Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Word of Thanks

Before settling in to write, I'd like to offer a word of thanks to everyone who's come by to read this week. I'm up to my neck in family medicine and by the time I get back to my temporary digs for the evening, my brain is swimming with diagnoses, treatment options, and reading assignments I've got to complete. Despite all my good intentions, writing has had to take a back seat the past few days, whether I like it or not.

Aside from that, however, the week has gone incredibly well and once again, I've seen conditions that one rarely sees, if ever. For instance, I've gotten to chat with a patient who has Whipple's Disease, an extremely rare condition that has been diagnosed only about five hundred times since its discovery. Most students never have an opportunity like this and I'm extremely grateful for the chance to have heard what it's like from one who's clearly suffered a great deal with it.

Patients are truly the best instructors and today, one of them was a five year old with hair as red as Ron Weasley's. His mother came in for an exam and while she was ensconced with my preceptor, "Junior" and I went out into the waiting room and looked at story books and talked about great adventures. When it came time for his wellness check, I was his pediatrician. It was my first time at bat doing a physical on a child and he was wonderful. I couldn't have ordered a better instructor if I'd had a list to choose from.

And then, there was an opportunity to do some osteopathic manipulative medicine on a patient complaining of back pain. Face-on, he was standing a bit crookedly; when turned around, his spine imitated the "S" on Superman's jumpsuit. His story was typical for this time of year. He was shoveling snow, leaned down, twisted, and yikes! It was his sacroiliac, as osteopathic students are probably guessing, and I was once again glad for a month of OMM practice and review before coming to northern Maine.

Anyway, now you know what I've been doing when I'm not writing, and hopefully, I'll make up for it fairly diligently this weekend. In the meantime, thanks once again.

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