Friday, January 19, 2018

DeWorm the World

Fizzy from A Cartoon Guide to Being a Doctor reminded me yesterday that I was already published in something that is not a major medical journal (the benchwork is fun but the formatted writing is a pain in the ass) - she published me! Under my blog name, years ago. She has made an impressive few grand off of the book and she donates it all to a charity called Deworm the World - it helps pay for medications to treat parasitic infections in children in developing countries. I ordered it yesterday, first accidentally the kindle version (which was available yesterday) and then the paperback version. I believe I let her use some of my old old tales from this blog, but I can't remember, so I'm super excited to find out and help Deworm the World. If you want to contribute to this awesome charity you can at the link above or by buying Fizzy's book, in which I contributed here.

I talked to my friend at Cleveland Clinic. Apparently Springer is a great place to get a publication going but they give the author and the editors no control over the book cover or pricing. If only I had googled it I would have raised a red flag. Oh well. Live and learn. And I am getting a free copy, I found out, after I ordered it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Mixed Feelings

So I have mixed feelings over the launching of our blog book, link here

First of all, the cover is not us, the Mothers in Medicine blog, at all. But I learned sometimes you have no control of cover, as in this case. It appears they are marketing it as a textbook, by the outrageous price that has made it inaccessible to family, friends, and book clubs. Are they marketing it to medical schools? If so, the idea of making a med student have to pay $40-$50 dollars to read it makes me sick to my stomach. Again, I just learned pricing the book is sometimes out of control of the author and editor.

So if you have a bunch of money to spare, go get our book at that link up there. If you don't, you are welcome to borrow mine, as soon as I order it myself. Doesn't a contributor even get a free book before publication? How cruel is this world? Or you can just follow the blog. Honestly most of what I have written was cobbled from past blogs - it took less than an hour to put together the day of the deadline because I am the queen of procrastination. But I'm still going to get it anyway because it's my online family and I want to read all the others.


And by the way, if there are any profits to be made here, not a dime will come to any of us, including our amazing editor.

Doctors Make the Worst Patients (Part 2)

Read it, over at MiM

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Whoever coined that term was not a healthcare professional in the 21st century.

I was on call last week, and I am on call next week starting Christmas Day, and it has been extremely busy. I had more brain frozens last week than I'd had in the last six months, the culmination of which was 9:30 PM stressor on Friday night in between carpooling children to and from where they wanted to go. I had to cut the frozen myself, which is not so easy when you are out of the habit - we are spoiled with our P.A.s I learned after the surgery it was not a resection but a thing new to our institution which I later learned in PMG pathology is a thing some places - a fine needle aspirate of a brain tumor. Which explained why the surgeon wanted me to freeze something that looked like a sneeze on a piece of shiny surgical paper. Not a sick, colored sneeze, just a few clear droplets and some blood. Luckily I had the forethought to do a squash prep first - where I touched the tissue with a slide and smeared it with another - because the frozen yielded nothing but the squash prep was a field of diagnostic information - necrosis, hypercellular pleomorphic cells, giant blood vessels that resembled octopus tentacles - the triad of Glioblastoma Multiforme. I called it suspicious, expected much more tissue, got another sneeze, and a local expert confirmed my diagnosis a few days later. He told me the FNA is much better for the patient, and text updated me throughout his own progression of stains and levels with what I provided him. I alerted the other members of my group of the new procedure - the gross room told me another neurosurgeon did one a couple of weeks ago. If that was the only case I had last week we would be living in an episode of House. But with thirty - sixty cases a day I can't worry over one too much, luckily. Just triage, do my best with what I've got, send the stuff I'm uncomfortable with to the experts, and move on.

One thing good about being on call over the holidays is you don't have any obligations to anyone. I kind of like that. "Nope, sorry, I'm on call." But the way the holiday fell this year Christmas and New Year's Eve are crammed into one week and that doesn't usually happen. I heard from a nurse in bronch lab that Benton schools are out not this week, but the next two weeks, and I think that's a lot smarter than Little Rock, we get an extra week to stress and present shop and make Christmas a little more crazy (or just go to work) then rush back to school after New Year's Day.

Everyone in PMG pathology is lamenting end of the year insurance deductibles. It really does cause a crunch in November and December, but the worst is the last two weeks of the year. I was talking to my friend who is an opthalmologist on Monday and she said she has people coming in on December 15 expecting to get their cataracts done before New Year's Day and when they learn she's booked she has to talk them off of a ledge. Someone in PMG pathology smartly suggested that we switch the cutoff to people's birthday so the work is more spread out. Seems like getting something that monumentally entrenched to change won't come easily.

I can't believe I finally have a lull in my day. Partly because I finished a book I got last week, one that I've been sneaking into whatever gap I can find. I learned new words, elision and benthic. Ha! Look at that spell check doesn't even know benthic. Now I can get back to my other two books I'm juggling, but first I've got to address Christmas cards, a yearly chore but worth it for every one I receive.

I'm starting to think that you get the most out of life by just relaxing into what is, and not worrying too much about what isn't. It certainly yields happiness, I've found.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I Really Hate Thanksgiving

This day has been Hell from the moment I woke up. And I think I have talked before about how much I hate this holiday and the food (except rolls and stuffing), and all the freaking gratitude. I'm grateful every other time of the year so on this holiday I'm taking a huge break to sleep in and sit on the couch and watch TV and cook my kids favorite meatballs for dinner then go to work on Friday because the hospital is the only place on the planet where people have to go back to work on Friday. This is probably not true, but I'm feeling really whiny right now as I'm surrounded by too much work - people gotta meet their deductibles!! - and my office is too hot and I've had two workman here to fix it but it's not helping and I can be too cold all day long but blazing hot is not an option I had to go home and change for God's sake to get my work done without getting nauseated that's a first. And propping my door open to let the heat out has somehow invited everyone in the lab to pop in and say hello and ask what I am doing for Thanksgiving and it is so hard to small talk anyway but when you are in a fowl mood (pun intended) it really sucks.

Ok I feel a little better. Now I can concentrate on my bug stains I've got a tray full of them. But first I've got to go prop the door open again it's getting hot. Again.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Majesty needs no
recognition only qui
et acknowledgement