medical treatment


Everyday health advice. If I read any more “health advice,” mental or physical, that is supposed to be practical advice but is totally wrong and built on mythology, I might explode. Given the “mainstream” unproven drivel that gets reproduced in popular magazines, I think it is pretty amazing any Americans are still alive at all. A little relaxation (deep breathing and focused meditation) — I am doing a lot better.  After all, we still have freedom of speech, although it sometimes gets fragile and needs loving protection.  And you have me, the Renegade Doctor, to tell you what is truthful and right. I didn’t start out to trash “Reader’s Digest” (RD).  My parents of blessed memory had some kind of lifetime subscription, and kept it with a very few cherished books by their bedside, on top of my mother’s premarital “Hope Chest,” which she told me contained clothes she could only “hope” she would fit into again one day. She never did. Read more on Everyday health advice drives me nuts!…


When I was a very junior neurosurgical resident in France, I always thanked my lucky stars I had not overused coffee.  Mme. M., who ran the cafe below my apartment throughout the first part of my studies, which were mostly classroom, had an Italian espresso machine and little demitasses (half-cups) of potent brew — so potent that I could not consume more than one in the morning.  Arabica, fragrant, and aromatic, it was a true joy.

After I moved closer to the hospital center, I heard for the first time the expression “pump yourself full of coffee.” (se pomper pleine de cafe)  It was foul tasting stuff, consumed in an infinity of Styrofoam cups, and strong — really strong.  There were rumors that it came from the same “common market supplier” as the wine, which was supposed to also be from a a mixture of common market (it had not yet become the European Union) countries.  All the food was free, as we were government employees.

Nobody ever figured out where the coffee had come from.

There was an open bar 24/7, about as well outfitted as Mme. M’s.  I was afraid to be in the same room with it.  I am delighted to report that I never saw anyone use it on an on-call night.

This is the place I could access a small bed — iron tubes for headboard and rails, mattress probably stiffened with starch.  The joke, which may well have been true, was that it was Napoleonic non-issue, meant for a barracks.

After the first night I lay upon it sleepless, answering a beeper that whenever it rang told me to call the operator and they would tell me who to call, my then-young back was killing me and I was fighting tears. Read more on Save Lives — Let Doctors Sleep!…

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