Archive for category: Medicinal Properties

The Attack of the Wasps!

31 Jul 2011
July 31, 2011 It wasn't this bad but it felt like it was. Last Sunday at 11 a.m. I was attacked by a swarm of wasps. More on that in a minute. But first, what good is a trauma like this if you can't come out of it with a good story. A good story is the souvenir of traumas --providing you recover. Two decades ago I was visiting my friends Bob and Ellen in San Francisco when we decided to go camping in Yosemite. I'm a California native but had never been to this national park. Bob and Ellen found this odd, Read more [...]

The Diving Bell and the Brain Tumor

14 Dec 2008
December 14, 2008 From his vantage point: sewing Jean-Dominique Bauby's eye shut after his stroke. Still from the film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Today is my mother's birthday: more accurately, the 87th anniversary of her birth. She died in 1971 just days before her fiftieth birthday. Eleven years before she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor: acoustic neuroma, Clinically speaking, this tumor is "a non-cancerous growth that arises from the 8th or vestibulo-cochlear nerve." But the effects of her illness Read more [...]

My Tweet Tooth

03 May 2008
May 3, 2008 My Root Canal on Twitter It's all Melanie's fault. In March I received an email from her extolling the virtues of twitter, that micro-blogging, naval-gazing, Web 2.0 service. I knew about twitter but was totally uninterested in subscribing to a service that would allow me (force me!) to post short little "tweets" about what I was doing at the moment. More importantly, why on earth would I want to follow others doing the same? But she persevered. In her email she said: "You're receiving this because Read more [...]

Ouch! Oooouch! or Romancing the Stone

09 Dec 2007
December 9, 2007 Nurse... Nuurse... Nuuuurse... Fellow ER Patient Moaning in Pain It began as a pressure in my lower back. Instinctively, I knew what it was. I broke out in a cold sweat knowing that over the next few days I would feel what my father and my sister had both felt. Our shared genetic connection: I was about to pass a kidney stone. I had dodged this bullet before. Three times I had passed a stone with no pain whatsoever. In fact, I didn't even realize I was passing a stone until it unceremoniously Read more [...]

The Borg of Blue Cross

21 Nov 2006
November 21, 2006 Top: Blue Cross's backlighted sign campaign in DC's Metro. Bottom: Detail. Click to see an enlargement of the eye. In Washington this time of the year when friends stop you on the street to wish you "Good tidings for the season," they don't mean the holiday season. They mean the Open Season. Open Season for Federal workers means it's time to choose your health plan for the upcoming year. And the competition for our deductible dollars is fierce. Just as the plethora of nasty political television Read more [...]

Competitive Dentistry

02 Sep 2006
September 2, 2006 A souvenir from my recent vacation decapitated me! Before beginning the procedure Deb, the dental technician initiated some preliminary chit-chat. "What brings you here today?" she asked. Offering up my porcelain crown I said, "It came off." "Crowns don't just come off," she replied. • • • One of the unspoken rules traditions of a summer beach trip is to bring back a box of salt water taffy for your cube mates. For those sequestered in the office while you were sunbathing it's a Read more [...]
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