Saturday, December 29, 2012

Physician Heal Thyself

Let's face it, as physicians, we make the worst patients! I don't have high blood pressure! Eh, I'll go on a statin next year. My blood sugar isn't that high! Let me put off my colonoscopy until next year. And I'm not any better! For years I was struggling with fatigue. I blamed it on everything else outside of me—my job is too stressful, I have to wake up too early, I was on call, etc. And for years, my wife kept urging me to get a sleep test. There's no way I have sleep apnea, I reasoned to myself, I'm not overweight, I exercise daily, and I don't snore (at least not that badly). Finally, when I could take the fatigue no longer, I acquiesced and got my sleep test done. After the test was over, I felt stupid! There's no way I have sleep apnea! What a complete waste of time! There goes a hugh deductible thrown out the window. The next day, the result came back: I stopped breathing over 80 times that night!


Yet, in a way, I was totally relieved! There was a possible cure for my fatigue. The first night I started using the CPAP machine, my brain started making up for years of lost sleep!—I had a crazy and vivid dream about standing on an cliff beside a frothing ocean teaming with sharks. It was so cool! That's when I realized that this was my first dream in years! YEARS!

Now I'll admit it... Using a CPAP machine is not the world's sexiest thing. But, since I am a Star Wars fan, there is something really cool about looking like a Kotobukiya Star Wars TIE Fighter Pilot! And beside, my kids dig it (and I like to chase them around the house with my mask on).

Of course, I'm just exaggerating—the mask and machine are much smaller than I anticipated! Frankly I was shocked by how far technology has come. And the CPAP machine is no bigger than a "breadbox" (whatever the hula hoop that is). It's a cinch to take on vacations.

So the take-home-message for me is this: Physician heal thyself! Before I can heal others, I need to work on healing myself first. 

So good night and pleasant dreams! Oooooooooo... SHARKS!!!!  
Thursday, December 27, 2012

What to say to a patient after a miscarriage?

What do we say to a patient after a miscarriage?
  1. You didn't do anything to cause this miscarriage...
  2. You didn't do anything to cause this miscarriage...
  3. You didn't do anything to cause this miscarriage...

Listen and weep with the patient.

(Or something like that)
Saturday, December 22, 2012

BMJ Study: Why is Rudolph's Nose Red

The BMJ just published an observational study explaining the redness of Rudolph's nose—evidently, reindeer have 25% more capillaries carrying oxygen-rich blood in their nasal architecture than humans. Now, I'm not sure that this investigation answers all the questions—it might answer why reindeers have red noses, but it doesn't answer why Rudolph has a luminescent one! My personal belief?—elf fairy dust.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Depression Medication Chart

Here is a chart that I adapted from UpToDate. It lists the most commonly used antidepressants and their side effects, cost, and other random note. Hope it helps...
Monday, December 03, 2012

COOL APPS: Walmart $4 Dollar Medications

Most of us doctors know about the Walmart $4 Medications. Heck, they started it all and now it seems every pharmacy has their own $4 list! That's great for patients! But sometimes, as physicians, it hard to remember what's on that list. So here's the solutions... The Walmart App!

If you have an iOS device, just go to iTunes and download the App! It's a FREE download.

Then, once you run the App, click on the Pharmacy link on the bottom of the page. Then you will have glorious access to the $4 list! And the medications are conveniently listed by categories. It's NICE when technology actually makes our lives easier (unlike some EMR programs).

AND you get to do your Christmas shopping!

(NOTE: Walmart did not pay me to say that... I do most of my shopping on Amazon. NOTE: Amazon did not pay me to say that).