Thursday, February 16, 2012

Medical research

A number of studies have addressed withdrawal issues, covering alcohol, tobacco, and controlled drugs. A review of the literature, however, shows a surprising lack of research into other addictions. In an attempt to rectify this situation I'm publishing the following data, addressing a transient, yet debilitating, condition.

For the purposes of assessment, and for possible use in future cases, a grading system was developed for this paper. It was based on the World Objective Zeitgeist Joint Organizational Bureaucratic System (WOZJOBS) staging scale data.


Case report:

A middle-aged neurologist recently left his MacBook Pro overnight at the Apple Store for repairs. Over the next several hours he underwent a gradual series of decompensations, which are presented here.

Stage 1: Minor inconvenience. "I can live without my computer for a few hours." Reads paper mail, realizes it's all junk advertising real estate agents, car dealers, and grocery stores.

Stage 2: Needs alternative. Finds things around house which weren't previously noticed: books, magazines, children, pets, spouse. Fingertips begin tingling.

Stage 3: Decides to go online with iPad. Discovers it was left at the office. Considers 1 hour drive through snow back into dangerous downtown area after dark to get it. Finds that spouse let air out of car tires to prevent this. Hyperventilates.

Stage 4: Tries to use iPhone to send long emails and write blog posts, discovers it's not particularly well suited to this. Sprains thumb.

Stage 5: Desperation. Diaphoretic & dyspneic. Dusts off old Windows laptop in the back of closet and is able to get online. It freezes up every 2-3 minutes, reminding him why he stopped using Windows in the first place. Blames Steve Jobs for his current state of despair. Spouse administers sedative consisting of caffeine-free Diet Coke laced with an old Vicodin tablet from the medicine cabinet.

After being sedated the subject was tucked into bed, carefully guarded by a pair of 4-legged orderlies. All symptoms resolved the following day after picking up the repaired computer.


Discussion: Computer withdrawal blows. They should be able to carry out all repairs in less than one-fourth the estimated time (like Mr. Scott) and not have to keep it overnight. Also, caffeine-free Diet Coke sucks.

25 comments:

Dr Erhumu said...

Hmm, food for thought. What if the whole internet disappeared?

Anonymous said...

Since it's a mac it shouldn't even need repair (writes the man who has a desk fan blowing on his Macpro (runs bootcamp) to keep the video GPU from overheating and frying the whole damn thing)

Old MD Girl said...

I can totally relate to this. I hope your thumb feels better soon!

Queen Silly Britches said...

Poor Grumpy. I feel your pain. I agree about the Coke. Caffeine-free AND diet, what's the point, cuz it tastes like crap anyway? Might as well drink water.

WV: Late Strusnt.. A good name for your condition.

Anonymous said...

If the whole internet disappeared, we would probably have to learn how to light a fire without matches! And that doesnt bear thinking about!

C said...

I have done withdrawal from opiods with no replacement therapy (i.e., methadone, etc.) and being without my computer is far more painful.

Packer said...

That is why I always carry a spare.

Sent from my I Pad and or I phone as the case may be.

C said...

sounds painful. I accidentally left my macbook at home over thanksgiving and was entirely ipad dependent for 5 days. not the same.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Grumpy, love your blog. I see the Astronomy Picture of the Day is one of your recommended web sites. Are you familiar with this one? Check it out--there are videos from the space station as it orbits the earth. http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html

Government Funded Blogger said...

When my laptop needs a repair I just swipe my wife's.Mind you I have to keep one arm free to fend her off when trying to take it back.

Anonymous said...

I so feel your pain! I killed my computer this week and spent more to overnight parts to rebuild it then some of the parts themselves cost.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I'm a programmer who is set up to work from home since God forbid we ever get an evening or weekend off. That means I have 5 desktops and 2 laptops, any of which I can use for everything. Only a loss of electricity prevents me from working, so when it does occasionally go off, I'm thrilled to have an opportunity to get my butt away from the bloody PC and into a lovely couch with a (paper) book, rid of the stupid internet and other work for a few blessed hours. Just goes to show....

Doris said...

I think you're just going to have to bite the bullet and get a spare...maybe a refurb...for just these situations.

It's what I did to keep from twitching.

>:p

Mike Looney said...

RE:Anonymous 6:23 AM

*snort*
I work in a Mac repair shop. If they didn't break I would be out of a job.

The Mac hardware fail rate is the same, if not higher, than Windows/Linux machines. It's just that the OS is *slightly* more stable than Windows (ignore Vista, it didn't happen) and currently virus free makes them seem like they don't break down as often.

You want a stable "doesn't break" system? Run Debian stable or Ubuntu LTS.

Don't fear the penguin, you can be like they are...
[cowbell goes here]

Lo said...

Dear Dr. G

I don't ordinarily comment.....that doesn't mean that I don't love every word you publish.....I see that you get plenty of support from others, but this one really won my heart. Loved every word and empathize totally.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

You have spare Vicodin kicking around your medicine cabinet?

Loren Pechtel said...

Conclusion: Use Windows--MACs are addictive!

Amy said...

You should be married to an IT geek. Totally solves your problem. We have 5 working desktops, all running Linux, 4 HP Touchpads, one iPod Touch and 3 smart phones. So we will never really have to go through withdrawal, as long as our dealer, uh I mean my husband, doesn't die or have a midlife crisis and run off with some vacuous bimbo.

Brittney said...

As a 4th year veterinary student who has been attached to her computer for over 3.5 years I fully understand the computer withdrawl situation. I don't have a big problem if I am in town when my computer crashes since we get a loaner from IT, but I was stuck at Mayo in MN for 2.5 weeks when my computer got infected by a virus (the second day I was there). Talk about withdrawl! Thankfully Mayo has a few computer labs patients can use, and thus I got to check my email but that was about it.

Anonymous said...

Awww.... So sad. I have three laptops. Never a computer-free day.
I have been on holiday for a month recently. Some of the places we stayed didn't have internet. Oh the horror! I had to walk a hundred yards and set up camp in a McCafe with free wifi.

happy internist said...

best post ever, grumpy

Anonymous said...

nothing like being on remote location vacation,

... only to see cluster of others huddled around 10x10 area, madly pounding away on smart phones, pads, etc, where the magic comes in across the airwaves....

and those that aren't with charged equipment - begging on the sidelines for a fix.

of course that is great time to look for non competitive local refreshment options....

Anonymous said...

You should see how it feels to quit smoking. At least you had a light at the end of your tunnel.

Anonymous said...

LOLLOLLOL The macs are for work (publishing) and the PC is at home. Funny, I CAN troubleshoot my PC (Of course, I took BASIC in jr. high and had the first TRS computer when it came out) but the mac??? When it breaks down, I need the guru to come in with beads and incense to rattle at and fumigate whatever ails the mac. (Yes, the sarcasm mode is on full)
I feel your pain. Grumpy.

katydogcrazy said...

A related disorder with growing incidence: http://www.allaboutcounseling.com/library/nomophobia/

 
Locations of visitors to this page