EverythingHealth is designed to address the rapid changes in Science, Medicine, Health and Healing in the 21st Century. This site will sift through the vast amount of confusing data and simplify issues that are of interest to everyone interested in a healthy life and longevity. The writings on EverythingHealth are entirely my own views and opinions.
Poem - Do Not Resuscitate
Do Not Resuscitate
I can say
your father is dying.
I can say
wishing will not make it so,
belief doesn't change a thing.
I can say
love does not conquer all,
miracles are pretty stories told in church,
the movies you saw as a child are lies,
blind hope is not a recipe for success,
underdogs usually lose,
death is not the worst thing, it is just
the last thing.
But for you that is not true.
I can say
we have to pretend
that we can bring him wheezing
back to you like an old accordion,
chest pleating in and out,
singing his customary songs,
oxygen bumping its hurdy-gurdy way again
through his ancient heart.
But how can I tell you how
someone will shout down the hallway, kneel
frantic on the bed,
lean his fists against that old breastbone, sharp, frail,
one onethousand, two onethousand, and count it out.
Nothing like experiencing a medical condition first-hand to really help a doctor understand it from the patient's point of view. After all these years, I had my first (and hopefully last) scintillating scotoma while sitting on the couch playing "words with friends" on my ipad and watching TV. A scotoma is a partial loss of vision in a normal visual field. Scintillate is flashing, sparkles. Put them together and you have moving, flashing sparkles with a blind spot in your eyes.
This visual aura was first described in the 19th century by a Dr. Hubert Airy who had migraine headaches. The visual sparks and flashes are in a zig-zag pattern and they can precede a migraine headache or occur without any pain. The scotoma affects both eyes and closing one or the other does not make it go away. Sometimes the term "ocular migraine" or "retinal migraine" are used to describe this phenomenon but these involve only one eye, not both. The terms are often …
Hey, I'm easing back into the blog world after a fun trip to NYC. If you are a Doctor or ever thought you'd enjoy the world of Medicine, take this quick quiz to see what specialty you are suited for.
I wish I would have had a quiz like this when I was deciding (oh so many years ago) on a specialty. Most medical students make important career decisions based on whether they had a good experience during a 4-6 week rotation. The Resident physician you serve under can make or break a rotation and, believe me, I've seen a lot of doctors that are not at all suited for the specialty they chose.
In case you are wondering, I scored highest on Orthopedic Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, OB/GYN, General Surgery and Urology. Interesting that they are all surgical specialties. Internal Medicine (my specialty) was number 25 for me. I guess it was all those questions that asked if I liked good outcomes and am decisive (yes and yes)!
I love learning something new in medicine and this was a new one for me...black spot poison ivy. Poison ivy (also known as rhus dermatitis) is a common contact allergic dermatitis. Like poison oak and poison sumac, the chemical that causes a reaction is called urushiol. When this plant sap touches the skin a pruritic (itchy) red rash appears with little blisters that are often in a line.
Black spot poison ivy is the same urushiol but in humid, warm conditions it is oxidized by lactase from the skin and turns into a dark black lacquer color. It is an uncommon presentation because usually the sap is diluted by perspiration and never turns black.
Poison ivy/oak is more common in the summer and I treat lots of cases in Northern California because it grows like a weed. The worst cases are when someone tries to burn the plant and inhales the resin. Treatment of black spot poison ivy is the same as regular poison ivy. Washing the skin, clothes, and all contacts area immediately is cri…