Unsolved Mysteries

Growing up I loved Unsolved Mysteries. But I think we all did. The super creeping music followed by Robert Stack’s deep thundering voice. It is a show that does re-enactments of different mysteries. Often times it is a murder, a kidnapping or a questionable suicide. We were all drawn in and by the end of the show everyone has a thought as to what happened. Quickly we are invested and want to help find answers for these families. The reason for episode is that the team investigating does not have the answer.

It was at this time I realized that I loved collecting information to help solve a problem. Robert Stack inspired me. I love playing Clue and think that Ms Scarlet should never be in the Conservatory with a rope. I went to a murder mystery and many thought I was the murderer because they did not believe I was actually a physician. This is the world of diagnosis. We collect information, focus on history, follow up with an exam and then order labs/diagnostic reports to try and figure out the answer.

Thankfully Netflix has brought back Unsolved Mysteries. It quickly rose to number one on the Netflix list. Why? Because we as humans are problem solvers. But this show is helpful to young physicians. The premise of the show is to get a great history, present it to the world and see if others can help add information to come to a final diagnosis. From Agatha Christie to Robert Stack to Anthony Fauci we need problem solvers.

I see patients with symptoms and complaints that have not been diagnosed. But I will not give up. Robert Stack never did. But the show has inspired and helped influence my training. Hear the history again. Bring patients back for another visit to hear how the history has changed. Ask colleagues for advice. Ask the patients what diagnosis they are concerned with. Examine a patient more than once. Order tests that fit your differential diagnosis. Patients are not like test questions. You do not need an answer after a 15 minute visit. Do not give up. Listen and learn. At the end of the day you may realize that Mr Green fell in the kitchen while holding a knife because his neuropathy was due to Charcot Marie Tooth.

The Doc is In

Magic Mouthwash

Of all words that we should not use in science magic is at the top of the list. Yet we still are prescribing magic mouthwash. Sore throats are a common complaint in the office. So why do some of us decide to add a little magic mouthwash in the mix. What is magic mouthwash anyway? It depends on who you ask. In my world it is a prescription of viscous lidocaine. Some physicians add Maalox while some add Benadryl but some get crazy and add both.

Yet sore throats happen. Most are from viruses but some come from bacteria. Most of us have had Strep Throat at some point. This needs antibiotics. Luckily it still responds to penicillin. Not many illnesses still respond to regular penicillin. Strep throat and Syphilis. The antibiotics help prevent the bacteria from spreading to heart valves but they do not treat the pain. This is where the magic comes in.

Yet we still pretend like there is magic in medicine. Supplements are magical to patients. I start my days on time yet magically end up behind every day. I had a patient who said that a magician made his Vicodin disappear like a rabbit. We discuss the art of medicine. We know there is an art to performing card tricks.

But if your throat is really hurting you should reach for ibuprofen or Tylenol. Leave the magic mouthwash alone. Put the supplements down. Or if you have kids grab some popsicles. They do seem to magically make their sore throats go away. Because they are magically delicious.

The Doc is In

Jason Voorhees

That guy was scary. Almost everyone that is currently in their 40s had a nightmare after watching Friday the 13th. You would run from Jason as fast as you can. Yet he would take his time walking through the woods and still catch his prey. It is amazing that any of us ever wanted to go to summer camp after watching any of these movies. What else made him scary? His mask. The goalie mask. I blame Jason for making masks scary.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. A chance to be creative. To change into another personality or character for at least one night. There are different ways to do Halloween. Using your own clothes to create a character. There is a grown man that I see in the world and every time I just remember him from the Halloween that he was Miley Cyrus. But often we wear masks. Scary masks. Hide under leaves and jump out to scare the trick or treaters with your ghoul mask and then will run for cover. Like Jason Voorhees is chasing them.
Facial expressions are also masks. Everyone has had a bad day at work yet put on the mask of happiness to help make it through the day. We can present ourselves in a certain way by wearing our own masks while exploring the world we live in. Some of us are better than others but we all have our own version of daily masks.

Now masks are everywhere. People are making cloth masks. Health care professionals are discussing the differences between surgical and N95 masks. Yet some people do not want to wear masks. I am not angry with them. I am trying to be understanding. Masks have been a sign of danger for years. But we are at a time in humanity that the meaning of masks has to change. They should start to feel reassuring. When I see someone wearing a mask I appreciate that they care about others. I wear my mask to protect you from myself. Make masks beautiful.

As a physician I have had friends/patients ask me if “I am scared of the coronavirus?” My answer – It is more frightening than Jason Voorhees.

Married to a Rapper

What is it like being married to a Rapper…

Well, let’s take it back to 2008 when we met. I was completely shocked when he told me he rapped (due to how shy and quiet he is). I just thought he was trying to look cool and score some extra points, but then he played me all his mixes and I was like WOW, he really is a rapper and extremely talented! I thought it was really cool driving around playing his mixes in my car like, yeah my boyfriend raps! My favorite was when he would make mention of me in them, but I mean that is obvious because I love when people talk about me!! But then he kinda took a break, he would do a few mixes here or there but he just put it on the back burner and lost the drive for it.

This is until Doc and the Deacon podcast was born and he was asked to be a part of it. He got his mojo back!!

Everyone who knows us as a couple knows that I’m the outgoing, loud one and he is very laid back and quiet. I think that is what makes our relationship work so well, we balance each other out. But there is a side to Franchise that not a lot of people get to witness due to how shy he is. But he really is a ton of fun! Honestly, I cannot even think of the words to describe how impressed I am that he can do what he does. You give him any topic and then all of a sudden the gears start turning and he just comes up with bars. Even if he has no idea about the subject, he always makes sure he does his research and gives 100%. Between hearing the beats and placing the words, it’s really impressive. The only downfall to it is, he is his own WORST critic. Myself and sooo many others will say that track is hot, it was so good and in his mind he’s like “I should of did this differently or did that.” It will take him listening to the final version more than a handful of times before he’s like “You know what. That is good.” That is the most frustrating part about being married to him when it comes to his music (I mean there is other non-Franchise things that frustrate me, but we will save that for another time.)

Overall, I would have to say it’s pretty cool to say I’m married to a rapper, we just need to break him out of his shy shell a little bit more. I think a ton of mango cart beers will help nicely with that.

Wifey of Franchise

Death of the Handshake

Physicians have been taught about the power of touch. Look a patient in the eye. Give them a strong handshake. Good patient care has shown that patients have a better experience when you sit down. They often report that a physician spent more time with the patient if the physician was seated and was close to the patient. Physicians were called healers before medical schools existed. The laying on of hands and healing has been known for thousands of years. Touch is one of the senses that is controlled by many different areas of the brain. For years I have checked every patient’s pulse myself to begin the process of laying on of hands.
The laying on of hands has been slowing going away. My mentor taught me every physical exam skill that existed. They all had names from the McMurray’s and Rovsing’s and no one will forget the Dix-Hallpike. But we have worried that these skills are diminished in younger physicians. Because of more lab tests and MRI’s and CT scans. As opposed to a thorough history and exam we just scan bellies at this time. We need to preserve these skills and the art of touch.
Or should we? The coronavirus is here, and our lives have been changed. We immediately have started doing telemedicine. We will see patients in the office by only if they are not sick. If you have a fever or cough instead of an exam trying to find a cause, we have transitioned to encouraging patients to hide in their basements. As an outpatient family physician, we are trying to treat the ill while staying healthy ourselves. Hospital based employees are out there everyday seeing sick patients while in PPE trying to get minimal touch/exposure to the patients they are seeing. It is hard to look at someone closely with a mask and goggles on.
The handshake is dead. A pandemic killed the handshake. Likely for the better. But hopefully the laying on of hands will return. It has been hard times, but I am excited for the day that I can hug a patient that is struggling. The handshake may be dead. But hugs will last forever.

The Doc Is In

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