Friday, January 23, 2009

Bun in the oven

14 year old kid came in with mom for a little problem with upper respiratory symptoms and had to leave basket ball practice early. Got a little dizzy. No other sick people at home but I knew there was something going around the community. Physical evaluation showed a stuffy nose, alot of post nasal dripping, clear chest and retracted ear drums from the nose being so stuffy. I told her and mom about what I thought and that due to the circumstances around the community and her presenting issues, she probably has what all others have and I should give antibiotics and nasal sprays if she cant wait and do the conservative way. Of course I asked, "and when was your last period?" She mentioned it was off this month (january)...a little late and short. Then obviously I asked in a politically correct way with mom in the room..."do you have a boyfriend". She said kind of and didnt make eye contact. Then I let mom ask...."are you having sex?" The kid said I had it along time ago. At first I thought....oh she probably experimented once along time ago and she is not active. Then I asked in detail....."when was the last time?"....she said "last year". Immediately I gave a sigh of relief but then I asked exactly when so I could document it....and she said "december". (I thought to myself....does she mean december 13 months ago or last month) then it hit that this is a 14 year old and the perception of time is as off as the conception of consequence. So end of story, I ordered a urine test and had to give child and mom (or should I say Mom and Mom) the news. What was shocking was the way mom asked "are you having sex" was as if it was a channel two new reporter asking the question, not a concerned parent who would be saying it like, please dont tell me you are having sex with someone. I felt as if the mom wasnt involve with the raising of the child....and maybe she wasnt but.....the highest likelyhood is that the mom (now grandmother) will probably raise the august baby!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Walk the walk

Deepak Chopra was commenting on his resolutions for 2009 and he mentioned that "happy people find opportunities where other people find problems". The current economy and "political climate" that has been in the spotlight for the last few months (before the election and the "bailouts"), point to recession. When I picture the black and white pictures of long lines for soup and bread in the depression era, it is hard to imagine we are in the same hardships. Working in the ER, I see people who can't afford medical insurance but are clutching a bag of Mcdonalds and talking on cell phone while watching the kids in the room play Nintendo DS. The government does cover our kids for everything from medicines to surgeries to multiple ER visits. (some will even complain about the "long wait" at the downtown VNA free clinic in Aurora as a reason to wait in the longer line at the ER). So I see that as this is a bad time for everybody, people are surviving and utilizing what is available to continue life. In many cases, people are also continuing their bad habits. Smoking, poor eating, alcohol, sedentary life and complaining about the "system". I just got off the phone with a radio talk show host and his significant other is continuing to cough through 2 rounds of antibiotics and has an appointment to see a special doctor that charges a retainer fee of $1500.00/year that will allow you to become one of his patients (and after that you still have to pay for each visit!). Uninformed people are surviving but getting worse. Informed people are trying to change but paying more now than ever for guidance and instruction. The people that are supposed to be the healers, are feeling that they have to charge over- the-top fees to survive the insults sent by the insurance companies one a month

What the hell? I thought the concept of being a doctor meant you were devoted to your patient 24/7 and were the person to call in case of emergency. It has gone from neighborhood docs with house calls to boutique medicine where doc charges per minute like a lawyer. I complain but I realize I am working as part of the problem in an emergency room ushering people in and out and placing temporary fixes here and there hoping someone else will take good care of the individual who is looking for help. Now comes my reveal:

As I mentioned earlier, Chopra was mentioning we have to live the same life that we are trying to share with others. I eventually will get to the point of practicing medicine my way, not taking insurance but yet not charging thousands of dollars. I believe I am blessed with a wife that is an excellent dentist, opening up here own clinic and truthfully, I don't have to work another day with the following she seems to have. (Patients know when you are practicing from the "heart"). I have promised god to share with others the type of health and wellness that I am experiencing now. At 46, I am healthier than I have ever felt, I choose to surround myself with positive people (from bankers to union workers to local law enforcement....I even have an old patient that is still active with Chicago FBI) and most of all, my family has chosen not to let evil or hatred in our house. I always tell patients that are suffering to seek out others that are uplifting and inspirational. Hanging with people who hate will make you hate. The analogy that anger spreads fast in a crowded elevator will usually get the one that hurts to seek out a different surrounding and a different social group. On the flip side laughter also is contagious. I think smiles are healing, handshakes can be uplifting, gifts are encouraging. I tell my patients that "turning the other cheek" is an outdated phrase; accepting an injury but and starting the healing process before it occurs is the basis for good spiritual grounding. -(see sportsinjury411 for yoga info)- Hatred, wrong doing and "bad karma" still has to be responded to, but that is why we have friends, law enforcement (thanks to Naperville, Lisle and Aurora PD) and trial lawyers. Let the "good guys" do what they have to do, trust in what your doctor has to say (but get an alternative opinion) and surround yourself with positive people.