January 2007 Archives

All the way from there to here

We were married on July 9, 1976, on a blistering hot Friday night in Michigan, in an old (unairconditioned) Catholic church. I was a bit nervous, hadn’t eaten much that day, and was wearing a high-necked, long sleeved gown. On returning from the greeting of peace, I felt my head start to swim. I started to perspire. I saw lights flashing. When I came to, I was lying (spread eagle, no less) on the floor Continue reading

A brief history of anesthesia…..

Although various herbs and potions have been used since ancient times for the relief of pain, modern anesthesia really began in the mid 1800’s when laughing gas (nitrous oxide) was noted to induce an intoxicated state in which the gasee seemed to be impervious to pain. Ether was discovered to be an effective agent a few years later. The medical specialty of anesthesia has advanced markedly, making the removal (and sometimes addition…) of body parts Continue reading


It started as just a ….wrong….sensation. Up there in the left upper jaw. It just felt kind of full. And then it was fullblown: abscessed tooth. The pain exploded night before last, so yesterday I hit the drug-sample cabinet first thing: ahh, antibiotics! Interesting thing about this particular antibiotic….it has a very rare side effect of causing spontaneous tendon rupture. The phenomenon has been reported in just a few people. And I’m one of them–but Continue reading

This is a rant. This is only a rant……

It’s a given.  I spend a few minutes with a patient, taking his or her history, formulating a possible diagnosis in my mind, and I then proceed to examine the patient. Though s/he may have been reticent in providing details of his/her current illness, the patient SUDDENLY becomes positively garrulous the minute I place my stethoscope on his or her body. Have you ever worn earplugs?  They work very well at blocking out any ambient Continue reading

The Bull Moose

My fascination with moose started after a train excursion to British Columbia. The passengers on the train were encouraged to call out “moose on the right” or “bear on the left” when wildlife was spotted.  It built camaraderie among the passengers, and led to some good-natured competition: who could spot the most animals.   Well, it wasn’t me!  I never seemed to see the animals that were “called out.”  I was either on the wrong side Continue reading