Archives for February 2004


Sorry for the dearth of postings lately. We’re still short some docs, so I’m working more.

Thanks to my 3 readers for checking in; hopefully something a little more interesting tomorrow. I have some emails that deserve a response (good blog topics) and, after a long string of shifts like this, my spleen needs a touch of venting.

Pfizer cannot figure them out, either… – Pfizer to end tests of Viagra for women – Feb. 28, 2004

Pfizer Inc. is ending research on whether the anti-impotency drug Viagra can be used treat female sexual problems because studies on women were inconclusive, the company said.

Has anyone ever conclusively studied the female?

Dad’s Back Surgery

My dad had a lumbar laminectomy today, and initial reports are that “it went well” from the surgeon. (They always say that).

He’s been in pain for a long time, and finally got fed up with it. His pain has been increasingly severe for the last 4 months or so, to the point that he’s had to go to the ED in their city a couple of times. They have recently gotten his pain meds balanced to the point he can sleep (Fentanyl patches and darvocets (vicodin gave him terrible stomach upsets)).

Anyway, it’s painful to be seeing all this from the sidelines, and

Black Triangle Calls it Quits

Black Triangle One Year On…
He’s decided to bow out after only a year, citing such frivilous diversions as book chapters, papers, abstracts, etc. A very interesting blog, Black Triangle is written in England, where the “black triangle” on a medicine gives a warning for its use.

Black Triangle has been terrific in providing factual information about the whole ‘thimerosol causes autism” scare, which is such a skewed piece of nonsense that The Lancet recently announced it was apologizing for the original paper (via Overlawyered).

I will miss reading it. In case this is another of the off-again on-again quittings bloggers seem prone to, I’m going to leave his link up on my site for a while.

Thanks for the entertainment, and the education, Tony!

Every Man Should Have

…one of these in his house.

every man should have one in his house

The reaction of visitors to seeing this manly piece of porcelain is divided straight down the gender line:
Men: “cool!”
Women: “who cleans it?”

It should be noted none of the women inquire similarly about the upstairs bidet. (Yes, we have one. No, I’ve never used the bidet; like the urinal, they were here when I got here).

With this and the garage service pit, I have the coolest house around.

Krusty, that’s Me!

I am Krusty!

Wow, these quizzes ARE scientifically valid! From

via Sleepless in Midland

Quote of the Day

Allah Is In The House:

As for gay marriage, Allah knows he speaks for mujahedeen everywhere in noting that at a time when Americans already consider terrorism a fourth-tier issue, when the Islamic Republic continues to lie right to your stupid monkey faces about its atomic bomb program, and when gaining access to weapons of jihad is only slightly more difficult than logging on to Fatwa Sam’s, it is glorious beyond words that your presidential election may turn on a completely tangential issue that affects only the tiniest portion of the population. Retarded hot-button wedge-issue bullshit Akbar!

What he said.

Comanche gets Axed

MSNBC – Army scraps Comanche helicopter project
I was going to lead with ‘gets tomahawked’, but that seemed a little much.

This is very interesting. In an election year, the Pentagon has axed a very expensive and very delayed military program, which employs at least 400 people of Connecticut.

This has to be principle over political expediency, as this is going to drive “spending on defense is always good” hawks and “jobless recovery” groups into the same camp (temporarily). From a political approach, this would have been killed after the election. Interesting.

And the same article says the F-22 is being reviewed by the same group. I’d be sweating the numbers were I them.

She’s Mine, All Right

I was getting ready to leave for another stimulating day of work (aren’t all of yours fascinating?) when I saw, from the corner of my eye, my wife staring at something.

Relief swept over me when I realized it wasn’t me she was staring at.

Curiosity overwhelmed me, and I found her watching my youngest daughter alphabetising the spices in the rack.

Now, this is innate organizational behavior I can understand. Every now and again, when I am underemployed, I will “help” my wife in her domain, the kitchen. I usually help by organizing her shelves and pantry. Seems to me, if it’s tomato based, it should all be together, etc. This excellent sorting is usually underappreciated. Hmm.

Anyway, it’s reassuring to see my daughter organizing. Now if we can get her to do that in her own room….

Researcher Exposed to Ebola – Researcher isolated after possible Ebola exposure – Feb. 19, 2004

The researcher accidentally pricked herself with a needle that contained a weakened form of the Ebola virus last week while she was injecting mice with the virus as part of a research effort.

The woman has shown no signs of the fatal illness, but will remain at Fort Detrick for up to 30 days of isolation.

Holy cow. First, I hope that she has no infection and does well, and can resume her research into this horrific scourge.

Second, she’s probably in the best place in the world for this exposure: USAMRIID is the country’s main research facility for the most extreme biological pathogens and warfare agents. It also, if memory serves, has 4 actual BL4 hospital beds, designed for just this circumstance: infected researchers, not test subjects from outside.

The good news is that the public is in no danger at all, and so far she’s doing well. I figure this is the last we’ll hear unless things go poorly for her, so do what you do to wish her a speedy recovery.

Hydrocodone and Schedule II

For the introduction, please read the always excellent DB’s Med Rants about the DEA’s bright idea to put a clamp on prescription drug abuse by moving hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab) to Schedule II.

After you’ve read the above, then read below.
[Read more…]

Basra Beach

selling real-estate the hard way

Minds for medicine, hearts for real estate. Another in a series from my friend, returned from FH3.

An Homage to the Navy Corpsman On corpsmen….
He’s got a great post from the grunt perspective. Enjoy the reading.

Bad Followup

In medicine generally, and in Emergency Medicine specifically, we don’t get enough feedback about how the patients we saw did after our part of their treatment ended. It’s not just idle curiosity, either: sometimes we learn from things that worked well, and from others that didn’t.

Today I got some odd feedback. One of our excellent techs, out of the blue, said “you remember a guy you treated about 2 weeks ago for a finger infection”?

‘Yes’, said I.

“He’s dead now”. (Picture me becoming the color of my lab coat, trying to not perspire). “His cousin killed him”.

Aah. Not the feedback I’m used to.

Big Iraqi Bug

FH3 bug
I have no idea what kind of bug this is, but it’d scare me out of a nights’ sleep.

Anyone know what it is?

Update: valued readers have identified it as a “Camel Spider”.