaurant on my drive home), lots of hats--all baseball caps though I seldom wear any of them.
Dr. October is ...MDOD
When I started the Calendar Doc series, I knew the MDOD docs were going to be Drs. October-Halloween Edition. I’ve always thought the MDOD site was SPOOKY. The dark background, the dark stories, the dark humor. Before they hit the big time, it was like visiting a deserted ghost blog. I never saw comments from the MDOD docs on other blogs, and there were never comments from outsiders on MDOD. When I wanted to link the Throckmorton post, I asked for 911DOC’s permission because I was afraid to send my 15 readers over there unannounced.
The MDOD doctors are "different." They post interesting stories about their work and, in their comment section, make frequent references to masturbation, exhibit homoerotic tendencies toward one another, and call each other lewd and lascivious names, which makes MDOD one of my favorite medblogs. I have to admit, though, more than once when I was reading their responses to my questions, I would think “that boy just ain’t right.”
Here is Part One of the interview:
Q.1 I think at least one of y'all is a girl. Am I right?
911DOC: no, we are all genetically XY though given the recent coming to prominence of the transgender movement one of our number may not exactly identify himself as 'male'. i'm not saying who it is but if you ever played 'one of these things is not like the others' on sesame street you can figure it out pretty quickly.
Etotheipi: Don't be stupid. Girls are too yucky to write such brilliant socio-politico-medical commentary. Boys rule! [censored-sorry, but I don’t want no trouble from the authorities (or hits from those kinds of perverts). I haven’t had my law license very long, I don’t want to lose it over your penchant for ***** **** MA]
Oldfart: Doubt it
Q.2 How much money have y'all made off those Google ads on your blog?
911DOC: right now the counters are ticking so fast that i should have my kid's college education paid for before Al Gore's apocalypse.
Etotheipi: Ask 911… and then tell him to give me some of it.
Oldfart: I ain't seen no $$!
Q.3 Any tattoos? Piercings?
911DOC: not yet. considering either a puking skull on my left arm or a still-life of flowers or something.
Shrodinger’s Cat: 1 tattoo [he didn’t say where or what, and there's no way I'm gonna ask, so just assume the worst-MA]
Etotheipi: If I did, they would all be on my genitals.
Oldfart: Nope x 2
Q.4 Write a dirty haiku for me.
men can not find it
is it fact or friction-y
the graffenberg spot
Looking in your eye
Your stinking brown eye
I've been a bad boy.
My sister's still a virgin
But not anally.
Oldfart: what the fuck is a "haiku"?!
Q.5 Do one of y'all work with a monkey?
Shrodinger’s Cat: no monkeys
Etotheipi: This better not be some racist question because I'm 1/32nd Kickasquaw.
Oldfart: No, but I trained a few!! Damn fine doctors they are..
Q.6 Why do doctors look hot in scrubs but dentists don't?
911DOC: good question. i have a suspicion that it has to do with the fact that you know they are dentists and that if you had a heart attack in their chair that they would call the ambulance to come and get you. perhaps it's the same kind of thing as wearing a band uniform or a USMC uniform? all that being said, i would be much happier as a dentist.
Shrodinger’s Cat: I look great in my scrubs because I work out, eat right, and wear no underwear.
Etotheipi: Because of our oversize genitals (especially the large vaginaed women).
Oldfart: Cause we are
Q.7 And of course, what color scrubs do you wear?
911DOC: black usually though a reddish top i used to have has now faded to pink. i love it.
Shrodinger’s Cat: Maroon scrubs
Etotheipi: Heliotrope and puce.
In Part Two, the MDOD doctors will answer more questions. I just have to do a little more legal research on some of their answers. That boy just ain't right.
Picture: MDOD doctors less Dr. X and erdoc85. Don't worry, doctors that don't cooperate get "special" candid pics posted, so look for pictures of Dr. X and erdoc85 pictures in Part Two.
PART TWO is here.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Request for Match Day Stories
Calendar Doc Tomorrow! Let's just say it's going to be a "different" kind of interview.
Proto magazine is looking for short, exciting Match Day stories from doctors who participated last year or just remember like it was yesterday. How were you affected by the tension of the moment? Did you faint with relief (or disappointment) upon opening your envelope? Did another student’s reaction catch your eye and make you think?
If you didn’t match, were you lost in “the scramble?”
Please send your stories to Carrie Jones at carrie_jones @ timeinc.com and include your full name and contact information with your submission. If we like your story, we may need to contact you for a brief follow-up. If you’d rather remain anonymous, we can withhold your name for publication.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Memeing My Own Business
First, my blogging pal Amanda can't think of anything to write about so she has requested that she be meme'd. I still have a few memes left over from when she insulted me by questioning my womanhood, so I am happy to oblige. Since it's more than a few questions, I am going to send you over to Addicted to Medblogs Two for the memes. Be sure and let me know if you participate, so I can link it here. I know my 15 readers would like to see your answers.
Eight Random Things About the Calendar Docs
1. It takes me longer to write the questions than it takes the doctors to answer the questions.
2. The doctors don't get to see their picture before I post the interview. Except for Drs. October, who submitted their own picture. (Something about not trusting me with a camera after talking to Scalpel.)
3. I joke about being afraid to e-mail the docs, but its true that I am shy and the first e-mail is always the hardest to send.
4. When I started the series, I knew immediately who the first 6 doctors would be. I also knew exactly who I wanted for Dr. June, Drs. October and Dr. December. I already have Dr. December's picture. hehehe
5. My original idea was to make up both the questions and the answers, using information from the doc's blog. I couldn't do that with Trenchdoc because he no longer had a blog, so I asked him if he would mind answering some questions. It worked out so well that I decided to scrap my original idea and make it a real interview.
6. Hint for Drs. October.
7. Come on, do you really need a hint?
8. I hope that this counts as 8 random things, otherwise, 911DOC is going to have a problem.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I Like Free Stuff (Or, I'm Playing With My New Printer Again)
The mall is also a good place to get free stuff. There's nothing I like more than getting free stuff. I've been known to buy stuff I don't need or want, just to get the free stuff (usually more stuff I don't need or want--but it's free). My strategy is simple, I just act interested, and I may get a few free samples of cosmetics, perfume, etc. You know, fun stuff.
So I was at the mall, heading for Sephora, because I wanted to see if they had the lip plumper that I saw on an infomercial. Hey, don't laugh, it has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, so it must work. Anyway, on my way there, I saw the L'Occitane store and decided to go in there and see what rich people smell like.
Sales Guy saw me walk in and immediately asked me if I wanted to put all my smaller bags in two larger bags. Well, sure I do. I love those free shopping bags. I'm in a closet and drawer cleaning frenzy right now and those bags come in handy for carting stuff to the Women's Center. But I don't think he was necessarily trying to be helpful, he just recognized I was an accident waiting to happen and he didn't want to be cleaning up stuff I knocked over with my bags. (BTW, I also walked through two department stores where I know they will ask if they can put your stuff in their bags when they see you carrying a competitor's shopping bag. I walked out of the mall with 8 large bags and 6 smaller bags. Free stuff that I can actually use.)
Sales Guy was very nice, and after I told him I wasn't going to buy anything, I just came in to smell, he took me on a tour of the place.
As I was leaving, Sales Guy asked me if I wanted some free samples. For some reason, I told him no thanks, and I turned to leave. He refused to let me leave without free samples and filled a small shopping bag with all of these goodies:
So now, I'm thinking my new strategy will be to refuse samples, and maybe I will get even more free stuff.
Okay, I realize this isn't a particularly interesting post, but it did serve a purpose. It gave me a chance to see what other tricks my new printer can perform. I learned that I can pile a bunch of crap on top of my printer, press a button, and Voila! I have a picture for my blog. I know, I know, any fifth grader already knows this. The only complaint I have is, the picture isn't big enough to illustrate how many goodies I actually walked away with.
Monday, October 08, 2007
The July Syndrome
This is a page from my SiteMeter stats. Note the Visitor's Time and the Search Words.
I had always heard that you shouldn't go to the hospital in July because that is when the new doctors start. Being a non-medical type, my warped medblog addicted mind immediately figured this must be a new intern. It was his first day, he was asked to do something, and the patient wouldn't cooperate and refused to pull his pants down. Now, the new intern probably didn't want to be forever known as the doctor who couldn't get a patient to drop his pants, so he snuck off and Googled it.
I know, this would have been funnier and more appropriate if I had posted it on July 2nd. That's been the theme of my life lately--a day late and a dollar short. I could tell y'all that I was busy working, but the truth is, I couldn't figure out how the hell to get the SiteMeter page onto my blog. I am technically challenged.
But now I have a fancy new printer. I probably made it infinitely more complex than it should have been, but I managed to not only get the page to show up on my computer, I have added red circles!
So what if it is two months late? BFD. It's still funny.
No telling what y'all are gonna see on my blog in the future.
Just in case another intern has this same problem next year, is there anything you can do when the patient won't pull his pants down?
Friday, October 05, 2007
A Kernel of Corn ~ The End
I said goodbye to Nicole in June. She assured me that she wasn't in pain and she wasn't scared.
I cried silent tears the entire trip home. I know everyone who saw me that day at the airport and on the plane thought I was crazy.
As soon as I got home, I started writing a letter to Elizabeth, telling her everything I could remember about her mother during those college years. I told her every single thing we did, no matter how irrelevant or inconsequential it was. At first, I thought that I would give the letter to Elizabeth when she went away to college, but now I'm not so sure. Maybe it's something she will want to read when she is thirteen or fourteen. I guess it doesn't matter right now, I still have a few years to decide.
The call came in September. Nicole had died at home, in her own bed, with Mark by her side. Just like she wanted.
I will be carrying a locket with pictures of Nicole and Elizabeth when I am running in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure this month. And Nicole will be looking down laughing at me because she knows how much I hate to run, especially in the morning.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
A Kernel of Corn ~ The Middle
After the wedding, I went back to my hometown and Nicole and I kept in touch. She must have been made for marriage because she said the hardest part about it was trying to come up with ideas for dinner every night. Nicole decided to accelerate her master life plan and, about a year after she married Mark, Nicole gave birth to the beautiful Elizabeth. I went to visit Nicole when Elizabeth was three months old. I was afraid to hold her, but Nic sat me on the couch and put Elizabeth in my arms. Once Elizabeth realized I wasn’t a source for dinner, she put her head down and fell asleep. I can still remember everything about that night, the feel of Elizabeth’s weight on my chest, her soft breathing, and that baby smell. I was afraid to move because I didn’t want Elizabeth to wake up and be taken away from me.
A few months after my visit, Nicole called and told me she had found a lump in her breast while feeding Elizabeth. She made an appointment to see her doctor, but she wasn’t really worried because everyone said she was way too young to have cancer. I asked Nicole how big the lump was, and she said "the size of a kernel of corn."
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
A Kernel of Corn ~ The Beginning
We were nineteen when we met, the first day of our sophomore year in college. Nicole and I had a lot in common and we became fast friends. We shared a townhouse during our junior and senior years. Those three college years with Nic were full of Lucy and Ethel adventures and misadventures and I loved every fun, crazy minute.
Nicole was tall and beautiful and would turn heads when she entered a room. She was also one of the nicest people I have ever met. In the entire time I knew her, I never once heard her say anything nasty about anyone. But she wasn’t nice in that overly sweet, annoying way. She was just confident and easygoing. Nicole was religious, but not judgmental. She lived her life the way she needed to but accepted people as they were. Nicole would get up every Sunday morning and go to church, no matter how late we had stayed out the night before. I always thought it was funny because Nicole went to church on her own volition. I slept in every Sunday because my parents weren’t around to make me get up and go to church.
Nic wasn’t perfect. We had the largest collection of stolen bar glasses in town. I can’t remember ever leaving an establishment without hearing the sound of clinking glasses in Nicole’s purse. She (with three unnamed accomplices) once left a banquet with two complete place settings stashed away. It was a dinner for the football team; very festive and pretty. And yes, everything was lifted before dinner; Nic wasn’t about to ruin a good purse. Plus, our boyfriends at the time drew the line at sneaking out dirty dishes for us.
Nic had a stalker during our senior year. He eventually stole a load of MY clothes out of the dryer and nailed a pair of MY panties to our door with an obscene note to Nicole. It didn’t take long to figure out it was the weird neighbor who came over to introduce himself wearing nothing but his Speedo's in 30 degree weather. We heard his parents spent all night packing his stuff up so he could be gone by the next morning. I teased Nic for years about how she owed me new towels and underwear because of her bad choice in stalkers.
Being best friends, Nicole and I talked about everything. While we were alike in a lot of ways, we didn’t share the same hopes and dreams. I wanted a career with no concrete plans, no boundaries, no fences. Marriage before age thirty wasn’t an option for me. Nicole, on the other hand, had her life mapped out. According to her master plan, she would graduate, get married, work for a year, have her first child, then spend the next twenty years being a wife and mother. There was never any doubt in her mind that this would happen, in that order, and according to her schedule.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Law School Musical
Not a day goes by that I don't get a few hits from people searching for information on the LSAT or law school. I hate for people to walk away disappointed, so this is for all of you wannabe lawyers (or for you people who just want to confirm you made the right decision by not going to law school).