Friday, July 28, 2023

Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun

     Ack what a week! And I wasn't even on call. Lots of work drama issues, to be continued next week. I brought a book I started last Saturday, in vain it turns out, because there was no time to read it. Hopefully this weekend. Monday morning, I overheard Tina fielding a phone call from Lindsey - the gross room PA in NLR. I heard museum, I heard leg, I had to get the scoop.

    Lindsey called Tina because a guy had called asking to get his leg. He wanted to display it in a museum. Tina appropriately referred the request to risk management - this was unprecedented. I asked Tina for the scoop. He wants to display it in a museum he is building in his backyard. With a UV light. Surrounded by his wife's collection of Uranium. I hope he knows it will need to be embalmed, I said.

    Later in the afternoon I was doing a frozen and Jessica filled me in on more of the scoop. Apparently while he was clearing brush on his property for this museum (he also has a life sized statue of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe) he suffered a compound fracture of his ankle with much exposed bone. There was an attempt to save it with lots of screws involved but he was in so much pain he decided to have it amputated. He thinks the UV light might highlight the screws. Lindsey said in a fourteen minute conversation he discussed WWI, WWII, motorcycles, Military grade tires, Chet Atkins (who?), Elvis, Marilyn M, American pickers, Rockabilly, Uranium, UV lights, California and Monkeys.

    At the end of the day Lindsey called me. Have you signed out so and so's leg? That guy was my amputation, I asked? We've had so many lately, toes, transmetatarsals, BKA's, AKA's. Why do you ask? I do recognize that name. You have to sign it out, so we can release it to him. That happened? I asked? Yup, it went all the way to the top of the food chain and they approved. I remember now, I told her, about a leg that was edematous but normal? So I got into the chart and read about the trauma history. Most legs have gangrenous necrosis from calcified atherosclerosis or diabetic peripheral neuropathy but this was strangely more normal.

    The next day during frozens we were animatedly talking about it and turns out the museum is by invitation only. We were saying we would never go to a place like that alone. Laurie, who was painting the margins of a breast excision, deadpanned if you went to that museum you might never make it out. What if he gets the body part bug, I wondered. People are being prosecuted for selling those. Savanna held up her arm and said like the Big Bad Wolf, I like the way your arm looks, my dear, and we all rolled laughing. Is he charging, we wondered.

    The wife came to get it Thursday and we got more of the dish. She seemed nice and normal, said Lindsey. She had a cooler in her trunk to get it to the funeral home ASAP. I carried it to her car for her. I was hoping to learn more about the appearance of the guy but since he was still post op, I guessed,  he's not hopping yet. Savanna's laugh made me happy. We are horribly non PC. Lindsey got the coveted invite to the museum when it opens from the wife. We warned her against going alone.

    Tuesday I had to google bifurcated gallbladders because I got one and had never gotten or heard of one. Turns out from Google they are very rare. I called Laurie and she was so excited she sent me a pic. A gallbladder duplication, it is called. A quick review of the chart told me they did not suspect this radiologically. One side had stones, the other didn't. Could they put the other side back? Melody and I wondered, but since it doesn't matter really it is not a rational thought.

    Some other docs wondered the same thing when I saw Trip, the surgeon, in the Dr. lounge one morning. He was sitting at the breakfast table with three other docs I recognized, but didn't know. I told them all the story and showed them the pic and Trip was so excited. Can you send me the pic? I'll share with my partners and resident. Of course, I told him. Such a cool case. 

    So imagine my surprise when I got a didelphys uterus yesterday. Like a once in ten year specimen, but at least you have heard of it. Fused double uteri. She had evidence of a C-section, and it was in the charts. So lucky they can bear kids, it seems like a deal breaker in that arena. Did you take a pic, I asked Jessica? No. Got other pics of that. You don't see it much, but you do see it.

    It's so hot, but nice to have cool nights and a weekend off. Christy rented out Kemuri West for her wedding party tomorrow night. C is still hopping around Europe (we talk on WhatsApp daily), but Jack is coming with a friend there is a cocktail hour from 5:30 to 6 ish and we got to pick from four entrees that look amazing. Jack and I are planning Dillard's Sunday to get some new dress clothes for him and try to find an outfit for the birthday party for me. Tomorrow, a much needed pedi. Sinead, can't speak. Her music saved me. Happy Friday, much love, Elizabeth

Friday, July 21, 2023

Happy Friday

     Well I had a lot going on this evening, and this weekend, but everything fell apart at the last minute for tonight, which is a good thing, because it's been a week! I finished the third S.A. Cosby book early in the week. Same great characters, good story, wonderful action scenes, and important threads on racism and LGBTQ hate were addressed well (but if you are on the New York Times bestseller list, you are probably just preaching to the choir). But he did something I didn't expect. He plot revealed way too soon! Served it up to me on a silver platter. I was hoping he was leading me down a blind alley, but my guess bore out. Premature author ejaculation. SMH. I'm still excited to read the new one, but think I'll take a break.

    Bought three new books at Wordsworth yesterday - my friend Kandi West bought and owns it now - so I've got choices. Was picking up the invitations for the party - Eleanor is in Palm Beach - and didn't realize it had moved. And the Painted Pig. And the store is closed on Saturday - since Covid, she explained to me. What's up with this space shuffle in the most congested area of town. Wednesday I finally got done with my tooth issues - had last two cavities filled, and I'm religious with the fluoride toothpaste now. I've been religious with oral hygiene in the past, but the gag reflex led me to avoid the dentist. Never again.

    I was driving back to work from the dentist and passed my old house (It looked much better and less barn like with white paint and black shutters, IMO, but to each his and her own). There was a moving van, and the front door was wide open. I parked my car on the curb and I stood on the front porch awkward and anxious for a few minutes while the owner was obviously talking to the head of the moving company. When they were through, I introduced myself and mentioned I was a doctor at Baptist so he didn't think I was crazy and he invited me into the foyer. I grew up in this house, I told him. Oh, so you are a Nestrud! He said. Yes, oldest of four. Sorry I'm talking funny half of my face is numb. 

    I requested a tour and he enthusiastically obliged. Besides paint, it looked much like when I left for Hendrix at 16. I was flooded with memories - I calculated I hadn't been there in 34 years. He told me my Mom was instrumental in helping him get the lay of the land, and problem solve. I asked how long he lived there - 30 years. He was a retired child psychologist and his wife was a retired PM&R (like Fizzy!). They were reluctantly moving to Chenal for a ground floor bedroom. My parents put in an elevator, I said, and he said they tried to look at that option but there were no real good places to put it.

    This was our add on playroom, my parents put in this built in. Everything seemed so small. While I reached my full height at probably 13 most of my memories are from when I was little. Your parents did things right, he said. This was a garage, correct? Yes, I remember scrubbing my dad's whitewall on his tires when I was little and everyone still washed there own cars. We have changed little, he said. Oh! This is where I did my college entrance essays with those old DOS computers remember those? I was such a procrastinator but my dad would stay up with me until midnight helping me edit. 

    We moved onto the kitchen and the backsplash and the fridge were all the same. I remember standing right here helping my mom with the mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving, I said. And there in the living room was a large TV where we watched first Macy's Thanksgiving parade every year (mom, from NY, was addicted) and then the birth of MTV. Would it offend you if I asked to go upstairs, I asked?

    Of course not, he said. Your Mom and Dad did things right. We had a tree fall on our house a few years ago and because he made the roof tongue and groove, it didn't cause much damage. This house had give, in storms. As we walked up the stairs I told him I remember coming to see the house before we bought it. Must have been five, one of my first memories. These wooden steps and the wall were covered in orange shag carpet my Mom said this has got to go.

    The bathrooms were the same. The retro black and white tile I used to create shapes with in my mind, the bathtub my Dad hid in during birthday parties affixing small toys to our lures while we took turns playing Go Fish. What room was this? He asked when we got to the treadmill room. It was mine. I was in such shock I couldn't remember the eggplant walls or the stereo system behind my melon covered catty cornered bedspread until I was on my way back to work. Pyro me lighting candles and burning things secretly in the closet. I told him about the time I was mad at my Mom and sprinkled glitter all over the carpet.

    Sara's room, our childhood playroom that turned into the boys room, then we came to a room that they used as a guest room. Was this your guest room too? He asked. No, I said, after we got older my mom went back to school to get her masters in nursing. This was her office. I used to hide in that closet to read Stephen King because I wasn't allowed to. He laughed. He showed me their bedroom, the add on I said we suffered through - I told him there was a makeshift stair built outside to get up and down for months I still remember the sound of the rain on the visqueen. I had not remembered my parents put a deck off of their bedroom, or built a cedar closet. 

    I know it's hot, I said, but can we go out back for a minute? Whoa. There's the magnolia tree. Same Hostas. Pool add on - lots of volleyball played there. Did you use that playhouse? He asked. No, I said, I was already in high school they built that for my brothers. The only thing we've done is expand the brick courtyard, he said. As he wished me goodbye and thanked me for stopping by, I thought no I've got you to thank. 

    Was up at 3am the next morning inundated with more memories. Mom tipsy sitting on the stairwell after one mimosa at my graduation brunch (she never drank). Dad presenting me with my 16th rose at my 16th birthday party on the front porch. My friends had planned it - it was a scavenger hunt and I drove around for hours as various boys from my high school gave me roses and the next clue (super awkward as an introvert - some of the hugs and pics were painful but I appreciated the effort). While I was driving around they arranged a girl pool party and had decorated to the max. 

    Jack had his first non-respite volunteer experience at Camp Aldersgate last week - spina bifida - and was enamored. That was my first week at 15. I had such a great bond with a camper she was featured in my college entrance and med school entrance essays. Jack came to lunch one day on break and we excitedly talked about learning transfers. The volunteers don't catheterize, but I did back then. The new pool had water wheelchairs I was incredulous we just transferred the campers to the pool shelf and made sure they had sufficient life jacket support to keep them safe.

    He won volunteer of the week! He was so excited. For a tall white 18 year old he is surprisingly sensitive and empathic and not entirely confident. But I love who he is and who he is becoming. His counselor, Kutorri, saw this as well and thinks he is amazing and needs to shore up his confidence (like mother, like son LOL). Jack shared a video of them rapping Hamilton. One of the campers, he's from a small town, has been texting Jack, the camper obviously considers him a mentor in life. I told Jack one of the great things about Camp is that they finally get to be a majority and not a minority. That does wonders for your self esteem. I'm excited to hear about Diabetes week at the end of the month. I never did that one.

    So when I first read about Barbie movie over a month ago I was excited to see it. Thought it must be coming out that weekend. But now? So much press and hype I want to puke. My strongest memories of Barbie is when I was still at Montessori, at 10 or 11, and we would hide and play a child version of strip poker with them. We would pile on the clothes and play Go Fish or Slapjack or War and the one who lost the round would have to take off another layer. The first girl to get her Barbie naked lost. Seems warped, in retrospect. 

    Christy twisted my arm and ordered tickets for Barbie at 10:30 am tomorrow at the Promenade. She's wearing hot pink, maybe I'll try to find some? Love Greta Gerwig but not so much pink burgers at Burger King. Then Eleanor and I are having an address party on Sunday so I need to shop for snacks and drinks. Long post! Happy Friday, much love, Elizabeth

Thursday, July 13, 2023


     The one at Baptist became ridiculous a couple of months ago. I can no longer get on the internet on my phone or check social media at work. I have to walk 50 feet from the hospital to even open a picture that another doc texts me for a case, or any picture for that matter. That's not fun in the South in the summer. It's impossible to do anything on my work computer because all websites are forbidden, not just porn (not that I ever tried that) but the Racquet Club yoga times or Mickey's Cake Company. What in the hell are they worried about? I might finally get to exercise or commission a cake for my birthday party? SMH. Too many people have way too much time on their hands.

    After two staycations this Summer I have learned that I don't need nine days off in a row, unstructured, ever again if I can help it. My head goes in a bad space after about four and I get depressed and anxious. Definitely keeping that in mind because we are picking vacation right now for next year, fiscal I mean, October through October. One good thing that did happen last week was that I read a book and am on my first author binge in years, S. A. Cosby. I read his second and his first and got the third and fourth yesterday. His protagonists have so much bravado it borderlines on cheesiness, more so in the debut, but the plot lines and the wit are incredible. I get a little spacey when he's geeking out in car descriptions, but the action scenes are incredible. It's fun to compare the books and see the maturation in the writing. Tried to start the third today but man it's a busy call week and we've got a lot going on with our work family so hopefully soon.

    I've been taking different routes home to avoid interstate anxiety after a busy day and my current one is so much fun! It is taking me to my old neighborhood I grew up in and there are so many good memories there. Lynn Clinton was our ringleader, she and her mom and dad Bo and Sissy lived right across the street until their fortunes took them to Edgehill. Katie and Louis Dowell were up the street. My sister and I rounded out the gang. I don't really keep up with any of them, but those were the days before internet and video games when the only distraction you had was Saturday morning cartoons so you played outside a lot.

    Lynn loved to play The Price is Right, she was always the game show host of course and we played along. We were tasked to collect small toys she could gift when one of us bested another. She also staged weddings - she was always the preacher. There was a dearth of men but no qualms about marrying women, which in retrospect I love. Once we were walking down Shenandoah and she spied a glint of gold down the sewer drain, you know like the one where the clown from It resides. Katie was the smallest, and Lynn managed to convince her to squeeze through the concrete to retrieve it for Lynn, who was probably imaging riches in her head.

    We had to find some rope to lower Katie because it was too far down to let her drop. Once she made it, she sent up the gold on the rope. To Lynn's chagrin, it was a plastic gold trophy. When we couldn't get Katie back up she started to cry, but I swear Lynn's empathy for Katie was squashed by her frustrations of a lost fortune. The rest of us ran to get parents for help. I'm not sure if they rescued Katie themselves or we had to call in the local firefighters, that memory is lost to me.

    Legs, legs! We are drowning in them. They are overflowing the large plastic bucket Jessica bought to keep the anesthesiologists and nurses from complaining and when I walked in Monday morning to the gross room there were about eight stacked haphazardly on a shelf in the middle of the fridge because the bucket was full (all in red plastic warning bags). Good lord! I said, was there a blue light special over the weekend? I've never seen so many legs. Jessica said Nguyen must have been working night and day. She said the architects came in to make sure the asbestos removal went well and spooked and ran when they saw a bare amputated leg on her grossing station. LOLOL.

    They are doing lots of asbestos abatement at Baptist and it's noisy and interruptive as hell. Jessica made them do the gross room over the weekend and Savannah took pics - there was plastic drapes from the ceiling to the floor there is no way we could have worked with that. Does this mean I get to sue Baptist when I get mesothelioma, I asked? Now they are doing micro and when I walked into huddle this morning Dell (she's the new director since Amy retired last month sniff) had ceiling tiles recently fall on her head there was plaster everywhere. Workers were bending over backwards apologizing and saying they would fix it as fast as they could. I hope our path offices are exempt from this holy hell of a mess but I fear they aren't. Happy Thursday, much love, Elizabeth



Saturday, July 1, 2023


     Well Cecelia just arrived there from Lisbon and called to chat while waiting on an Uber to the hostel to meet her friend Leila. She knew nothing about the George Floyd-ish uprising happening in France so I told her to watch out. Hundreds of arrests, I said. Cars burning in the streets. She will only be there a couple of days before she moves on but to where? I cannot remember or keep up. Her schedule is so complex.

    I was talking to Jack last night at Three Fold. SCOTUS is gutting all the marginalized communities. How can an unelected right wing body ram us all up the ass with a broomstick. Our nation is deeply flawed. Throwing women, LGBTQ community, and non-whites all under the bus. But I guess the last gasp of the patriarchy can't happen without a bit of drama. If you aren't crying, try to laugh. Climate, oppressed populations, gah. It's all too much.

    Work has been a balm. Solving problems all day long keeps me from worrying about the larger things. Cidney had 5 bronchs on Thursday and they were so complex I'll be going in Monday on my day off to finish up. Bandy came in the gross room for a complicated lymph node frozen last week. The outside read grade three endometrioid but holy hell the node was full of psammoma bodies that heralds serous carcinoma. Back in residency we used to just call these based on morphology, I told the gross room and Bandy, but now there is a litany of stains to distinguish clear cell and serous and grade three endometrioid. I think the outside person got it wrong, I said. Well, said Bandy, as he asked to look in the scope, I think it's all over her abdomen the inguinal nodes look enlarged and necrotic. We've had a lot of these lately? I asked. What's in the water? 

    No plans for the holiday weekend and excited for a rainy forecast next week. Just sunning while it lasts and planning to get two of my four cavities taken care of. Chris at Ava Bella is amazing I scheduled a massage and a dry brush exfoliation followed by Argan oil application (haha that sounds so bougie I'm loling) we will see how that goes. We had an interesting discussion when C and I went in for massage a couple of weeks ago about how it is to be a black male masseuse. Oh the stories he told mimicked the climate of our nation. Happy Saturday! Much love, Elizabeth