Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Here on gilligan's isle

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip.
That started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship.
The mate was a mighty sailin' man, the skipper brave and sure.
Five passengers set sail that day, for a three hour tour..."

Do you know the rest of the words? No, I don't either. Did you know that for a mere $90,000 that you too can own the famed S.S. Minnow from the Gilligan's Island television series? Thanks to the person who sent me this link from CNN.Com talking about this story.
The twin-diesel, 36-foot (11-meter) mahogany Wheeler Express Cruiser hit a reef in Hecate Strait as the former owner was taking the vessel down the coast from Alaska. Scotty Taylor of Parksville said the owner sold the 46-year-old boat to him for salvage on condition that he promise to restore it.

Schultz, a boat broker, estimated Sunday that the work cost more than $180,000...

Taylor is selling the storied vessel because he is tired of it.

"He's going on 70 now and doesn't want to bother with it anymore," Schultz said. "It would make a great investment for a three-hour tour."
Likely story. I heard that this guy just got sick of all the Gilligan's Island jokes. Wouldn't you? I don't blame him. Give this guy some cider. I think that will definitely make him feel better.


When I first started exploring blogs, I was amazed by the amount of bloggers out there writing about pain. Pain that was difficult to diagnose. Pain that was/is difficult to treat. Pain that no one would believe -- except the blogosphere.

I read this interesting article from the Washington Post this morning talking about patients who have pain without a known cause -- meaning all testing that has been done is negative. The term somatization disorder is given to these individuals.

(Don't get me wrong, all the blogs that I read talking about pain do have a medical diagnosis and are receiving treatment. I want to be clear that I'm not labelling anyone that I read with the above term.)

I found the article interesting because it describes a treatment called "Cognitive Behavior Therapy," that teaches patients practical skills to help manage their symptoms.
The patients' ability to function, as measured by the number of stairs they could climb and the distance they could walk, was improved, and they reported being less troubled by 40 symptoms, including headaches, nausea, joint pain and difficulty swallowing.
The article goes on to say that those with this disorder may be more focused on their bodies than other people and have difficulty determining what is "normal" aches and pains - perhaps a "hypersensitive nervous system."
Arthur Barsky, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and expert on medically unexplained symptoms, said he considers cognitive therapy essential.

"I focus on the way people think about their symptoms and try to decrease their hyper-vigilance," said Barsky, who has published studies of both somatization and hypochondria. He teaches patients to stop scrutinizing how fast their heart is beating, for example, to quit touching their neck to see if a lymph node is swollen, and to avoid searching the Internet for clues to their symptoms.
From my perspective, pain is a difficult thing to get a handle on. There has been a movement, especially in the medical community, to make an assessment of pain (during an office or hospital visit) as common as taking a blood pressure or obtaining other vital signs. I think this is a good thing, because I admit that docs probably don't address pain very well.

I definitely agree that there is a mind/body link. With that in mind, there has to be options for these individuals with somatization disorder. If cognitive therapy is proven to help is most cases, I'll definitely utilize this treatment option. I'll be closely watching the scientific/clinical studies as they further unfold.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Cider elixir

Those wild and crazy researchers at the University of Glasgow have really come up with something interesting. According to All Headline News, it all has to do with cider.
English cider apples are known to have a high quantity of phenolics - antioxidants that are associated with prevention of stroke, heart disease and cancer. Researchers are now looking into whether these same benefits could be observed in cider drinkers.

Researchers led by Serena Marks and funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the National Association of Cider Makers will be looking at the effect of drinking cider in 12 volunteers in the next few weeks. The purpose will be to study how phenolics are absorbed and metabolized by humans.
Hey! Over here! I'll be happy to volunteer my services for the sake of science. I'll even bring my own cider -- my favorite one is right here. *LOL*

Cell suicide

There's a story out today stating that scientists at the University of Illinois have found a way to make cancer cells "commit suicide" thereby "stopping [cancer] in its tracks." If this research can eventually made into some kind of medical treatment, other than side-effect-filled chemotherapy and radiation therapy, this is great news!

Here's a sample of the news coverage today --
Medical News Today: Making Cancer Cells Commit Suicide
Scientific American: New Compound Causes Cancer Cell Suicide
BBC News: Cancer Cell "Executioner" Found
New Scientist: Reawakened "Executioner" Makes Cancer Self-Destruct
MedIndia: A Synthetic Molecule Instigates Cancer Cells to Self-Harm

I'm probably the only one that finds this curious, but I was very surprised by the "non politically correct" language that was used in describing this news story. If a person committed suicide, would that be in the headline? Would the word "executioner" be used in a headline? Maybe I think about things too much. You're right, I should just get back to work.


"Thank you so much for inviting me to speak at your Alzheimer's Association support group this evening. I really appreciate this opportunity..."

I mentioned a few of weeks ago that I was going to do this talk. Thanks to all those who gave me comments and e-mail on this. This feedback helped me in my preparation.

I did a similar talk about 3-4 years ago at the hospital. There must have been 70-80 people there. When I showed up to the support group meeting, there were seven people. My reflex, at first, in a totally selfish thought was, "Only 7 people? I prepared a talk for only 7 people?"

After a few seconds of reflection, I knew I was being ridiculous and very selfish. I also knew that if there was only one person there, that one person took the time out of her/his schedule to hear a doctor talk about this mysterious disease.

What usually happens is that the question and answer session is better than anything that I prepare. So, I condensed a 60 minute presentation into about 20 minutes. "Are there any questions?" -- And, boy there were! A few of them were right along the lines of Moof's questions from earlier this month: How soon do you really want to know, Suicide: Acceptable in Alz, and If You Could Choose. Cathy has also posted about Alz before - namely devoting her blogfest to Alz Assoc, and this post called Skin Test.

Each person there shared her/his story about Alzheimer's. I couldn't help but feel helpless. With all the knowledge and training that I have, I knew that there is no cure for this disease, yet. One person there had concerns that her husband may have Alz. She was afraid to tell him that she was going to attend the meeting, and had questions "that only a doctor could answer." Unfortunately, I did not have a lot of answers, but I think she felt ok with what I said.

"In this day and age," one of the group members said, "older people would rather have cancer than Alzheimer's Disease." I have not stopped thinking about this statement since that night. Such a powerful statement, yet, I believe it's true.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


I usually don't get even close to political commentary. But, as a disclaimer, this post may go there.

I turned on the news this morning and the two news stories getting the most attention were Hurricane Ernesto in the Atlantic and the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. There was a five minute segment on Ernesto and a 25 minute segment on Katrina. The survival stories of the people from New Orleans are inspiring, yet saddening because some still have nothing.

What frustrates me are the politicians (usually democrat) that are brought onto these shows who just hammer away on how Katrina relief was slow (which I agree with - local, state, and federal gov't could have done better) and how we're not ready for an Ernesto disaster if that happens. Is this the media coverage that's going to happen for the next two weeks? I see politicians re-hashing this thing all over again just to advance their political agendas.

I turned to another channel this afternoon, and watched one of the many stories from September 11. These are all moving stories which effect me, even years later. But, this story was followed by a politician (usually republican) who appears to be trying to advance a political agenda. I have heard that the next two weeks will be best time (politically) for democrats, then the republicans will have their turn.

Just as a friendly piece of advice to all the politicians and political pundants out there, stay away from making these anniversaries into a political statement. I am not trying to take away from the tragedies that happened, but what frustrates me is politicians and other people trying to capitalize on this.

I know it's an important election year in the United States. And, I know that these two dates bring on a lot of emotion. But, if people try to score some political points at the expense of human suffering, that's going to turn a lot of people off, including me.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


If nothing else, I'm responsive to my loyal readers (that's all of you). I've added a few things to my sidebar this morning. Check them out and let me know what you think. I'm playing soccer doc today and I'll be back tonight. Have a great day!

Friday, August 25, 2006


I hate when people quote themselves, because it's an egotistical thing to do *grin*, but I'm going to do it anyway. Here's what I wrote on July 27, 2006 when I was Done With Cycling:
I've decided. I'm done with cycling. I just can't take it anymore! I stopped watching baseball because of Barry Bonds. I'm also done with football and basketball. Olympics - yeah right! Definitely not the summer games. Maybe my beloved golf is the last bastion of honor in all of sport. Unfortunately, I betcha that they'll start drug testing Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam in the near future.
Well, now it's happened. Not really drug testing yet, but the debate has started in the golf world about drug testing its players. I was very surprised by who started this debate -- it was Tiger Woods himself. You'd think it would be one of the other players who are whining because Tiger is winning all these tournaments.

In this article from, Woods reacted to the statement from PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem who saw no need to drug test its players without evidence of steroid use.
"I think we should be proactive instead of reactive," he [Woods] said. "I just think we should be ahead of it and keep our sport as pure as can be. This is a great sport, and it's always been clean."
I am definitely all for this move to test professional golfers. Many people have said that Tiger Woods has increased the popularity of golf just like Lance Armstrong increased the popularity of cycling. With the events of this year's Tour de France, I think cycling will fall back into obscurity because of its drug scandal. If golf takes this fore-ward step, I think its popularity will continue to rise and golf will remain a sport above the rest.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dwarf planet

I'm feeling like Rip Van Winkle right now. I take a little nap this afternoon and my entire world is changed - more like the universe I knew is smaller now.

In case you've been in a cave today, the big new story today is that our dear friend Pluto was demoted to the status of "Dwarf Planet" by those mean people at the International Astronomical Union.

After having his planet card revoked, I just saw Pluto at the "Asteroid Bar" and it's not pretty. He's up there singing karyoke, drinking, depressed. It's not a pretty sight.

I'm so upset by this and I'm going to do something about it. I've hunted around the internet and found the perfect "Save Pluto" t-shirts on this site. I think that we can still change this. It's a travesty of justice. How can people just arbitrarily decide what a planet is and what a planet is not. I'm not standing for it, and you shouldn't either. Join us to save our friend Pluto! *LOL*

BA tomorrow

Ladybug is having the post-final-exam Blogaholics Anonymous meeting tomorrow at her place. (BTW, good luck on your exam). Don't know what a BA meeting is all about? Never been to one? Don't be afraid, we're all nice people. As always, it is BYOB -- Bring Your Own Blog!

I encourage you to check out my sidebar for the "minutes" of the past meetings. They're kind of fun, actually. The links are below my new side bar photo, like it?

Me, I'm going to bed. No, not what you think. I wasn't blogaholic insomniac. I was on-call insominac. Not a lot of sleep last night. Now that it's almost noon here, finally got to the office after finishing up stuff at the hospital and making sure my patients are plugged in with the appropriate people, resources, services, testing, etc.

See you at the meeting tomorrow. I'll have my McDreamy self there.
Will you be there? *smile and wink* (Can I pique you interest any more?)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Just thinking out loud, I think I'm finding a new rhythm to this thing again. You see two days ago, I was in a posting mood, so that's what I did. And yesterday, I was more in a comment mood, so I did some blog hopping and posted comments. Maybe I'm on to something here. But, as everyone has told me, there are no rules -- just do what you want.

Anyway... Focusing.... As you know, I've been in this kind of reflective mood recently. During this time, I've heard from a bunch of my new blog friends -- which I really appreciate and I am humbled by. However, I haven't really heard from my "in person" friends, who I will call my non-blog friends.

That really made me think. Hmmmm... In this day and age where electronic communication is more common and more convenient than in-person communication, do I have communication more with my blog friends or my non-blog friends? Now, the people at work don't count, at least for me, because all of you know how much I work (too much).

Anyway... Focusing again... This entertains an interesting question: When it comes to citizens of the blogosphere, do people have more blog friends or non-blog friends? For me, I've come to find out that it's the former -- not that it's a bad thing, but an interesting realization.

How about you? Do you have more blog friends or non-blog friends? Do you care? Does it bother you one way or another? I'm Dr. A, and I'm a re-discovered blogaholic...

BTW, I haven't plugged my map lately. If you haven't placed yourself on my map, what are you waiting for? Click here and join the 29 others who have already done it!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Save Pluto

Hot off the press at the Johns Hopkins Gazette, apparently there is a raging debate on whether Pluto is actually a planet. I know I have been off for a while, but who knew that this debate would be raging across the United States.
That debate may finally end next week, when members of the International Astronomical Union meeting in Prague will vote on a formal definition of the word "planet." According to the proposed definition, a planet is any star-orbiting object with enough mass for its own gravitational force to pull it into the shape of a ball. Furthermore, the object must orbit a star, without being a star itself.
I don't know about you, but I really think that Pluto is a dog and not a planet. It's pretty apparent to me, but listen to Professor Richard Henry:
I think the notion that Pluto is a planet is absurd. When it was initially discovered, it was thought to be vastly more massive than it turned out to be. Its orbit is radically different from that of all the other planets. Down with Pluto is what I say!
So, I ask you to join me in this crusade. Call your senator and congressman today. Tell all your friends and neighbors. The future of the universe is at stake here. Save Pluto! *LOL*


Throughout those four days, I had this eerie feeling in the back of my mind. I kind of knew that this would be my last meeting after 10 years being such a constant in my life. Why? Well, from a practical standpoint, my work schedule is just too busy now. And, from an emotional standpoint, I knew it was time -- time to move on. As I left the hotel for the last time going to the airport, I felt the transition pass through me.

When I was a teenager going to summer camp, there would always be a group of people in their 20s and 30s who really didn't fit in with the rest of the group. All they would talk about is "the old days" when they were campers. To be honest, I felt sorry for these people, even as a young lad. They revolved their entire life around going to summer camp. Maybe I'm being too harsh and judgemental, but there has to be more to life than summer camp, right?

I just did not want to be one of "those people" coming back to this annual summer medical student meeting year after year after year. Most of my peers have moved on taken on careers of their own. I don't even see them that much anymore. Also, relating to medical students is not as easy as it used to be -- as I get further and further away from my own days in med school. I remember making a reference to movies and music when I was in school and I got these shocked looks as if I was an ancient person -- reality check for me.

So, beginning on that plane ride home, in addition to dealing with my physical exhaustion of partying too much, it hit me that I am in the midst of a major professional and personal transition in my life. That saddened me.

About 12 hours after my plane landed, I was faced with the reality of being on-call. And, you know how busy on-call is for me -- I've talked about it before. It took me a few days to try to catch up from the work when I was off. As soon as that happened, I was on call that weekend.

So, the first 15 days of this month were difficult for me on a lot of different levels. I don't say this to gain sympathy, as I know that there are many people in this world with worse problems than this. It's just that in the ebb and flow of life, there are certain bridges that one must cross and this is one of them.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


It's always a thrill for me working with medical students. In the every day grind of dealing with insurance companies, lawyers, and those people working against docs, it's refreshing do a little bit of teaching once in a while. It helps keep me grounded, and hopefully not too cynical on medicine.

Every summer, there is this huge medical student meeting that I look forward to. I attended my first one over ten years ago when I myself was a student. Through the years, I've used it as kind of a yearly benchmark on where I was in my life both professionally and personally. This meeting has been on of the few constants in my life over the past decade.

This is where I was at the beginning of this month. And, I was looking forward to blogging from my hotel room to give the day-to-day updates, but, as we all know, that didn't happen. But, it was four days of a totally positive environment. People excited to talk about medicine, excited sharing their experiences why they chose medicine, and not embarrassed to do so. These four days definitely energize me for the next twelve months and make me look forward to next year!

There are workshops, lectures, and one of the biggest exhibit halls that I've ever seen. Every year, I cannot help but get sucked into one of the publisher booths and buy whatever the latest text book is to try to keep updated on things.

I did mention adult beverages before, didn't I? I have this group of friends that I actually met at this very meeting when I was a medical student. We have managed to keep in touch through the years. I'm just a lowly guy in private practice, but they have gone on to bigger and better things being an assistant professor at some university somewhere. Don't get me wrong, same person, but who knew that she would have this important title years later. The only time I get to see some of these people is at this annual meeting. There were a lot of late nights, and we all discovered that we're not a young as we used to be. I'll continue with this story a little later...


Something really strange happened this morning. I woke up at 5:30am and had this urge to blog. Something strange, I know, coming from a self-proclaimed blogaholic. I've been reflecting on the past three weeks. It's been a long month for me -- busier than it usually is. And, day after day after day, I felt myself getting more and more fatigued. Yes, I was working too much. Yes, I did not have enough free time. And, yes, I was not getting enough sleep.

And, then, it happened. Blogging actually felt like work. I was so sleep deprived and tired that I was not looking forward to writing my blog. Some people (rightly so) remakred about how my posts were not the same as in the recent past -- and that was right. It was hard to hide from the truth.

So, instead of getting to the point of driving myself away from blogging, I decided to take my blog break. I thought that it would be just for a couple of days. I told myself that I would not come back until I felt the urge to do so. One day went by, then two, then three. I asked myself would I ever come back. Was I done with blogging? Was this just a passing thing for me and now I'm done? But just this morning, just now, it happened and I'm back at my trusty Mac keyboard typing away. I wonder if anyone else has went through something like this before.

Even though I started blogging nine weeks ago, I put the training wheels back on my bike just in case I forgot how to do all this. Blogging every day was tough (or maybe it seemed tough). Maybe I'll change that, maybe not. But, for now, I guess the best place to start is the beginning of this month and more forward from there...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Grand Rounds

GR 2.46 is being hosted this week by hospital impact. He has an interesting picture of his son that you should check out as well...
So for this edition of grand rounds, I wanted to write a letter to my new son, Timothy. One day, when he is old enough, I hope he'll read this and learn about how healthcare used to be way back in 2006. I don't know what it is about letters, but somehow I just enjoy writing them.
Very well done and creative. Happy reading! I'm going to take a blog break for a few days. See you soon...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Book 'em Danno

Since it's felt like 2 years since I was tagged by Moof, Dream Mom, and Runner Girl, (it's only been about 2 weeks), and since it's felt like the entire blogosphere has answered these questions except me, here's what I've come up with:

One book that changed your life?
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey

One book you have read more than once?
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

One book you would want on a desert island?
An Island to Oneself: Six Years on a Desert Island by Tom Neale

One book that made you laugh?
Sein Language by Jerry Seinfeld

One book that made you cry?
Report from Ground Zero by Dennis Smith

One book you wish had been written?
Not sure about this one

One book you wish had never had been written?
Blogging for Dummies -- HA!

One book you are currently reading?
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

One book you have been meaning to read?
The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Outed blogaholic

I found a new commenter (is that a word?) to my blog today. Thanks to Michael C from The Wonderful World of Nothing Worthwhile. He also sent me a link to a post entitled, "Blogging Has Already Consumed My Life."
If you are kind enough to still be reading this blog and contemplating beginning one of your own, take heed. I can no longer just enjoy or be affected by life, I have to approach it thinking about how it will fit into written form and whether or not I can find a cool little graphic to accompany it. Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Michael and I’m a Blogaholic.
This post is hilarous and his entire blog is very entertaining. Please give him some Blogaholics Anonymous love and check him out. Don't worry, Michael, we have regular meetings and I'll make sure that you're on the mailing list. Remember, admitting you have a problem is the first step. We'll conquer this addiction together, one blog at a time...


It's tough being a quarterback in the National Football League these days. You may have heard about Ben Roethlisberger a couple of months ago when he crashed his motorcycle. Ben is fine and started his first preseason game yesterday.

I ran into a story this morning from Nashville, Tennessee where an NFL mascot, in a golf cart, accidentally hit the opposing team's quarterback during halftime festivities. The quarterback was checked out by trainers, walked off the field, and then did not come back to play the second half.

The player was ok. But, I mean, c'mon! Maybe the NFL is trying to toughen the image of mascots. Here's the slogan: "NFL Mascots: Don't Mess With Us!" Maybe there will be a song about this, like the whole head-butt episode.

In a related story, the mascot was seen at the bar hours later receiving "high fives" and telling the story again and again at the Mascot Anonymous meeting. HA!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Online drugs

Ran into an article this morning from BBC news. It tells the story of a 64-year old woman who self-diagnosed herself with chronic fatigue syndrome (I feel like I've been having those symptoms this week).

She went to the internet and purchased a medication -- without a prescription -- and is now losing her eyesight because of cateracts and glaucoma (side effects of this prescription med without physician oversight).
Writing in the Lancet, the researchers said: "The expansion of the internet is relentless and, from the perspective of patients seeking information, in the main positive.

"However, the online availability of controlled and uncontrolled drug therapies needs to be carefully monitored."

Mr Fraser added: "If you look online it is extremely easy to get hold of anything you like. Obviously, you do not need a prescription.

"If you are going to access medicines on the internet you are gambling with your own health."

He said doctors needed to be more aware of the issue and to make sure that they asked patients whether they were taking any medicines purchased over the counter or online.
I think all that is good stuff except for the last paragraph. I am definitely aware of the issue. However, it's going to be next to impossible for me to "police" this as they are asking.

People can tell me if I'm wrong, but, if my patient doesn't think that I'm adequately treating a certain condition, I think my patient would be reluctant to tell me if she/he purchased a medication on the internet -- just out of embarrassment. This doesn't only apply to prescription med purchases on the internet, but also herbal and alternative treatments.

I think I have set up an environment where I think my patient would be able to open up and tell me about this, but putting the burden on docs to police this information is not fair. Communication is a two-way street and is essential for ideal medical care.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Ever feel so tired that you can't sleep? I know that some of you insomniac bloggers out there can relate to this. As I was surfing around the web, I found this article from WebMD. I talks about relating lack of sleep to low job satisfaction.
Researchers found men and women who suffered from insomnia were more likely to say they disliked or even hated their job the next day.
To me this is like -- DUH! Like I couldn't figure this out on my own. I needed a multi-million dollar study to confirm this? Of course, I agree with this. You've seen me on one of my "low job satisfaction" night when I asked "Why?"

Managing sleep is a difficult thing for me. I really appreciate everyone's encouraging words this week as I'm trying to get ahead of the curve again after some time off. While you're working, it's go-go-go-go -- I mean full steam ahead -- not trying to miss deadlines and trying to get things done on time. I don't know about you, but it takes me a few hours to wind down. My mind is continually going, sometimes replaying the day, and wondering whether I did everything right or whether I messed up somewhere.

And, then actually trying to sleep. When I actually try to relax, that's when my mind drifts to the day that just occurred and then drifts to the day ahead trying to plan ahead and anticipating all the pitfalls that will occur. I'm glad that I found blogging, so that I can at least get some thoughts out of my head so that I'm no longer thinking about it. I think I'll try to go to sleep again. We'll see what happens. At least my job satisfaction will increase, right?

Almost there

It's been a long 72+ hours, and I think now I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel (is that an oncoming train?). Balancing the tightrope of completing immediately important work with completing catchup work from last week -- this is what has been keeping me late night after night after night this week.

I do feel as if the tide is turning (how many cliches can I use in this post?). I'm really looking forward to getting back to the "usual posts" (whatever usual means). I've been doing more commenting on other's sites rather than my own posts -- and that's ok. Thanks for checking in. I'm getting closer to getting my life back...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

One more thing...

I can't remember where this goes.

Rat race

When I get back from vacation, I always feel the need for another vacation. I'm not going to lie, it's been tough being back. Being on call your first day back to work was tough - was really busy and did not get a lot of sleep. I also had a couple of hospital meetings on Monday night as well.

The goal is to get the work done as much as you can. Unfortunately, other things suffer. I know that I have not been taking care of myself the last few days - not getting enough sleep. That kind of sleep-work then sleep-work cycle again. Not eating right. Not having a chance to relax a little bit (that was supposed to be last week, right?) Definitely have not had a good workout in a few weeks.

This is life in the fast lane. Of course, if one of my patients told me this, I would immediately yell at them for not taking care of themselves and putting themselves at risk for getting physically sick - forget their mental state. I know they're mentally exhausted - as I am right now.

Time to step back and take a break. That's what this blog is for. Glad I have it. Hopefully tomorrow will be better than today. We'll see....

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Grand Rounds

GR 2.46 comes to you from Mexico this week from Mexico Medical Student.
The main theme for this edition is “Culture Convergence” and the idea, being that I’m an American medical student studying in a foreign country, is that opportunities for learning new ideas, experiencing new ways of doing things–good and bad–are all a part of daily life.
There are six musical interludes between readings. Very well done edition of GR. Next week, the host will be Hospital Impact. Happy reading!


While on call, I've been catching up on my bloglines, which was over 300 posts when I first checked it yesterday morning. I've been slowly whittling it down through the day and night. To be honest, I haven't even checked out the results of my Comments posting from last week. I've just been fascinated about all the people who have been writing about me.....

PK had the Blogaholics Anonymous meeting last week and Cathy did a little promo for it as well. I just wanted to say that you did a great job with the meeting. I really liked the pictures and it looks like you had a good turn out. What was up with the bear?

I did get tagged by Moof and by Dream Mom with the book meme. I'll have to start working on that.

May also asked her readers about the etiquette of comments. If you haven't had a chance to check it out, that was a good discussion as well.

Ladybug and Hoping4More made empassioned pleas for my release from the desert island. I wish I was catching some real rays (not blograys) in the tropics somewhere.

Theory of Thought is a blog that I've been recently reading. Just for fun, I submitted the Denmark post and then was awarded one of the "So You Think You Can Blog?" awards. I encourage you to check out this blog and submit something yourself. It's great fun!

I also found myself on some new blogrolls. Thanks so much! I'll try to reciprocate. If I forgot you on my sidebar, please let me know, because I may forget.

I know I'm setting myself up to be analyzed by Dinah. She states that I like blog polls (true) and that I deliberately ignore her posts (false). I like to kid around with Dinah (it's only because she started it -- HA!)

Anyway, here's the blog poll question. Some people would call this posting narcissistic, because all I do is talk about me. For me, I call it gratitude and appreciation for everyone to even take an interest in my blog. You make the call. There's no right or wrong answer here. Just fun!

Monday, August 07, 2006


Sorry if it looked like I fell off the face of the earth last week. I left Wed morning after my posting was done and went a meeting. I fully intended to continue blogging -- because, as you know, I can't live without it. I brought a friend's laptop with me. I had a very difficult time trying to access the internet at the hotel. I called all kinds of IT people and even got the "hotel internet connection kit" (which was $10 a day to have in the room), but still couldn't get it to work.

So, I got through my blogaholic withdrawl symptoms ok with friends, frivolity, and, of course, adult beverages. I'll talk about it soon. I'm back to work today and on call today and tonight (Ugh!). Soon as I get some order to the chaos, I'll be back blogging. Right now, the mission is to find the top of my desk at work. I know it's down there beneath all those charts and paper...

Update: I just checked my e-mail. WOW! Now, I'm really feeling guilty and really, really embarrassed. Thanks for all the comments and the e-mail messages about your concern for me. I should have at least tried finding someone with an internet connection, if for anything else, to explain my situation. I mean, someone at a medical conference should have a connection, right? Thanks again. Sorry for all the trouble. I'm going to start sorting through my comments and e-mail (oh yeah, and fitting in some work today -- HA!)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


The mysterious comment section, it's mysterious to me (how redundant is that?). This is something that I'm curious about. How do you utilize the comments in your blog?

For me, I know that it's a great opportunity to have a conversation with your readers. But, I have to be honest, sometimes I feel funny commenting thinking I might bias the conversation. Or, in the course of my day, I may not have the time to comment as much as I would want.

When I look at some blogs, I see the person respond to each and every comment that is made. I think that's nice and courteous. But, in all honesty, it makes me feel kind of guilty. I'm thinking, "Should I be doing that, too?" Am I a slug for staying out of my own comment section?

Help me out here. I need some advice. What's your philosophy on the comment section? My name is Dr. A, and I'm a blogaholic....

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Head butt dance

I thought that there were no more capitalists is France. Apparently, I'm wrong as exhibited by this story. Whether you're still in withdrawl from the World Cup, or really didn't care about it in the first place, everyone remembers the "head-butt heard around the world" during the World Cup final game.

Well, there has been a song made about this infamous event, and right now it's the number one ringtone in France and it's the number two song there as well. There are even plans to spin this off into different languages.

Here's the loose translation of Coup de Boule (Do The Head-Butt)
Watch out, it's the head-butt dance! (Head-butt, head-butt)
Head-butt to the right (Head-butt, head-butt)
Head-butt to the left (Head-butt, head-butt)

Go, Bleus, Go!
Zidane, he hit [him], Zidane, he slapped (him)
(Head-butt, head-butt. Head-butt, head-butt)

The guido, he was hurt
Zidane hit (him)
The Italian is not doing well
Zidane slapped (him)
The referee saw it on TV
Zidane hit (him)
But we lost the World Cup
We had a good laugh anyway
France: The country with good wine, good song, and good head-butts. I still pick Denmark, though. They're just happier there. Don't you think?

Pandemic hype

Yesterday, I started seeing the first articles saying that the bird flu may not turn into the global pandemic that was once thought. According to this CNN article, the US CDC is now stating that the change from the bird flu virus to a human-bird flu virus may not be that easy.
"We were not able to see efficient transmission from an infected animal to a healthy animal, " according to Dr. Jacqueline Katz, one of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers working on the ferret experiments.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not minimizing the 134 worldwide deaths confirmed by the World Health Organization -- most of them in Indonesia and Vietnam.

But, is the tide turning on how worried the press is about this? Remember Y2K? This was supposed to have a worldwide effect that literally crippled the planet Earth. Did it happen? I don't think so. It can certainly be debated why. Maybe the world was prepared for it? Or, maybe it was just hype to scare everybody.

Is that what's happening now with this bird flu thing? Worldwide, there are literally millions and millions of dollars being spent for planning for a pandemic flu that may never happen. I'm definitely all for prevention whenever and wherever possible, but did a worldwide media fire storm put us down this path before the real facts were known?

In memorium

Five years ago today, I started my current job. Should be a happy anniversary for me, right? Well, it's kind of bitter sweet, because also five year ago today is the anniversary of someone I knew -- his name, Korey Stringer.

This may sound vaguely familiar to some people out there. Korey was a very soft spoken and likable guy who happened to be 335 pounds and played football in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings.

Five years ago yesterday, the weather was similar to what's happening in most of the US today -- hot and humid -- in the 90's, which for Minnesota is pretty hot. Korey was in full football gear (which you'll see in the ESPN article above). He collapsed and died 15 hours later -- he was only 27 years old.

The cause? No, not a heart attack. No, not drugs. No, not an injury sustained on or off the field. It was heat stroke. Heat stroke? Who gets that anymore? With all of our modern technology, you would think that a condition like this would be eliminated.

At the time, it caused quite a stir around these parts. Particularly because August is the time when high school, grade school, and all kinds of football training start. The sad part is that only five years later, people forget what happened to Korey Stringer and that it could happen again.

So, check on your loved ones today, whether they're young or old, whether they're big or small. Remind them about dehydration and heat stroke. And, think of Korey today.

Alz assist

I know what you're saying, not another Dr. A Alz posting. Can't he just let this go? Well, here's what happened. Yesterday, I got a call from our local Alz Association support group. They were looking for a speaker for their August meeting. So, I said, "Sure, Why not."

It's been at least 2-3 years since I gave a community talk on Alz. Last night, I was trying to find my powerpoint presentation on my trusty Mac. I figured that most if not all of the scientific stuff was still current. And, I knew that a few of my patients and/or their families would be there. So, I would ask their permission beforehand if I could share some of their story with the larger group. I did not want to break any kind of confidentiality.

Then, I thought, what about my new blog friends? This is where I'm asking for your assistance. Here's the question: For those of you out there who have experienced Alz disease, what would you want to tell this support group? Keep in mind, these are people who are going through or who will go through what you have.

If you would rather e-mail than comment here, please feel free to do so. I thank you, and I know this support group will appreciate any insight from those who have been through this tragic disease.

Grand Rounds

This week, Grand Rounds 2.45 is being hosted by Inside Surgery. Here's my snipet (and Moof as well):
Working the System or the System Working You?

Ever thought about a health care system that tells you what treatments you must have? Doctor Anonymous talks about just that when discussing the case of Starchild Abraham Cherrix. Health Business Blog ponders why patients with insurance actually use the emergency room more than the uninsured. Moof wonders how good physicians are going to get using their computer.
Thanks to Inside Surgery for including me in Grand Rounds. I really appreciate it. Next week, the host for Grand Rounds 2.46 will be Protect The Airway.