Thursday, April 16, 2009

the ferrari

sometimes parents don't appreciate how good their children are. really. i had some great 2 year olds yesterday, i mean really nice, non-fit-throwing, polite, fun 2 year olds. the parents of these kids didn't see many problems with the behavior of the children but they (i think) failed to grasp the absolute delightfulness of them.
it's kind of like if someone gave you a ferrari for your first car and you'd never had any other car, and you didn't know much about cars. people would comment on your car regularly - 'wow, cool car', etc. but to you it was just a car. it started in the morning when you needed it to and hadn't left you stranded at any time. 
these kids were ferraris. they were exceptional but due to no point of reference to compare with, the parents just took for granted that all kids were like this. didn't everyone have a ferrari? are ferraris cooler than other cars?
maybe you had really wanted a pickup or a suburban and all you see is the lack of space to store stuff. maybe you're scared of driving fast and all this thing seems to do is accelerate.
appreciate your ferraris. recognize them. praise the good stuff generally and generously (you are the coolest kid around! i think you're great! thanks for such a great day/week!) and criticize specifically (i can't allow you to do/say that. we don't hit/bite, etc.). so you're creating an ambience of positivity with this general 'gee, you're super' and in that context you are able to work on the fact that your ferrari doesn't have much trunk space more specifically without losing sight of its 'ferrariness'.
addendum: some days we all think we have a ferrari, or if we told him or her enough good stuff that he or she would become a ferrari. don't lie to your kids to improve their self esteem. just honestly enjoy them, whatever they may be. that is the truest form of love, to love without condition, just because you 'own' this kid you love him, because she's yours you will never not love her. so i guess i'm looking for that balance: of positivity and truth, of appreciation with no conditions - i love you because you're you. this level of contentment is a blessing i wish i could instill/inject/impart into so many parents - it's not what they do or where they go or how well they do - if they are yours, you love them, and i know it, so let them know it, then all the rest, like growing up and being good kids and getting good grades and going to a good school and marrying the right person and having you some grandkids...that's all just icing on the cake.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

immune tire change

God does work in mysterious ways. He showed me a couple of things as I was changing my tire in the snow a couple of weeks ago, then He added to it today, again while changing a tire. Different tire, same car, though. This car has had more than its share of flat tires.
The first lesson: think of vitamin/mineral/antioxidant/omega 3/probiotic supplements as tools needed to change a tire - like the jack, the lug wrench, the actual spare - real or donut. If you've been taking in enough supplements or have been getting these items in your regular diet then when you get a flat tire - catch a cold, tummy bug, strep throat - you can change that tire without too much trouble. Your body can fight off that cold with the appropriate weapons at its disposal. However, if you're short on any or all of these things, you may have to call for help in changing that tire. You might even have to get a tow. So, instead of a cold that's zapped by the immune system quickly, it turns into an ear infection or bronchitis, or you get dehydrated from the stomach flu. that? Keep plenty of tools stocked up so when the inevitable occurs you can fight it off like it's no worse than a flat tire.
Lesson #2: the 2nd flat tire in just a few weeks on the same car. Think of the car as the body, the tires as a part of that body. Think of the law of chance. One flat tire is bad luck, a 2nd is either really bad luck or there's a problem with the tires or the car or the road or something. So...the more flat tires the more likely it's not 'just a cold' and may be allergies, or it may be that there is a food intolerance causing the diarrhea, not 'just a stomach flu'. This is one of the ways we, as physicians, can either tell you 'it's just a cold' because lots of kids have come in with the same thing, or can reassure you that kids this age get ear infections every so often and unless they don't get better in a couple of months, the child will 'fix his own flat'. But weird things happen and when we see either a lot of flats in a certain neighborhood we investigate for nails in the road or a vandal slashing tires. If this is the only car that keeps having flats then the problem is probably with the car itself - the child may have an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. 
So, flat tires are common. Most cars come equipped with a kit that has all the things required to change a tire. However, if one has to change the tire quite often, some of the tools may wear out, break, or the spare tire may become damaged. Kids come with a 'kit' that has all the necessary 'tools' to get him or her over the common cold or stomach flu. However, after a few of these 'bugs' the 'tool kit/immune system' gets tired, gets used up, needs repair or replacement. Things like daycare centers, schools, poor diets, lots of siblings - any extra 'nails' around that can puncture a tire often - cause the depletion of the 'tool kit' and require more vigilance on the part of the 'owner' of the 'car' to keep it running well and not requiring visits to the 'mechanic'. 
that's about it, so far.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

miracle drug?

there is a new combination of drugs that is being studied. it's much the same as nyquil only it's for heart problems and not cold symptoms. currently it's being called the 'polypill' or 'polycap'. it contains 3 different types of blood pressure medicines, a cholesterol lowering drug, and aspirin. my comment when i first heard about it was "you won't know which one made you better", but my wife, tainted as she has been by years of living with and listening to me, said, "or, you won't know which one killed you". 

Friday, April 10, 2009


i'm going to run for some congressional seat or another, and my first bill to propose will be a slam dunk. it's going to make both sides happy and solve all our problems with healthcare spending, at least for prescription drug coverage.
i'll put forth a bill that will make the government pay for all prescription drugs, then, inside the bill, there will be legislation to make almost all current prescription drugs over the counter. 
brilliant, eh? at least for a few seconds it seems that way. no telling what would happen. i'm worried that too many people would be taking too many medicines they don't need for problems they don't have. oh wait, that's already happening...only it's us (the doctors) to blame. 

thank you

i shouldn't be allowed to read the paper. i come up with weird random radical thoughts.

so, if a group of people today volunteered to die 10 years early compared to the rest of the population, therefore consuming fewer resources, leaving a smaller carbon footprint, using less of their social security, easing the population explosion, all while increasing the income of both private industry and the federal government, wouldn't we congratulate them for that? give them a party? medals? their own memorial? i mean, this is a group who is willingly choosing to check out early from this hotel california, leaving more for the rest of us. they must be, depending on your worldview, either true christians for their selflessness, true environmentalists for their grasp of the big picture as it relates to humans being the biggest reason it's getting harder for the earth to sustain more humans, or the highest order of animal if you're a peta person who, while considering animals and humans equal in their worth, knows that animals who can contemplate their impact on the world around them further than their next meal would of course decide to move over and let others have more room to exist. any way you spin it, this is a good deal, right? i mean, these folks are knowingly going to give up 10 years of potential life.
so i propose that we change a few of our signs. first,  not 'thank you for not smoking', but 'thank you for smoking - just don't do it right here'.  a new one, 'smoking saves lives - just not yours'.
there are more, i'm sure. my affection for reverse psychology is irresistible here - by promoting smoking (like big tobacco doesn't already do that, by reverse psychology) we would be actually decreasing the number of new smokers. by encouraging kids to smoke, they'd come home from school saying 'are you trying to kill me? don't you know what this does to your lungs?' instead of  'i know that happens to everybody else who smokes, but it won't happen to me'.
we could, after seeing the success of the reverse psychology campaign for smoking, venture into other areas - i envision the teacher taking the condom off of a banana, demonstrating how to properly tourniquet one's arm to shoot up heroin, of course using a dirty shared needle, while drinking a fifth of jack daniels and driving down the highway. it could work!
addendum: the article in the paper said that while smokers cost more in healthcare dollars than nonsmokers BUT they died on average 10 years earlier so the total 'lifetime' cost was actually lower. this was my 'inspiration'.