Thursday, March 31, 2005

What's a Matter wit Jew?

I had to turn in my laptop for some warranty work. It was having some problems with the connection to the powersource. So, for the next 2 weeks, blogging may be a little slow. It all depends on whether or not I can fight with Zelda to get access to the desktop. Also, how long of a break I can get between classes and patients. Anyways, on to my next post.

I don't remember when it was. But, when I first learned about World War II and the persecutions of the Jews, I had no idea what a Jew was. I kept asking everyone, "What's a Jew?" No one could give me a straight answer. A typical conversation went like this:

J: "What's a Jew?"

Answer: "What do you mean?"

J: "I mean, what's a Jew? How are they different?"

A: "Well, they're a type of people with a different religion and sort of a different race."

J: "What do you mean sort of?"

A: "It's hard to explain."

J: "So, they're a different race with a different religion."

A: "Sort of."

As you can see, this wasn't helping me understand what was going on. Eventually, we were shown a movie in class called "Escape from Sobibor". It was about an escape attempt by Jews and others held at a German concentration camp during WWII. I remember how during the movie, I asked a friend of mine. "Where are the Jews?" He answered, "See all those people who aren't wearing army uniforms and aren't carrying guns? Those are Jews."

I sat back. I can only imagine the confused look on my face. I remember the next feeling extremely well. I thought to myself, they're white. How can anyone say that they're a different race? They looked just like the typical European white folks that I see on TV.

Now, all I do is look back and laugh.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Houston Blogger's Meeting

I must say that it was an absolute pleasure to have met Inanna, Tinyhands, Brighton, and her husband Travis. I left the clinic a little early with excitement knowing that we were going to meet fellow bloggers from online. I came home and saw that the our little girls were getting picked up by my sister so that we could go out and have some fun. I gave the little ones a kiss and a hug. Told them to be on their best behavior and walked into the door. That's when I saw Inanna on the couch. I put down my book/equipment bag, said "Hey! I didn't even notice you on the couch!" and gave her a hug.

We sat for a few minutes while I unwound myself from classes and clinic. Then, we left for downtown. There was a place close to where I attended college. It's a hole in the wall type of place. But, it has great margaritas. That, plus it's cheap and it's not the snooty, upscale type of place where you have to keep your conversations low. We got there around 8:00 and stayed until 1:00 a.m. We ordered only a small amount of food and about 3-5 margaritas each. We had such an incredibly relaxed and enjoyable time. I don't think an entire 10 seconds passed where we weren't laughing or were grossed out about some of the stories that we all told.

Truth be told, Brighton, Zelda, and Inanna were like playground friends who haven't seen each other in years. Tinyhands, Travis, and I pretty much sat back and listened to them, laughed, and occasionally got to sneak in a story or 2. You had to be quick if you wanted to say something. We all had something to say after a few margaritas. However, being the gentlemen that we are, Travis, Tinyhands, and I sat back and followed the "Ladies first" rule. That is, unless there was a "You gotta hear this...." moment. It was great!

We got back around 1:30 in the morning. I was sooooo tired! I slept only 3 hours the night before cleaning up as much as I could for Inanna's arrival. Last night, I slept from 1:30 til 6:00 because I had morning classes. I was dragging my half dead carcass to class so badly. You know what? It was worth it!

Today, I made it to classes, but I didn't make it to the clinic. I went home and decided that by the time I would have made it back, it wasn't worth it to attend 2 hours of clinic. So, what did I do? We took Inanna out for some Vietnamese food. She took pictures, and I'm pretty sure she'll tell y'all about it. Anyways, we came back to the house, relaxed, and just talked for hours until she left for her sister's place.

Brighton, Travis, Tinyhands, we need to get together again. Just because any of us are missing doesn't mean can't hang out. Last night, I felt like we were family. Thanks everyone!

Friday, March 25, 2005

An Important Lesson

In our Medical Ethics class, we discussed Terri Schaivo. Regardless of how you feel about the issue, there is an important lesson to learn from all this.

After all opinions were expressed, our professor, Dr. W , told us that this lesson was extremely important to him. He told us how his father was terminally ill. One day, after seeing his father suffer, Dr. W grabbed 2 pillows. Then he lay down right next to his father, looked right into his eyes, and asked him that if his father wanted, he would end his suffering. He would use the pillows to smother his father if he wanted the suffering to end. As Dr. W was telling us this, his voice quivered severely and a tear rolled down his cheek. He continued:

"My father started to cry and he shook his head 'no'. I said, 'okay'. Now, I'm telling you this because I want you all to know. GET YOURSELF A LIVING WILL AND WHATEVER ELSE WILL EXPLAIN WHAT YOU WANT. DON'T MAKE A LOVED ONE MAKE THAT KIND OF A DECISION. IT'S TOO HARD."

The entire classroom was silent. We all got the message. This debate wasn't about which side was right or wrong. It was about us and what we needed to do in order to protect both our wishes as well as our families from having to interpret those wishes. In life, things happen. Good or bad, right or wrong there is always a lesson to be learned.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

By Special Request

I've been asked to cut and paste what I've written on other sites regarding Terri Schaivo. So here goes:

I'm not looking at this from a judicial, legislative, or executive angle. My reasons are purely medical. Sorry for the length, but it explains a lot. Believe me, there's much more.

I'm a bit concerned about the decisions of the doctors. I'll admit that I'm no expert yet, but based on what I've learned about radiographic imaging, an MRI and/or PET scan should be performed. A CT scan will basically differentiate for you tissue types and provide a 3D slice. I'm actually really interested in getting a PET scan. This would give us a better idea as to brain activity. Not whether or not there is fluid build up or not. To me, although fluid buildup is good information, if you look at neurological conditions like syringomyelia, you will see that the plasticity nature of nervous tissue is quite resilient. I've seen patients with syringomyelia who have come to our clinic with a 80-90% spinal cord compression from the fluid who were still walking! Does this apply to Terri? Who knows. But, it's worth looking into.

(Someone posted a link to Terri's CT scan) I saw a serious flaw with this link. Most importantly was the fact that the two images were not taken at the same level. You can clearly see the frontal sinus on Terri's CT scan (Look on the top part of the skull and you'll see the darkened air space) but not on the normal CT scan. Why is this important? Because at different levels of the brain, you have different anatomical structures which will look differently depending on the level of the slice of the CT scan. Differing structures such as numerous different nuclei and the ventricles (which can and do contain cerebrospinal fluid) can make 2 normal CT brain scans look completely different if they are not taken at the same level.

The problem with what everyone is arguing is whether or not Terri can feel pain. Lower brain functioning so far tells us that periacquectal gray and the reticular formation are areas that sense pain. Now, as far as pain cognition goes, that goes into the higher levels of the brain: The cortex. Now, we see from the CT scan that there is fluid buildup. This does not necessarily mean that Terri does not perceive pain. As I stated earlier, nervous tissue is very resilient. And, thanks to the CT scan, we still have quite a bit of cortex. It's possible that the fluid present could be due to a blockage of the acqueduct draining the 3rd ventricle to the 4th ventricle. Without further imaging or testing, we can't tell.

Recent research has shown that nervous tissue does, in fact regrow. It's an extremely slow process, but it does take place. Does this mean that Terri will regain congnition? We don't know. But, it is, in fact possible. This recent discovery may explain why some people take years to recover from comas, brain infarcts, etc. Neurology itself is a relatively new field. They are constantly learning more and more each and everyday. We keep discovering new things that tend to both prove and disprove past paradigms of brain functioning. So, rest assured that NOTHING is absolute. Is it possible for Terri to recover? Yes. Is it probable? Nobody knows. Should these other avenues (MRI/PET scans) be explored? Since it is possible that Terri perceives her environment but lacks the capacity to express it due to the areas affected by the fluid, I believe we should err on the side of caution. I'll need to double check this (sorry, my neurology course was last year), but if I'm right, the areas of higher cognition are in the frontal cortex, not the temporal or parietal cortex which appear to be the areas affected by the CT scan.

My basic opinion is that this case needs to be presented to a well educated medical ethics panel who utilize the most recent research and technology to perform whatever procedure they wish to determine a prognosis despite any opposition towards these tests. Since there is no living will, I believe this is the best course to take. If death is still chosen by the medical panel after all requested tests are run, then I vote death by lethal injection, morphine drip, etc. to make the death more humane.

When you take this to court, you are trying to explain medical science and technology to people who may not quite understand the complexity of the situation.

Monday, March 21, 2005

I hope it was worth it.

This weekend, I went to pick up Zelda's sister to help watch the kids while I was taking those ball crushing Board exams. Zelda's family lives on a Ranch in a small town east of Houston. The roads there have no street lights to light up the roads. So, I have to drive quite frequently with the high beams on.

As we left the Ranch, we eventually got onto the highway to get home. Again, this stretch of road has no street lights. So, I flipped on my high beams to see anything and everything in the periphery....especially deer that tend to cross these roads. The speed limit on this stretch of freeway is 60 mph. I was traveling about 70 mph. I eventually came up on a slower moving car. I had been driving with my high beams on for quite awhile. When I came up on this guy/girl, I eventually realized that my high beams were still on. So, I turned it down. The car was pissed that I forgot to turn down my high beams so they slowed down till he/she was right next to me then sped up. I, however, maintained the same speed. This driver eventually slowed down enough for me to catch up to them. As soon as I was right next to them, they speed up again and shot right past us.

At this point, I was thinking about the gun that I keep in the car. I know, some of you don't approve. But I'd rather be prepared and be wrong rather than be unprepared and be right. But, you guys know how I feel about this issue. Anyways, this driver slowed down again as we approached a prison area. Again, they slowed down until I caught up to them. Then, they slammed on the gas shot by us again.

Again, I watched as they played this cat and mouse game with me. Only this time, since we were close to a prison area, I checked my rear view mirror. Out of darkness I saw a set of headlights pull out from the side of the road. Then, it came up real fast. That's when I knew. "Cop. He's going to get that bastard." As he passed by, I saw the symbol of the Texas State Troopers.

Not 50 feet ahead of me, the red and blue lights turned on and the car was pulled onto the shoulder of the road. State Trooper got 'em.

That poor guy/girl probably realized that Zelda and I were laughing our asses off the rest of the way home at them.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Testing is Done!

It's over. I don't know how I did. But, at least it's over. Let me just tell you that it was brutal. I also wanted to let you all know that I have already started celebrating the fact that it's over. Yep, I've left the realm of sobriety. There's a party going on right now held by my classmates for everyone who took those tests. However, I got an email that tonight my little sister is having a family dinner to celebrate her birthday. So, I've got to bypass the party and spend time with the family.

Well, I'm too tired to continue writing so I'll just end this with the fact that I have a lot of catch up reading to on all of your sites. So, I bid you all, "Cheers! Bottom's up! and Chug!"

Jethro out! (Soon to be out cold.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Brief Break

Just to let everyone know, I'll be gone until Monday. Part III of National Board exams are in 2 days and I can't afford to take anymore study breaks. Wish me luck and see ya'll Monday!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Using It To His Advantage

My sister told me that made me laugh the other day.

My sister dated a Vietnamese guy named Mark. One night, Mark and a few of his friends went out bar hopping. They were walking along the the street as they passed another group of guys who happened to be white. Of course they physically bumped into each other. Instead of the typical, "Oh Sorry man!" What you heard was, "Watch where the fuck you're going!"

The two groups squared off taunting each other. The biggest guy in that group stepped forward. Then, one of Mark's friends pushed him right in front. The big guy said, "Whatcha got?" Mark was thinking to himself, "Oh great!" However, what Mark did was he started jumping around, making wild hand gestures, and taunting the guy just like Bruce Lee does in the movies "Waaaa! Come on! Let's go! Waaaa!" The next words out of the big guy was, "HEY! I don't want to fight."

The 2 groups go about their ways and Mark whispers to his friends, "Dodged a bullet with that one."

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Taking a Break

Instead of ripping out my hair from studying for Board exams, I'll just blog about what happened yesterday. Yesterday was a beautiful day in Houston. The sun was shining, there was hardly a cloud in the sky, and there was a constant breeze blowing. I took my study materials out to my in-law's ranch where I proceeded to study (not much) and fish. I have a set up where I can stick the pole in the ground and put a bell on the pole so that I know when there's a fish on the end. I call it "lazyman fishing". Anyways, I ended up catching 3 nice sized catfish yesterday. The in-laws requested that we bring them by today and have a small fish fry. No problem.

Afterwards, Zelda and I met up with the PW group for their counter protest next weekend. I can't go to that one either because next weekend is the weekend of Board exams. I'm a bit worried about her. After last time, I almost lost my cool and wanted to bypass Zelda's wishes. Still, it's what she wants. It's what she feels is our side's strongest argument. She wants to send video footage of the "party of peace" and how peaceful they really are all around the internet. The video footage is already there. It just needs to be organized. Still, she wants to pursue more. I worry for her. God help me if the police should apprehend someone who assaults her. All I need is a name and address. I'm so nervous about her going. But, I can't stop her. It's what she wants. I'd feel so much more comfortable if I was there with her. At least there would be something I could do. It's what she wants, it's what she wants. I have to keep telling myself this. How am I supposed to keep my cool when I know there will be a bunch of hypocrits at these events? People who protest for peace but don't exercise it themselves. I feel like I'm watching the Civil Rights movement where people are exercising their right to free speech and are violently assaulted for voicing their opinions. This time, the ones assaulting are the ones who want "peace." Ironic?

Friday, March 11, 2005

"Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while taking this product"

For those who happened to see this post a little early, sorry. It wasn't finished yet and I pushed the wrong button.

When you see this label on prescriptions, listen to it. I picked up some cough syrup earlier this week and knew that if I took an extra dose of this cough syrup, the narcotic effect also acts as a pain killer for my burning throat. Bad move. Sure, my throat felt better, but I was passing out every so often with no control over it whatsoever. The worst was yesterday.

I was driving home feeling wide awake. A little tired from the clinic, but still wide awake enough to drive home. My school is about a 40 minute commute. Halfway home, I passed out for a split second. My eyes never closed, I just lost consciousness for a split second. I was still driving straight but I had to adjust. The worst of it came when I passed out for a whole second and was driving into the shoulder inches away from scraping my mirror to the median barriers. That really scared me. The shoulders were not wide enough for me to actually park on and take a quick nap. By the time I would have made it to somewhere where I could nap, I would be close to home. So, I turned up the music, cranked up the air conditioning and made it home.

I walked into the house, gave my kids a hug and kiss each, ate, then proceeded into the bedroom where I passed out. It wasn't even 8:30. I slept clear on through to the morning. I had no idea I was that tired. That, plus the medication I was taking was also making me pass out. I need to be more careful with this shit.

Anyways, when I woke up this morning, after getting much needed rest, I saw Zelda lying right next to me. I couldn't help it. I had to have her. I knew she was sound asleep. So, I leaned up right next to her and started rubbing her side and leg very gently. She was still sound asleep, but she moved a little bit. I lifted up her shirt and started kissing her in all of the right places. That woke her up just enough to make it seem like she was still dreaming. I knew she'd be too tired, so I did everything for her. I undressed her and continued playing with her. By then, she was wide awake and we were both rubbing against each other. After it was all over, we curled up and went right back to sleep. Made it seem like a dream.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Dad? Was That Really You?

Before I was married, I thought my parents never did anything wild and crazy. After I married Zelda, stories never told before started finding their way to my ears. My parents never told me anything that they did wrong. Come to think of it, I do remember some of my dad's friends who would visit would talk about just how crazy my dad was. My dad would just smile and laugh a little giving us the impression of, "yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever."

Now, my father has never shown himself to be anything other than a stern military man whose goal in life was to prepare his children for the future. Education, hard work, and common sense were strictly enforced. Don't let that scare you. My father loved us and had his own way of showing it. My father, my mother, my sisters, and I never hug each other. It's just something we don't do. In fact, I would feel uncomfortable giving my dad a hug. I don't know why. He just commands that kind of respect out of you.

That being said, A few weeks after Zelda and I were married, my mother told Zelda who eventually told me that one night during the war, my dad drank so much Jack Daniels that he decided to take a US helicopter for a joyride in the middle of the night. In order for his buddies to help him land, they had to flag him down using flashlights. He eventually landed the aircraft and was taken to go sleep off his intoxication. Fortunately, we had high ranking officers in the military so my dad got a simple slap on the wrist.

When I heard this, I said, "No way!" Zelda swore that that story was told to her by my mother. I decided to ask my father if this was true. When I asked him, he smiled and laughed a little giving me the impression of, "yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever."

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Slight Anniversary Setback

Some of you know that I was sick over the weekend. So, our anniversary was mostly spent relaxing at home. I had an uncontrollable fever around 103. I tried to bring it down with 2 advils (200 mg. each). An hour later, nothing. My head was still pounding. I could feel my head pulse with each heart beat extending behind my ear to the back of my jaw. My throat felt as if someone had taken a cheese grater to it and then poured tobasco sauce on it. I waited 2 hours and took 3 advils instead. Still, nothing. I waited 3 hours and tried 4 advils. This is equivalent to 800 mg., which I believe is starting prescription strength. Still nothing! Since ibuprofen is toxic to the GI tract, especially the stomach, I decided to wait a full day and try Tylenol.

That night was miserable. I couldn't sleep. I had to put on extra blankets. I know I kept Zelda up as well. At about 4:00 am the next morning, I couldn't take it anymore. I went ahead and took the 4 Tylenols (2 grams of acetominophen). After an hour, I started to feel the wonderful sensation of sweat on my head fall across my face. Yep, my fever started to break a little. Not five minutes later did my headache calm down. Aaaahhhh! a little better. I started to have hope that Zelda and I would be able to do something for our anniversary on Sunday. Unfortunately, after 2-3 hours, the everything came back. That night, we had promised friends that we would make it to their birthday party. After taking a nice hot shower, my fever broke again. So, I decided that I would try and make it to the party with the possibility that we may have to cut out early.

We got to the party, Zelda ordered a long island iced tea. I had coffee. We saw friends we haven't seen in quite awhile. Not 15 minutes after arriving did I start to feel the chill. Another 15 minutes later, the headache. Zelda has having so much fun that I didn't want to ruin it for her. I had to publicly spoon with her in an attempt to warm myself up. I started heaving. Thank god I was right next to the trash can. I held out for a couple more hours just for her. Eventually, everyone asked me if I was okay because I was more quiet than normal. I told them I was sick. They felt my forehead and knew I was running a high fever. I told everyone I was going to hold out for as long as possible since it was our friends birthday. Finally, everyone decided that I had had enough. We went home. That's when I got online and published my post for Zelda on our anniversary.

Anniversary day involved me in bed under several blankets. The only thing we did that day was to go eat Dim Sum. Again, I took a hot shower first so that the fever would break for a couple of hours. Afterwards, crawled right back into bed waiting to go to the doctor's office on Monday.

That was the weekend, everyone. Zelda has been very understanding and extremely helpful. Rest assured, I will make it up to her because she deserves it.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Happy 6th Year Anniversary


Dear Zelda,

Today marks 6 years of us being married. It seems like yesterday when I opened the door to my parents house and saw what I thought was an angel. I remember the instant when I realized that I wanted you. I don't remember ever wanting anyone else as much as I wanted you.

You've been my best friend for years. I remember when we were talking about my relationship problems. You gave me a hug and as we released each other, our lips almost brushed against each other. We both leaned forward, but we had to stop. It took every once of will power for me not to kiss you that night.

These past six years, I have grown to love you more each and every day. Sure, we had problems. But, the fact that we are still together tells me that we are in this for the long haul. I wouldn't have it any other way. Everything we have done, we have done together. I look forward to growing old with you by my side.

I'm not as eloquent as you are with words. So, I just tell you that I love you more than life itself. You will always by my my best friend, my lover, my wife.

Happy 6th year Anniversary.

Friday, March 04, 2005

I'm too old for this shit.

I know Zelda said that last week. For me, it's today.

My throat hurts, my head is pounding, and I can't stay awake. Last night, I pulled another all nighter. I'm so fuckin' tired. I had to do an entire business plan as if I were opening up a practice. I managed to do a months worth of work in just a few days. I can remember in my late teens and early 20's. All nighters were no problem. My body and mind were working as one. It was "ALL NIGHTER! Wooo hoo! We can do it!" Of course, we were partying instead. I just can't do it anymore. What the hell is it with the human body that says, "30 years old? Fuck you, brain. I'm going to sleep." My brain is fighting with my body saying, "Wake up asshole! Wake up!"

Coffee doesn't even work anymore. I've taken 2 NoDoz pills and nothing. I was once blogging in bed and feel asleep. My finger was on the "m". I think there was about 5000 pages of it before I realized that I had dozed off. That's it....I think I'm going to cut out of the clinic early, go home, and get some rest. Sorry everyone, I can't think right now. I'll post something more nice this weekend.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Kill the Wabbitt Part II

Okay, my first class was let out a little early so I have some time to tell ya'll this story.

Thanks to Seven for reminding me of this story. Years ago, my best friend, Mason, and a few others, including his dad went hunting for West Texas jackrabbits. They're much bigger than other rabbits, which means more meat. His father had just bought a really nice brand new truck with offroad tires. They loaded all of their firearms, ammo, food, and beer (of course).

It was dark when they drove onto the field with the passenger spotlighting. The spotlight searched through the darkness. Eventually, it stopped on a big one. The truck stopped. Instantly, you could hear 9mm handguns, .357 magnums, 12 gauge shotguns, and even an AR-15. It sounded like World War III. Mason's dad was cringing with each blast. He was thinking, "Shit! These damn drunks are going to kill my brand new truck!"

The rabbit actually took off TOWARDS the truck. Finally, after hundreds of rounds and several reloads, the shooting stopped. The beer made them forget that if you shoot up game like that, chances are, you're not going to get very good, if any, meat off of it.

The spotlight scanned the area for blood trails. Nothing was found. Mason decided to go check on foot. As he jumped out of the truck, he landed right on top of the rabbit snapping its neck. When he picked up the rabbit, they couldn't find one bullet or shot wound in it. All those fireworks shot off by a bunch of drunks and not one thing hurt the rabbit until Mason jumped out of the truck. The truck also suffered no wounds. Amazing.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Busy, busy, busy

I've got so much to do over the next few weeks. I'll try to visit some of your sites when I take breaks. That being said, I just cut and paste what I posted at Community Justice. It's just my opinion on free speech. Still, I think it's important. So, enjoy and I'll try to enter blogsphere when I can.

There was a graduate course that I took once where the professor ran the course a little differently than what was expected. One of our assignments was a 10 page paper. One student, who dropped the class, turned in one page. On that one page, the student wrote how much the class sucked and how he/she thought it was a complete waste of time.When the professor returned the papers, he picked that one page out and began reading the contents of the paper. Then, he said that he gave the paper an "F". However, the REASON he gave the paper an "F" was because the person could not back up their argument. He actually said that the paper itself had potential to be an "A". However, with no arguments to back up the claim, it was worthless. If the student had explained WHY the class sucked, and made a good argument, he would've given the paper a passing grade. That's what graduate studies are supposed to be like.

Now, I tell this story because I want people to know that blogland encourages lively debate. If you want to say that I'm a Nazi, fine....prove it. If you can't, your argument is not only worthless, it shows bigotry. Or, do you simply have the intellect of a child that can only resort to name calling? At my site, you can say whatever you want as long as you can back up your claim with logic, reasoning, or facts. I've been called all kinds of things my whole life. I understand that if I put out a controversial opinion, I will get retaliation for it. No problem there...just prove your argument! The recent acts of cowards who dish it out, but don't have the guts to take it have encouraged me to join Seven, Trash, and others on this fight. We're not saying that you don't have the right to do what you have done. Just understand that there are consequences for the crap that you try to pull. You have your freedom of speech and so do we. We have the freedom to post your information all over the internet. We have the freedom to report you if you commit a crime. We have the freedom to react to your actions. Freedom swings both ways. You want to hide behind it? We can use it to flush you out.