Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Gift That Keeps On Taking

Medicine has ruined many things in my life. My sleep, my social life, my pleasant and sunny demeanor. Hell, even my ability to be disgusted by all orifices of the human body. But there’s one thing I thought medicine could never ruin, something so sacred to my upbringing and heart that it has gone with me unscathed for 28 years. That is, until tonight. While on this heinous “jeopardy” rotation (see below), I am technically signed up for a radiology elective when I’m not covering for a sick or overwhelmed colleague, but in actuality, I am taking this time to catch up with the basic things in life. These include sculpting and toning my already perfect body to new heights, sleeping dangerous amounts, and my favorite pastime: watching movies.

(As an aside, I am a huge (HUGE) movie nut, and were my testicles larger I might have forgone the stability and predictability that a career in medicine provides to become a third-rate writer-director-producer and finally bring to life a full-screen adaptation of Tiny Toons and ThunderCats.)

Since my local video store went out of business a few months ago (thanks, Netflix!), I have resorted to perusing the cable movie options frequently and watching whatever interesting comes my way. Why not go to the theater, you ask? Well, because of this jeopardy rotation I can get paged away at any moment, and as such I wouldn’t be able to truly enjoy every minute of G.I. Joe and really feel like I spent $14 wisely.

Tonight, in another episode of my attempt to watch all the “good” old movies, I decided to view “Double Indemnity”:
This is a classic Billy Wilder film noir movie about a crooked insurance salesman, a psycho-bitch, and their attempt to commit some good old-fashioned murder/insurance fraud. I am sure there was great acting, brilliant repartee, and master film craftsmanship…but honestly I couldn’t say for sure whether there was or not. Why? Because I spent the whole movie having thoughts like these:
  1. Do these people realize that with the amount of smoking that they do on a daily basis (as depicted frequently in the film), they are going to come down with some pretty serious lung cancer in ten years?
  2. Why aren’t the people in the market who are around the people smoking having any problem with all the second-hand smoke?
  3. Do the guys in this film know that if they wear their pants up so high they’re probably decreasing their fertility by crushing their testicles and bringing them too close to the rest of their bodies?
  4. Why does the psycho-bitch not bleed profusely when she is shot twice in the chest at point blank range?
  5. I wonder if the short insurance salesman guy knows about the long-term risks of excessive alcohol abuse.

So, thank you, Medicine, for ruining yet another part of my life. Fortunately for you, almost every movie made these days sucks anyways, so I don’t think you can do too much harm. That is, unless you manage to distract me from the brilliance of Up by reminding me of the old dude’s Framingham risk score. Damn it.


Blogger KT said...

I know what you mean. I'm in the middle of a Mad Men marathon, and constantly diagnosing all sorts of diseases...

2:35 AM  
Anonymous Shell said...

Organic Chem ruined CSI for me.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Twanna A. Hines | said...

Oh, sweetpea, fear not! MANY things can ruin our lives :) If you went the producer-director-whatever route, you would've noticed problems with the film's lighting. I write, and you soooo don't want to know how many times I've listened to friends tell heart-breaking stories and immediately thought (or SAID): "You should write about that. People would want to HEAR that story."

4:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not related to your post. I sent you an email regarding a time sensitive decision I have to make and would really appreciate it if you could give me some advice in your copious free time! Of course, if you choose sleep over reading pesky emails, I completely understand :)
- shortiyergirl

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In between picking up another silly referral note (the way my 'internal medicine' ED works) and sending people home reassured that nothing life threatening is going on even if the PCP's EKG machine read myocardial infarction for the thirteenth time in six months or explaining that it would feel unpleasant after administering adenosine it sometimes happens. I too can go out. Enjoy the sun. Go to the seaside. Or swim in the lake.
I never see the old lady who has diabetes and is walking barefoot. Or the chain smoker having COPD. Or whatever bizzare combination of everyday life and disease.
Medicine takes it all, brother. But sometimes it gives you something in return.
I had diagnosed a treatable and common disease in a fairly young man who has had psychoneurologycal (with some serious high-tech diagnostic procedures behind him) problems for some time and was often disoriented. Could not even take walks. Afterwards - when he was metabolically stable - he could go to the woods and pick blueberries. Alone. One day he and his wife presented me with a small box of those. By no means this is a SOP and I never accept any gifts. Of course I thought of tick-borne diseases a fraction of a second later but... Well, it got me through the week. I still do hate what medicine is doing to me or maybe I hate myself for trying but my dragging through shit (while it will last) has at least some purpose for someone. I somewhat fail to see it myself right now.
Wish you all good! BV

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yay, you're back you bastard!

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Chronicles of a Medical Student said...


1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Totally agree!

11:24 PM  
Blogger Old MD Girl said...

She gets SHOT at the end?????

(I happen to have this movie at home right now -- I am not joking.)

Oh well, more excuse to send it back early without finishing it. My husband really wants to see the Shield Season 7 disk 4 anyway.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife is an Internist and she HATES it!

5 days a week of patients bitc!! and complaining with ever increasing political BS, along with paperwork that is out of control are just a few issues that negatively impact quality of life.

Not to mention, the scope of patient care that a PCP is expected to master and remain proficient at is Ludicrous!!


9:59 AM  
Blogger marry said...

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!

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3:15 AM  

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