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Posts Tagged ‘medicine’

I Greet You, Wholeheartedly!


This has been the "Summer of the Heart" for me.

In my last blog post, when I recounted all the adventures on my trip out west, I left out one huge part of the adventure. Today I will fill in that part of the story for you, which actually began during exam week at school. But to understand that portion of the saga, I need to give you some background information. (I could go on and on, but I'll try to give you a Reader's Digest condensed version, shrinking 15+ years into a few paragraphs.)

For about 15 years I have been aware of my heart fluttering or even racing from time to time. About 5 years ago it started happening fairly frequently, sometimes accompanied with lightheadedness. Because of some family history, my doctor referred me to a cardiologist who scheduled me for a nuclear stress test. The test revealed that there were no blockages and that my heart was pumping my blood very well. This was good news to me since my dad died of a heart attack at the age of 42. The autopsy revealed that several of his coronary arteries were almost completely blocked.

The cardiologist released me to my family doctor who said he had no idea why I was experiencing what I was, but to let him know if I had further difficulties. During the several months following the stress test, I had hardly any episodes of my heart racing. That is, until I went to see my doctor for my annual physical. As I sat on the table waiting for the doctor, I felt my heart start to race. I decided not to say anything and wait to see what the doctor said when he heard it. He kept moving the stethoscope around on my chest and finally asked, "Are you OK?" I replied, "It's fast, isn't it?" He responded, "It's crazy fast!" He had his nurse give me an EKG, but my heart had already stopped racing as the nurse put the pads in place.
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Doctor, Doctor!


picture of doctor with needle

Surgery was postponed. The first doctor who read the MRI thought Nora needed surgery. This morning the spine doctor wanted to try treating it with a steroid epidural and very strong pain meds first to give the ruptured disc the opportunity to heal on its own. She had the treatment this morning and is now resting. She may need to go back Monday for another treatment if this one was not enough. She was somewhat disappointed because she wanted the pain to be gone right away, but we are taking this step as from the Lord and praying that it might be enough without the surgery. Thanks so much for all your prayers and well wishes!

Today's post is a series of "doctor, doctor...." jokes.

Doctor, doctor, there's a lettuce leaf growing out my ear.
Hmmmm, I'm afraid that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Doctor, doctor, I have a strawberry growing out of my head.
Don't worry. I'll give you some cream to put on it.

Doctor, doctor, I can't stop singing the "Green, Green Grass of Home."
Sounds like you have Tom Jones syndrome.
Is it common?
It's not unusual.
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Tupperware and Obamacare


picture of Tupperware banana storage

Do you like Tupperware? We do, and we're still using most of the Tupperware we received as shower gifts over 30 years ago! Several months ago when we had German house guests, for some reason we talked about Tupperware. They told us about some of the items available through Tupperware in Germany that we don't see here. This week they sent us a package through a mutual friend coming back from Europe. In addition to some German coffee (mmm!), there was a German Tupperware catalog. I looked online to see if it were also available there. If you'd like to check it out, you can go to tupperware.de One of the items available is called Banana Joe (picture above). I don't think it would keep a banana fresh. Is it for protecting the banana from bruises in your lunch bag?

Here's a little Tupperware story from my files:

What's A Tupperware Party? (author unknown)

One evening after dinner, my five-year-old son Eli noticed that his mother had gone out. In answer to his questions, I told him, "Mommy is at a Tupperware party." This explanation satisfied him for only a moment.

Puzzled, he asked, "What's a Tupperware party, Dad?"

I figured a simple explanation would be the best approach. "Well, Eli, " I said, "at a Tupperware party, a bunch of ladies sit around and sell plastic bowls to each other." Eli nodded, indicating that he understood this curious pastime. Then he burst into laughter.

"Come on, Dad," he said. "What is it really?"

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Tupperware is known for "locking in freshness." To me, much of what has been happening in our nation's capital this year is anything but "fresh," and instead our leaders are locking out freshness, in favor of old ideas (ideologies) that have failed for others. For some reason they believe they can make these ideas work for them, and that the others failed simply because they didn't run things right. The French have a saying, "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose." = The more things change, the more they stay the same. It reminds me of the following:

The evolution of medicine...

What doctors through history have said in reply to "Doctor, I'm in pain":

2000 B.C. - "Here, eat this root."
1000 B.C. - "That root is heathen; say this prayer."
1850 A.D. - "That prayer is superstition; drink this potion."
1940 A.D. - "That potion is snake oil; swallow this pill."
1985 A.D. - "That pill is ineffective; take this antibiotic."
2009 A.D. - "That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root!"

The redistribution of wealth that is happening fast and furiously is nothing new. It's the ancient rob Peter to pay Paul thing ... especially knowing that it's a pretty sure way to get Paul to vote for you.

picture of bailouts

Our leaders' answer to economic hard times is to spend money we don't have, at unthinkable rates and in incomprehensible amounts. Being a language guy, I readily admit that economics is not my strong suit. But I know better than to borrow exorbitant sums of money that I would not be able to pay off in three lifetimes. Duh, you don't get out of debt by spending! Our government's answer to everything is to throw money we don't have at whatever problem and non-problem that comes along. My mind goes to the Stimulus Package(s), the Cash for Clunkers debacle, etc. We are seeing only half of the campaign promises fulfilled — we're seeing massive change, but little to no hope.

picture of flow chart

The push to get the Health Care Plan (a.k.a. Obamacare) through as quickly as possible, without even knowing what all is in it seems to me unwise at best. It's kind of like the definition of Tupperware party up above, but in this case our lawmakers aren't sitting around trying to sell bowls to each other, but rather trying to sell each other on a plan that could move our nation one giant step closer to bankruptcy. Come on, Congress-critters, do you really know what Obamacare is?! A reader sent me one version of the 1,000+ page Health Care Plan. If you'd like to read it, click on this link - HR320.pdf If you do read it, you will be light years ahead the vast majority of our Congressmen who are poised to vote in favor of it. I found a flow chart online that explains how things will work. You can see a larger version by clicking on the thumbnail picture of it above.

The textbook we use in our first three semesters of French here at the university tells us that France has an excellent health care system. But I've heard otherwise from some people. My dentist here in Greenville has quite a few patients who are Michelin employees living in the US for several years. Some of these patients have come in in great pain. When the dentist checked them out, he discovered that they have decay under their fillings. Upon further investigation he learned in each case that the dentists in France don't use novocaine to numb people up before drilling. They drill until the person can stand it no longer, and then put in the filling, sometimes on top of decay.

Friends who lived in France for a while told us that their four-year-old daughter fell in their yard one day and had a huge gash in her chin. When they couldn't get it to stop bleeding, they took her to the emergency room. The personnel cleaned it up and said that she would need stitches. The gave the mother a bed sheet, told her to wrap it around her little girl and to hold her still while they stitched it up. Apparently novocaine is something that socialized medicine can't waste money on. Barbaric, huh?

I have heard some say that if Obamacare goes through, we will end up with a system with the compassion of the IRS and the efficiency of the US Postal System. We've been reminded in the past two weeks by the Cash for Clunkers program that people still flock in hoards to freebies. Won't they do the same with "free" health care? How is the government in charge of Medicare and Medicaid on the verge of collapse going to manage an even bigger system?

Just this week a reader told me about her recent visit to her doctor here in USA. I asked her if she'd write it up for me to include in this post. She wrote it out and included a humorous side note to me, which I left intact with her permission:

I recently had my annual physical. As a part of the yearly aches-and-pains discussion, my doctor and I talked about my arthritic knees and how much pain is too much pain. The doctor said that if I am ready to discuss joint replacement, I'd better do it now because under Mr. Obama's new health plan, knee replacement coverage would be denied, if not seriously curtailed.

Note to Rob: I wonder if there will be a quota system, e.g.

Me: "Doctor, I'm ready for that right knee surgery."
Doctor: "Rats, you just missed the cutoff for right knees this decade. What about a left hip? Most folks your age learn to adjust to the unusual gait."

It was interesting to me to hear what her doctor had to say about Obamacare. She currently has excellent health care, but that could/would all change. Our government leaders seem to subscribe to Red Green's oft-repeated principle — "If it ain't broke, you're not trying!" They seem to be bent on breaking a health care system that, while not perfect, is the envy of many other countries.

I did a web search to see what other doctors are saying. Here are links to several interesting articles:

Obama Care: Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Angry Docs Say Proposed Government-Run Health-Care Plan Will Drive Physicians out of Medicine

I usually steer clear of political issues on my blog, but this is such a big issue right now that I wanted to express myself and hear what my readers have to say. I know that the issues are huge and varied and cannot possibly be covered in this blog post. What do you know about and think of Obamacare? Some of you live in countries that have socialized medicine. What are your thoughts about your national health care? Is socialized medicine a fresh idea, or is it something less than fresh, something that's going to get us locked into a big container called Obamacare Tupperware, that we will never be able to get out of? I would love to see a lively, civil discussion of this issue in the comments.

quotation...

"The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service exam." - Ronald Reagan

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Anything free is usually worth what you pay for it.


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What Doctors Think of the Bailout Plan


picture of doctor withstethoscope

As I try to look ahead to some of the potentially interesting issues in this new year, the unfolding of the economic bailout promises to appear frequently in the news. For someone who is "economically challenged" like me (read: not terribly savvy when it comes to most things economics related), it's all a bit confusing. There are all kinds of so-called experts whose opinions are extremely divergent concerning the bailout plan.

I read something interesting recently that I thought would make a good blog post, with a bit of tweaking. It's how America's doctors view Washington D.C.'s Bailout Plan.

Doctors' Opinions of Financial Bailout Plan

The allergists voted to scratch it, and the dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves. The physiotherapists thought we're all being manipulated. The orthopedists issued a joint resolution.

The gastroenterologists had a gut feeling that it was not something they could stomach. The neurologists thought the administration had a lot of nerve, and the obstetricians felt they were all laboring under a misconception.

The ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted; the audiologists wouldn't hear of it; the pathologists said, "Over my dead body!" while the pediatricians advised, "Oh, grow up!"

The psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness; the radiologists could see right through it; and the surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing. The microsurgeons were thinking along the same vein.

The internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow; and the plastic surgeons said, "This puts a whole new face on the matter." The podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the urologists felt the scheme wouldn't hold water.

The anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas; and the cardiologists didn't have the heart to say much of anything.

In the end, the proctologists, concerned that we're already in arrears, wanted a probing analysis.

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Even though what you've just read is a tangle of puns, I'm sure that doctors and nurses may actually have some strong opinions about the most recent attempts of the government to take over various sectors of our nation's economy. Nationalized health care seems to be looming on a horizon that seems less distant than in previous years. Time will tell. What are your thoughts?

quotation...

"The zenith of God's sovereignty is that man, acting in his own self-interest, still accomplishes God's plan." - Dr. Chris Barney

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

An apple a day keeps the doctor from having to remind us that he has not made a house call since 1966.


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Medical Faux Pas


Well, I think I've given blood for the second and final time in my life. A week ago this past Saturday I decided to try giving blood again when the Blood Connection had its bloodmobile at our church for a blood drive. I had given blood several years back and just made it through my unit when I started to have a vasovagal episode. It didn't come as a huge surprise since I had had problems when visiting people in the hospital who were receiving fluids or transfusions. After that incident I decided that maybe I shouldn't give blood again. This latest time, though, I thought maybe the same problem would not recur. However it did. I was able to finish giving my unit of blood and didn't pass out completely, but I felt terrible for the last third of the unit as and for a while afterwards.

The next day, though, I noticed that I had a rash and hives all around the site where they had drawn the blood. The following day it was creeping towards my wrist and my underarm, and the same thing was appearing on my other forearm. Below is a picture of my left arm.

picture of my hives

I took Benadryl before going to bed that night to see if that would calm my allergic reaction. It did basically nothing but make me half-loopy all day Tuesday. I went to see my doctor Wednesday, and we figured out that I was having a reaction to the chlorhexidine gluconate they had used to clean the site where the needle would go in. The nurse had chlorhexidine gluconate on her gloves and touched all over on my left arm during the whole process. There were apparently traces of the substance on the other arm of the chair from previous donors - hence the rash on my right forearm where it had touched the arm of the chair. I'm on Prednisone for one week (nasty stuff!) The rash is finally going away and bothering me much less.

picture of a t-shirt

What's kind of funny is that in two of my French classes in recent weeks we've been talking about various sports in French, one of which was rugby. I told my students that I had seen a t-shirt in France that said, "donnez du sang - jouez au rugby" (that is, give blood - play rugby). We all chuckled about it since rugby is such a rough game. I'm thankful that some are able to give blood with no ill effects, but after my experiences recently, I think the next time I decide to try giving blood, I'll go out for rugby instead!

Yesterday we had some guests for lunch. One is our niece, a nurse in a local ER, and another is a senior nursing major at BJU, currently doing her clinicals. They were talking about how surprised they are at how unfeelingly sometimes medical personnel talk among themselves about their work. It made me think of something in my files that I could post, wanting very much to have something to laugh about concerning medical things.

Things you don't want to hear during surgery

Wait a minute, if this is his spleen, then what's that?

Someone call the janitor--we're going to need a mop.

Bo! Bo! Come back with that! Bad dog!

Hand me that...uh...that uh...thingie.

Oh no! I *know* I had my wristwatch on when I came in here!

Oops! Hey, has anyone ever survived 500 ml of this stuff before?

Everybody stand back! I lost my contact lens!

Could you stop that thing from beating; it's throwing my concentration off.

What's this doing here?

I hate it when they're missing stuff in here.

Better save that. We might need it for an autopsy.

That's cool! Now can you make his leg twitch?

I wish I hadn't forgotten my glasses.

You did WHAT to our car?!

Well folks, this will be an experiment for all of us.

Sterile, schmerile. The floor's clean, right?

Anyone see where I left that scalpel?

OK, now take a picture from this angle. This is truly a freak of nature.

It's gonna blow! Everyone take cover!

Nurse, did this patient sign the organ donation card?

Don't worry. I think it is sharp enough.

Rats! Page 47 of the manual is missing!

FIRE! FIRE! Everyone get out!

divider

I'd love to hear about the experiences, both good and bad, of those who've given blood or received blood.

quotation...

"Many brave men have died for countries that don't exist any more." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

When the doctor got a bad cut, the nurse said, "Suture self."


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