Sunday, April 26, 2009

Influenza Hits Again

Update (April 29th): One dead in Texas. Suspected case in Israel. There is no reason to panic, I'm very serious. The "human" influenza killed much more people this year and nobody was that anxious about it.

Update (April 28th): 19 suspected cases in Asutralia. Passengers on a plane from New Zealand with a suspected case are being traced. "Swine flu" is probably the wrong name given the virus, but who cares anyway.

Update (April 28th): 2000 cases in Mexico with 149 deaths. Two new cases in Scotland. The flu shot doesn't work. Wash your hands.

Update(April 27th): Two more in Kansas, total of 28 cases in New York. The WHO raises the pandemic alert for swine flu. Obama: "Swine flu cases not a cause for alarm". I agree with Obama , at least for now.

UPDATE (April 27th) : Six new cases in Canada. One suspected cases in Spain.
the good news: two anti-viral medications work against the virus. Don't take them unless you have symptoms.

UPDATE (April 26th): the number of deaths increased to 103 in Mexico. New cases have been reported in Ohio and New York.

Two events took place last week that reminded the world how aggressive and fatal influenza can be. In Egypt, two women died from the avian (bird) influenza infection. Meanwhile in Mexico, 68 people died from another type of influenza virus, called the swine (pig) influenza.

The virus is smarter than humans. It has the ability to change its genetic component in a very unpredictable way that allows it to become more aggressive, more easily transmissible, and capable of infecting those who were vaccinated with a flu shot.

Ninety years ago, during the famous 1918 Spanish influenza epidemic that had nothing to do with Spain, more than 5% of the world population died from influenza. Most of those who died were young and healthy. Very recently and after a lot of controversy, scientists went back and isolated that 1918 virus and infected mice with it, and found that the vigorous immune response of the infected victims caused their death. That explained why the more healthy people died from the infection.

The worrisome thing about the swine influenza infection is that it can be transmitted from human to human. There are currently 8 cases in the US, six in California and two in Texas, and only one of those has been to Mexico and none of them had contacts with pigs.

Influenza can spread on a large scale over the world just like the previous outbreaks did. It has the potential of infecting a large number of people especially in this age where thousands of international flights occur everyday. What's very promising is that vaccines and anti-viral medications can possibly control the spread of the virus before it kills 5% of the world population again.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Obama, the Coward?

A lot of Americans are very angry at Obama. They're mad because he shook hands with Hugo Chavez, because he mentioned opening a new page with Cuba and because he said that America's foreign policy was , at times, irresponsible and reflected a lot of arrogance, something that the whole world and the majority of Americans agree upon.

They are mad because they think that foreign policy should be run the same way a gang must be run. You have to show you've got balls. You have to talk down to other people, and if you think a leader is a dictator, whatever dictator means these days, you should spit on him in front of the world.

They believe George Bush was the right man to defend America and make it stronger, because starting wars was his game, and it showed that America has balls, that America can kick ass.
Those Americans are short-sighted and very unwise to say the least.

Any observer can tell that the US has got much weaker during Bush's presidency. to start with, he was responsible to a great degree of the 9/11 attacks. Numerous pieces of evidence showed that were many alarms of a large attack about to happen on US soil, and he failed to respond to that.

During the few years he ruled the world afterwards, he managed to make America weaker than ever before, and strengthened its potential enemies. Although there were no more men hijacking planes and driving them into buildings, the level of extremism especially in Pakistan and Afghanistan escalated to dangerous levels.

Bush lost his war in Afghanistan. Taliban is very popular these days over there, and they control large areas of land. Taliban thrived not because Mulla Omar was an exceptional leader, but because many circumstances have allowed for something like Taliban to form. Bush killed and captured its leaders, but he has not changed the circumstances allowing for such violent hateful organisations to form.

Bush decided not to talk to Iran, because it was part of "the axis of evil" and he doesn't talk to the evil (not sure why he was still talking to Dick Cheney?). Iran now has advanced nuclear weapons that can hit many countries in the region. They have the final world in many decisions made in Beirut and Baghdad, something that never ever happened in the past.

Bush didn't talk to North Korea, because they're evil. Over the past few years North Korea has developed very advanced nuclear weapons that can target many many countries, and they really don't care what the US has to say about it.

Many Republicans argue that the UN is ineffective in minimizing the dangers of crazy leaders. However, when it comes to Iraq for example, the third country in the axis of evil, it was only the UN that was successful in disarming Saddam Hussein of all of his weapons of mass destruction, and it was the US who went to war for absolutely no justifiable reason. Besides the tragic loss that Iraqis had (losing their country and nearly 100,000 people), the US itself lost their economy, thousands of soldiers, and all the respect in the world. Any sympathy the world had to the US after 9/11 was lost during the Iraq war.

George Bush made the strongest country in the world a joke, but was smart enough to still convince his people that he was the tough guy who protected his country from the evil doers. The fact is that his country was struck by a terrible attack because of his negligence, and all "the evil doers" got much stronger thanks to his policy of not talking to them or using the UN to limit their dangers.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye

The moment I met you my life changed. Yours too. From one quick look into your hazel eyes I could tell your life story; how you loved your life but life didn't love you back, how much you loved people but all what they did was look down on you and if they had the chance, step on you and treat you like an worthless insect that deserved no respect. You had many questions and I had all the answers. I read you and you read me, and our journey began on a chilly December Arizonan night.

We had our ups and downs. I worked all day long and couldn't see you, and when I came back home we didn't talk much. Our relationship soured one day after another and I only blame myself for that. When I felt I was losing you I chased you from one corner to another. Every time I'd get closer to you you'd slip away. I only wanted to know you better, to feel you, to smell you, even taste your secrets like no man had ever done, but you ran away from me. You were scared of me and I was scared of myself for you made me discover the big coward living inside of me. When I realized what I've done it was too late to fix anything.

Even when you're gone now, I can still see you in my vivid dreams, and sometimes feel you sneak underneath my pillow and touch my lips and perhaps give me a kiss I thought I did not deserve. I didn't mean to hurt you so bad, I didn't mean to make you look smaller every day in my eyes. I now cannot live with the fact that history can repeat itself and I can repeat the same mistake again.

(Dedicated to the lovely cockroach I found in my bathroom last winter. Since then I've sprayed her with different sprays, including a hair spray, and poured some good Absolut Vodka over her sacred body until she shrunk to a microscopic size. RIP)

Friday, April 17, 2009

BiMonthly Video: Disgusting Domino's

I saw another clip where a Domino's worker coughs intentionally into a sandwish.
this is terrible!
The 2 workers were fired.
This comes as part of my bimonthly videos.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Deaf Man Walking

I saw Mr. Brown last year, and placed on intravenous amikacin, hoping we may be able to stop it in a few weeks.

He had missed a few appointments and finally showed up 10 months later.
I wanted to check him for potential side-effects of amikacin, like kidney failure and hearing loss.

"Hello Mr. Wislon"
"How are you doing?"
"How are you doing?"
"Are you having any hearing problems?"
"I said shit"
"Good" and he smiled.

I went outside and saw my attending.
"Mr. Wislon can't hear anything", I said
"Did he use to hear well last year?", I asked
"Yes, I'm sure he did"
"I know"
"But I'm glad someone can at least hear what I'm saying"

Take-home message: Never miss a clinic appoitnment.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Jo and Jihan

* JO Magazine now has a website (finally). You can check it here. After Shihan, Al-Ahali, Al-Anbat, Al0-Sabeel, al-Mashreq....etc had their own wbesite, now JO has one. You can only subscribe to it if you live in Jordan, and if you live in Jordan there's actually no point of subscription since you can get it anywhere.

* A Jordanian girl named Jihan attempted sucidide (or as Al-Sawsaneh reproted it: did commit suicide but didn't die!!). Here's a clip of the attempt taken by one of the fifty million cell phone camreras of people-with-nothing-else-to-do (we have fifty million of them). Here's a clip of the incident, with comments focsuing on hijab, Jordanian-Palestinian racism, and want kind of chips was she eating on the roof of the building.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Strange Medicine

Just when I thought Bahrain was among the more progressive Arab countries, this comes up!

"Male doctors may not be allowed to treat female patients"

This, again, confirms my belief that the people who come with such rules are the one most obsessed with sex.

Monday, April 06, 2009


Just like most doctors, I really really hate seeing a doctor.

I finally decided to see one after 4 years of no medical supervision.

After she saw my ass-kicking record-breaking weight she asked, "How much do you exercsie?"

"I do not".

I did some blood work. She called back 2 weeks later, "Your blood work is (surprisingly) normal. Your HDL, the good cholesterol, is a little on the low side though..... but that could be from all that exercise you're doing"

You know your lifestyle is not healthy when even your doctor is making fun of it. Also, the way she was making fun of me (her patient) reminded how I was talking to some of my patients on several occasions. I finally got a tatse of my own poison ... and it felt sooo good!

Attitudes and Altitudes

I was talking to a patient who used to work at the Stock Market, "your white count is 0.5 today"

"And what was it yesterday doc?"
"It was 1.0"
"So it's much lower!"
"Well it's not a big difference from yesterday"
Once I said that, he went ape shit on me, screaming for ten minutes, "How come you're saying it's not different, it's half the number, it was 1.0 yesterday and today it's 0.5, it dropped by 50%, it's much worse, I know there's something wrong with me". If it wasn't for the IVs he was hooked to, I felt he was going to get up and rip my face off.

I told him, "I know you're sick, what I meant to say, is that even though your white cell count is much lower than yesterday that doesn't change things because it was very low to start with. You were sick from the start, 1.0 is a pretty low number, so even if it dropped by half, it's still pretty low"

He calmed down a little bit, and I went on, "It's like falling down from 20,000 feet. Yesterday you falling from 20,000 feet. Today you're falling from 40,000 feet. It's just as bad even if the number is doubled. "

His face turned red, not sure why.

I really hate it when my patient scream at me in the ICU.

(P.S. he's doing fine now, that damn HCTZ killed all of his white cells)

Friday, April 03, 2009


I will always stand behind Argentina, the greatest football team that ever played a football game, the most creative collection of heroes who ever stepped on a football field, led by the most genius of all geniuses, the inspration of the most inspired, the poem and song of football, the best human being to ever dance with the ball, the only super-human to ever exist and the greatest man alive Mr. Diego Armando Maradona

Diego, we're your slaves and football's your bitch