Eh-team Menu

26 August 2009

Spring is here…Gimme my AC!!!

  Spring has arrived in Brisbane, and the temperature is regularly climbing over the 30 mark. Nights are still very pleasant (20 ish). I have broken out my shorts again, and started to use the AC. Makes for a bigger electrical bill, but the ability to sleep at night is totally worth it.
  Last weekend I joined the TROHPIQ (Towards Rural and Outback Health Professions in Queensland)club again for a roadtrip to Cherbourg and Kingaroy. It was a very enlightening trip, especially with regards to Aboriginal Health. At the turn of the century, people from 26 different tribes and territories were rounded up and dumped in Cherbourg, with the hopes that they would either become "civilized" or quietly die and go away. This resulted in huge hardships, conflicts within the community and dismal health outcomes. Even as late as 1986, residents required a permit to shop in the neighbouring town, and to this day, no one is allowed to operate a shop. The government has also declared Cherbourg a "Dry" town, meaning no alcohol is allowed anywhere within a certain radius. Cherbourg is still struggling to become a functional community. The town has a health plan instigated by the people who live there, which takes into account the spiritual and cultural health of the people it serves. We toured the health facilities and heard about the town's history. They were well prepared for us, and were almost desperate to make us understand where they were coming from. I learned more in 3 hours there than I had the previous 8 months of program, with regards to Indigenous health care.
  Then we went on to Captain's Paddock winery for a wine tasting. This area is known as the South Burnett region, and apparently is studded with orchards and wineries. Lovely area and a great time was enjoyed. We spent the night in Kingaroy, and the next day toured the Kingaroy hospital, and practiced out suturing and plastering skills. Plaster of Paris drys quickly in the sun, and pretty soon all 16 of us had solid casts on our arms. So we were herded to the Emergency Department to play with the cast saw to remove them. I know for sure that this would be a great place to work, as the staff and doctors were heartily amused, and not annoyed, by our presence and disturbance. A good experience all around.
  Last stop was the "Peanut Van", a landmark in Kingaroy. this area also produces most of Australia's peanuts, and fresh nuts are sold from a caravan, in about 40 different flavours. Yummy! We then headed back home and back to reality.
We are now working full throttle on musculoskeletal block, with impending neuro-psych as a last stop. So we have dealt with a case of Osgood Schlatter's syndrome (bones grow faster than the tendons of the leg, and start to pull bits of bone away from the tibia, and this week we are talking about Osteoporosis with respect to a hip fracture. The "case" also seems to have dementia so introducing psych unit a bit early. There are only 7 weeks left in this semester. Yikes!

11 August 2009

New Niece

WOOT!!!:  My new niece,  Hunter, was at 2:09 on the afternoon of August 9th, 2009.  Congrats to Rick and Tracy.

I haven't written for a while, so I beter get my butt in gear.  The weekend before last I went to Deadwood to visit Mom.  We had a lovely visit.  Sunday I went to the Manning museum pancake breakfas with Barb (my sister) and Jim. I then went to church with Tavia and Micheal.  At church I met up with the whole Nelson clan.  Tana, Collin and Anita were all home with their respective spouses.  I went out to lunch at their place and then supper at Tavia & Micheal's.  We ended up hanging out until well after midnight.

This week I took Friday off to have my one year Lasic eye exam.  Apparently the laser eye surgery went very well.  Each eye by itself has 20/20 vision and, to prove thing are beter together, both eyes are 20/15.  On the way home afterwards I drove by the theatre in St Albert.  Suddenly I though, "It's Friday afternoon, I'm not at work, I should go to a movie."  I saw "GI Joe".  Cool special effects and stuff, but I've come to the realization that they just went way too far beyond the bounds of believability.  The ice blocks falling through the water to crush underwater fortress was a bit much.

Saturday was evening service at church.  I was running projection Saturday and video cueing Sunday.  Big changes are coming.  This week they are installing two side screens and projectors.  That is going to make things at bit more complicated. I guess I'll see how it goes.

In the afternoon, I saw "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" with some friends.  Enjoyed it.  The first 20 minutes where in 3D; not sure if that was worth it though.  The preview of "A Christmas Carol" was a better use of 3D.

After supper I went to bed early. I woke up in the middle of the night, which is why I am writting this at 3:35am.  Starting to get tired, so I'll go back to sleep soon.

Good night all.

08 August 2009

Of bodies and minds….

This week has had some surreal moments attached to it. We are learning about the mechanisms of cancer, using examples of a 5 year old with leukemia and a woman with an unexpected result on mammogram, ending with her death of metastatic disease. Cheery stuff. My friend Jorin's daughter has was diagnosed with the same type of leukemia (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or ALL) at age 5, and is just to the maintenance phase of treatment. Their story has been blogged at The parallels were so eerie that I recommended Jorin's blog to the group (with permission) Even the drugs were the same, except now I know how they actually work.
the next strange moment was on Tuesday, during anatomy lab. Our group is dissecting an arm and shoulder section. As we finished cleaning up at the end, I walked by a large trolley bin, filled with skinned legs. The weird part was when I caught myself being blandly accepting of a bin full of cadaver (dead people) legs, as if it were a bin of potatoes at the store. Shouldn't I be somewhere between mildly nauseated to deeply disturbed? I am intrigued by my lack of emotional response. I'm pretty sure I'm not repressing.
Friday afternoon, I was invited by my mentor (from the Australian Medical Association), Dr. Chris Davis, to sit in on his geriatric dementia clinic. It turned out a colleague of his filled in at the last minute, but I was still allowed to observe. The first patient was experiencing memory loss, but was actually suffering with accompanying depression. The second was a patient with advanced Alzheimers disease who had exhausted most of the treatment avenues available. The drugs she was on caused Parkinson-like symptoms, and she is in the final stages of her struggle. The third was a patient diagnosed early with Alzheimers, but was responding extremely well to his medication. The disease was actually almost at a stand-still in it's progression. WOW. Even the consultant commented, "X is a poster patient for THAT drug company!" after the consultation. It IS good to see drugs actually working the way we hope, and people gain or at least keep their function as a result. Very encouraging. This afternoon DOES mean I need to do some serious reading and studying before the next time I sit in, in order to be able to understand more of what I am observing.