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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    Friday, April 21, 2006
    Phones, Down

    Our phone system has been f'ed up since last night. We can't call out, and very few patients can call in. This episode follows on the heels of another one two weeks ago, not quite as dramatic as today's - from minute to minute the phones would allow you to call out, then would not. Oh, and my cell phone is dead, so I can't even resort to that option to contact patients. We are lined up to use the red emergency phone in the reception area, which runs off a different circuit, for the most urgent calls.

    In other words, I'm having a GREAT day. (Seriously, the silence is wonderful.)

    In other news, this week I saw the reappearance of an old favorite illness. A woman in her fifties walked in complaining of not feeling well and having a rash that itched. She stated the rash was on her back and left cheek; when I examined her, I realized that she also had rash on her forehead, right cheek, and chest and shoulders. Staring at it, the phrase "dewdrop on a rose petal" popped into my head from nowhere... then realized it was an old memory aid from med school to diagnose chicken pox. Yep, it was chicken pox, and my subconscious diagnosed it! How cool is that?

    Me, I had chicken pox at age seven, and I'm so glad I did. It has guaranteed me protection ever since. I was always the one sent in to examine the varicella and zoster patients all through med school, residency, and during my gainful employment since. I've never had a problem.

    More later. I've got to check the phones again.



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