Friday, June 04, 2010

A Dole of Doves

I drove by the pawn shop on 12th Street on my way home. There was a woman with a baby carriage outside the late-night window. Now, every time I think my life sucks, I think of her and her baby.

The patient was one of those all-day drinkers. He'd start from the moment he woke up in the morning. Of course he had problems during his hospitalization. He went crazy, really. Delusional. His son called and angrily accused us of not providing his father with enough alcohol. (We were giving him two beers with each meal, including breakfast, plus enough Ativan and Haldol to knock out a herd of rhinos.) "You're not giving him enough alcohol." That is now officially the most co-dependent thing I have ever heard in my entire life.

I have discovered a new kind of cuisine called "crudo." (Restaurant link here.) It's essentially Italian sushimi. Raw fish treated with sea salt, lemon juice, and a bit of olive oil. Dee-lish! But (here it comes) I have a friend who has studied parasitology... And we recently worked with a patient from southeast Asia who had acquired a really nasty lung-eating parasite from consuming raw crabmeat. Dead lung tissue surgically removed. That's actually two "buts."

I know that there are different levels, ranks so to speak, among doctors. Neurosurgeons, for example, seem to have more status than hospitalists. Yet they all treat one another as members of the same elite club and they are polite and deferential to one another's thoughts. Not so with nurses. I sometimes get the feeling from nurses in other departments that they think me and my coworkers are stupid or something. Nurses do not play well together. I do what I can to change this but I am only one person.

I have a Siamese cat with a very long snout. The longest I have ever seen on a house-cat. Yet I have never actually taken the time to measure it and compare this finding with other cat snouts. He also has no upper teeth. I know this because one day I thought "I wonder what it's like in my cat's mouth?" and I acted upon this.

There are many seriously bad things happening in the world. I sometimes occupy myself with smaller concerns, things I can actually address. Not unlike Candide working in the garden, if you will allow me to make the comparison.


Anonymous said...

You can only do what you can do, but in doing so, the changes that are seemingly miniscule bear results worth speaking of.

wunelle said...

I think measuring the cat's snout is a perfectly accomplishable task, a nice diversion from the hurricane of bad news.