Blogsam and Jetsam

Flotsam is the part of the wreckage of a ship or its cargo found floating on the water. Jetsam is cargo or parts of a ship that are deliberately thrown overboard, as to lighten the ship in an emergency, and that subsequently either sinks or is washed ashore. This is my personal blog version of the above. Loot freely.

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Location: The Hinterlands, Upstate NY

I'm annoyed that the world is going crazier faster than it used to be. But it's interesting to watch.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday Miscellany

I almost never talk about doctoring but here's a recent slice:

Dr. D's Rapid Flu Test Kit:

Question one: how high is your fever? (eliminate anyone who hasn't broken at least a hundred and a half.)

Question two: Where does it hurt? (eliminate anyone who doesn't mention back and/or thighs and/or arms.)

Question three: What is your most annoying symptom? (eliminate anyone who mentions runny nose, sore throat or anything GI.)

One of the best lessons I learned in medical school was from an old country boy who had followed a mule with a plow before going off for higher education: he said that 80% of the time all you have to do is listen to your patient and s/he will tell you what's wrong without your even having to do an exam. An additional 10% of the time the physical exam will tell you what's wrong...therefore in only ten percent of cases does one actually need "diagnostics" to get a diagnosis. Most of the time the testing should be used to confirm what you've already figured out.


I'm absolutely UNhip but I've discovered a current pop song I really like: Year 3000 by the Jonas Brothers. It's just so hopeful, y'know? Although I liked it better when I thought the great-great-great-granddaughter was "so fine" as opposed to doing fine.

I suppose I should add that I heard the song on Radio Disney, which Youngest Duckling adores. The rest of us don't.


I'm going to miss Peter Boyle. He was one funny and cool old man.


Rachel Ray's super-easy fudge has become a staple at any party hosted or attended by Eldest Duckling. Use it to save your holiday butt at the pitch-in! It's soft enough at room temperature that we've also made "Reindeer Fudge" much to the amusment of Youngest Duckling.


Got a haircut last night--makes me feel like a whole new person.


Am I the only one who thought Alexander Litvinenko was attractive?


As of 12:30pm today, my Christmas shopping is DONE.


Speaking of which, I just love printed tissue paper. Particularly the kind with little holly leaves and berries...I don't know why. I do know that Christmas ornaments make great acquaintance gifts though.


This is my favorite rock Christmas carol although this and this both come in as pretty close seconds.


Another useful bit of medicine, this one not learned in school:

The Best Hiccup Cure I Know:

You will need one straw, one drinking glass with at least six ounces of liquid (preferably non-carbonated) and two hands.

Place straw in glass of liquid and position glass so that you can drink from the straw without using your hands.

Close both ears and nostrils by placing right thumb over right ear and left thumb over left ear then using middle fingers to press nostrils shut. Snugly--the whole point is to create a seal so that air cannot escape.

While ears and nose are closed, drink from the straw until you physically cannot any more. You should feel a tug in your middle--that's the vacuum you just created to get your diaphragm to stop spasming.

Repeat as needed. This one works far better than anything else I've ever read or tried...and I owe it all to a girl named Terri Peace who was the fourteen-year-old kid sister of one of my mother's friends the summer I was ten.


Speaking of drinks, thanks to Details magazine I discovered the French 75 which is my new favorite cocktail...although Tim Shirley's Long Island Iced Tea will always hold a warm place in my heart.


And on that libatious note, happy weekend all!


Blogger JoVE said...

So how do you convince all those folks that think we need more MRI machines and other fancy diagnostic equipment in our health system rather than more nurses, more technicians, more cleaners, better food, etc. etc.?

In a publicly funded system this pressure is particularly complicated but I suspect your privately funded one is also under considerable pressure to spend it's money on flashy diagnostics so folks think they are up with the latest technology even if that isn'T the most effective way to spend a health dollar.

December 15, 2006 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, I can diagnose influenza and strep throat by history and exam. But try convincing any parent that their child does not have strep throat until a strep test has come back negative for a sore throat. If you do not do a strep test: 1. You will be plagued with daily phone calls until the child recovers, a strep test is done, or an antibiotic is called in; 2. You will get an irate phone call after the office visit about how their child's friend who had the exact same symptoms went to his doctor and was given antibiotics, and their child should have received them as well; or 3. You will receive an irate phone call the next day about their child's sore throat got so severe that they went to the ER that night and were given antibiotics, and if the doctor had just done his job, the family would have been able to save time and money. This is usually followed by a demand for a refund in any copay or other office charges. Now that there is a Rapid Flu Test kit available as well, never mind its questionable sensitivity, the same applies to influenza. All of these outcomes are associated with more anger and irrationality if the patient is an adult. Adults "cannot afford to get sick." They aren't like the doctor, "who makes so much money that he can afford not to show up at his job, or can hire a nanny to take care of his kids." And then there is the classic, "I am going to fuckin' sue this doctor if he doesn't do something about this today." Now this is just for strep and influenza. Guess what the situation is like for chest pain and headache?--GV

December 17, 2006 9:07 AM  
Blogger Dharma said...

Hm, except for fever, which I'm pretty sure I don't have, yep I have the flu.
Haircut - need photos!
French 75 - sounds yummy.

December 20, 2006 9:00 PM  
Blogger SamD said...

Life way too busy for photos but thanks for the curiosity! It's exactly the same as before, just shorter.

December 21, 2006 9:26 AM  

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