Thursday, September 29, 2016

Family History

I find the family history to be the most useless part of my history.

For some doctors, I'm sure it's really useful. If you are evaluating a patient with chest pain, it's useful to know that their father had a heart attack at age 42. But considering every patient I've seen has already had a diagnosis, it ends up being completely useless to me.

Unfortunately, I don't get to decide what is useful or not. If I write a 30-page history and physical, I can only bill at the very lowest level unless I include a family history.  So you can bet I'm asking about it.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Closet Situation

Our closet is one large source of marital discord in our household.  

We have a walk-in closet in our bedroom. However, the only way to get inside is through the bathroom. So if one of us is in the bathroom, and the other one wants to get dressed, they have to knock and make a big thing of it. I certainly don't mind if my husband comes inside the bathroom if I am showering or brushing my teeth, but I don't really want him coming in while I am on the toilet. Fortunately, I'm not one of those people who spends more than a minute or two on the toilet, so it's not a big deal.

Unfortunately, my husband is more like Al Bundy, in that he goes into that bathroom for the long-haul. It can be an hour easily. And he doesn't want anyone coming into the bathroom while he is on the toilet, which I suppose is understandable.  (We do have a second bathroom.)

However, sometimes I need something from the closet. Like the other day, my kids wanted to go outside and he was on the toilet, so I had to come in to get my sweater and some socks.  He was not pleased. I told him that if he let me know when he was going in, I could get out what I needed, but he says he shouldn't have to and that I should already have out everything I need before he goes in. But I don't think that every time I leave the closet, I should have to grab everything that I could possibly need from it?

The laundry also causes problems, because sometimes I'm in the middle of doing it and he goes into the toilet. There was one occasion when I was in the middle of putting away clothes. I went to the closet, put away some shirts and pants, then went back to the dryer to get the second armful of clothing. And in that 30 second window, he had run into the bathroom and was in there for the duration. It was so frustrating!  He tells me to just dump the clothing on the bed and put it away later, but when I'm doing laundry, I want to put everything away when I'm doing it. I don't want to have to come back later and start putting away clothing again.

I know this sounds like a really stupid problem, but sometimes really stupid problems can get you really aggravated. Any suggestions? And most importantly, who is right??

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Buy the book

During residency, one of my junior residents, let’s call him Jimmy, asked me for book recommendations.  I told him some good books, and mentioned one book that was absolutely essential for our residency.  Our main Sports attending was in love with it and would nag you on that rotation unless you had it.  And it was actually a really good book.

Jimmy didn’t buy the book.  He took it out from the library and agreed it was a good book, but he didn’t want to buy it.  He told me he’d just take it out from the library during rotations where he needed it.  He said he didn’t want to actually buy any books during residency when he could get them for free from the library.

OK, yes, residents are not exactly rolling in dough.  But Jimmy was married to a hospitalist, who was probably pulling in about $200,000 per year.  He had no kids and wasn’t planning on having any for at least a few years.  I don’t know his debt situation, but I’m fairly sure he was doing better financially than me and my student husband and baby requiring a nanny.  So I was seriously kind of irritated by his refusal to spend $40 on a good book.  

What was up with that?

("Wouldn't it be easier to buy your own copy of the Bible?" "Sure, maybe on a librarian's salary.")


Monday, September 19, 2016

Book recommendation

If you want to read a short, interesting medical thriller, I recommend Side Effects.  Just finished it and really enjoyed it! (And it's only a dollar.)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Help me fire my cleaning guy

I really want to get rid of my cleaning guy.

When we first got him, he was amazing.  The apartment was spotless when he got done with it, and he even gave us a toy box at one point.

However, he used to have this female assistant who would help him. Now he doesn't have her, and he seems to get done with the cleaning very quickly, and things just don't seem that clean after.  Once I specifically asked him to clean the microwave, and it was still covered in grime after.

Also, there are some days he just doesn't show up.  Not often, but enough.

Strangely, on multiple occasions, he's forgotten to take the check I left for him.  That just seems beyond weird.  Not bad for us, but weird.

Our babysitter would like the job of cleaning for us.  She's amazing at cleaning.  I want her!

I think he's checked out.  He told me he was thinking about moving south in the near future, and I've kind of been hoping he'll just do it.  Because I don't know how to fire someone who has the keys to my home.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Clarinet dilemma

My daughter is in a grade where the children are allowed to join a band and start playing an instrument. Our town schools have a "rent to own" program where you can rent an instrument until you have paid enough to own it.

My daughter decided on the clarinet, so we rented a clarinet.  It seems like every other kid was there renting instruments too. So I was sort of shocked when I saw that the amount I would have to pay to own the clarinet was $720!  (Even the flute was $700.)

I have no doubt that a really nice clarinet could probably cost more than $720. But I can't fathom paying that much for an instrument for a child to learn on. There are decent clarinets available on Amazon for $100, which is what we will have paid after only four months.

Is there something I'm missing? Is there a reason to keep renting this instrument when I can buy one much cheaper?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Women and ladders

I deal with a lot of multi-trauma patients and the other day, I had two patients who were injured falling from ladders. And that's when I realized that in all my years of practice, I have had a lot of patients were injured falling from ladders, and not even one of them has been a woman.

I have never had a female patient who is injured falling off a ladder.

I have never had a female patient who fell off a roof.

I have never had a female patient who was in a motorcycle or ATV accident.

Is it that females never do these things or just that they are more careful?

On the other hand, I did have a female patient who injured herself trying to carry her 12-year-old son up a flight of stairs.

Friday, September 9, 2016

License plate

I saw a car yesterday with the Vanity license plate:


I'm sure anyone in medicine thinks of the same thing I do when I see that acronym: irritable bowel syndrome.

I'm assuming whoever bought that license plate has those initials? I wonder if anyone has clued them in.  Or maybe they really do have irritable bowel syndrome and are proud.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Dogs, Part 2

I'm convinced that I will die trying to get in my 10,000 steps per day.

So I'm walking through a residential neighborhood and I see two dogs on a lawn across the street.  They're large dogs--pitbull mixes, I think.  Anyway, at first I'm not that worried because they're across the street, but then, to my horror, they cross the street and start walking in my direction.

I totally freak out.  I turn around and start walking away, but the dogs are following me.  Briskly.  My heart is pounding and all I can think about is that these dogs could easily kill me, and there are NO human beings around to help me.  

I thought about running, but I remember the last time I posted about dogs here, someone commented that a dog could easily outrun me, so I decided to just play it cool.  Eventually, I got to the end of the block, and the dogs stopped following me.

At that point, I called the police.

I later found out from our Facebook community that the dogs belonged to a family that lived quite a few blocks away.  That they "sometimes get out" but are really, really friendly.  Fine, maybe they wanted to play with me and not maul me.  But still... I didn't know that!  And they crossed several major streets, putting their own lives in danger, as well as a car that might swerve to avoid them.

Not sure what to do at this point....

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Typos revisited

When I made a recent post about how confused I was that people keep commenting on how many typos there are in my book Baby City, a lot of people took that to mean that I can't take criticism. But that wasn't it at all. I just am truly baffled as to how a book that was combed for typos by three different people including myself could still have so many typos that somebody would say they want to take a red sharpie to it.

So I don't know if anybody would be willing to help me out with this. I'm thinking that a "distracting" number of typos for a book would be more than one per 10,000 words. The book is 80,000 words.

For those of you who like a challenge, if you read Baby City and can point out 8 or more typos, I will gift you five dollars on Amazon. If you find more than 15, I'll give you $10.

And by that, I mean genuine typos. Things that are clearly errors, like "he were thirty years old." 

Offer only applies to the first five people. Not that I think more than five people will possibly do this.

EDITED TO ADD: Never mind, I'm rescinding this offer before anyone else does it.  I apparently was entirely wrong and I'll admit it. Thank you for pointing out my errors, Liana.  

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Teen idol

Recently I had this song in my head that I liked, and when I looked it up, I realized that it was by 17-year-old blossoming teen idol Shawn Mendes.  I was a little disturbed because:

--I can't believe I like a song by a teen idol

--I can't believe I find him hot

I mentioned this to my husband, who thought it was slightly amusing.

Me: "He's so young I'd go to jail if I had sex with him."

Him: "True.  But so what?"

Me: "Our daughter should be the one who thinks he's hot.  She's closer in age to him than I am."

Him: "A fetus is closer in age to him than you are."

Me: "Oh God.  You're right.  But when I actually was a teenager, there weren't any teen idols. Like, in the 90s."

Him: "Yes, there were.  There was NKOTB."

Me: "No, that was really early 90s.  And anyway, can you even name a NKOTB?"

Him: "No, but I'm not a girl.  What about Justin Timberlake?"

Me: "No, that was very late 90s.  I'm talking mid-90s.  Who was the Justin Bieber of the mid-90s?"

Him: "I don't know.  I'm not a girl."

Me: "I'm trying to think of who the teen idol singer was in the mid-90s and I can't think of anyone.  I really can't."

Him: "And I don't care."

Seriously, who was the Justin Bieber of the 90s?  Also, why did girls like Justin Bieber?  He isn't even hot.  Shawn Mendes is much hotter.  Damn!