Monday, April 29, 2013

Because because because because beCAUSE

Pretty pleased with myself today.  I used the word "thereof" on a form requesting a CT-scan of a patient's chest.  Being born in the late 20th century, I'm not 100% certain that I actually used in a grammatically correct way.  It was along the lines of, "Patient has diagnosis of condition X but no radiological evidence thereof".

Sweet action.

I wasn't planning in advance to write it like that. I'm pretty tired and the sentence just kind of came out of my pen in an awkward manner which "thereof" seemed to resolve in an elegant flourish.

Despite my uncertainty about correct usage, I'm a fan of these archaic-slash-legalistic adverbs. (Confession: I had to google "thereof" just now to determine that it is an adverb. Hey, it's late and I've been at work for 11 hours now. Shuddup.) So I think I might start using more of them in day to day settings. 

Words that I might try to use more often include, but are not limited to:
  • hereunto
  • heretofore
  • aforementioned (I think I've already used this in an admission note)
  • whereupon (ditto)
Did you notice how sneakily I qualified that list?  I "might try" but am "not limited to" them. In other words, I'll do whatever the hell I like.

Sweet action.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Double edged

On our fridge we have a little round magnet inscribed with a quote from Goethe, who was a real smart German guy. Or possibly Swiss or American or even Dutch. Anyway, smart enough to get stuff he said written onto fridge magnets.

It says, "Nothing is worth more than this day"

When I get up in the morning and I'm stumbling my way into the kitchen this is a gentle reminder to be mindful, to savour the world as it is, and to fully engage with reality. Makes me feel like the goddamn Dalai Lama.

But on a bad day, when I look at it, my brain interprets it literally and the message I get is: "This day is worth less than nothing."

I wonder if depression is more common in mathematically minded people?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Birds and ships

The birds are singing in your eyes today,
Sweet flowers blossom in your smile,
The wind and sun are in the words you say,
Where might your lonesome lover be? 
Birds may be singing in my eyes this day,
Sweet flowers blossom when I smile,
But my soul is stormy and my heart blows wild,
My sweetheart rides a ship on the sea. 
- Woody Guthrie

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Work it

As a parent, it's important to me that you understand that my daughter, the Hatchling, is the cutest, most adorable person in the world. Fact.

Yesterday evening she spent about an hour walking around the house "photographing" us and her toys. Her camera was in fact a large rectangular piece of Lego. She would come up to us and say, "pictures?", in her best air-hostess voice. She would then hold the Lego up in front of her eyes for several seconds and say, "smile!", before turning the Lego around and offering us a view of the beautiful picture she had just taken.

She took quite a few shots of us before moving on to her toys. They were photographed in situ, individually, before she realised the exciting artistic possibilities open to her, and she began arranging the toys in little tableaux, usually with the toys having their arms thrown casually over one another's shoulders as if they were just coming home from a night at the pub.

She was halfway through one particularly detailed shoot when she stopped, peered closely at the piece of Lego, and must have decided that it made a better airplane than camera, because she started saying, "zoom zoom zoom!", and flew it around the room several times.

That didn't last long though because it then became apparent that Baby (her doll, who has no hair) needed her hair brushed, and the airplane/camera was the perfect tool for the job. She was quite vigorous in her brushing and because I'd missed the plane-brush transition I thought that she was brutally beating Baby with an airplane. As a result she got a little lecture from me about how its very important to be kind and gentle to babies and thus beating them with vehicles of any kind was really not on.

She looked pretty baffled, but had the patience to explain to me that the plane was in fact a brush. So it was all okay. But I think my intervention kind of ruined it for her because the camera/plane/brush went back to being a camera shortly thereafter and remained so for the rest of the evening.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

True love

You are the cheese to my sky
You are the horizon to my eggs
You are the bacon to my sneakers
You are the laces to my peanut butter
You are the jelly to my face
You are the smile to my mashed potatoes
You are the gravy to my bath
You are the bubbles to my cookie
You are the milk to my pen
You are the ink to my french fries
You are the ketchup to my ocean
You are the water to my cupcake
You are the icing on my macaroni

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bip the clown

Have you had any vomiting?

Mr Nesby
No, no, what is this? I no understand this.

Oh. Um. Throw up?  Bleurgh!  Bleurgh!
[Mimes vomiting]

Mr Nesby
Oh! No, no, none of this.

Have you had any diarrhoea?

Mr Nesby
I no understand.

Never mind.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


What's the plan for bed 2?

I'm just looking at her x-ray.
There's no fracture, she can go home.

She can't go home.  The pain means she can't mobilize.

Does she live in a mobile home?


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Best foot forward

I went to see a patient recently - while I was trying to examine him he started to peel off the sticky dots with metal buttons that serve as ECG leads.  I thought I'd give him a hand, just to try to build up some patient rapport, that kind of thing.  But as I reached down to the V3 lead he drooled on me, on my bare skin on the hairy part of my wrist.  Ew!

But wait, there's more.

Later on I was walked around and I noticed that my right shoe was going click, click, click.  Must be a drawing pin in the bottom of my shoe, I thought.  On inspection though I found that I had a big sticky ECG dot on the sole of my shoe.

So there I am, adopting the "I've just stepped in dog poo" posture while I'm trying to peel this thing off my shoe in the nurses station, when around the corner comes a nurse, who stops and raises an inquisitive eyebrow.

I paused dramatically and said, "I think I've been going too hard with my chest compressions".


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

See no evil

I'm encouraged by the recently released stat that more than 100 people every year mistake superglue for eyedrops and glue their eyes shut.  Most obviously, I will clearly never be out of work as a doctor while humans are capable of such blunders.  Also, the more people walking around with their eyes glued shut, the less frequently I will have to iron my shirts or shave or brush my hair or blow my nose.  Perhaps if more people put superglue into their nostrils I could save a bunch of money on deodorant as well.  And if they put it into their ears I could buy more Bieber albums.

But the tragic corollary of this story is that there are probably at least 100 people per year whose model airplanes are falling apart because they were assembled using eyedrops instead of superglue.  It's a hidden epidemic.  Nobody turns up at the Emergency Department complaining that the wings fell off their Lancaster.  Nobody over twelve anyway.

But I'm sure that the long term health effects will be felt for decades.  I remember when I was five I had a yellow model Pontiac Firebird.  I was foolishly playing with it in the yard, thinking that it would be as robust as an actual toy car, when the front left wheel broke off.  My blood pressure shot through the roof and I could feel the seeds of atherosclerosis growing within me.

"I'll give you atherosclerosis in your head if you don't stop crying by the time I count to three!", said my Aged Mother.  But the damage was already done.

There must be many other disastrous incidents where people accidentally use their medications improperly.  People in the midst of renovating their bathrooms filling their mouths with polyfilla thinking that it is mouthwash.  In fact the Hatchling was onto something the other day when she was watching me shave - "Dada put toothpaste on face!", she said in astonishment, being unfamiliar with the concept of me shaving since it usually happens when she's asleep.

Have any of you ever made this type of mistake?  Glued your eyelids shut?  Swallowed Julia Gillard's contact lenses?  Given a patient a transfusion of passata arrabiata?  Accidentally transplanted the heart of baboon into a human?  It must be more common than we admit.