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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    Sunday, February 28, 2021


    Not much new to report here. I have signed up to work in the clinic on Saturdays in March (after talking about it for more than a decade, The Firm has finally opened on Saturdays - another instance of the pandemic changing work patterns). My aunt clinically is about the same, but I don't know how long that is going to last - so I did not want to commit to more than one day per week.

    It's been stressful having her here, even though I know it's the right thing for her (and she knows it too). I know she feels isolated and depressed, though at least she is not in a nursing home but with her family. It is just too difficult to talk to my parents for any length of time, given my father's dementia and my mother's severe hearing loss. My aunt and my parents spend their days at opposite ends of the house. I have not been able to come up with a solution, as my parents claim a large part of my time and to be quite frank about it I do need some time to myself if I am not to implode. She has had many visitors, cards and letters and I think that is helpful but it doesn't make up for the fact that she is facing the end of her life. My aunt has asked for a television to be installed in the living room, where she sits; so we are going to be doing that next week. She loves to watch the news, so maybe this will make her feel better. 

    My study review materials for the Medical Boards have arrived, so that is something else I need to start working on. I have to recertify every ten years to keep my Internal Medicine certification. It's a couple of years early, but I would like to get it over with and this seems as good a time as any. Formerly the test was given twice a year, but (again due to the pandemic) it has been cut back to once. This will be the last time I have to take the test - but then again I promised myself eight years ago that I would not be doing this again, so there you are. 

    I had my colonoscopy done, but unfortunately I have to do it again! I followed instructions exactly but apparently the prep was not sufficient. That mixture you have to drink is the absolute worst. The archaic term for it was "saline laxative" and it works by pulling additional fluid into the intestine. This rinses everything out, so to speak. It contains magnesium, potassium, citrate and other lovely things. You also have to drink a lot of water with it so as not to induce dehydration. 

    Lately I have been pondering what to do when I am free to travel again. I would love to go back to Australia, to see the Netherlands and Scotland; but first of all I think I would like to travel Route 66. I'd bring along my camera and seek out some of the old buildings and locations to photograph. The route was decommissioned in 1985, with the completion of the Interstate Highway System, but has refused to die. It has a stature in American lore that I don't think will ever be replaced, partly due to the song, of course, but it is even mentioned in works like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and, of course, "The Grapes of Wrath."  A sadder bit of travel history associated with it: "The Green Book," a travel manual specifically for Black motorists, listing places that were safe - and unsafe - for them to stay. There were plenty of  "sundown towns" along the route where African Americans were not allowed after dark.

    And now I have to figure out my schedule for the week. More later. 

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