March 7, 2006

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Wow, I already have comments... someone reads my rambling :). Haudy -I fixed the comments thing.

Those who know me know that I am frequently perplexed and confused by many (if not most) questions - among them "what specialty are you going to go into?" Today I spent time with a neurosurgeon – a brain surgeon for you non-med types. Saw several cases of cranial synostosis, genetic abnormalities, Arnold Chiari malformations, multiple disturbing craniofacial abnormalities (w/ syndrome names I could not pronounce, let alone recall), oligodendroglioma follow up, meningomyeloceles, etc... I have to admit Family Practice and Internal Medicine rotations are much more hands on for me because I have an understanding of the cases, medications and procedures. Here I spent every free moment conversing with the nurse to see what gaps of my knowledge she could fill in with her experience and the remainder of my free moments looking things up in Greenberg's Handbook of Neurosurgery.

Among the patients was an adorable 4 year old Mexicano chico. He had been fine until he began having seizures - long story short, diagnoses: brain tumor - devastating. Today was a post op follow up. This boy was full of smiles and energy. Even more charged were his parents! I had never seen anybody so ecstatic and thankful! They reported no more seizure activity. We reviewed the MRIs together and no remnant tumor could be seen! From the pathology report it became apparent that it was a DNET - which is apparently related to Astrocytomas but they couldn't just call it an Astrocytoma because then I would know what was going on... I couldn't have been happier for the child and his parents! I have no idea how to express what it felt like to be in that room; a room where two parents find out their child no longer has a brain tumor. I can honestly say it was among the most incredible moments of my life! (Maybe that just shows how unincredible my life has been, but it was a truly fabulous experience). Of course I seem to get a giddy feeling every so often while in clinic or in the hospital, but this was something else...

I have to add the physician I was with was amazing! His patients loved him, his attitude was wonderful, and he did not live up to the stereotype of the socially awkward, hardcore Neurosurgeon. Thanks for making my intro to the world of neurosurgery enjoyable.

Posted by mokh0003 at 10:07 PM

February 22, 2006

Entry Number One

Currently being on my family medicine year 2 rotation, at a clinic in Andover (Mahdi, I was hoping I'd see you, but apparently you haven't been sick lately), I was working up an elderly white man, very typical of the Andover population (pork eating, truck driving, snuff chewing type of guy), when he interrupted his list of complaints and symptoms with a question I seem to get often:
"Where you from?"
Having nothing better to do, I asked him where he thought I was from to which he replied: "Italy?"
"Try further East."
He started thinking hard... "You dont look like China or Japan... uhhhh, Iran?"
Me, being a bit surprised - "Wow, that was pretty good! Do you know somebody from Iran or just a good guess?"
Man: "My son is going there pretty soon?"
Me: "Really?"
Man: "Yeah, hes in the Army."
Me: "Ummm? You seem pretty certain that Iran will be attacked?!"
Man: "Hah, you been living in a box or sumin? The war is almost over, I think we are pulling out soon as we get things back in order."
Me: "Oh Iraq?"
Man: "No Iran, or uhh..."
Me: "What brings on your episodes of chest pain? Is it after a meal while relaxing or after climbing a set of stairs?"...

Posted by mokh0003 at 8:51 PM