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Writer's Block: Set the Scene

Empty parking garages, roadside motels, dark caves, dank basements, overgrown forests—what kind of setting makes you feel nervous?
Nothing really makes me "nervous" .. but I'd rather not see coming through my door a pregnant woman with no pulse and a large angry husband by her side telling me to "fix her now." ...
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Writer's Block: You're a Winner!

Have you ever won a contest, drawing, or lottery? What was the prize?
I won a poetry contest in 4th grade. I got a yellow plastic ruler which I carved my last name in. I had it until last year when my boys broke it to pieces. :)

Music:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBJCrMKlxLY

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First off, let me say that my cousin emailed and said that her husband is doing fine and they got his face wired back together and he may go home next week!

I joked with her that she better have a good blender! :(

My old boss from the dialysis company moved to California earlier this year. Dialysis is an interesting business. It is a microcosm of the hospital industry in general AND of how it will be if we go to universal healthcare since it receives most of its funding from medicare.

The mid 2000's saw the biggest shake up ever in dialysis company's management.  The largest company in the world (Fresenius) bought up the third largest (My old company, Renal Care) ...but like banks... the government said, this created an unfair monopoly, so Fresenius had to sell off about half of the new centers. This practically created the company called DSI and reinforced the company called DaVita.

Long story short, My old boss, Joe is a very smart guy and was offered a corporate position in California so he couldn't be at my graduation, which he very much wanted to attend.

His son still lives here and the week before my graduation, he was in town, so we made plans to meet for lunch. Downtown Scottsdale is pretty central to the Phoenix area so we were going to have lunch at the Pink Taco.  A much maligned, saucily named restaurant north of Old Town.

When we got there, it was closed! I can't beleive it! Instead we had lunch at a place called Sauce... an upscale fast-food pizza place.  It was pretty good. My cousin (not the one with the husband in the plane crash) used to work for Sauce helping them open new stores... but she went back to Chilis where she is head of Marketing helping -them- open new stores.  If you have eaten at a chilis that opened in the last 5 years.. it's probably one she helped open.

Right now, I am sitting across the table from my son and his speech therapist.

It's not a good day for him.

She is trying to get him to do a thought bubble exercise where he talks about his feelings about different things by filling out several thought bubbles.  He or she draws the bubbles and one of the two of them draws pictures next to them to illustrate how he feels about certain things. Then, they add the words to describe the picture. This wasn't her original plan. Usually they do some word games and other "more fun" things... but he absolutely refused to participate today! 

He was actually in tears about halfway through the one hour session. He is sitting in his chair rocking and chewing on a rubber tube (the rubber tube is simply oral stimulation, which he craves) ...

Finally, he becan filling out the thought bubbles and I actually saw him smile once...

Summers are actually VERY hard on him. Autistic kids crave normalcy and routine. They want their parents, siblings, family, games, schedule and many other things to be "the same" as much as possible.  He will play the same scene in a video game over and over again, just because.

I swear he can sense stress in a way that other people can't, or perhaps, we all sense it and he just SHOWS how it affects him.

We recently increased his speech therapy from once a month to weekly because he has been acting out more and "tweaking" as we call it.

Lol.. he just clapped at himself for writing a paragraph.

I'm clapping too, little guy. ;)
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Just talking...

My cousin's husband was in a plane crash on Monday. They live in Iowa. He was hurt pretty bad, but so far nothing life threatening. He broke several bones in his face and skull, but doesn't appear to have any lasting brain injury.  I didn't ask, but I'm guessing it was either crop dusting or a hunting trip.

He is in plastic surgery as we speak! 

This is the cousin who, after her first hear of medical school dropped out to become a medical illustrator. I thought she still worked in this capacity, but I guess with 5 kids and a farm... she only sells free-lance art and works for the Parkinson's Institute gathering data by phone.

Her husband works the farm which is mostly cattle and hogs.  She told me they were doing something new that would revolutionize the small farm industry...

It's all on hold now, though until he can recover. Good Luck Melanie's family!

I have been trying to fix things around here before residency... like my son's airsoft gun.  It doesn't help that he neighbor kids (all of whom love to hang out at my house all day - not that I am complaining. I love it) think that any part of any toy or gun lying around is something that has to be moved, altered and not returned to where it was found... I've spent as much time tracking down working parts that came off the gun as I have trying to figure out what's wrong! 

Turns out it's the fire selector switch. Looks like a joy to disassemble the main body of the gun. ;)

I have been battling a sinus infx for about a month. It comes and goes and my own doctor thinks it's allergies, but... I know tooth pain and sinus pain and intermittent fever unrelieved by decongestants for over a week needs Abx... meh. lol. Even doctors can't get their doctors to give them Abx.  I'll give his Allegra and nasal steroids a week then go back again.

Enough random babble for one morning...
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I really hope in the near future, someone walks up to Jenny McCarthy or Jim Carey, or better yet Oprah and punches them in the face and screams, "My child died from (insert childhood disease here) because of your assinine claims about vaccines! 

Of course, this won't happen. That would be too perfect. And even if it did happen, the media would spin the poor mother (it would have to be a mom. A dad will not do...) as an insane psychopath.

Anyone in the mood to read the article that ticked me off? 


If not, here are the gems...

To this day, this is one of the most spectacular examples of the law of unintended consequences that I've ever seen, and I can't believe that anyone would think that a line like "the current levels of thimerosal will not hurt children, but reducing those levels will make safe vaccines even safer" would do anything other than what it did: spark a panic. Talk about your classic case of mixed messages!

One problem is that vaccines have been so successful that parents rarely see the full, ugly consequences of the diseases against which vaccines defend anymore. The other problem is that normal people can't adequately judge risk.... between four and five children per year die of injuries suffered while playing baseball, and well over 100,000 children a year are taken to the emergency room for injuries. Indeed, baseball has the highest child fatality rate of any sport, and there are nearly 3 million sports injuries a year in the U.S. So what do antivaccinationists fear more? Vaccines, of course! Why? Because they misunderstand science and expect scientists to prove that vaccines don't cause autism. Unfortunately, conclusively proving a negative is not possible in science. We can assign probability based on data, and numerous studies tell us that the chances that vaccines contribute significantly to autism is vanishingly small, but non-scientists think that it's possible to prove that vaccines don't cause autism and become suspicious when scientists qualify their statements. What to scientists is normal caution comes across to the public as waffling or weaseling.

Is there any way to overcome the power of the anti-vaccine "regression" story, which is often subject to confirmation bias or lack of knowledge of what to look for that leads parents to discount abnormal or "strange" behavior before vaccination that experts, when viewing videotapes, can immediately recognize as early autism symptoms. That's exactly what happened in the Michelle Cedillo test case for the Autism Omnibus. Her parents submitted videotapes to the court as evidence that Michelle was "perfectly normal" before she received her MMR vaccine. Experts who looked at these videotapes saw clear signs of autism.... [before being vaccinated.]


I guess what gets me are the people that say it's a "big pharma" conspiracy. I mean please. There never was any evidence that thimerisol was dangerous, and it was removed anyway, and its removal sparked a panic and was used as evidence of a cover-up? Not only that, but thimerisol has been gone for a decade and autisim rates are rising?  And they can identify autistic traits in kids who are videotaped BEFORE getting vaccines?  Oh, yes they can...

My youngest son has autism. He was born at 31 weeks and had a small brain bleed that healed before he left the NICU. But of course, that has nothing to do with it, right?  I am ADHD and so is one of my other sons. A lot of what I see in my autistic son is similar to what I see in myself and my other son... but then there's nothing to Autism and ADHD being on a spectrum, right? 

</ rant.

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And suddenly..

 There it was.. sleep. 

I think I got back in the groove of going to bed at a reasonable hour all of a sudden. We'll see how long this lasts.. 

Someone tell my kids to go to bed at eleven, mmmkay?

Music:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjDBHyA2Dxw

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Since Alaska would be the first to be hit if Korea launches a Nuke, does anyone find it a bit... I don't know... political that Obama is doing not a god dammned thing of substance about the problem?

I mean, if Alaska was a Blue State, would he at least pay attention?  You know James Carville is laughing saying, "That girl Palin would be the first to get hit?  Somebody pinch me!" 

Music:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoGOOBA6Pfg


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The Story of Sally Who was not a Patient

This is a short story I wrote the summer I was studying for step one of boards. I usually do "real writing" when there is something weighing on me that I can't otherwise over-come.  There was so much more going on that June than just boards.  Always is, no?



Sally's StoryCollapse ).

Thanks for reading. Now you know how emo I can REALLY be, eh?

Music:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zISiQ6PqATI

Music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESOSByWkqAI&feature=related

Music:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STF79j6pPI8

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So the thrust here is that if a universal healthcare system is implemented would it

1) Be made criminal to seek care outside the system
2) Not be made criminal giving rise to offshore hospitals and combination casino/hospitals on reservations where people can go to
     get treated by out of universal plan doctors. 

It goes on to extrapolate that the response to the college of surgeons to the possible future and current trend of doctor shopping outside the country is a bit strange. They are saying, logically enough, that it is more difficult to sue a foreign doctor if something goes wrong.

But the logical conclusion to that argument is: stay here for your surgery because we are easier to sue. 

Servicing what you sell is a great concept in business and everyone always draws parallells between the car business and medicine, but I wasn't thinking of lawsuits as "service after the sale" ... until now. 

I met a doctor the other night, a urologist, who talked a while about how the Obama administration is trying to give doctors assurances that whatever universal plan is implemented there will be a sun-up period on the plan so they can make arrangements for the impending financial changes...

This was probably the biggest thing that kept me from accelerating my medical career 23 years ago. At that time, I had a long talk with an anesthesiologist from the UK who said socialist healthcare was coming to America and I would be stupid to go into medicine.  I listened and it worked for about 8 years... but obviously, the pull was too great, and here I am. ... just in time for everything that kept me from doing it to come true.

That's just great. I want to service what I "sell" .. but I was hoping it would be in the form of giving out sound medical advice and follow up.

Maybe I should put up a sign in my office, "American Medicine: We're so good because we're easy to sue!" 

But then, I'm not going to be a surgeon... 

Can't stay awake... 

Music:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoGOOBA6Pfg
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Not an option, kids.

 Note to self: Autoerotic asphyxiation is not an option. I just know my 11 year old is going to ask if he sees David Carradine's full story.  Oddly enough, my younger children know him best as the host of a history channel show: http://www.history.com/content/wildwesttech

He was almost my parent's age! 

Music:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3YFmpSFJ40

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