Welcome to Grand Rounds! This is volume 6, number 6…. and the 6th time I am hosting… during the week of Halloween. Does anyone else find that creepy coincidentally satanic fascinating?!
(Incidentally, if you are reading this through RSS, I am aware that the formatting is less than optimal. Very sorry about that and we are trying to fix it!)
For this edition, I thought we could go out Trick or Treating on Medblogger Lane. I’m sure we will find some colorful stories along the way…
The first house we come to seems amiable enough. The porch light is on and when the door is answered, some good old fashioned chocolate is put into my Trick or Treat bag! Even though she is diabetic, apparently Amy at Diabetes Mine prefers to give out the real stuff instead of the sugar-free kind. The reason may surprise you.
The next house also has the porch light on, but no one answers the door when I ring the bell. Finally I notice a note that says I should just take some candy from the bowl. Not Nurse Ratched is horribly sick with H1N1 and doesn’t want to spread any germs. Read her first-hand account of what it’s like to be knocked out by this flu.
Dr. Bates from Suture for a Living is at the next house. She has some great candy but it was kind of a pain to get. She said that the candy was password-protected and that I had to prove that I had a professional responsibility to eat the candy, and would not eat it out of mere curiosity. Take a gander at what happens when HIPAA is peering over your shoulder when you go looking around where you shouldn’t.
If I thought that was hard, I was not prepared at all for what I’d have to do to get the sweets from Barbara at Florence dot com. First, I had to document that we did a time-out so that the correct candy would be given. After that I had to document that the candy was received. She actually made me eat some in her presence so I could document that the candy had no adverse effects on me. Then she had me stick around to report off to the next trick-or-treater about everything that had just transpired. You might be tempted to skip this house, but you can’t. She shares her perspective about a recent study that claims nurses spend 35% of their time documenting documenting documenting.
The next house was just crazy. When I arrived, they would only open the gate to let me in if I was wearing a face mask. Laika from MedLibLog wasn’t taking any chances after watching this very descriptive video that shows how the flu virus is transmitted and starts taking over the cells in your body. When I finally got past the gate, Dr. Val from Better Health informed me that she would love to give me some candy, but unfortunately the Big Candy Store down the block ordered it all up and now there wasn’t any left. So I wouldn’t feel as though I wasted a trip (and a mask!), Dr. Anonymous sat me down and told me all about the candy H1N1 flu, including busting some myths about the vaccine and informing me of when it might be available.
On my way to the next place, I passed someone dressed up as a shark. That reminded me of Dr. Auerbach’s post at Healthline.com about shark attacks – why they attack and steps we can take to avoid being attacked. I was especially amused at reading this: “…it is important to note that any shark, including the seemingly docile nurse shark, will bite a human if sufficiently provoked.” I’m sure there are a few doctors out there who learned that the hard way.
I finally arrived at the Medblogger Lane Haunted House. It was with much trepidation that I walked through the front door…
…and had to stifle a scream as I entered the room! A mad scientist was performing various experiments on poor unsuspecting subjects. You would think that a little playful squirt of lime would result in no harm, but Dr. Charles explains how it could end up badly. The adjacent hallway was dark and a little spongy. It seemed strangely reminiscent of a certain screening exam. The Clinical Cases & Images Blog gives us the quick and easy Cliff Notes version of colorectal screening guidelines. Allergy Notes describes the scary effects of sulfite hypersensitivity. In another room Sharp Brains had specimens in jars and was performing tests to find out if caffeine had a sustained lifetime benefit or harm.
The last room had people who have had very scary things happen to them. Trauma Junkie described a typical day in the life for a patient with Cystic Fibrosis and shares his newfound wisdom about how sometimes the patient teaches the practitioner. Chris at Life in the Fast Lane relates a story with a very important lesson: sometimes we need to dig a little deeper and ask a few more questions before the medical mystery can be solved. And Robin at Survive the Journey describes what it’s like to parent a child who has Cushing’s Disease, from diagnosis and management to terrifying flare-ups and hospitalizations.
After all that, I was ready to get back to some more trick or treating! The next house I came upon was giving out gift certificates to iTunes! I thought that was perfect because I could use it to check out some of the Anatomy software apps on Dr. Penna’s list. As I was leaving, I overheard a conversation about a laptop being stolen from Blue Cross Blue Shield and the potential damage that could result. Dr. Joseph Kim from Non-Clinical Jobs lets us know what to do in case we find ourselves in this predicament.
I finally arrived at a huge scary house… you know, the kind that is decked to the nines in Halloween decorations… the one that makes your heart go just a little faster as you’re walking up to the porch. I rang the bell, said “Trick or Treat!” and waited. And waited some more. Surely a house as big and fancy as this would have great candy, right?! Finally a piece of paper was slipped under the door. It asked if I had any conditions that would be exacerbated by procuring and ingesting sweet edibles. It further stipulated that I needed to meet a minimum threshold of candy before they would provide me with any more! What was this? Some kind of confectionery deductible? I concluded that I had unwittingly arrived at the House of Insurance.
Instead of filling out the forms that had piled up outside, I decided to sneak in the back door to see if I could find out anything interesting, and boy did I ever…
Insure Blog was trying to figure out how Washington would handle 14 million new patients finding themselves on Medicaid if the Baucus health care bill is enacted. Louise at the Colorado Health Insurance Insider was pondering the composition of hospital boards of directors – are they comprised of objective participants, or is there some significant conflict of interest going on? And in the corner was a group led by Leslie at Getting Closer to Myself discussing the merits of marrying for love… or insurance coverage.
By this time it was getting late and I decided to head home. I spotted a big bonfire along the way and decided to stop by to see what was going on. Several people were gathered around the fire sharing experiences and information. Jolie Bookspan at the Fitness Fixer described several ways to treat knee pain that do not involve scalpels. Jenni at ChronicBabe informed us about fibromyalgia and contributed a list of resources that provided education on how to live and even thrive with the disease. Jeffrey at Nuts for Healthcare explained that fibromyalgia remains controversial in the medical community; however, while drug companies have been accused of fear-mongering to a desperate population for a handsome profit, recent neurological research has begun to unravel the biological manifestations of the disease in the hope to pinpoint a cause.
Novel Patient proudly described how she painstakingly stood up against her chronic illness and disappointing new diagnosis. Rachel at talesofmy30′s divulged her secret for learning to love her body after enduring disordered eating patterns and a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Stacey at ACP Internist spoke about a possible reason as to why medical students are not going into primary care. David Harlow at HealthBlawg gave a detailed account of his experience at the Connected Health Symposium 2009 conference held last week in Boston. To finish the evening, Barbara at In Sickness and In Health shared with us a story she told her father while he was ill in the hospital.
That’s all for this edition of Grand Rounds. Next week, Grand Rounds will be held at nonclinicaljobs.com.
Have a safe and happy Halloween everyone!