Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

A moment of childhood awe is spoiled, and rekindled  0

Posted on February 13th, 2006. About Ramblings.

I read The Hiding Place by: Corrie ten Boom as a 12 year old sixth grader, growing up in Chapin, SC, during a time when I was becoming aware of the atrocities in history. Following my read of Anne Frank’s diary, I decided I had to read more first-person accounts of the Holocaust, and my mother suggested The Hiding Place – the true story of a Christian family in Holland who hid Jews in their home and worked with the Dutch Resistance to defeat the Nazis. Before the war begins, Corrie’s mother suffers a stroke and is left unable to speak. One Sunday, the family takes the disabled woman to church, and when the organist begins to play her favorite hymn, she sings along with the congregation quite joyously. When the song concludes, she remains unable to speak. Corrie sees this moment as a miracle – and as a child, I did too…

…until last week. My team saw one of our Harborview neurology patients, a man with a right-sided parietal stroke that has left him with severe language deficits; he has a global aphasia, meaning he is unable to speak or comprehend. Nicole, my chief resident on the team, suggested that because music originates from a different part of the brain than language, and familiar songs can be regurgitated rather than having to be calculated by the brain, we might try singing in front of him to see if he could join us. We started singing, “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream…” and we immediately got a “Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream,” out of our patient. We sang the song three times as a group, our patient singing the most enthusiastically of all of us. When our singing concluded, he became silent again, still not able to follow commands or speak.

I think I witnessed the same cerebral stroke that Corrie’s mother must have experienced, later recounted in The Hiding Place. There is a logical explanation for what happened to her mother, easily explained by science. I am almost disappointed that it likely wasn’t a miracle, but then – my amazement is rekindled in a very different way. The brain is astonishing in what it is capable of doing – how weird that music isn’t related to music at the cerebral level.

Shannan’s Modeling Career – Part 1  0

Posted on February 9th, 2006. About Uncategorized.

I’m so proud of my cousin, Shannan. She is a model in NYC/Philadelphia who has now created her own talent agency. Recently, she also gave birth to my newest first-cousin-once-removed, Kendall! 🙂

Anyway, Shannan was modeling maternity clothes prior to her delivery, and now I’m pleased to know that she is being featured on the clothing company’s website. Click here to view the site. The garments are quite becoming – might have to keep them in mind when the day arrives. 😉

 

Those Evil Doctors  1

Posted on February 7th, 2006. About News and Politics, Ramblings.

This is a story that has been in the news quite a bit here, and it appears to have gone national now. A local Ob/Gyn has been jailed for raping and fondling patients. It’s disgusting – but it brings up a point of contention I’ve had with the mainstream media for quite some time.

At least ninety percent of the stories I hear about doctors are so negative. Whether they are raping their patients or harming them through malpractice, doctors are such terrible burdens on society. Just ask the dozens of episodes on Law and Order, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit or Law and Order: Criminal Intent – physicians are egomaniacal, miserly creatures who kills their patients just to harvest their organs or open abortion clinics just to force their patients into delivering babies. Sometimes they even fool their patients into believing that they are creating the perfect race and impregnate them in order to reproduce on a larger scale. According to Grey’s Anatomy, when a patient suffers trauma and is clinically brain dead, why not use his organs for an important hospital official who happens to need a new liver?

Doctors sacrifice tremendously to achieve a license to care for patients. Four years of college, four years of medical school (during which we place ourselves into a large amount of debt and study ridiculously to succeed), followed by residency – and I think I have written enough about the stresses during this time period. The demands on us are great – patients insisting on family meetings at two o’clock in the morning, families not understanding that, when I cannot get to them exactly at noon as we had planned, it may be because someone’s blood pressure is 53/28 in another part of the hospital and is nearing cardiac arrest. If I hear one more “bad doctor” story I’m going to scream.

I went to a meeting in September of local Democrats, and at least an hour was dominated by discussion of how they should not vote for a bill to cap generalized “pain and suffering” damages in malpractice cases, which quickly degenerated into opinions about lousy doctors and how patients should have all of the rights. It was nauseating to sit there.

Enough rambling for one day – time to catch the bus.

Thoughts for Today  0

Posted on February 5th, 2006. About Uncategorized.

First of all, GO SEAHAWKS!! Today is Super Bowl Sunday, and I’m hoping for a Seahawks victory in Detroit. Unfortunately I’m on call today and will not make it to the follow up party at Rob “Dizzle” Gruen’s house (the NFC party was there two weeks ago), but I suppose a hospital is equipped with hundreds of televisions.

So yes, I am on call today. Besides being on call for just about every holiday this year and now for the Super Bowl, I’m actually excited about today’s duties. I finally started my Harborview neurology month. Harborview is the level I trauma center for the entire Pacific Northwest – the ER stays full all day and throughout the night, and the hospital’s capacity nears 100% at any given time. The other night while I was admitting a patient in the ER, a methanol (wood alcohol) ingestion came in, followed by a guy with a huge piece of glass sticking out of his eye, followed by a guy whose legs had been smashed in an accident. Then, there are people on gurneys in the hall, awaiting admission for alcohol withdrawal. It is quite an experience. In any case, I have already seen quite a few strokes and seizures. It’s a great reminder of why I chose neurology!

Finally – Evan and I went to the Columbia Winery yesterday for our first Wine Club shipment pick-up – their 2004 Barbera, Alder Ridge from Yakima Valley, and the 2002 Cabernet Franc, Red Willow Vineyard from Yakima Valley. Our membership also grants us an included Reserve Tasting every two months when we retrieve our shipments. Que magnifico!

Off for a thirty hour shift. It is another every-fourth-night-of-call month again, although my last one of my intern year (the remaining months are every fifth night). Again, Go Seahawks!

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