Shaken Not Stirred

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Things Are Looser

I've been going to the gym on a daily basis and spending about of two hours of my time there. I'm usually drenched in sweat and so energized that I feel like running a marathon when I'm done. It's werid when I first started going, I was tired at the end of one hour, so tired that I wanted to crawl under the covers and sleep. Not to mention sore--I could feel the sore in my bones sore. But now even after my set aside two hours, I crave more. I understand how one can be addicted to it.

Now, I have found that my weight has steadied. I'm no longer losing or gaining. The reason I had gone to the gym in the first place was to lose some poundage. The poundage I gained over the summer sitting at my desk, learning how to twirl a pen with my fingers (it actually looks like a mini-baton) has to come off. How can I tell a patient to eat healthy or to live a healthy life and have my belly obstructing the view of my feet? It's like one of the pulmonolgist I know who smokes. Very ironic. In order to have your patients believe you, you have to be the role model.

Oh yes, back to what I was going to ask. Does your body just hit a plateau? Do I have to work harder to keep the pounds coming off? I've already removed most bad things from my diet--and added lots of fiber, vegetables and fruit. And this pouch on my tummy. I don't think it wants to go away.

The other reason I'm writing about going to the gym is because I find it funny that I shower before I go. I actually clean myself up to sweat. And I also find it hilarious that some of the women that come look like they can go shopping in their outfits. Some of these sweatsuits don't look like they were made to sweat in. They are those funky sweatsuits with rhinestones on them. You know the ones I'm talking about---the kind Michael Myers always wore on his Coffee Talk skit. Anyway, does anyone else out there primp themselves up before working out?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

That Naked Dream

I've never had that often talked about dream of walking thru a school hallway or office department in my birthday suit. I know that movies/sit-coms sometimes make reference to it. But I don't think that sort of dream would bother me, or would be something that I would remember enough to discuss with anyone.

Last night I did however have a pretty terrifying dream. In the dream, I was in a hospital with a few colleagues and what appeared to be the chief of medicine. He was taking me and my colleagues on grand rounds. Each patient he showed us had a unique disease and he was telling us about standard diagnosis techniques and also first line medication. We came to a patient that had a certain malady and the attending turned to me and said, "how would you proceed doctor?". I immdediately froze. All eyes were upon me, all waiting for my knowledge. My armpits started to sweat--I'm never buying Speed Stick again. My throat closed up and in my dream the room went black.

I actually woke up with a light layer of sweat on my entire body. And I was breathing somewhat harder than I usually do. I think for me, this was my naked dream. It was a moment in time when I felt completely nude/vunerable.

When I was a fourth year medical student, a resident asked me to come with him on rounds with a certain "terror" attending. He said that maybe the guy wouldn't be so horrible in front of a medical student. He gave me some charts to look over and said that the physician would be arriving in about 30 minutes. I looked over the charts to familiarize myself with each patient--so I wouldn't be lost during the rounds or the possible barrage of questions that would follow.

The first few patients we attended to were not that bad. Maybe having a medical student come along was the trick--to pacify Doc Terror. Then we got to one of the last patients. Doc Terror asked the resident--"what is the clinical name for this disease". Simple enough. The resident thought for a moment, his eyes rolled upward as if a magic cheatsheet would appear on the ceiling. He said "I'm not sure". Doc Terror said, "what is a pathognomonic sign or symptom that would lead you to clinically diagnose this patient". I believe because of stumbling the first time, the resident became more flustered and unable to catch his balance completely fell. He opened the chart, he looked at the patient for any visible physical signs that he could blurt out.

A little frustrated, Dr. Terror then turned his fangs on me. He said, "what is the clinical name for this"? I told him rubeola. His voice became a little less gruff when he asked, "what signs or symptoms would the patient have". I told him koplik spots. He then turned to the resident and said something somewhat rude and left us with the patient. The resident turned to me and said "I don't know what happened to me".

I knew what happened. It is this complete vunerability that you feel when still in a learning process. The disease was simple and I knew he knew those answers. He was brilliant--I knew he was. He was constantly teaching me about laboratory findings, the way to proceed with each physical exam, and also new drugs. Other medical students turned to him with questions. I guess at that particular moment in time he was just living the "naked dream".

Saturday, October 21, 2006


The only blogger I've met in person, The Phoenix, posted a story about my experiences with the outer limits phenomenon. I met the Phoenix when he came to West Virginia to train for a job. We were talking about his excellent blog and I suddenly felt like talking about certain incidences that happened when my grandmother passed away.

When I first remember these "signs" of goodbye happening. I didn't know what to make of them. I was a little frightened and asked my grandmother not to show me any signs. Ask Phoenix, he'll tell you that I'm the biggest fraidy cat of them all. He wanted to checkout a certain monster/phenomenon of West Virginia and I refused. It even freaks me out to think that West Virginia has its own famous myth.

As part of a Halloween theme, he has posted several stories of people's brushes with lions, tigers and bears--Oh My!! Check out his blog. Be sure to check out "Grandma's Goodbye". The other spooky stories are also goose-bump inducing.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

What Happened to the Word SHUT-UP?

I've been studying at the library lately. Staring at my desk and the wall has given me cabin fever. And like one of my former study buddies has said, "When the walls start to speak to you, you've gotta move to a new location". So I loaded up my books and I went to the library.

My first complaint? The bathrooms. Nope, they are clean and sanitary. They've even got that hospital sanitized smell to them. It's not actually the facilities that I'm complaining about, by an incident.

I was really getting into a topic in obstetrics when I had to use the bathroom. Of course, I had to read until I finished the chapter (I was close to the end) because of some obsessive-compulsive characteristic that I've got. Anyway, I don't move on to new topics or I don't do something else until I've finished whatever topic I started reading. So by the time I finished the chapter I really had to go--so much so that my bladder was beginning to talk. When I got to the men's bathroom, there was a lady standing at the door. This lady informed me that another lady was using the men's bathroom and if I could wait for her to finish.

WTF? I turned around and saw a sign on the women's bathroom saying that the bathroom was currently under repair and that all women should go and use the bathrooms in the children's section of the library. So what part of the sign did these women not understand? It's a library, I'm assuming if they are in there, they can read!! Had a male not listened to a sign directing him to other bathroom facilities and used the women's bathroom (asking a buddy to guard the door--or not. I think guys don't care if someone walks in on them while they are peeing), the guy would have been arrested or escorted off the premises. So why do these girls get to use our bathroom and think nothing of it. And yes, I know I'm making a big deal out of this, but I only had oatmeal for breakfast for 4 days cause I haven't gone to the grocery store in two weeks (out of laziness and because I hate dealing with it). So I'm basically crapping regularly and I can feel the fiber running amuck in my intestines grabbing everything in site to pull down and out. Not a particularly good feeling.

Anyway, why can they use are bathrooms and it's no big deal? A male in a female's bathroom is almost taboo. Unless you are Michael in a foreign country.

My next issue? People talking loudly in the library? I don't mind the children screaming out "I want a book", but fully grown adults speaking in a manner that has me believing they left their hearing aids at home is not acceptable behavior. Some of these people are louder than the finale of a Mariah Carey song. Take for instance this one man who was looking for boating license books. He just kept going on and on about obtaining a boating license. And he did it at foghorn level. He was shushed several times by some library patrons, but since he was talking to the librarian who didn't shush him, he felt "priveledged" and kept speaking 10 decibels above Rush Limbaugh.

What happened to the good ole days when a library was QUIET?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Girls In White Dresses, Blue Satin Sashes

When I first got the idea of writing this post, it was going to be more of a complaint with a hint of jaded anger infused between the lines. The nausea was induced by another advertisement showing another bracelet representing another cause that needed to be brought to the attention of the public.

These days we've got so many worthy causes being thrown in our faces. The ad showed a semi-popular (but not so much cause she's getting old and is sort of if you look really quickly or see her in your peripheral vision but kinda not hot) actress wearing all black except for a bracelet on her wrist. The ad was for women's heart disease--like men don't get the disease. They wanted to make the public more aware about the prevalency of heart disease in women.

Anyway, the reason I was somewhat disturbed was because people end up buying these bracelets to wear more as a fashion statement rather than to bring to awareness the charity they were "supporting".

Take for example the yellow Livestrong bracelets. When they first came out, everyone wanted one. I think more because of the fact that Lance Armstrong was behind the design and the foundation, then for what it was actually representing or for which it was raising money. I remember seeing it on my young nephew's wrist (they come in children's sizes or small) and asking him what the bracelet meant. He "knowingly" replied "It's for Lance Armstrong".

I asked him why, what about Lance Armstrong. He replied, "He's the best bike racer ever". I again rephrased my question, "But why the yellow rubber bracelet?". He then informed me that yellow was Lance's color that he used whenever he raced. Okay, maybe I wasn't communicating well enough. I tried a different tact--"what do people like about the bracelet, why does Lance sell them?". He said the bracelets were only one dollar, Lance wore one when he won a race and that other movie stars also wore one.

With a last ditch effort to get an answer from his 10 year-old-mind (he's now 13 and bracelets are no longer cool, but a distraction while playing sports) I asked, "Who get's the dollar?". He replied "I don't know".

At that point, I could tell he was tired of my questioning and wanted to fling the bracelet at me, rubber band style---maybe hard enough to leave a mark. He was pulling on it uncomfortably, covering it with his sleeve in an attempt to direct my attention elsewhere (he was probably thinking, if he doesn't see it anymore he will leave me alone). I hugged him and said that Lance was trying to raise money for cancer that his dollar was being used for cancer research. I then went out and bought him another one to show him that I approved of his wearing it.

Anyway, we've got all these different bracelets out there now. People wear ribbons to bring to the awareness another disease which could possibly fly under the radar or is left unchecked unless certain procedures or labs are checked. And I've come to realize while pondering how to bash the makers of these bracelets that a lot of money has been raised for these causes--that more advertising has been done to raise awareness than ever before. And more than hundreds of afflicted patients have been saved because they/family members/friends have been made aware.

Instead of criticizing, I came to understand all the ribbon and bracelet wearing. And I commend many of these charities for making their plights known to everyone.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Magical Products

I was wondering, what if there was truth in advertising? What if the the products worked the way most commercials promised they would. You know, that damn headache stick Head-On really could make the pain of a headache go away just because you rubbed it on your forehead over and over and over and over again, just like in the ad.

If I answered some of those emails and sent away for a pump or some organically grown, natural enhancement medication, my penis would not be average in size, but actually a few inches bigger. I wouldn't be embarassed about my average size. Hell I would buy stock in the company if I thought the product really worked.

Is signing up for Geiko so easy that a caveman could do it? I've never thought of signing up for any sort of insurance as easy. There is so much paperwork and so many questions to answer. And is it really "good news" to save that much money?

How about Ranch dressing? The last one I saw had a guy sitting by himself in a small cramped kitchen, while outside it was dark and raining. The moment he poured some dressing on his salad, he was outside, it was sunny and he was no longer alone. He was surrounded by people. So am I to assume that like hallucinagenics Ranch can make us "experience" things like this. Wow, for only $2.99 for 16 ounces, that's a lot of zoning. Kinda cheap if you ask me.

I don't know why I'm ranting. This shouldn't even be a real post, it's just boredom and having nothing real to write about.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Escape...If Only For An Hour

Between Friday and Saturday, I listened to the new medical modalities for diseases from hypertension to insomnia. It was an excruciating and yet fascinating 16 hours for me. Excruciataing because there were almost 60 million new drugs, their doses, trade names, generic names and side effects to learn. Fascinating because of the strides that medicine has made in treatment. I thought I would be able to spend Saturday night studying, but it was no go. My desire to study was there, my drive had waned at 4:30 when the last physician had stepped down from his podium and thanked us for our time. 16 hours of lectures had taken their toll on my brain.

So I did what every brain dead human would do--I bought some doritoes and a six pack of diet coke (I wonder what the cashier thought of this huge clash of items--chips and diet soda). I went home and proceeded to devour the whole bag--to the point where I had to do the tip my head far back enough to dump the crumbs down my throat. And it wasn't the small ninety-nine cent bag, but the family size. I ate enought doritoes for a family of four.

While I was flipping though the channels, one of them was showing "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". I was elated. I remembered watching the DVD with other classmates after some mid-terms a few years ago. I was immediately hooked--buying the book the next day and then watching every movie they made thereafter. Something about the fantasy world of Hogwarts made me forget my stress. So armed with Doritoes and Diet Coke, I watched as the 11 year-old Harry Potter battled trolls and Voldemort, made lifelong friends and won everyone's heart. I remembered the first time when I watched it, I wondered, it can't be over. And as the credits rolled, the reality that I may have failed one or two midterms hit me. I wishing that I had a magic wand to make it go away.

I called one of my friends after the movie was over. We were talking about the day's lectures and he said he didn't do anything but play with a computer game to escape the binder full of new trade names. I told him it would be great to have a magic wand like Harry Potter's to make the stress disappear. I then called another friend and chatted for awhile (yes, I may have too much time on my hands). When I finished talking, I realized I was ready to start reading my notes.

Let me see how cheesily I can end this. I realized that Harry Potter had his magic wand to help him overcome some of his obstacles. The strength came from his friends. My magic wand is my friends. When I had gotten off the phone with both my friends, I suddenly was ready to read again. My stress was gone. Their laughter was my spell.

And the doritoes helped too!!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Yeah, I Don't Think So

Lately the news has been riddled with stories about inappropriate chats between grown-ups (can we still consider them grown-up, cause except for their biological age, they certainly are not) and teenagers. 20/20 has been doing exposes capturing these perverts on-line and on camera. Some of them look very next-door-neighbor-hey-weren't-you-in-church-last-week-I-think-I-teed-off-with-your-golf-group-our-kids-do-first-grade-together kinda guys. Others look exactly the way we think or would imagine they would, based on the stereo-types created by late night television movie of the week characters. Frankly, I'm a little sickened that so many of these creeps exist.

One man has gained some air-time because of his recent actions. As the investigations delve deeper, his story has becomes more chum for a media feeding frenzy. One of the latest additions to his story are claims of his own sexual molestation (which allegedly involves clergymen of an unidentified denomination). There are also claims of alcohol abuse. I'm not particularly good at putting two and two together, but I'm adding these claims up and coming up with a person trying to gain public sympathy, understanding, or someone trying to justify their actions.

I personally don't think this should be about the skeletons in this man's closet, but about the skeletons he has now created and placed in his victim's closets. And instead of cleaning up his own mess, he just shoved it in someone else's way.