November 30, 2015

getting worse yet

....I crawled into a wheelchair writhing in pain, able to sit only on the right side as my left burned with flames.  Being in scrubs and a Smith Hospital coat got me admittance into their ER pretty quickly.  Doctors take care of their own just like any other profession.  The senior resident came in, examined it thoroughly throughout my screams and asked me what I wanted to do.  I could have it drained by the surgery team in the OR, or they could drain it at bedside.  Stupidly, I said, "I don't want a full work up.  Just lance the thing and get me back on my feet."  After all, I&D (incision and drainage) was the curative and definitive treatment for abscesses.  Besides, I had to get back to work the next day.  Well, the same day since it was already 1 am.
     The attending strolled in a bit later, took a very brief look, saw me jump off the bed and said, "I'll take the resident's and your word at it.  We'll get you set up here briefly."
     I desperately needed something for pain.  The doc again asked, "what do you want?"  The nurse quickly gave it to me and it barely took the edge off.  I asked for another dose when it came time to start sticking the lidocaine in my ass.  I knew the lidocaine was going to hurt.  I asked the doc if it was ok if I cussed a blue streak.  He replied, "of course, it's the ER."  What I did NOT expect was the incision of the scalpel to hurt so I let the expletives fly freely from my mouth...

IMAGINE NASTY, DISGUSTING PICTURES HERE (because I do have them but I won't post them for y'all's sake) the pus and blood gushed out in substantial amounts.  I'm screaming and trying to breathe through the pain while the ER doc apologizes.  I think I may have yelled back at this point, "don't apologize, just open the damned thing up!"  So he does.  He appropriately warns me first and in go the hemostats to start blunt dissecting open any remaining deep pockets of pus.  Imagine sticking closed blunt scissors into an already gaping wound and then jabbing them around while opening and closing them.  The opening action bluntly dissects open any walled off areas.  It's necessary to open everything or the I&D won't work.  And he opens everything.  By this time I'm hoping to just pass out from the pain.  No such luck.  And I thought the scalpel pain was bad.  It feels like there are several poison tipped knives sticking out of my butt.  He finally finishes and I weakly ask for some more pain medication as well as an anti-nausea med.  Now I remember why surgery always did these in the OR under general anesthesia.  They let it passively drain for a bit and make sure I'm ok before cleaning me up and sending me on my way.  I foolishly forget to ask for more anti-nausea med when I get yet another dose of pain med for when the lidocaine wears off.  My wife drives me home and I remember little, being in a stupor by this point.  The next thing I know, I'm stumbling out of the car and bent over in my yard at 3 or 4 in the morning throwing up a lung.

November 29, 2015

hard time of the year

“I felt like crying but nothing came out. it was just a sort of sad sickness, sick sad, when you can't feel any worse. I think you know it. I think everybody knows it now and then. but I think I have known it pretty often, too often.” - Charles Bukowski

     Holidays.  Holy Days.  Days that are sacred.  Thanksgiving.  Giving of thanks.  Gratitude.  But what happens when there is no gratitude, where there is nothing sacred, nothing holy; there is only that sad sickness?  Wherein there lies a physically insurmountable obstacle to those you love, why bother?  Or, as Job bluntly put it, "Since I am already found guilty, why should I struggle in vain?"

it gets worse

     My wife and I are driving home from a quick whirlwind trip on my day off.  At the beginning of the day, I knew something was off and I was starting to sit funny.  I thought that if I could get home and get on some antibiotics, I'd be good.  Oh, how na├»ve that thought would be in retrospect.  I had started to develop a furuncle in, shall we say a rather delicate area as a result of the gastroenteritis.  By the evening on the way home, I was writhing in pain.  My wife suggested, "maybe we just keep driving right down to the med center."
     Being the idiot that I am, I wanted to know what I was dealing with.  But I couldn't exactly see it so I asked her to pull over at a McDonald's.  Like a cowboy who has been on the trail for 6 months, I limp bowlegged to the bathroom, lock the door, and with the help of modern technology, took a selfie that I will not post out of decorum.  Holy shit.  This was no furuncle.  This was an abscess.  And a significantly large and angry one at that.  Calm down.  Deep breath.  I need to examine it to see how bad it is.  So again with the help of my iPhone high definition live camera feed, I used it as a mirror to guide my exam.  I began to palpate to see how much fluid was in there and how indurated it was.  I didn't even have time to let loose a string of expletives because I about passed out from the pain the instant my fingers put pressure on the abscess.  That would've made for an interesting viral video and a very confused McDonald's employee who found me.  I stood back up to catch my breath, try to avoid passing out, and got dressed after about 5 minutes.  I hobbled slowly back outside and told my wife, "Yeah, you're right. Just go straight down to the ER."

November 20, 2015

wheel within wheels

This is what I think of when I see companies like 23andme and others claiming they've figured out how to predict your health. My not so insignificant time spent in pharmaceutical research and development also bears out this comic. It's amazining we can treat anything given how complex the human body is. 

November 18, 2015

just the beginning

    Nearing the end of the day, I was checking my lidoderm patches to see how well they were sticking and assessing whether they'd survive the drive home or whether they should just be removed. I then noticed a streak down the middle of my scrubs. The back of my scrubs. I was struggling with the beginning of a bout of gastroenteritis and lets just say things were starting to get raw down there. So I had the brilliant idea to use vaseline to help protect the skin. But it had soaked through to my scrubs. And I wasn't wearing my long white coat either. Great, I had been walking around all day with this streak on my ass and no one bothered to tell me that it looked like I shit my pants. If only that had been the worst of it....

November 10, 2015

design flaw

Other than being funny, this cartoon will make more sense in days to come.