Wednesday, May 21, 2014


"You're a frig!" she yelled at the frightened and withdrawn child. "You make me sick."
The child knew at a young age that 'frig' was her mother's word for 'f*ck'. And the word 'f*ck' was one of the worst swear words ever. The child did not understand how she could make her mother sick. 

Sometimes on a Saturday, we made cookies.

"Where were you?" she screamed at the teen. "I was worried sick about you!" Curses followed in a rapid-fire linear equation.
"I told you the school fair was today after school."
"No. You. Did. Not."
The teen held out a cheap trinket that some teacher had suggested she purchase for her mother.
All smiles then.

They were sugar cookies. With icing.

"Go downstairs and apologize to [step-father]. [Step-father] does not remember last night."
The teen stared at her mother from her bed.
"No. I will not apologize. He may not remember but I know that you do. I did nothing wrong."
The teen pretended to go back to sleep. 
"Come live with me," her dad said when he called her later that day.
She moved out shortly after that.

Dad didn't make cookies with me. But he didn't beat me up or curse at me or call me bad names either.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How NOT TO Act: for Emergency Room Physicians

1.  On old man's first emergency room visit of the weekend-- on Friday morning-- give him a mild over-the-counter non-aspirin "pain reliever" for excruciating lower left quadrant back pain after running a ton of blood work [all negative].

2.  Only prescribe an effective agent for pain relief after old man's adult child appears in the emergency room and insists on something stronger.

3.  Diagnosis: back spasm. Illustrate this by grabbing that part of the back suddenly. Ignore the discomfort of the old man while doing so.

4.  On old man's second emergency room visit of the weekend-- on Saturday morning-- insist that the prescription given yesterday will work.

5.  Order a C-T Scan "just in case". [negative]. Oxygen level: 88. Ignore the implications of that and give oxygen until the old man leaves the emergency room.

6.  Advise the adult child to "pretend to be stupid" and lie to the trusted family doctor in order to get him to order physical therapy with ultrasound treatments for the misbehaving muscle.

7.  Diagnosis: back spasm "but really more of a back pain." Ignore the protests of the adult child and the nurses who think there is something more going on.

8.  On old man's third emergency room visit of the weekend-- on Sunday night after he was found on the floor [because he fell]-- insist that his back AND neck pain is from the misbehaving back muscle, left lower quadrant.

9.  Send him home. Nothing much wrong here. Diagnosis: back spasm/ back pain.

Note to idiotic physician: Had you LISTENED TO HIS CHEST with a steth, you might have discovered the pneumonia which the family doctor was able to diagnose on Tuesday without grabbing the old man's back and causing him more pain.

The pneumonia was spreading to the other lung by Tuesday and required two antibiotics to treat.

Grade: FAIL.