Monday, October 25, 2021


In the early 1970's, my mom was found to have breast cancer. I was too young at the time to really understand it, and fortunately she's still around.

Anyway, she had a right mastectomy. At the time they waited about a year before they'd put in a breast implant, so during that time she used a prosthetic boob. She'd put it in her bra before leaving for work, and take it out when she got home.

Anyway, there was one day where she had a lot of errands to run, and when she got back was telling my dad how, everywhere she went, she got some strange looks. Nothing horrible, just people seemed surprised. She figured it was something she was wearing, or a large food stain on her blouse, or whatever.

My dad took her down the hall to their bathroom, where she'd left the fake breast lying on the counter.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Random pictures

 Okay, time to put up some stuff you guys have sent in.

First is this pizza place. I can only assume the owner isn't familiar with idioms. Either that or he's trying to keep the place empty.


Next, from the "nudge nudge, wink wink" department:

"Only $32? Is that at the same time?"

One reader wants to know why the Slurpee looks like the poop emoji.


Another says this beauty salon couldn't look more disreputable if it tried:




And lastly, a reader says he ordered a brisket sandwich with onions, and wished they'd abbreviated it differently.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Dr. Grumpy: "Do you drive?"

Mr. Safety: "Oh, hell no. My seizures have been so unpredictable that I've given it up."

Dr. Grumpy: "Were they ever well-controlled?"

Mr. Safety: "They were good, but not great. It always seemed like one would occur when I'd just started to think they were controlled, and I'd have to stop driving again. I finally gave it up. It just wasn't safe for me, and I don't want to hurt anyone else. My friends and I all work at the same warehouse, so I just carpool with them and chip in gas money each week."

Dr. Grumpy: "That works out. What do you do over there?"

Mr. Safety: "I'm a forklift operator."

Monday, October 4, 2021


She was 19, here for migraines. She was nervous, had never been to a neurologist before, and her mother was along for emotional support.

We talked a bit, went over some treatment options. Nothing too costly. She worked full-time as a waitress, trying to save money so she could start college soon. We settled on nortriptyline and naproxen, and I began writing out scripts.

As I scribbled, I blinked.

Suddenly the scripts were gone. Instead of paper, I was typing in an online refill for generic sumatriptan… which a minute ago was brand-name, and she couldn’t afford it.

She was still there, across my desk, but she’d changed, too. She wasn’t a waitress anymore. She was working full time as a nurse, was married, and had two daughters. I remembered her having moved away to go to college, then nursing school, then coming back here. I recalled her telling me she'd gotten engaged. I’d treated her migraines through both pregnancies.

The nortriptyline hadn’t helped, and now she was on Aimovig, a drug I hadn’t imagined when she first came to me. In the time between then and now, besides the times she lived out-of-state, I recalled trying a handful of different medications over the years.

During my blink she’d developed a few gray hairs, wrinkles, and pounds from the stresses of daily life, jobs, raising a family, and making ends meet. I’m sure mine are worse.

This is also part of medicine, just as it is in everyday life. Over our careers we see college students mature into adults with jobs and families. We see parents become grandparents. The middle-aged become elderly.

We see people we’ve grown to care about die of things we can’t fix.

Being a doctor reflects the changes we see in our own lives as we travel around the sun. Our patients become a sort of extended family. We aren’t directly involved with their daily events, but we catch up on them here and there, and they see the same changes in us.

The drawings my kids did are still on my office walls, but haven’t been updated in a long time. Picking them up from the after-school program has been replaced by picking them up from the airport.

My hair has gradually thinned over time and become grayer.

The glasses I’ve worn since I was 8 have become bifocals.

All in a blink.

Locations of visitors to this page