Fair joy

I had Jefferson County Fair duty as part of the Port Townsend Sunrise Rotary, 2 hours yesterday morning and three at the Yellow Gate in the afternoon. I got to do the gate while it rained cats and dogs and that fairgate roof leaks like a sieve! It was a cold wet wood box with a door and two window holes wide open. I was dressed warmly enough barely.

But… back to the morning! Saturday started with a band parade!

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I have lived in Port Townsend since 2000 and I am a musician, so I know at least half the people in this parade. If the masks were off, I might know more.

This is one of those very local parades that you can be in if you want to, whether you have a costume or not. And here is the incomparable Joey Pipia, our magician and improv teacher, with a young horse….

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The fair is still going on, head on down today to enjoy!

I asked our Rotary Membership director the other day, how many of the adults in our town and county are in one or more local groups that help others: Rotary, Kiwanis, Elks, American Association of University Women, the PTA groups, church groups, the Veterans Association, the shelter, the Band Boosters…. the list goes on and on and hooray for all of those people and a big thanks to them! The people who run the fair and who run the Rhody Parade! All of the many volunteers we have and donors.

 

practical medicine

This week I see a patient that I sent to a specialist that I don’t know well.

“How is he?” I like to get feedback on the specialists.

Q grimaces. “He knows his stuff. But…. he’s by the book. I complained about a side effect. He says it is not listed. But I go on line and there are lots of people complaining about that side effect.”

“Hmmm.” I say.

“He doesn’t really listen if it doesn’t fit…. if it’s not in the book.” Q brightens. “But I am going to call the nurse line for the drug and see what they say.”

“Cool.” I say. “Some doctors are very by the book. I’m into practical medicine: use it if it works. Don’t care if it’s witchcraft.”

Q giggles.

“What about the rash?” I say.

Q pulls up a pant leg. There is almost no rash. “He said it wasn’t related to the problem.”

We both look at Q’s leg. “Looks better to me.” I say. “Looks a lot better.”

“Yeah,” says Q. “It does. It looks nearly gone.” The rash was what initially triggered the testing that led to the diagnosis that led to the specialist.

“I use whatever I can figure out for people.”

Once I had an elderly woman with an intestinal bleed. She is transferred to Virginia Mason and goes through every possible test to localize the bleed. Upper endoscopy, lower endoscopy, swallow the camera, CT scan, probably pet scan and bone scan. Can’t find it. It is too slow a leak to use radioactive tagged red blood cells. She comes back.

I transfuse her every three weeks. This is not good. She will develop antibodies eventually.

She goes back to Virginia Mason. They do it all again. The surgeons discuss opening her up. “No.” they say. “Too frail at 88. She will die on the vent.” They send her back.

I am still transfusing her every three weeks. I am grumpy as hell.

Her daughter says, “I have a friend in Canada who knows a scientist. He is studying aloe vera. They said take aloe vera twice a day. What do you think?”

“Well I don’t have anything! Try it! We will test a chem panel in two weeks and watch the blood count!”

She takes aloe vera twice a day. Her blood count stabilizes. No more transfusion. Happy dance. Not absorbed or at least doesn’t bother her kidneys or liver tests….

After a year she says, “Can I try stopping it?”

“Sure,” I say. “We will check a blood count in 2 weeks.”

It drops. She goes back on aloe vera.

Practical medicine. If the book has nothing, try something else…..

Magical childhood

Let’s keep the children
safe and warm
cuddled close
and free from harm

No, but what monster
hides underneath the bed
let’s find and name
the monsters all instead

we are wired not for safety
but for truth
don’t hide grief and fear
from the youth

a child survives by attunement to
your heart
they listen deeply from
their start

long before they understand
your words
they sense the world’s
monsters as a herd

a disney childhood is
a lie
the heartfelt child
wonders why

name your sorrows and
your pain
then your child will know
they have a name

no monsters hide beneath
my childrens’ bed
they know I hold them
close and dear instead

also published on everything2.com