Monday, May 31, 2010

Argentina, the Dream is Approaching

Diego Armando Maradona, the genius of geniuses, has arrived with his jewels to South Africa. By jewels I'm not referring to his personal collection of cocaine but the talented bunch of players he selected to play for the most awesome team in the history of mankind, the one and only Argentina, in the World Cup that will kick in in 12 days.

Here is a clip of why Argentina is the team, why Argentina is the passion, why Argentina is the real taste of football....

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Lethal Injections

It was another travel clinic day when the young traveler to Chad and Niger walked in the clinic with his father to get his vaccines before his trip. I took a brief history and decided on the vaccines he'll need.
One of the vaccines was a yellow fever vaccine. Yellow fever is a nasty infection, and getting the vaccine is a good way to prevent it. Those who receive it have a 1 in 100,000 risk of getting a severe reaction that can be life-threatening.

I told the kid about it, he and his father agreed to the vaccine. I looked at all the shots that we were going to give him , "Typhoid, hepatitis A, yellow fever.... we are going to torture you tonight"... he3 he3 he3

The father laughed and the kid nervously smiled. I handled the chart to my assistant to prepare the vaccines and went to review another chart.

Less than five minutes later, I saw her rushing out of the clinic, "I need you right now"

I saw the kid laying on the bed, his body leaning against the wall, not moving. His father almost passed out, and my heart almost stopped beating too.

During residency I did calls where hearts stop and lungs fill with fluid and old people fall on their heads and blood pours out from every hole in the body, but that was expected. Drama is the rule in every night call at a hospital. I even used to get surprised if every thing went alright.

But this was different. Thursdays are our travel clinic days. These are light days with healthy people walking in to get protection against illnesses they might get during their travel, and now I have this: a young healthy kid passing out in front of his father.

In a few minutes he became fully awake and talking. This was just another vaso-vagal syncope, where people pass put because of extreme anxiety. Some people pass out after they see blood, get needles, see dead people, whatever scares the shit out of them. So in this case it wasn't the vaccine, it was the needle. If we had injected him with water he would've also passed out.

But at the moment the teenage kid passed out, the only thing that occurred to me was him getting an anaphylactic life-threatening reaction to the vaccine. It always sucks when you get the one in one hundred thousandth complication (although on the good side, you'd feel more comfortable administering the next 99,999 vaccines)

What would have sucked more is my super confidence, even telling the kid "we are going to torture you" before we literally tortured him. That would have made it to the papers. "Dr. Death: Middle Eastern immigrant tells a minor he'll torture him before he tortures him with needles in front of his father", or "Dr. Kevorkian condemns Dr. Masannat"

Doctors are sometimes overconfident, especially if they're about to do something they've done several times before. I have given this vaccine and many others hundreds of times, never saw a single reaction. If your doctor tells you you might die from a vaccine there's a very good chance you will not take it even if it's good for you. The boy's risk of dying from that vaccine was way less than flying to, driving and staying in Chad and Niger for a few days. If someone tells you before you drive you might die driving you will think twice about it. At times that confidence is necessary, while at other times it's risky. Even rational people don't want to hear about all the risks and benefits of any drug or procedure they're having. "Just do what you think is right" is what a lot of people feel, surprisingly enough.

As the teenage boy left the clinic, smiling (thank God!), his father explained , "Uhm yeah I forgot to tell you that he passes out every time he gets an injection". LOL, thank you for the information man!!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Jordanians... Look At This Retarded Man

This is Stephen Hawking, a professor at the University of Cambridge and a leader scientist in theoretical physics, quantum gravity, black holes and a lot of scientific stuff I can't even understand.

He is paralyzed from head to toe because of a neurological disease he's been suffering from for 40 years. Despite that, he wrote books, articles, made theories and won a load of all the awards and medals you can think of in different countries.

This man is so lucky he was not born in Jordan, or else he'd be referred to as that retarded cripple who collects change at the sidewalk in Sagf El-Sail....

Among all the disabled people you see in the streets and know about in Jordan, how many times
have you ever seen a prime minister, an ambassador, or even some medium-level official in a crappy ministry who is disabled? An amputee? a blind or deaf man? Someone ambulating by wheelchair? Someone who walks in "a funny way"?

The sad fact is that physical disability in Jordan is considered a form of mental retardation.

Blindness, Deafness or a missing arm or a leg are reasons for Jordanians, even well-educated enlightened Jordanian, to think that your brain is under-developed.

Do you want to see a picture of another "retarded" man?

Franklin Roosevelt, the longest-serving president of the United States, ruled the US for 12 years while sitting on a wheelchair.
And that was in the 1930s..... that's how much we are behind them.....
That's how much we are retarded!!