Friday, May 31, 2013

I just can't take it

Patient quote of the day:

"I don't want to take a pill just to take it. Because I'll be "taking it" taking it, when I'm not sure I need to take it. But if I have to "take it" take it, then I'll have to take it and will take it. But only if I really have to "take it" take it.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Things that make me grumpy

Times are tough for doctors these days. No one gives a shit, so I'm not elaborating further.

But even big institutions are affected. Take, for example, the venerable MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas. This giant of oncology has recently been having financial issues, so much so that its president, Ronald DePinho, sent out this e-mail to employees 2 weeks ago:

"For most of fiscal year 2013 our operating expense has exceeded our operating revenue - meaning that we've spent more than we've made from providing patient care services."

He went on to say that because of this shortfall MD Anderson is suspending merit raises and slowing its hiring rate. This is what they call "austerity measures."

Now, every concerned CEO in America has been saying stuff like this, so why am I singling out Dr. DePinho?

Because.

At the same time Dr. DePinho is preaching financial restraint for his cash-strapped institution, he's used $1.5 million of its capital funds (which come from investment income, donations, and patient revenue) to build a 25,000 square-foot (2,322 square meter) office suite for Dr. Lynda Chin at the institution.

Who just happens to be his wife.

Really. I am not making this up.

Dr. Chin is the scientific director of MD Anderson's Institute for Applied Cancer Science. How this justifies her having an office suite that is 10 x larger than the average American home is beyond me. According to the institute it's to "provide an appropriate meeting space with high-level industry decision makers and support a new suite in computational biology." Translation: By using a lot of syllables we're hoping you'll ignore what's really going on here.

And no, I have no idea what "computational biology" is. Maybe that's why my entire office is 1,250 square feet, including the john.

According to an itemized expense report (obtained by The Cancer Letter under the Texas Public Information Act) this ginormous office has $28,000 worth of chairs, sofas, and tables. They also spent $210,000 on fancy translucent glass walls, which required them to get a special permit from the University of Texas. By comparison, the Grumpy Neurological Emporium has used furniture (valued at $948 total), and plain old painted drywall.

So, if you donated money in a loved one's memory to MD Anderson hoping they'll find a cure for whatever cancer killed grandma, there's a reasonable chance your hard-earned dollars went to pay for... upscale furniture and fancy glass walls in an office bigger than your house.

I'm going to close with another quote from Dr. DePinho, found in the same e-mail I quoted earlier about the austerity measures MD Anderson will have to take to survive:

"If we don't make changes now, we potentially will find ourselves in a crisis that will force us to take drastic measures that could hurt our ability to meet our mission... [all will] have to share sacrifices."

Well, almost all.


Thank you, SMOD!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

History reruns

May 29, 1914




If you read the popular stuff, you'd think there were only 3 major shipwrecks of the 20th century: Titanic, Lusitania, and Andrea Doria. Obviously, there are many more, even if you exclude 2 worldwide conflicts in the last 100 years. The worst peacetime shipwreck in history, the Dona Paz (Philippines), took 4,375 lives as recently as 1987. And I bet you've never heard of it.

Trans-Atlantic crossings have always been critical to both sides of the Atlantic (look at the chaos caused by the recent Icelandic volcanic eruption). Although the giant liners of Cunard and White Star are best remembered, they were by no means alone. Ships were constantly coming and going, carrying passengers and freight, both ways across The Pond.

Although less glamorous than the liners that sailed in & out of New York, there were many busy ships that called on the Canadian ports. One was the Empress of Ireland, which in 1914 was serving the Quebec City to Liverpool route.

Early this morning, 96 years ago, the Empress was outbound from Canada. She was heading northeast on the St. Lawrence River. It was 2:00 a.m., and most of the passengers were sleeping.

In a thick fog, the Norwegian coal-carrier Storstad struck the Empress on the starboard side. The damage was extensive. There was only limited time to sound an alarm, and electricity failed quickly, plunging the ship into darkness. The Empress was gone in 14 minutes.

The survivors were picked up by the few lifeboats that had been launched, and were carried back and forth to the Storstad, which had stayed afloat. Captain Henry Kendall, who was thrown into the water as the ship rolled over, supervised the rescue efforts and likely saved many lives by organizing the lifeboats.

All together the Empress took 1,024 people with her. It remains the deadliest maritime disaster in Canadian history. In spite of this, the ship is mostly forgotten today. The St. Lawrence Seaway is a very busy channel. Hundreds of ships steam over the Empress every day, very few knowing of the tragedy beneath them.

The Salvation Army remembers. A large contingent of members (167) were lost on the ship, traveling to a conference in London. There is a monument to them at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, in Toronto.

The Empress of Ireland is in 130 feet of water, well within the range of scuba equipment, but the currents and poor visibility limit diving

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Marketing FAIL

How impressed can you be with a medical practice management company that obscures their own contact information on a fax advertising their services?




Thank you, Lee!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day


Capt. John P. Cromwell, USN, 1901-1943

John Cromwell was born in Illinois, but his heart took him from the midwest to the ocean. He graduated from Annapolis in 1924.

His initial sea service was on the battleship Maryland, but his abilities led to him being picked for the fledgling American submarine force. He served aboard, and commanded, some of the United States Navy's first large submarines.

After several tours at sea, Cromwell was selected for further training in the complex diesel engines that were critical to submarines of the pre-nuclear era. He rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a division commander.

WWII found now-Captain Cromwell in the Pacific, commanding submarine divisions 203, 43, and 44. His flagship was the U.S.S. Sculpin.

In November, 1943 Sculpin (commanded by Lt. Cmdr. Fred Connaway) put to sea with orders to rendezvous with the submarines Searaven and Spearfish to attack Japanese shipping. Upon arrival Cromwell would take command of the group.

The Americans were preparing to invade Tarawa island later that month. It would be a critical (and bloody) fight to wrest control of the central Pacific from Japanese forces. Cromwell was aware of the operation's details, and was also familiar with the top-secret American ability to read Japanese military codes.

On November 18, 1943, while en route to the rendezvous, Sculpin was preparing to attack a Japanese convoy. A damaged depth gauge, however, caused her to surface rather than go to periscope depth, and she came up directly in front of the Japanese destroyer Yamagumo. Although Connaway quickly dived again, it was too late. Yamagumo pounded Sculpin with a series of depth charges, causing severe damage.

With no way to escape, and more destroyers coming, Connaway decided to surface again and try to fight it out. The destroyer was ready. As the Sculpin came up, Yamagumo's first salvo killed her entire bridge crew (including Connaway) and those running to man the weapons.

Sculpin's surviving senior officer ordered the submarine scuttled, and the crew to abandon ship.

Captain Cromwell realized the secrets he knew could seriously jeopardize the American war effort. The Japanese couldn't be allowed to learn the invasion plans for Tarawa, or that the Americans had broken their codes. While he wouldn't voluntarily talk, there was no guaranteeing he might not break under torture or the influence of interrogation drugs.

He therefore decided to stay with Sculpin forever. He helped the crew abandon her, but made no move to leave himself. He was last seen standing in the control room, watching it fill with water.

His Congressional Medal of Honor was presented to his widow.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday reruns

Ms. Crappystaff: "Dr. Imed's office."

Dr. Grumpy: "Hi, it's Dr. Grumpy. You guys referred Mrs. Brain to me for an abnormal MRI, and I don't have the report. She's here now. Can you please fax that over, ASAP?"

Ms. Crappystaff: "Hang on... Sorry, the doctor just went into a room with a patient, and doesn't like to be disturbed. I can have him call you back later."

Dr. Grumpy: "I don't need to talk to him. I just want you to fax over the MRI report."

Ms. Crappystaff: "I'm not comfortable doing that. I don't know what the report means."

Dr. Grumpy: "I'm not asking you to know what it means. All you have to do is fax it to me."

Ms. Crappystaff: "Don't patronize me. I don't even know who you are."

Dr. Grumpy: "I'm Dr. Grumpy. You faxed over an insurance authorization on this patient an hour ago. I just need the MRI report, so I know what to tell her."

Ms. Crappystaff: "I told you, I'll have Dr. Imed call you to discuss this."

Dr. Grumpy: "The patient is here now. I just need the MRI report. Please fax it over. It's why you guys sent her to me."

Ms. Crappystaff: "You obviously don't understand the importance of patient privacy."

And she hung up.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Uh... What kind of work do you do?

This is from a form on a patient's ability to do the following at work. It was the last one that caught my attention.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Jawohl!

Dr. Grumpy: "What brings you in today?"

Mrs. Mom: "I'm worried about my son. I think he drinks too much, and I know it's bad for him."

Dr. Grumpy: "I'm sorry to hear that."

Mrs. Mom: "The only person he'll listen to is Dr. Intern, but he refuses to go back to see him about this."

Dr. Grumpy: "How are you..."

Mrs. Mom: "Anyway, here's my son's phone number. Can you please call him tonight, and pretend to be Dr. Intern to talk to him about the drinking? The doctor is from Germany, so you'll have to fake an accent, and..."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Not Helpful

Mrs. Papers: "Here's my background information."

Dr. Grumpy: (looking it over): "Okay... What's this say about your sister?"

Mrs. Papers: (leans over desk) "Let me see. Looks like it says 'Sister in NH'."

Dr. Grumpy: "What does 'NH' mean? Nursing home? New Hampshire?"

Mrs. Papers: "I don't remember. Could be either, or both. It's been years since I typed that up."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Technology marches on

A friend recently suggested I try Cleverbot. She figured that since my life has reached a point where I routinely talk to Siri, I might as well converse with other computers (and to think I started out chatting up Eliza on a TRS-80). After all, Cleverbot even has a picture of a brain on the site, endearing it to my profession.

I'm well aware that querying these things is like using a Magic 8-Ball. But, while seeing a patient yesterday, I decided to ask it a question for the hell of it.


Thanks, Cleverbot. That was very helpful. And no, I don't.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mary's desk

Wild-eyed lady runs in, stands at counter, loudly bangs pen on sign-in clipboard.

Mary: "Can I help you?"

Mrs. Wild: "MY SCAN WAS ABNORMAL!"

Mary: "Okay, what is your..."

Mrs. Wild: "HOW COULD YOU NOT TELL ME IT WAS ABNORMAL? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?"

Mary: "I'm sorry, let me look into this. If I could have your name..."

Mrs. Wild: "THIS IS INSANE! HOW CAN YOU SIT THERE SO CALMLY WHEN MY SCAN IS ABNORMAL?"

Mary: "I..."

Mrs. Wild: "DON'T JUST STARE AT ME! DO SOMETHING! MY SCAN IS ABNORMAL! I DEMAND TO SEE DR. CARDIO IMMEDIATELY!!!"

Mary: "Dr. Cardio is upstairs, in suite #805."

Mrs. Wild: "SHIT!"

(runs out, slams door)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

May 18, 1980

I'd like to offer a remembrance for David A. Johnston (1949-1980, age 30). He died 33 years ago today in the service of his country and humanity. His body has never been found.

He believed scientists sometimes had to take serious risks if the knowledge gained would save the lives of others.


David Johnston, roughly 12 hours before his death.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Artisanal, or whatever

In case you live under a rock, the BEST news story of the week didn't involve murder (unless you consider a reputation), terrorist attacks (unless you consider an undercooked pizza as such), or hurricanes (except for one named Amy).

It involved the bizarre online meltdown of a restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona called Amy's Baking Company. This place was featured on Gordon Ramsay's cooking show, and became the first place he was ever entirely unable to help, and actually walked out on. If that was the whole story it would be forgotten by now.

What made it much better than anything else, though, were the antics of the place's owners as we watched them steal tips, abuse costumers (and not in a semi-lovable Edsel Ford Fong sort of way, either), and pass off pasta from a grocery store as homemade. If you haven't seen it, be sure to watch it on Kitchen Nightmares. You won't be disappointed.

But what made it a moment for the ages was their bizarre online complete meltdown (well chronicled elsewhere) with them throwing obscenities, claiming the high ground of a deity supporting them, and using ALL CAPS randomly. Then they claimed a hacker had done it all, and not them (although they've done similar things before).

Now, I know nothing about restaurants, beyond which ones have banned my kids from ever coming back. But I have made misuse of the word "artisan" and its derivatives a sort of crusade.

So, looking at their site I noticed the inevitable word "artisan" on it (oddly capitalized, along with "Gourmet" and "Pizzas").





In the same paragraph it noted they serve "house made Artesian Pastas."

Look: "artesian" means an aquifer or spring in the ground, which provides water. It has nothing to do with "artisan." Water can never be artisanal, but it is often artesian. Capisce?

So, Amy, unless you've found some sort of natural spring that produces a steady stream of pasta (sort of like the famous spaghetti farms), I want to make these points:

1. Unless it came flowing out of the ground, it's NOT artesian.

2. If you made it yourself, by hand, you can call it artisanal.

3 If you bought it from the grocery store and are reselling it as your own, it's not "house made," "artisanal," or "artesian."

4. You should also use a comma. To the best of my knowledge there is no such thing as "Artesian Pastas fine wines."


Thank you, Webhill!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Front counter

So.

A guy shows up at 9:30 with a lady. She signs in on Pissy's sheet, and they sit down next to each other. After a few minutes Pissy's staff takes her back, and he sits out there reading a magazine.

In the meantime, Mary and I are waiting for my new patient at 10:00. At 10:15 we called it a no-show, and at 10:30 my 11:00 patient wandered in early. So I took her back and started the appointment.

At 10:40 the lady who was seeing Pissy leaves - by herself - and the guy who came in with her wanders up to the counter.

Mary: "Can I help you sir?"

Mr. Magazine: "Yeah, when will Dr. Grumpy be seeing me?"

Mary: "What time was your appointment?"

Mr. Magazine: "10:00."

Mary: "Sir, you didn't sign in... We didn't know you were here."

Mr. Magazine: "I would have said something sooner, but there was a good magazine article."

Mary: "I thought you were with that lady you came in with... I'll have the doctor squeeze you in over his lunch break..."

Mr. Magazine: "I'd just met her, in the hall outside your office. I wonder why she didn't sign in for me?"

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tuesday morning, 2:17 a.m.

Dr. Grumpy: "This is Dr. Grumpy, returning a page."

Mrs. Batter: "Oh, Dr. Grumpy, I'm glad you're still up."

Dr. Grumpy: "I'm not. What can I do for you?"

Mrs. Batter: "I feel so terrible."

Dr. Grumpy: "What's wrong?"

Mrs. Batter: "I'm just torn up about your talk."

Dr. Grumpy: "The talk I gave last night at the hospital? Why, what did I say?"

Mrs. Batter: "It's not you doctor. I just... I, I, I wasn't there!" (starts crying)

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay... And you called me because...?"

Mrs. Batter: "I feel awful. My husband and I were planning on coming to it, but then he got tickets to last night's baseball game from his friend Ed, so we went to that instead. You remember Ed? I think he sees you for his foot problem. And now I can't sleep because I feel so awful about not going to your talk, because I knew you'd be offended that I wasn't there."

Dr. Grumpy: "It's okay Mrs. Batter. I'm not offended. The local Stroke Association chapter had announced the talk, so there was a decent turn-out."

Mrs. Batter: "You didn't even notice I wasn't there, did you?" (starts crying louder, hangs up).

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Dr. Grumpy: "Is the new sleeping medication helping?"

Mr. Stats: "Absolutely!" (whips out iPad) "As you can see from this graph, I"m sleeping 22.8% more than I was before trying Dozaway, and here... (swipe) it shows how I'm falling asleep 17.3% percent faster, and on this next screen... (swipe)"

Monday, May 13, 2013

Is this the Turing Test?

Snowball recently got some shots and had a tooth pulled, so spent a few hours at the veterinarian. That evening I noticed they had our phone number wrong on the bill, so called the next morning to correct it.


Phone Girl: "Local Animal Hospital, I..."

Dr. Grumpy: "Hi, this is Ibee Grumpy, and..."

Phone Girl: "I'd like to wish you a very happy National Hug-Your-Cat-Day this month!"

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay, I picked up Snowball yesterday, and realized you have our contact info wrong."

Phone Girl: "Did you know National Hug-Your-Cat-Day is this month? Cats do so many wonderful things for us, that it's important to take care of their heath, too!"

Dr. Grumpy: "I don't have a cat. I'm just calling about an error..."

Phone Girl: "Well, now would be the perfect time to consider getting one! We have 3 cats looking for loving homes here, and several animal shelters we're working with for National Hug-Your-Cat-Day are running offers to help you enjoy them!"

Dr. Grumpy: "Look, I don't want a cat. I just need to give you our correct phone number."

Phone Girl: "Cats are wonderful companions! I'm sure if you came over and met some of the adorable ones available for National Hug-Your-Cat-Day you would..."

Dr. Grumpy: "What time do you work to?"

Phone Girl: "I'm here until noon, but National Hug..."

Dr. Grumpy: "I'll just call back later."

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Space Oddity

Commander Chris Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut departing the ISS, posted this awesome cover today of the classic David Bowie song. Filmed, of course, on site.



Sunday reruns

Mrs. Hyve: "I'm allergic to all medications. I'm even allergic to Benadryl."

Dr. Grumpy: "What happens?"

Mrs. Hyve: "All medications give me a rash, so to safely take any pill, I have to take another pill first, to prevent the rash from happening."

Dr. Grumpy: "What do you take to keep the rash from occurring?"

Mrs. Hyve: "Benadryl."

Friday, May 10, 2013

Green bananas

Mr. Hills: "I need a refill on my Fukitol while I'm here."

Dr. Grumpy: "Sure..." (Grabs script pad, starts writing) "Hey, do you need this written for a 30 or 90 day supply?"

Mr. Hills: "Just 30 days. For crap's sake, doc, I'm 91 years old."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

And you couldn't use your 1 phone call?

Mary: "Dr. Grumpy's office, this is Mary."

Mr. Bar: "Yeah, this is Don Bar. I'm a new patient, and I need to reschedule my appointment from last month."

Mary: "Okay... It looks like you had an appointment last month, that you no-showed."

Mr. Bar:  "That's why I need to reschedule it."

Mary: "I'm sorry, but we have a strict policy for new patients who no-show and don't call at the time. You can't be rescheduled, and will have to ask your doctor to refer you to another neurologist."

Mr. Bar: "I was in jail, and just got out."

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"Why can't you be more like that Khatri boy? He makes a nice living."

Every medical study has a "financial disclosure statement" in it, listing all the people who did the research, how much they were paid for doing it, and who financed it.

So, while glancing through an article this weekend, I noticed the usual disclaimer paragraph at the end. This caught my eye:



Personally, if I were Dr. Hartung or Montalban, I'd be pretty insulted. Worse, I'd be embarrassed that my friends (and my mother!) saw how much better everyone else was doing.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Why fathers go bald

Craig: "Dad, we need your help."

Dr. Grumpy: "What's up?"

Marie: "I lost my school ID today."

Dr. Grumpy: "Where did you lose it?"

Marie: "While we were walking home."

Dr. Grumpy: "Any idea where? It's a 2 mile walk."

Craig: "Along the road, somewhere between here and school."

Dr. Grumpy: (sighs) "Thanks, Craig."


(loads up car, drives SLOWLY to school and back, with kids peering out the windows and other drivers honking and giving me the bird for blocking traffic, while I randomly slam on the brakes any time a kid sees a leaf, or crushed paper cup, or piece of dog shit that vaguely resembles a school ID and screams "THERE IT IS!!!")

I finally gave up and drove back home.


Dr. Grumpy: "Marie, it doesn't appear to be out there anywhere."

Marie: "It has to be! It was while we were walking home today that I noticed it was missing!"

Dr. Grumpy: "When was the last time you remember seeing it?"

Marie: "Last Wednesday, during the field trip to City Park."

Monday, May 6, 2013

Drugs 'R' Us

Tonight we have two great tales about upstanding members of society.

First, we have Jarvis Sutton of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Mr. Sutton was unusually hopeful that if he called 911 enough, the police would deliver marijuana and munchies to his home. When they showed up and failed to bring either, he consoled himself by eating the police car instead.


Second, we have the remarkably organized Carolyn Murray of Pennsylvania.

This fine lady was involved in a car accident. While providing her insurance forms to officers she handed them a shopping and to do list, which included such items as "potato salad," "Xanax," and "cocaine." It also had a helpful reminder to "get high."


Thank you, Tanya and Webhill!

The Karate Octogenerian




Mr. Miyagi: "I need to get off Zuclox."

Dr. Grumpy: "What's wrong? You've been on Zuclox for almost 10 years without any problems."

Mr. Miyagi: "It's affecting my balance."

Dr. Grumpy: "Why do you say that?"

Mr. Miyagi: "I fell this weekend."

Dr. Grumpy: "What happened?"

Mr. Miyagi: "I was at the senior citizens dance, trying to meet some ladies. You see, back in 1946 I was stationed in Japan, and learned karate there. I was really good at it, too, and won a few tournaments. I haven't done it since I left the army though. Anyway, at the dance, some of the ladies and I were having drinks at the bar, and they were talking about those karate films, so I decided to show them my moves. I lost my balance and fell on my butt, and all those ladies started laughing at me. One of them laughed so hard her friend had to bring in her oxygen tank."

Dr. Grumpy: "I'm not sure Zuclox is why you fell."

Mr. Miyagi: "I looked it up. Balance problems are in the side effects."

Dr. Grumpy: "Yes, but you never had them with it before."

Mr. Miyagi: "Look, just tell me how to stop it. The next dance is in 2 weeks."

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Shameless plug

Mother's Day is fast approaching, and Father's day is after that!

Are you still trying to decide what to get your parents?

Well, Dr. Grumpy merchandise is always a cherished item, and can be ordered online 24/7 from my online store.

If they prefer digital gifts, you can get them a subscription to have my ramblings automatically sent to their Kindle, for only 99 cents a month!


Friday, May 3, 2013

Patient quote of the day

Mr. Eosinophil: "I'm allergic to all man-made chemicals, including MSG, nitrates, glucose, oxygen, all proteins, and hemoglobin."

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Negotiations

Mary: "Dr. Grumpy's office, this is Mary."

Ms. Oxy: "Hi, I need to make an appointment to see Dr. Grumpy."

Mary: "I can help with that. Our next opening is..."

Ms. Oxy: "Wait, before you get to that, I need to know how many Percocets Dr. Grumpy will allow me per month."

Mary: "Did you just ask me..."

Ms. Oxy: "Because my current doc only gives me 150 a month. I'm not going to switch unless you guys make this worth my while. I'm thinking 180 Percocet per month would be enough."

Mary: "Okay, we don't work that way."

Ms. Oxy: "Of course you do. Patients are money to you people, and you need the money. All right, let's say 170 Percocet. I'll settle for that."

Mary: "I think you should stay with your current doctor. It doesn't sound like you're a good match for this practice."

Ms. Oxy: "Okay! 160 Percs a month, and I'll do co-pays in cash, will..."

Mary hung up.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

50 Shades of Blue

A few months back I poked fun at Fycompa, a new epilepsy drug with an interesting side effect profile. Little did I realize I'd have the chance to do it again (different drug this time) so soon.


Like neurologists everywhere, I was surprised to hear the news Monday about a newly reported side-effect concerning the epilepsy drug Potiga.

Namely, that it makes people blue.

I'm not talking depression here, either.

Let's look at the official FDA announcement:


"FDA is warning the public that the anti-seizure medication Potiga (Ezogabine) can cause blue skin discoloration... (and) does not currently know if these changes are reversible.

The skin discoloration in the reported cases appeared as blue pigmentation, predominantly on or around the lips or in the nail beds of the fingers or toes, but more widespread involvement of the face and legs has also been reported. Scleral and conjunctival discoloration, on the white of the eye and inside eyelids, has been observed as well."


Now, with that said, I want to remind you that if you look at the side effects of ANY drug, you'll find scary shit on all of them. I'm sure I'll put patients on Potiga, and most will likely do fine. But that doesn't mean we can't have some fun with it.

For one thing, they don't even tell you what shade of blue. There are 45 of them. Some people if given the choice, would like a nice turquoise, while others would prefer royal blue. Hopefully further research will shed light on this important topic.

The interesting part is this: Let's say a patient had a choice between this drug and one with a "YOU COULD DIE FROM THIS!!!" black box warning. Felbatol, for example, while very effective for seizures, has the potential to cause TWO (not one, but TWO) great ways to die: severe liver failure and/or destruction of your bone marrow.

Yet, human nature is such that most people would prefer Felbatol, figuring the risk of death is preferable to that of turning blue. After all, death generally isn't socially embarrassing. We ALL die. But blue skin? That's just not fashionable.

Unfortunately, GSK (the drug's manufacturer) is likely going to see this as a drawback to Potiga. They'll tell their sales reps to minimize it and move on to something else. Or mumble "and they might turn blue" hurriedly under their breath.

The truth is they should turn it around, and make it a strength of their spiel. The best way to do this, as I see it, would be to go after some commercial tie-ins.

I've compiled a few modest examples:


Live theater:

Potiga is a proud sponsor of tonight's appearance by:

Blue Man Group


1960's psychedelic movies:


United Artists
To treat seizures, All You Need is Love. And Potiga.



1970's psychedelic movies:

Paramount Pictures
"Violet Beauregarde has been seizure free on Potiga. Next month she'll be endorsing juicers, too."



2000's movies:

Twentieth Century Fox
Potiga for epilepsy: It's out of this world!



2000's remakes of 1970's psychedelic movies:


Warner Brothers
Potiga is now available as chewing gum for your patients who won't swallow pills. Violet Beauregarde set a world record with it!



Music acts:


Atlantic Records
"We're both proud to be on Potiga. Otherwise we wouldn't be able to drive as safely as we do."



Historical tie-ins:


Bunker Hill: Would history be different if British officers had given their men Potiga beforehand?



Using it as an excuse...


ABC television




"No, officer, he wasn't into that sort of thing. He's that color from taking Potiga."



Currently Potiga is only approved for ages 18 and up. But maybe it will work in kids. If that happens, GSK is fortunate to have a wide range of endorsers to choose from!


Dupuis Cartoons
Shaky Smurf, Seizey Smurf, Ictal Smurf, and Aurette are all doing great on Potiga! If it's right for Papa Smurf, isn't it right for your child?



And, of course, who could forget

Sesame Street
New Potiga powder! You can sprinkle it on all your child's favorite foods! EVEN COOKIES!!!



Thank you, SMOD, for bringing this to my attention!
 
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