warriorsavant: (Time)
I no longer worry or wonder about the road not taken. I took the one I took, it's a pretty dang good one, whatever ups-and-downs. ("Mistakes, I've made a few… but I did it myyyyy way.") However, I am lately been having some down feelings about what I didn't achieve on some of those paths.

I used to have multiple levels of "to do" lists. Sometimes in writing, sometimes just in my mind. (Yeah, I'm a little over-organized at times.), The lists were something like "do ASAP," "do this week," "do this month," and "do this lifetime." A lot of those have dropped off the list, like "go back to taking piano lessons for the first time since 3rd grade." Just not going to happen, and don't care anymore. No just that I have much higher priorities, just don't care. Some things have dropped off because I do have higher priorities, like learning multiple languages. It would be cool, it would have very some minor practicality, but just not worth the immense amount of time it would require.

I'm a bit down about some things that I would really have liked to achieve, but didn't, and simply isn't going to happen now. Some of those things I actually wouldn't want on a practical level, even if they were handed to me on a silver platter, but ego often overrides common sense. Example, I wouldn't actually want to be Derm Division Chief at McGill. It's really a lot of paperwork, meetings, and bureaucracy for minimal prestige, very little real authority, and no money. And for what? Another line on my CV or maybe my obituary? (This is ignoring the fact that I tend to tick people off and they wouldn't offer it to me anyhow. Not sour grapes, realistic appraisal.) A bigger one is that I didn't make general in the Army. I was a Colonel and a Brigade Commander, which is way further than most people get, but you always want that one more/one last step. What triggered those thoughts was looking something up about the current structure of military medicine, and seeing that 2 people I knew had moved far up in the military and civilian hierarchy. One I used to work for, and I respected. One had worked for me, and although competent in some ways, was rather a jerk. (Come to think of it, someone else I recall who had worked for me also made Brigadier General, but she was really, really good.) There are some other minor things, but these are the two glaring ones right now.

I think it's an age thing. (Getting old? Who me?) At one point I would have liked those things. Even after I'd missed my realistic shot at them, I still used to fantasize about them, but can't even do that any more. Bah.
warriorsavant: (Dr. Injecto)
Patient today was looking at my med school diploma, and said, "Wow, you graduated before I was born!" (Just had a haircut yesterday - my hair is now back its proper 1/2-mm length - and during said bloodletting haircutting was noting my salt-pepper-and-more-salt hair on the floor of the barbershop.)

"Okay, you just went from near top of the 'favorite patient' list to the bottom."

"No, I mean I thought you were in your 40's."

"Wow. Okay you're back near the top - in fact at the very top - of the list."

Maybe she's just a poor judge of ages, being a mere slip of a 30-something, but I'll take it.
warriorsavant: (Composite)
Grand-père Lion oublie tout ("Grandfather Lion Forgets Everything") by Julia Jarman
This is a children's book, about how little Leonard, whose grandfather is The King of Beasts, and now going senile. I think it's meant to encourage understanding of the phenomenon and to care for your frail grandparents, but I found it very depressing. I kept thinking about my father, and his dwindling to nothing. Then I kept wondering about how long I have. I know I talk about "not retiring until I put the kids through medical school," but really not that many people can keep up the pace, or even be functional that long. I do have one colleague who is still going strong in his late 80's - well, at least going reasonably - but the "super seniors" are still the exceptions to the rule. Some time ago, [personal profile] ravensron  did point out to me that we really don't know what the "normal" is for people in their late 80's and older, because this is the first generation where we are having large numbers of people live that long. I do see many patients that old, but truly being hale and hearty at that age is the exception.

Warrior Rising by Chris Linford.
Initially came across this book referenced in another excellent book, Marc Dauphin's Combat Doctor. Dauphin was a Canadian Forces Medical Officer, and had been the company commander ("officer commanding" as opposed to "commanding officer" in Canadian parlance) of the last Canadian roto for the Role 3 NATO hospital in Kandahar Afghanistan. That book was impressive enough, and the volume of casualties they saw in one roto - heck, in 1 month - is more than I saw in my entire career. To be honest, most careers are nothing like war movies, probably even if you're special operations, you don't see as much "action" in your whole career as is packed into a 2-hour war movie. Most people don't see even that much, most of the military life is routine, and many people, even in wartime, don't see a shot fired in anger. Even understanding that intellectually, it does make me feel a little insignificant to read about how much Marc Dauphin had seen and done. And that, wasn't a patch off what Chris Linford had seen and done. He was a Canadian Forces Medical Office at the Role 3 in Kandahar, which was his last assignment. He'd also been in Rwanda, Bosnia, and several other places. He was eventually put out of the Canadian Forces on a medical discharge for severe PTSD. Considering what he'd seen over his career, he was entitled to enough PTSD for 5 people. Much like combat, very little PTSD is anything like you see in the movies, but he had a textbook case of the most severe form. Very humbling to consider what he'd done and what he experienced.
warriorsavant: (Time)
I've been working on being more patient. Succeeding to a fair extent, although really against my nature. Having been working on myself for a long time, with variable success. Having kids helps, both directly (having kids requires patience) and indirectly (I'm just a happier and more mellow person).

I realize, with some of my older patients, that they do require more patience (no pun happening here!). What is sad, with some of them, is that I've known them for 20+ years, and seen them go from "older but vigorous," to "elderly and decrepit and confused." I realize too that what sometimes seems just an annoying character trait is in fact their trying to cover for no longer being with it mentally. Not completely gone, but worse off than they seem at first glance.

One problem I noted today, is that some of them were frankly annoying when they were younger. Becoming elderly doesn't make you saintly. If you were a total pain when you were 25-35-45, if you haven't worked on yourself (whatever that could mean), then you are still a total pain at 65-75-85. Some people were just annoying for their whole lives, plus they pick up more annoying character traits to try to cover for their losing it. I'm training myself to see past the annoying to what really needs doing.
warriorsavant: Family Tree (Family Tree)
I'm afraid that my siblings and I are getting to the age where ailments are conversation. I'm resisting the tendency, but from the tenor of some of the conversations, I’m beginning to think Bob is in better shape than any of us. Harrumph. (Halloween being over, he’s back in the back room of my office. Evil Secretary is displeased, but realizes that he scares some of the patients. And I’m talking about adult patients. Did have a little girl today (age 8?). She was asking a million questions about things in the office, and allowed how she was very curious. After mangling a translation into French of “curiosity killed the cat,” I then allowed how curiosity was a very good thing and should be encouraged. Then I offered to show her Bob. She was most pleased and impressed.

Sibs and I were also discussing different ways of measuring intra-ocular pressure (testing for glaucoma), known as tonometry. I mentioned that I recall when air puff tonometry came in, as the hot new gizmo. (Prior to that, they numbed your eye, and pushed a small measuring rod against it. Our late Great-Uncle B was an Ophthalmologist. Quite prominent in his day, but was not big on shiny new gizmos if the old ones still worked. Part of that was his old-fashioned frugality. He was raised in the school of “you never know when the next famine (pogrom, stock market crash, whatever) was coming, so use things until they can no longer be fixed." Having been raised by Depression Era parents, we all have that streak in us. I’ve gotten away from it somewhat, and I’m not entirely pleased with that. Not sure how I’m going to teach the next generation the value of money. Just because you can afford something, doesn’t mean that you should. Back to Great-Uncle. Had a small office in his house - dunno if he actually saw any patients there, or if simply for tax purposes. Anyhow, after he passed away, we found a pair of magnifier glasses in a drawer in the living room(?). Inside was a piece of masking tape, labeled “B: better pair in office.” So we looked in the office. Sure enough, there was a pair of magnifier glasses there. Inside the case was a piece of masking tape, labeled “A: worse pair in living room.” The hat he wore to his wedding to Aunt C was older than any of his adult children. (This was his second marriage, both of them having been widowed for many years.) Yeah, there are the jokes about “I have a hat older than you kids,” he really did. BTW, I still have my original canvas duffel bag from when I was very first in the military. Newer ones (say, oh, the last 2-3 decades or so) are nylon. My last deployment, a young troop asked me, respectfully, why one of my duffels looked different. I explained, then realized that duffel was indeed older than he was. "I have boots (well, duffel bag) older than the young troops…" And was actually bringing same on a deployment.

Yeah, back again to Great-Uncle. He had a gizmo for measuring your existing eyeglass lenses, “reading” the prescription. He acknowledged that the then new-fangled (40 years ago?) electronic ones were more accurate, but pointed out that the human eye couldn’t perceive the difference, so why spend the extra money to get a new one that wouldn’t help his patients any better than the old one. I still have a quite old hyfrecator (what most people call an electric cautery) that is older than most of my Gentle Readers. (Possibly older than all of us, I don’t recall when or where I got it, but it was used then). The newer ones are slightly better, but they burn out after several years, so I keep it as a back-up.
warriorsavant: (Meh)
In modern life, US & Canada, most people insist on being called by their first names, even grown adults. I never call adult patients by their first names. They can call me by my first name, which is "doctor." (Evil Secretary gets really annoyed if people call me by my first name, or even refer to me that way. She's known me for 20 years and still won't do it.) This started years ago. 1960's? "Don't call me 'sir,' it makes me feel old." "MISTER Smith is my father, I'm Jim." (This from people even in their 50's, 60's, and older.) I never had a problem with that, even when I was in my 20's. I was fine with "Mr. Savant" or "Sir," and that was even before I was in the military.

Meanwhile, this month (which is not a birth anniversary month), my checking account has gone from being labeled "All Inclusive Banking Plan" to "All Inclusive with Seniors Rebate." I even got a 7$ rebate, although I don't know for what. Being insulted at being called old is vying with appreciating the rebate (although I don't have the faintest idea what is being rebated). I should call them (and/or shake my cane at them), but it's too much effort, not to mention that they might take back the seven bucks, which could (almost) buy me a cappuccino and a pastry.
warriorsavant: (Default)
Hedgefund likes to help her Papa. Even (or especially) giving me pills, whether antibiotics or vitamins, or anything else, she likes to hand them to me, if not actually put in my mouth. (Hold that thought for when I'm 90+, kid.) I don't take many, but not even really pleased with taking Lipitor. Today she handed me my pills, then asked "are you sick?" What ran through my mind was, "no kid, just old." *Harrumph*

BIL came over with his kids today for a couple of hours. We like them, and we really like that the cousins get together. HF loves it, WS sort of does, and their cousins do too. I think they (the cousins) enjoy it for a couple of hours, but as they're getting older, if they spend too much time, it feels like babysitting. A couple of hours seems about right. BIL helped me with a few things setting up the house that were too heavy or bulky for me to do alone, or even me and Nom to do. First, was setting up a huge parasol on the deck.* BIL was the provenance of that also, in that it had been left at a house he'd bought to rent out. When he rented it, he'd told his tenants that it was to go to me and Nom, whenever we actually had our house renovated. (When we moved, the movers made a stop to pick it up, as well as a stop to pick up stuff we'd stored and Nom's parents house. Apologies if already posted about this.) Between the two of us, we managed to assemble it, and man-handle it into a position where it shaded the deck when open, but didn't block the doors from opening. We also carried a large table down to the basement, put the TV on its stand, the stand on said table. They're set up in front of the exercise area, which was the plan all along.** He also helped set up some other stuff. Really very kind of him.

Even before got the TV set up, I managed to do some exercise the other day. Was watching the kids downstairs.*** If they are playing well, this is mostly boring. Brief flashes of "aww, they're so cute," but mostly boring. So I finally plugged in the treadmill, and got on it. As exercise goes, it was rather lame, barely getting up to a normal walking pace. My heart rate went up, but scarcely aerobic training level. On the other hand, it was actual exercise, for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long.



*Or umbrella if your prefer. Basically same thing, depending on whether the weather is sunny or rainy.
**Only just got cable installed. In our old place, Bell provided both internet and cable, via "Fibe" (fiber optic connection). Fibe doesn't reach our new place, and the city limits satellite dishes to 18". Which would be fine, but the smallest one they have (which they tried to install) is 24" and we couldn't get a variance from the city. (Well, they would have let us install one on the roof, as long as it was bolted to the roof, thereby breaking the waterproof membrane and voiding our roof warrantee.) In the end, we're keeping Bell for internet (because that's my email and it's too much trouble to change), and going with Videotron for cable. I'm sure you found this tale of bureaucratic nonsense fascinating.
***Don't know if I mentioned, but in a flash of brilliance, we covered the concrete basement floor entirely in gym mats. No more expensive than even cheap tiles or carpeting (and way cheaper than most), plus when kids fall down, they bounce and laugh, instead of break and cry.
warriorsavant: (Computer-steampunk)
Had a patient today who said his first job was in an ink factory. They made the ink for carbon paper and typewriter ribbons. He and I shared a "we're old and we 'member stuff not like these young'uns in the room" look. My students and residents insisted that they knew what carbon paper and typewriters were. Yeah, and I know what papyrus was, doesn't mean I ever actually used it. Did share the story of from a few years back when I was asked to give a presentation to some residents (at Walter Reed, not JGH or McGill) and asked for a slide projector. The residents almost fell on the floor laughing, and suggested maybe they could get one from the Smithsonian. (Actually have 3 typewriters of various ages, one being actually antique, that I'm going to put on display in my office at some point.)

Ste Anne's

Sep. 15th, 2017 11:15 am
warriorsavant: (Chimerae)
I've posted that it's changed from a pure veterans hospital to a mixed civilian/veteran long term care unit. That's sad for me. Perhaps sadder still are the vets themselves aging so much. Even 2-3 years ago when I started, I could have conversations with some of them. Not long conversations, and I don't really have a lot of time for chit-chat with patients anyhow, but some sort of conversations. Now more and more of them just aren't there mentally anymore. The nurse who works with me, said that 10? 20? years ago, it was fun. They still had open wards instead of all private rooms, and the evenings frequently like social gatherings: movies, popcorn, singing, and likely smuggled beer. (In fact, when the Feds ran it as a pure veterans hospital, they did get a nightly alcohol ration of 1 drink if they wished.) I remember when I was an Intern at Portsmouth Navy Hospital, there were also open wards, and there was a certain camaraderie with the patients. For everyone, interns, nurses, corpsmen, and patients, it was just another duty station. (However, no camaraderie with the more senior residents and staff - very vicious place in that sense.) From what the nurse was telling me, it was rather the same atmosphere years ago at Ste Anne's. No longer. It's a much sadder place now and in some way, we all come there unless we die young.

Varia

Sep. 10th, 2017 02:17 pm
warriorsavant: (Renovations)
Was in a coffee shop the other day, sipping my coffee and doing some work. In the background could hear the two young women at the counter chatting. (Um, yeah, “barristas.” Or is that barristae if plural female?) They were agreeing that their respective parents were pretty cool for old people... y’know, ppl in their 40’s. *waves his cane at the young whippersnappers and demands they get off the lawn*

Looks like we are moving end of the month. Finally. After all this time, doesn’t seem real, and I’m almost dreading it. Not the move itself (although that will be a pain), but I’ve adapted to being where I am. We’ve adapted to being here. It’s a little tight, but that’s also good, in that everything is near at hand. Feel like in place 2+ times as large, we’re going to be rattling around and losing things (including possibly children). I know the kids will take a little while to adapt, although Hedgefund has been clear for quite a while that the green room is hers. Anyhow, have moved enough times in my life that one more time won’t be a big deal. (After that, the next move will be to the morgue, and hopefully not any time soon.) And no, we are not getting a cat (or seventeen).

Am reading Alexander McCall Smith’s Emma. He’s the author of a number of popular books, including No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series (like many series, excellent for the first several books, then got repetitive). It is Jane Austen’s Emma recast in modern times. So far, so good. I mean Jane Austen & Alexander McCall Smith, how can you go wrong. Haven't done much recreational reading for a while, but past month or so, got back into it, mostly light reading, especially detective stories.
warriorsavant: (Time)
We are the sum of our experiences. Maybe there's a soul in there too, personally couldn't say. Regardless, consciousness is a mix of our beliefs/thoughts and our past. Robbing us or our memories robs us of ourselves, which is why dementia is so terrifying to contemplate.

I am the Dermatology consultant on a study of a new Alzheimer's drug. (Seems earlier trials showed some cases of pigmentary abnormalities, and FDA/Health Canada mandated that subsequent trials required a at least two total skin exams.)

By definition, Alzheimer's is early-onset dementia. Well, that was the original definition; there are characteristic histological findings, but that is on autopsy. There are also other causes of early dementia, but these details aren't relevant here. What is relevant is that the patient I was screening the other day (who didn't seem very demented) was only a little older than I am. An slightly uncomfortable feeling, a bit of "there but for the grace of God…"

Later that day I saw a doctor I've known since I was a Resident. Haven't seen much of him lately, but he is someone who is a Part Of My Past. Not much older than I am either. Seems he's having memory troubles now. He said that some of it was related to a blood pressure medicine he'd been on, and has gotten a bit better since being switched to another one. However, he is no longer teaching, and seemed sometimes to have trouble getting to the facts. Part of that can be put down to his manner of speech, which goes with his branch of medicine (few are as crisp and to the point as Dermatology), but some really did seem to be memory loss. Someone I knew well for many years. Someone only a few years older than me. More than slightly uncomfortable. Closer to terror.
warriorsavant: (White Lion - Jabulani)
Evoo, one of our fav local restaurants, was having a this-weekend-only maple syrup themed lunch. We wanted to go, but taking two kids to adult eating, one a rambunctious toddler, just doesn't work anymore; we don’t have them out-numbered enough. Enter the in-laws. Invited them to brunch; there were enough adults to keep things on an even keel, and allow all of us, as well as the other diners, to enjoy our meals.

There was a bit of an altruistic motive also. MIL comes over constantly to help, a.k.a. enjoy her grandkids (really both). FIL rarely so. Yet he loves doing so, and Hedgefund adores seeing him. Despite that, whether it's personal or cultural, he rarely comes over unless there is a specific need for both of them to come. Frankly, neither of them does much with their time, unless it's to see the grandkids, which I find very sad. So today, we invented a need. They helped us, it is true, but we got them both out of the house and treated them to a good meal. They like to try different foods, but if left to their own devices wouldn't do so. Win-win today.

I especially feel bad about their not doing much, because I can see my own parents in that. Mom always talked about traveling and doing things, and complained that Dad wanted to keep his shop and keep working. We always thought it was Dad who was the stick-in-the-mud, but eventually realized it was Mom. She said she wanted to travel and do things, but just wouldn't actually do anything. The only time we could get her to do anything was if we "needed help." Example, when WWC temporarily moved to New Orleans, she told Mom she needed help with the move and with settling in. Mom had a great time, but only went because one of her kids needed help. Later in life, after Mom died, but before he was mostly immobile, we did get Dad to at least go out to dinner and shows and sometimes museums. When I went down to NYC for Army Reserve weekends, we'd always get together one evening (along with CSM, who we adopted into the family) for dinner and a show. Dad loved it.

It's one thing to take it easy in one's old age, it's another thing to vegetate. That's a path I don't want to go down. Okay with said 2 kids at my age, unlikely to happen, but I'm talking in principal. It's utterly sad. Did as much as we could with my parents (was it enough? A hard thing to judge), now need to nudge Nom's parents also. There are more times that they can help us, as well as coming up with times that they can "help" us.

Veteran(s)

Nov. 12th, 2015 09:16 pm
warriorsavant: (Time)
images

Did my monthly clinic at Ste Anne's Veterans Hospital today. As always, it is a mix of sadness and pride to be doing so. These are the men (and a few women) of the "Greatest Generation," or at least, those who fought the most horrible war in history, setting the foundations for what we enjoy today. Now they are elderly and feeble, the few who remain.

I felt especially solemn and sad today. Probably partly because it is the day after Veterans (Remembrance) Day. I think also because I have just gotten my first pension check for my military service. I won't compare my service to these men's, but I did well, and truly, and honorably serve and so earned that money. I did much less than many, but much more than many others. Regardless of how much I did, by getting said check, I am now a ROF (Retired Old Fart), U.S. Government certified old. True, by today's standards I'm still only middle-aged, and I have a young family to help keep me young, but I also look at the Vets at Ste Anne's and see my future.

Age

Jul. 26th, 2015 07:47 am
warriorsavant: (Time)
Having Hedgefund (and soon Wallstreet!) has both made me feel younger and older. Younger, because I'm dealing with a baby and seeing the world fresh through her eyes. Older, because, well, I am older. Two things recently brought aging into sharp focus.

First, I am drawing up the paperwork to apply for my Army Reserve pension. I am now (almost) old enough to draw a pension.  Second, the Quebec government just sent me notice that I can soon apply for QPP (Quebec Pension Plan, the equivalent of Social Insurance or Social Security). That would mean drawing it early, which I have no intention of doing, but still, I legally could do so.

I am sometimes starting to see my father's face when I look in the mirror.

Some of my thoughts about aging were also trigger by emails with Pipes-major, who is drawing his Army Reserve pension, and retired from his civilian job. (You might recall he'd been my CSM my second-to-last Command). Friends retired, retiring, or getting ready to retire, certainly throws aging into your face. Aging, which both he and I are facing: depending how you divide it up, we’re both entering the last, or at least second-to-last phase of life. I recall talking to my Family Doc about that around a year ago. He talked about the “tasks” of this phase of life. Much of it has to do with dealing with/accepting the physical decline. I certainly don’t enjoy that part, and Pipes-major is about ten times more active than I am. We’re not about to fall apart yet, but getting a little creaky here and there. Some of the other life tasks, he seems to be handling well: the retirement and the kids being out of the house. For those, my life is having a weird mix of late- and early- adulthood. The kid only just “got into” the house, and because of that, retirement is a looooong way off for me. Still, I have slowed down the workload a little since getting out of the Army, and can see slowing it down gradually as the years go on. It’s just that that will be a very slow, slowing down.
warriorsavant: (Infantry haircut)
I've mentioned that I'm now doing a clinic/consultations at the Veterans Hospital near Montreal once/month. It's sometimes emotional for me, seeing these old vets. The average age of the people I see is in the high 80's. Some are no longer there mentally; some clearly recall their WWII service. Some still have their military bearing even in civilian clothes or in a wheelchair. They speak a mix of English and French, some with very old-fashioned names like Arsene.

It can't be fun to have to live at a chronic care facility at the best of times, but if I'm ever in that situation, this is the sort of place I'd want to be in. It's super clean, the care is excellent, and the view is superb (great view across the fields to the St. Lawrence). Don't know about the food, but they do get one beer a day.

Still, it's emotional for me because I can relate to them as veterans. In some ways, I can see my elderly father in them. In other ways, I can see my own aging (another post about that coming soon). The Federal Government is soon going to contract it over to the Province to run, as there are fewer and fewer of these men and women still alive. As the song goes about another war from one of our sister Commonwealth countries: "…and the band played Waltzing Matilda, and the old men still answer the call. But year after year, there are fewer and fewer, soon no one will answer at all."
warriorsavant: (Time)
Started doing Dermatology consults at the Sainte Anne’s Hospital in the Montreal area. It is one of the last remaining Veterans Hospitals in Canada. They were built post-WW II, but with the numbers of Veterans declining, they are being closed or turned over to the Provinces to run. This one will make the transition in a year or two, with the Veterans Affairs Canada paying for the part of the facility that treats the Veterans, and the Quebec government using the rest.

I’m rather the natural fit to do this, what with being a Veteran myself (even if a different military). One of my colleagues has been doing it for many years, and wanted to pass it on, having gotten too busy with other tasks. It’s the sort of once/month add-on to your schedule that really isn’t onerous, but does interrupt the schedule, so with everyone being so busy, no one wants to do it. I feel it’s my turn for a few years, plus as I said, I’m the natural fit to do it, and feel the obligation.

It’s about half-hour drive to get there. Always feels far, but really, with traffic, sometimes just as long to get to JGH.

I can’t say I “enjoyed” doing it. I prefer to be at my well-organized office with my Evil but efficient secretary running things, and everything laid out as I like. Either that, or at my teaching clinic at JGH, with my minions Residents and students to tease teach. SAH has all the charm of most public facilities, working out of a single room, with different layout and supplies than I’m used to. On the other hand, I do have a nurse working with me, so that’s a bonus.

I’m proud to be doing this, and feel that I should be doing it, but there is certain sadness involved. These men are in their late-80’s to 90’s, living in a chronic care hospital. Some are in better shape than others, but none are really hale and hearty. They are of the generation that fought in the most terrible war in history. “They were Soldiers once, and young.” They strode across the world like giants, now they are reduced to honorable but enfeebled old age. The stage of a career this side of the grave. Not sure if I see in them my father, my self-to-be, or just life.
warriorsavant: (Time)
I must be getting old (Shut, up [livejournal.com profile] ecosopher). What triggered the thought is that I had to call a Pharmacy today about a patient. Whoever I was talking to sounding like she was 12. A very intelligent and polite 12-year old, but 12-years old nonetheless. “Are you the Pharmacist?” “Yes, how can I help you.”
1. Uh... by putting you mother on the phone?
2. So, it’s bring your daughter to work day?
3. You’re gonna be a pharmacist when you grow up and take over mom’s business?

Can’t wait until can put Normandie in a little white coat to help Daddy around the office.

Speaking of the office, sometimes I’m “brilliant” entirely by accident. Patient with chronic urticaria (hives). Antihistamines were working, then stopped working. Currently, we view chronic urticaria as not being an allergy, but as being auto-immune, and if really interfering with patient’s life, use low-grade immunosuppression. Was about to start that, when she mentioned was also having pains, and the ER gave her morphine. “Was that when the hives got worse again?” “Oh, now that you mention it, yes.” Morphine non-specifically triggers hives. “Uh, never mind what I just told you we were going to do, stop the morphine, continue the antihistamines, and here’s a letter to your PMD to suggest he relook your pain control.” Theoretically should have asked her, but this was the 3rd or 4th visit, and can’t ask every question every single visit.
warriorsavant: (Sword & Microscope 1)
Puttering along, learning to be a parent. It's a learning process. Gentle Reader [livejournal.com profile] horizonchaser was kind enough to tell me I'm doing better than I think. Thanks. Actually, I realize I'm doing okay. That's not to say that I have it mastered; I'm not supposed to have mastery of a subject after only 6 days, but I'm doing okay.

  {However this does remind me of the story of the man who fell off the Empire State Building.}
       {As he fell past each window, the people inside heard him saying "so far, so good."}


She had a fussy night last night, but that doesn't really bother me, I understand it's all part of the game. Of course I'm feeling out of my depth, but I'm okay with that. I've spent some much time in such positions where I'm unprepared or out of my depth, that I have learned to feel my way thru.

It's called life experience. The advantage of being a younger parent is one has more energy; the advantage of being an older parent is general competence at handling life and therefore calmness. A Psychiatrist friend once told me that being calm is one of the most important things a parent can do for a child. Childhood is not necessarily innocent and idyllic; it is also frightening. Children are weak and helpless in a big, scary world. If the parents are calm, they pass on the idea that the big, scary world can be dealt with. How to deal with it comes with time, but the idea that it can be dealt can be passed on early.

Not everyone learns this, they are just as frazzled in their 40's and 50's and 60's as when they were adolescents. I feel bad for them*. From my perspective, after you have dealt with 1000 problems over your life, and none of them has killed you, dealing with the 1001 isn't a big deal; most things are inconveniences, not serious problems. Yes, some things are big deals: someone stops breathing, the house is on fire, you're getting shot at**. Unless it's at that level, you should be able to deal with it. It can be annoying, but "keep calm and carry on***.


*Admittedly sometimes also annoyed at them: "You're a grown adult, stop flapping around foolishly and figure out what to do. If you're not sure what to do, then still stop flapping around and ask someone what to do. Then go do it."
**On the other hand: I know CPR, there's a fire department, and depends if I'm armed and can shoot back. Still, I admit that that sort of thing does come under the heading of "problem" rather than "annoyance."
***I like that phrase. I'm bit saddened that it's become something an internet meme/joke, because the concept behind it is so important. This was a slogan by the British government during the darkest days of WWII, when there was a very real chance they were going to lose the war and be conquored by the Nazis. That would be something that goes beyond "annoyance," in fact, way beyond "problem," all the way to "complete disaster. Yet they were reminding people that even so, it's best to keep calm and carry on/work thru the situation.
warriorsavant: (Time)
Obviously from the perspective of a crusty, old, curmudgeonly, doctor/retired colonel, they're all getting younger. Heck, old people are younger than they used to be back in the day. My last deployment to Afghanistan, sitting in the cockpit of the giant transport plane, I was sure the two captains flying that thing were only 24 years old - between the both of them!

Had a young captain come in today. Coulda sworn she was only 4 years old. Oh. She was. Well that is to say the 4-year old was only 4 years old, the captain was her mother; I'd initially picked up the wrong file.

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