Feet First

“It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” - Sir William Osler

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    Monday, January 11, 2010
    Peanut Butter: My New Best Friend

    A peanut butter sandwich, it turns out, is worth 6 points on Weight Watchers (if you use their bread). This has become valuable information.

    If you exercise enough, you get point credits and can eat more. This is also valuable information. I actually got to the gym yesterday for the first time in a long time. I have been frighteningly sedentary and there is really no excuse for this, as I realized doing twenty (not very demanding) minutes on the elliptical machine that my arms were beginning to hurt. Today they are mildly sore. This is ridiculous.

    And now for some medical stuff. My last workday of 2009 ran the gamut from high to low. High: a blessing from a patient of mine who's a priest. He came by to tell me he had to switch medical plans and couldn't stay with me, which made us both sad, but the blessing was his parting gesture. Maybe it'll help me out this year.

    Then later that same day I was evaluating a patient brought in by family for memory loss... did a mini mental status exam, on which the patient didn't score too well. Then I froze as the patient humbly apologized to the other family members "for embarrassing them." Time for Kleenex, and reassurance, and a referral to a neurologist.

    Last week I was confirming a pregnancy and gave the patient her estimated due date. She stared at me and said, "That's the day my mother went into cardiac arrest." I know that joyous events don't erase the memory of tragic ones, but somehow I hope she does give birth on that day.

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