Thursday, February 26, 2009

Is It Possible That MySpace Is Ruining My Blogging?

I'm afraid so folks. This site satisfies my instant gratification whenever I post a comment or mail somebody. It's much more reliable than people reading blogs and not even make a comment. So you sort of feel like nobody is reading your blog at all.

Sure, you'll run into somebody at work who mentions something. But I guess I'm some comment mongrel who needs that recognition I guess.

I do try to leave some kind of comment on most people's blogs that I read. But luckily my blogs get sent to MySpace anyway and thus get the responses I crave. Isn't that weird to want that sort of reciprocation from my readers? But judging my Feedback, I seem to be very popular in Europe and Brazil. Go figure.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Smell Connection.


I am amazed how certain smells can take you back to a moment in time. I am constantly stopped dead in my tracks to try and identify a certain smell that reminds me of some moment in my memory bank.

Right now, our orange tree is just starting to bud blossoms. I'm instantly transported every March to the apartment my Mom and I were living in when I was about 5 years old. Faint cigar smoke reminds me of the small barber my dad used to take me to when I was probably about 3 or 4; but that was more of a blend between cigar smoke and a particular brand of butch wax but with a faint hint of Groom & Clean (mostly used for keeping flat tops neat).

The weirdest was when I had a full 60 second "movie clip" like flashback back at age 14. My dad had a collection of colognes on his bathroom sink. Since I was getting into hygiene at that age, I remember one weekend when I had a weekend visit, I decided to see what each one smelled like. There was typical musk, and other non specific brands like Old Spice, Hi Karate, etc. But when I got to this one bottle, after taking a whiff, I was 3 years old, being picked up at my Christian Preschool (still exists), driving out of the parking lot, pulling into Sierra Avenue, traveling only a few feet then pulling into the left hand turn lane to pull into the 1st National Bank, then driving up to a human operated drive-thru teller window....and that's it. All of that from one smell of cologne.

Certain solvents remind me of my Grandfather's helicopter hanger, Dove soap reminds me of my Great-Grandmother's bathroom, and Jessica McClintock perfume reminds me of my wife. And I'm sure I'm creating the same memories for my family as well. I'm hooked on an aromatherapy lotion that's sold at Bath & Body Works called "Stress Relief Eucalyptus Spearmint". It smells nothing like it's name and I don't really think it really relaxes me. But the smell is kind of a woody yet refreshing smell and doesn't resemble anything minty at all. It's very nice.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why Would You Ask Your X-ray Tech Something You Should Have Asked Your Doctor?

Have you ever seen the Christmas cult classic movie "A Christmas Story"? There's a scene where the main character 10 year old Ralphie is visiting a mall Santa at their local department store. When he finally gets to Santa, his mind goes blank and he's almost in a hypnotic state, frozen and unable to speak. Santa makes some suggestions to Ralphie about receiving some generic boy specific toy. Ralphie feebly responds in agreement and is prompty sent down the slide away from Santa. But it's at that point at the pennicle of the slide that Ralphie comes to his senses and blurts out what he really wants, the reason why he waited forever in line to request from Santa in the first place.

That scene is played over and over in my mind almost every day at my Radiology Department. I get questions everyday from patients that should have been asked while in the presence of their doctor, the whole reason for their visit in the first place. I imagine patients, like Ralphie, becoming entranced with what the doctor's opinion is in regards to their problem, illness, injury, etc.

But something happens between the doctor's exam room and my x-ray room. I get questions like,
"How long do you think it will be until I feel better?"
"Will I need surgery?"
"Do you think it's broken?"

Patients seem to think that we're on their side and are willing to give the "true story" while doctors are vague and tell them things they don't want to hear.

Truth is, most techs do know what's going on in an x-ray film, CT, MRI, Nuc Med scan, Ultrasound, Mammogram, Dexa scan, Angio, and Stereotactic Biopsy. But legally we our bound by law not to give out any interpretive results regarding a pathology finding. We have to use our best "poker face" and pretend nothing was seen. Evaluating, interpreting, or consulting is outside of our licensed scope of practice. If I give you the upward nod regarding your fractured wrist, even though you're going to hear it from your doctor in about 20 minutes, I loose my job and license to ever work again in my profession. At the pay rate and benefits I'm currently receiving, there's no way I'm sharing my secret with you, no matter how irrate and bugged you get. Tough, I want to keep my job. I'm not going to risk it just to make you happy or to help you win that bet with your wife.

I mean, how is this fracture information going to help you in the small moments before your doctor tells you? Do you not trust the doctor you're seeing in the first place? If that's the case then that's your issue to pursue, don't involve me in your doctor/patient situation. I'm providing a service to your doctor who then is providing a service to you. I'm the chef, your the customer and your doctor is the waiter. You don't bypass the waiter and ask the chef for more water, right?

Because I have some patients traveling to my clinic from long distances, I usually ask if they are supposed to bring the x-rays back to their doctor today. That opens up a whole bag of worms;
"Uh, do you think I should?"
"Why, did you see something? If you think I should then I will".

And then there's the classic, "Do you see anything on the x-ray?" This is the point where the whole patient and tech relationship has a tendency to get ugly. I once had a patient ask me directly;
Patient: "Did you see anything?"
Tech: "No, I can't read the x-rays".
Then the patient picked up a magazine, shoved it in my face and asked, "Well can you read THIS?"

I've even had patients tell me that they have a RIGHT to know what I saw. That's a good one. You want a scientific observation? Here's one; the louder the patient raises their voice to me is inversely proportional to their intellegence. It's all I can do to keep from laughing in their faces. People who don't really know their rights sure seem to KNOW their rights...in their minds anyway.

I have a more calm approach when it comes to these type of questions. Usually when I tell the patient I don't read the films, I get in response, "Ah, come on. You look at these films everyday." My response, "Hey, just because I look up and see clouds everyday doesn't make me a meteorologist". That comment usually puts a stop to the whole "let's see if I can get the tech to tell me" Q&A session.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Really Glad We Got More Rain!

I'm glad we're finally getting some more rain. I was starting to think that maybe we would start having an early Spring. Good thig because we need it.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Father's Perspective.


I've dreaded this moment for as long as I can remember. From the day she was born, all I could think about was how I would approach the situation when my daughter would start meeting boys.

When talking to other fathers, we all puff up and compare how we'd make this unfortunate male as uncomfortable as possible just to prove who's the real #1 in my daughter's life. You know the typical cleaning out rifles, animal head trophies, camouflage outfit. Heck I've even thought about working out more.

But it's happened and it's caught me off guard. Truth is this guy that she's met is very nice. Met my daughter at church during VBS last summer. They were friends then and now seem to be a little more interested in each other. They still to this day meet each other at church and sit in service together.

The problem is that I can't see anything wrong with this guy. No reason to puff up, no reason to lecture. He looks out for her, treats her with the highest respect, opens doors for her (a big thing to me), wants to meet me...which sort of freaks me out. Pop culture tells me to act as a threat, an incentive to keep this guy in line. But there's no need. I actually can be myself. He's met my wife and he's very normal, not in an Eddie Haskell way, but normal friendly. He's not afraid to act goofy (another big deal, he has to make her laugh) from what my daughter tells me. Plus the fact that he goes to another school keeps my daughter focused on her studies without the between class distractions.

This guy asked my daughter out to the winter dance and we let her go. She had a really good time. All of his friends were nice to my daughter, no drama.

So I guess I won't purchase that gun, put away the body armor, and just be happy for my daughter for now. But I won't completely relax, not until she's well into her 20's (LOL).

I've always loved this movie and thoroughly enjoyed this clip from Arthur, starring the late Dudley Moore....

Everything Is Moving Along.

So far at the Stewmade shop, we've got the ball rolling on about 3 projects; Orange Crate, 70's Appliance, and yet another "Stelly" sparkle finish guitar.

The Orange Crate has been somewhat of a challenge and has really required a lot of brain storming just figuring out how the wooden oranges are to be permanently fixed inside the guitar body. Plus figuring out wiring without any tell tale signs from any angle has been tough. But I'm going out today for a photo shoot to promote the guitar when it's done. I fear there won't be enough time before local oranges start falling off their branches. So I sort of completed the guitar enough that it would photograph well just in case. If I finish (est February 29th) and oranges are still hanging from the trees, then I'll take more pics.

Now for the others, I'm just waiting for wood and cases.