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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    Tuesday, November 30, 2004
    Wacky Phone Greeting of the Day

    I was returning a phone call from a patient who'd left her work number. The woman who picked up the phone said, and I quote:

    "Results happen at Positive Changes, this is Venus, may I help you?"

    It's difficult to respond to an opening like that, but if I'd had any presence of mind I would have said, "Hi, this is Dr. Neptune."

    Monday, November 29, 2004

    Thanks everybody for your good wishes. My family and I went to Mexico, near Cancun, for a week. It was great. I did nothing but swim, eat and play with my niece and nephews. And yes, my birthday was Friday. No Thanksgiving dinner, but that was a small price to pay - and my mother loved not having to cook (though my niece was bummed).

    And now, back to your regularly scheduled posts, when I have dug my way out from the charts.

    Friday, November 19, 2004
    Running Out the Door

    Sorry for the light posts lately, it's just been insane. I have wanted to participate in the weekly med blogs Grand Rounds, but haven't had anything useful to say or time in which to say it. Anyway, I'm off on a vacation and will be back the week of November 28. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

    And to Ilyka - congrats on the successful turkey experiment!

    Wednesday, November 17, 2004
    Things To Do...

    When your co-worker is away.

    Thursday, November 11, 2004
    RIP, Good Dog

    Todd died yesterday after a very brief illness. He belonged to V. and her family. V. and her husband found him at the local animal shelter. Back then, he was undernourished and skinny, but his head was huge and looked out of proportion to the rest of him; they dubbed him "Big-Head Todd." (He filled out pretty quickly once they brought him home; he was part German Shepherd, and I'm guessing, part Rottweiler as well.)

    Todd was gentle, affectionate and liked people; he was good with kids. The first time I met Todd was shortly after I'd started working for The Firm, when V. invited me for a Labor Day weekend party; shortly after that, V. was pregnant and on bed rest and I dropped by to chat and augment the tedium. Todd greeted me by sticking his head under my dress and throwing my skirt in the air, which endeared him to me immediately. He loved to eat bees, too - either he never got stung or he didn't care, we weren't sure which. And he loved to be petted. In his later years I would sit beside him on the floor and talk to him and stroke him for minutes at a time; the moment I stopped he'd nudge my hand for more.

    He got sick earlier this week, with bloody diarrhea and jaundice. Initially V. thought he might have eaten some rat poison, but the vet thought it was more likely cancer. Yesterday morning he was bleeding from the nose and having seizures.

    There was only one thing to do. They did it.

    We're all going to miss him.

    Wednesday, November 03, 2004
    A Tale of Two Interns

    Thanks to DB for this link to an excellent article about two interns who were polar opposites - the past and future of medicine.

    Oh, and have I mentioned BugMeNot yet? If you don't want to register to read online articles, go here and type in the web address for publications like the New York Times and others. It's simple but ingenious; you pool ID and passwords.

    Election Fire Sale

    Interesting item up for grabs on Ebay today...

    Monday, November 01, 2004
    Australia... who knew?

    [Got the below off Shauny's website. - Dr. A]

    The questions below about Australia, are from potential visitors.
    They were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are
    the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have a
    sense of humour.

    Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on
    TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK).
    A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching
    them die.

    Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
    A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

    Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad
    A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.

    Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia? (Sweden)
    A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

    Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a
    list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)
    A: What did your last slave die of?

    Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in
    A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe.
    Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does
    not... oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in
    Kings Cross. Come naked.

    Q: Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
    A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here
    and we'll send the rest of the directions.

    Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
    A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

    Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
    A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which
    is...oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday
    night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

    Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? ( UK)
    A: You are a British politician, right?

    Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year
    A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk
    is illegal.

    Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense
    rattlesnake serum. (USA)
    A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All
    Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and
    make good pets.

    Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget
    its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)
    A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out
    of gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You
    can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go
    out walking.