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Bklyn

27 Jun

The other day in family med inpatient, I heard the best brooklynism yet. A woman was describing to me how she lost her appetite after her first chemo treatment. “And on Wednesday? Food? Fuggeddaboudit!”

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Stars in Brooklyn

12 Feb

Did you know you can still see the stars in Brooklyn?

In other news, I saw an Argyll Robertson pupil today, the so called prostitute’s pupil.

Park slope mums

8 Feb

I’m eavesdropping on a group of them making plans on what to bring up to the school. Too much homework, 10min of science a day too much, grade 8s learning about kings of west Africa, classes too much like college survey courses, why don’t they end school at 4 instead of 3 so they can do home stuff once at home, overinflated sense of curriculum, teacher got son in trouble for such a benign thing.

Park slope moms, every teacher’s dream. Good they are involved I guess.

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From a birthday stroll through a graveyard.

29 Nov

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My future coffee shop.

29 Nov

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Weekend review

12 Aug

Being in a bachlorette party is about being the best prop you can be. Being the bride to be is ideally about being a good sport.

I found pole dancing a lot more uncomfortable than I expected. It was easier than I expected but surprisingly awkward. When did I become such a prude?

Some people talk a lot about money and peoples looks. I like people who don’t.

I met a girl who has been talking about me behind my back. It was good to break the ice with her. I don’t think she will anymore.

The feeling you get from seeing a true good friend even just for a few minutes is worth waiting around an extra few hours.

Dr. cures hangovers in Las Vegas

13 Apr

One of my friends in a different medical school back home told me how students would hook themselves up to IVs after a night out partying.  Sounded pretty shady to me.

I guess it’s not so uncommon though.  In fact, one doctor has made a business out of it.  His company drives a bus up and down the Las Vegas strip, offering hangover cures in 45 minutes.  Clients are hooked up to an IV, offered iPads and coffee while they rest on the bus’ bunkbeds.  There’s the Redemption package (basics), and the Salvation package (plus some vitamins).  They also sell t-shirts.  There’s “Now If I could Just Find Herpes Heaven” and “I Feel Like Jesus on Easter Morning”.

Hangover heaven.

Shorts too short, and other lessons in culture

17 Jan

The school Healthy Grenada is working with had a PTA meeting tonight, so Frond and I went to introduce the program to the parents. As we were sitting waiting for the meeting to start, the principal pulled us aside into another classroom and asked who was going to be presenting. Frond said both of us. But she replied that I wouldn’t be able to do it because of my shorts. I don’t have many shorts, and the one pair that I wear a lot while here are pretty short I suppose. Not by North American standards, but for a Roman Catholic Elementary school, I could see what the principal was talking about. She said that I could hand out the fliers we had made, but I couldn’t be presenting. In the end, I went home to change and we presented together.

I appreciated the principal pointing this out to me, as it’s important. But I felt bad because I had worn these shorts to the school before, while doing activities with the kids. It really hit me that for all my trying to make Healthy Grenada a culturally competent program, I had overlooked many basic things.

We stayed for the entire PTA meeting, where parents shared some things they had learned about food, artifacts, and songs that their “forefathers” used. Grenada’s independence day is coming up in February, and judging by the efforts going in to it around town, it’s a pretty big deal. The principal and vice went on to talk about programs they are running for the students, including Sports Days (with an “Infant Cross Country Race” where the kindergarteners run a cross country course — incredible! People were saying how it was such a short course, but to me it sounded like quite a length), Spelling Contests, Reading Contests, and an ongoing school-wide Physical Activity competition. I was thinking the whole time about how I had came in to the school with so many assumptions about what the school had to offer their students. It had me wondering what exactly Healthy Grenada had to bring that would benefit the school. Was the school doing us more of a favour, by giving us a chance to volunteer with their kids? During their school time? I felt like a silly tourist.

After the meeting, we went to thank the Principal for inviting us to the meeting. She asked where we were from, and when we told her she said how we’re three different cultures. We agreed, adding that we’ve got a lot to learn from them, and she said, “Yes a lot to learn from each other” and gestured her hand back and forth between the 3 of us.

Hospital Dress Code

9 Jan

This term we’re heading in to the General Hospital and for the first time, interacting with real patients (who aren’t being paid for us to poke them).  Our school sent us an email outlining our dress code for the hospital trips.  Here are a few of them:

  • Skirts must be no shorter than 2″ above the knee.

I was happy about that one.  It’s reasonable!  The usual at or below the knee is only good if you’re wearing a towel.

  • Trousers or pants must be loose fitting

At my Catholic high school it was a big deal when girls were allowed to wear grey pants instead of the usual kilt.  But the admin didn’t expect people to start wearing grey yoga pants with their blouses.  I guess the Pope would not have been cool with that.

  • No sleeveless clothing allowed

Not even under our white coats.  Someone told me that most of the hospital isn’t air conditioned and that last term someone fainted every week.

  • No see-through clothing
  • No topless

I wish I knew the story behind the making of that last rule.

 

Medical verbal diarrhea

22 Dec

Since coming home I can’t help but bring things I’ve learned into every-day conversations.  I’m starting to realize that not everyone is necessarily always interested in being counseled.

Par example:

At a baby shower for my close friend.  It’s my first time getting to catch up with friends from home, and I go get the attention of M, who has a strange skin rash that hasn’t gone away in weeks.  Since we didn’t cover Skin in Pathology, I tell her what I heard from my brother (a doctor) about rashes: that generally speaking if it’s itchy it’s not life-threatening, that if it’s been hanging around for a long time it’s not life-threatening, and that often they don’t bother finding out exactly what it is, but they will prescribe first a steroid and then if that doesn’t work, an anti-fungal.  At least the last part is helpful for M, who thought the doctor was just humoring her by prescribing an anti-fungal when they still weren’t sure what it was exactly.

Later in the shower, Ktown, M and I are talking about high blood pressure.  M is worried because she has had a couple slightly high readings in the past few times.  Eager to ease her worries, Ktown suggests she shouldn’t have to worry because her eyes aren’t bloodshot.  M agrees; her eyes are not puffy like her father’s – he has high BP – and so she probably doesn’t need to worry so much. Later in the day I realize I never made it clear to them that hypertension is typically totally silent and doing it’s damage over the long term while the person is totally unaware until it’s well advanced.  I write a message to both M and Ktown clarifying this and saying that maybe it’s something she can talk to her doctor about.  Ktown responds thanking me for clearing it up and letting M know she probably doesn’t have much to worry about, but later cheerfully tells me that she was kind of perplexed why I sent the message that would likely just make M worry more.

Another conversation Ktown is telling me about, a silly one, about circumcised and uncircumcised penises.  She’s recounting this conversation, laughing at the awkwardness, where basically it comes up that a couple people we know are uncircumcised.  I can’t just laugh at this, but I have to bring up how circumcision isn’t just a matter of religion, there are also health benefits such as avoiding phimosis and paraphimoses, preventing HIV transmission, and decreasing the chances of smegma buildup which would lead to squamous cell carcinoma of the penis (the latter is something I didn’t quite understand until a fellow student kindly explained the whole concept of foreskin and the gunk that gets stuck under it – smegma – to me using his arm, his t-shirt sleeve, and the appropriate theatrics).

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