Sunday, April 30, 2006

autism links

It's the last day of April so here are the last autism links. Today I'll give you some links to information on treatment. There are many options out there and not everything works for every child. This is definitely a situation where parents needs to get informed and make good decisions.

Treatment information from the Autism Society of America. Includes a discussion on different methods of behavioral therapy.

An overview of treatment options from WebMD.

I've worked as an Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapist and have seen kids make amazing progress with this therapy. Some information on the therapy designed by Dr. Lovaas.

Information on TEACCH, another method of behavioral therapy, from the University of North Carolina.

People with autism may have a dysfunctional sensory system that may be the underlying reason for such actions as rocking and hand flapping. Some people may benefit from sensory integration therapy that can include brushing, deep pressure, and music therapy. Experts disagree on whether or not these are helpful, but here's some info from the Autism Society of Canada.

And now a final excerpt from Tilt.
This is real time. Or is it? I think it's lapsed. If you download a photograph of a person onto a computer monitor from the internet, you see first some hair, and then nothing. Then an eyebrow. Then nothing. Then the top half of some eyeballs. Then nothing. Then more eyeball. Then nothing. And you're thinking, "What the hell is this person going to look like? I can't tell the first thing about them with just this eyebrow..."

And that's what this real time feels like: here's a little bit of autism-the hair. Can you tell what it looks like now? Here's another stripe, one piece of eyebrow. Can you predict the shape of the rest of the day? If you get an eye, can you predict the way her future will look, whether or not she will need to be in a group home when she is ten? If we give you a piece of cheek, can you tell if she will develop skills? An ear comes down, and now can you tell if she is severely retarded? If she will have caretakers in a group home? If they will abuse her? If her money will be stolen? If her sister will visit her when her parents are dead? If she will love a man or a woman or a pet? If at age thirty she will be standing in a hardware store with a personal care attendant, flapping her hands, rocking from side to side, foot to foot, letting out intermittent barks? Is that what elapses in front of me?

Or can someone or something punch through the screen and take the image by the throat, twist it, wring it out, give me my girl as tall as a sunflower, heliotropic, basking in love and care and strength and affection? Dear God?

ripping in progress

You know that feeling when you've been working on a project for a long time and you're almost done? Counting down the last rows and preparing to bind off? Getting that nice feeling of accomplishment? And then you notice a mistake that you must have made a couple days earlier...and you know you can't ignore it so you rip out rows and rows of precious knitting? Yeah, having that feeling right now. I was getting ready to bind off my Harry Potter scarf and then I noticed a glaring error and had to rip out several inches. This scarf is really starting to get to me. I started it in January and I'm still not done, and now I'm further from finished than I was this morning. Very sad.

Thanks for the comments about my laptop case. At first I was a little unsure about it because I'm not usually into bright colors, but it's really growing on me. It will be quite a contrast to my white computer and so much more fun than a black nylon case.

Katie, yes Northampton is where WEBS is. I haven't been there yet because I couldn't find it when I was up there. I walked all over that town and didn't see it. But I'll definitely find it when I move next month. And there's another LYS just a block from my apartment. This could be quite dangerous. The only think that will keep me from bankruptcy will be all the hours that I'll be working. I'm starting in the NICU in July so I won't have a lot of time for yarn shopping.

Feeling a little better about my frogging episode now...back to knitting. I am determined to finish this scarf today!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

knit in public

I love knitting in public. Join Worldwide Knit in Public 2006 on June 10. (via Cast On)

Friday, April 28, 2006

Yay for stripes!

I've been working on several projects this week. Given up on my socks for the moment (had some twisting issues and several bits of frogging) so I've been spending time with other things. Still working on Harry Potter. Just a couple more rows and then I'll be ready to seal the ends and add the fringe. Also working on my Project Spectrum PDA case in orange. It's just a rectangle right now, but I'll post a pic once I sew the seems and put on the handle. I've been spending most of my time working on my laptop case. Isn't it fun?
lp stripes
The colors are brighter in person. I love the random stripes. It makes it fun to look at and fun to knit because I'm always changing yarn. This is my first time using Lamb's Pride and I love it. It's got just enough mohair to make it nice and soft so it doesn't dry out my hands like Nature Spun. And it knits up beautifully. I hear it felts well too; we'll see when I'm done with this case.

I just found out this morning that I have an apartment! I've been so worried about moving in June because everyone I talked to when I went up to MA a few weeks ago had no availabilities. "Check back in May," is what they kept telling me. I really wanted to have something lined up before graduation...and now I do! A great 2 bedroom in downtown Northampton. And it's a 2 minute walk to a LYS! That could be dangerous. But I'm so excited! Just wanted to celebrate a little.

And now, some links.

Needles that light up. (via Subway Knitter)

Cute cable socks. (via Felt like Knitting)

Beautiful needle cases and stitch markers by Katie at Knits & Grits.

Cute knitting bags perfect for carrying around your sock WIPs.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Welcome to Holland

Not really about autism, but I really like this so I'm posting it amyway. By Emily Perl Kingsley. Via Our Kids a site for parents of children with special needs.

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Grand Rounds

are up at the Health Buisiness Blog.

Some of my favorite medical posts of the week:

Big Mama Doc talks about remorse.
No time for an EKG.
He probably doesn't have anything going on, anyway.
"If anything changes, come back or go to the ER."
I'm going to regret not getting that EKG.
I should get it now.
No time.
It's overkill.
Wouldn't show me anything.
He's right.

Lesson learned.

Some med school application advice from theFake Doctor. How to end a personal statement:
“Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I want to pursue a career as a physician because I want to follow in the footsteps of my great-grandmother’s personal assistant’s third cousin, who, while on her death bed after suffering through a shattering trial of cocaine and substance abuse, shared with me the compassionate tale of the physician who sacrificed everything to save her life. This person’s dying words to me, whispered under her breath, were ‘Be like Dr. Nobleheart. Save lives. Use the force. It is your destiny.’ And with that last breath, she passed, but not before providing me with the final dose of inspiration I needed to pursue a career as a cardiothoracicneurobiliaryspinal surgeon, while also pursuing medical research in pediatric oncology.”

Flea is a pediatrician whose blog I have recently discovered and really enjoy. He is in solo practice (very rare these days) and seems amazing. He is the rare doc who actually wants to be called in the middle of the night! Here's to more like him. And if you ever see one of his patients in the ED, be sure to call him.
"It's not the family's decision!" I burst out, "I want you to call me whenever my patients show up in your E.D.!

"It's just that a lot of docs don't want to be bothered at night..."

"I don't care what other docs want! I want to be called whenever one of my patients shows up there!!! Not so long ago it would have been unthinkable not to speak to the patient's doctor!"

And he offers some great advice to people applying to medical school.
Once you have all your credentials in order, apply to medical school every year. Apply to as many of them as you have a reasonable opportunity to attend. Interview at as many schools as will permit you. If you are ever 'wait-listed', ask for a second interview. If admissions officers at schools give you specific advice as to what you need to do to make yourself a more viable candidate, take that advice seriously.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Autism links

Today, some medical resources on autism.

The American Association of Pediatrics autism page. Includes some links to autism and vaccinations information.

CDC's autism page. Learn about the symptoms of autism and check out fact sheets for parents that list developmental milestones for various ages.

Maeve is still having tantrums. In public, she moans, hangs back, kicks. I have started to feel so angry with her. I have been thinking about the AUTISM. About IT. Going out to a community art day, with face-painting and balloons and the junior chamber orchestra, we see lots of kids who do normal stuff and talk to each other and sit for the face-painting and laugh at the balloons being twisted into shapes. Maeve screams at the sound of the balloon twisting. She kicks over a table of flyers. A volunteer comes over and says, "My goodness!" Pierce hurriedly picks up the flyers and the table. I hold Maeve tight and say, "I guess it's time for us to go."

I want to tell the volunteer woman that Maeve has a disability. I want to use the word AUTISTIC so that the sting will be taken out of Maeve's damage and the drama of her situation will make her exempt from responsibility. But I don't. I remember Tina in the support group saying, "Let people stare. You don't owe them anything." But I feel embarrassed. And angry with myself for being embarrassed....

...When we get home I am mad at me for thinking about the "isms"-the autism, the bipolar. Sometimes I think I should spell autism OUGHTISM, because I fill it up with so many life-filling details that I think Maeve OUGHT to do; talk, run, ride a bike, make friends.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Some knitting quizzes (via Cinnamon Purls)

Are you a knitter? You are a masterful knitter! I don't know how you got this result, but what the hell... Enjoy your title, and try selling some of your "unvented" patterns- you may make enough for that bundle of qiviut you've been drooling over...

What color sock yarn are you? You like fruity sock yarn. You love pink and being childish is inspiring you.

What kind of knitter are you? You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer. You are through those knitting growing pains and feeling more adventurous. You can follow a standard pattern if it's not too complicated and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've started to experiment with different fibers and you might be eyeing a book with a cool technique you've never tried. Perhaps you prefer to stick to other people's patterns but you are trying to challenge yourself more. Regardless of your preference, you are continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as well you should since your non-knitting friends are probably dropping some serious hints, these days.

What kind of knitting needles are you? You are interchangeable. Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every eventuality covered and every opportunity just has to be taken. Every fiber is wonderful, and every day is a new beginning. You are good at so many things, it's amazing, but you can easily lose your place and forget to show up. They have row counters for people like you!

What was I thinking?

I went to my LYS yesterday to buy some yarn for a project I've been admiring for awhile. It's the felted laptop case in AlterKnits and the small size will be perfect for my iBook. I love the colors used in the book - muted purple, blue, and green. So I went to the Needletree for supplies, but didn't see the colors I had in mind. Then I saw the shelf of Lamb's Pride and fell in love with the bright, spring colors. So not like me! I'm a muted, natural kinda girl. So what possessed me to come home with this?
bright yarn

In other knitting news, I'm actually going to start my April Project Spectrum project. Another project from AlterKnits, I'm going to make a felted PDA case. It should cheer me up on long nights of call to carry that around instead of the ugly metal case my PDA is in now. I'm using this yarn and then I'll decorate it with some embroidery, probably some yellow. ps april yarn Of course I've never embroidered before. The pattern says to do some "freeform embroidery" or French knots... huh? Anybody know of some sites that can teach me some basics?

The Yarn Harlot is in my future hometown today at Webs. If only it was a month from now, I could be there. ::sigh::

Friday, April 21, 2006

Autism Awareness Month

April is autism awareness month (obviously a lot is being done to promote this since I hadn't heard) so I'll be posting autism links for the rest of the month. I'll start them all with the autism awareness ribbon, so you can skip them if you aren't interested. I'll also be posting some passages from Tilt, a novel about a woman raising a daughter with autism. She also has a husband with bipolar disorder, because one of those just isn't hard enough.

Some autism statistics.

10 things you should know.

Is there a link between autism and mercury-containing vaccines? I don't think so, but parents won't give up until there is proof either way. Some info on the debate. Some parents accuse the CDC of a cover-up.

Autism Society of America

Center for the Study of Autism

The miracle of today is that I took Maeve and Cleo to a movie - okay, it was Disney's Mulan - and they sat through all of it - almost.

I was vastly relieved that Maeve sat through the movie and seemed to even watch it, and to laugh at certain parts. When I realized that I was relieved, I realized that my expectations had sunk, diminished. I realized I had discarded so many expectation for Maeve because she cannot act like her younger sister who is half her age. And I saw that my heart had become a small caged thing, with pain lacing the tops like barbed wire. I saw that I have sent Maeve out of my world of dreams, and shunned her into a desert of disappointment. I am not a good mother of a child with a disability. I have not risen to the occasion, to love right or wrong, to defend, to honor, to accept. I have tagged my love with qualifications. Tilt

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Grand Rounds

up at Fat Doctor.

top 101 screenplays

The top movies, so says the Writers Guild of America (via Happy Catholic). Since I'm such a movie addict I thought it would be fun to see which ones I've actually seen. Some I'm embarrassed that I haven't, but they're on my Netflix queue. Those I have seen are in bold.

101. Notorious
100. Memento
99. The Wild Bunch
98. The Grapes of Wrath
97. The Searchers
96. The Hustler
95. Hannah and her Sisters
94. Patton
93. Do the Right Thing
92. Psycho
91. The Verdict
90. Sideways
89. Forrest Gump
88. Field of Dreams
87. 8 1/2
86. Harold & Maude
85. La Grande Illusion
84. The Princess Bride
83. Rear Window
82. Cool Hand Luke
81. Being There
80. Witness
79. The Producers
78. Rocky
77. Adaptation
76. Raging Bull
75. High Noon
74. Being John Malkovich
73. Amadeus
72. Thelma & Louise
71. The Lion in Winter
70. The African Queen
69. Dog Day Afternoon
68. Star Wars
67. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
66. Jerry Maguire
65. Singin' in the Rain
64. Terms of Endearment
63. Jaws
62. Moonstruck
61. The Silence of the Lambs
60. L.A. Confidential
59. It Happened One Night
58. Ordinary People
57. Crimes and Misdeameanors
56. Back to the Future
55. Apocalypse Now
54. Manhattan
53. All the President's Men
52. The Lady Eve
51. Broadcast News
50. The Sixth Sense
49. Schindler's List
48. The Bridge on the River Kwai
47. The Maltese Falcon
46. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
45. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
44. The Best Years of Our Lives
43. Taxi Driver
42. Raiders of the Lost Ark
41. Goodfellas
40. When Harry Met Sally
39. The Sting
38. American Beauty
37. The Philadelphia Story
36. Midnight Cowboy
35. The Usual Suspects
34. The Sweet Smell of Success
33. The Third Man
32. Fargo
31. His Girl Friday
30. Unforgiven
29. Sullivan's Travels
28. Shakespeare in Love
27. Groundhog Day
26. Double Indemnity
25. The Wizard of Oz
24. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
23. Gone with the Wind
22. The Shawshank Redemption
21. North by Northwest
20. It's a Wonderful Life
19. To Kill a Mockingbird
18. On the Waterfront
17. Tootsie
16. Pulp Fiction
15. The Apartment
14. Lawrence of Arabia
13. The Graduate
12. Dr. Strangelove
11. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
10. The Godfather II
9. Some Like It Hot
8. Network
7. Sunset Blvd.
6. Annie Hall
5. All About Eve
4. Citizen Kane
3. Chinatown
2. The Godfather
1. Casablanca

knitting in public

I'm a big fan of knitting in public. My socks became my first major knitting in public project. They are small and fit perfectly in a little bag and they are unobtrusive when you take them out to work on them. I worked on them while getting an oil change, at coffee shops, during a medical conference. I've now gotten used to people's comments and stares. My favorite is "Are you knitting? Wow, I've only ever seen it with 2 needles." I didn't feel like working on socks today so I took my HP scarf out for coffee with me. This scarf is now over 60 inches long (and amazingly not close to done yet, still another foot to go) so it covers my lap and hits the floor. Not wanting my precious to touch a dirty floor, I piled it on top of the table. So there it was for all the world to see. It prompted a lengthy discussion with one man about the fiber content of the yarn and the stitches per inch of the gauge - he's a big fan of natural fibers and asked to touch my wool. I also got a lot of Harry Potter comments, and for every "Oh, a Gryffindor scarf!" comment I also got a sneer and a "I'm Slytherin." When did this happen? Not only do people actually identify themselves as a member of a Hogwarts house, but it is apparently cool to be a bad guy. I'd show you a picture but right now it's just a pile of reverse stockinette. Once I'm done and it's no longer inside out I'll post a pic. I'm making myself finish this over the next week, so it won't be too long. (Come on, I know the suspense is killing you.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

adding to my stash

I make a conscious effort to not buy yarn. I'll be moving in a couple months so I've been trying to only buy with an actual project in mind. This is starting to fall apart over my new sock obsession. After finishing my first pair I promptly casted on another, this one for my mom. And some more sock yarn arrived today.
sweet feet sock yarn
Isn't is gorgeous? It's hand dyed Sweet Feet sock yarn in Chocolate Covered Kisses and Honey Butter. Thanks for pointing it out Lolly.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

completed socks!

I finished my socks and love them!
first socks
I have plans for more once I get some motivation. Getting motivated to knit has been a little rough as it's over 80 degrees here. I keep trying to work on my Harry Potter scarf since I only have a few more repeats to go, but it gets so hot with it on my lap.
Contemplating my April Project Spectrum project. I ordered some yellow sock yarn but it hasn't arrived yet. I do have some orange in my stash and I might make something with that. What I would really like to try is something completely different. I'm not really artistic but I love the idea of painting. Maybe I'll try some paint your own pottery or something. In the meantime, some PS memes.
My yellow/orange books...
april ps books
and movies (yes that is Dawson's Creek, and I'm not even too embarrassed. I still love that show!)
april ps movies

That's all for now, and I promise to stop being a slacker and start posting regularly.

Book lovin'

Seen this all over and it seemed like a good way to procrastinate, so here goes.

Bold the books you've read.
Underline the books you have sitting on your shelf.
Italicize the books you're planning to read.
Strike through the books you have no desire to read.
(Put parentheses around the books you have never heard of.)

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
(His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime - Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
1984 - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
(The Secret History - Donna Tartt)
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
(Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell)
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Atonement - Ian McEwan
(The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Dune - Frank Herbert

Thursday, April 06, 2006

my word cloud

My word cloud, generated here.

Not much going on around here. Still working on the same projects, but I'm making good progress. I'm turning the heel of my second sock, so that should be done soon. Then I'll focus on finishing that Harry Potter scarf. I love that scarf but it gets so boring so I can't bring myself to really work on it. By the time its recipient gets it he'll probably have outgrown Harry Potter. It's already too late for him to wear the thing! Oh well, he'll have it next year.

Went to the bookstore today, a very dangerous place for me to go. I bough a bunch of books but limited myself to just one knitting book. I wanted several esp. Inspired Cable Knits mostly due to this review from the Yarn Harlot. I love this sweater and will have to make it once I learn cables (and get the courage to attempt a sweater.

I love everything about this sweater esp. the I cord accents. But I made myself not buy it...not until I teach myself to cable. Then I'll rush out for this book! The knitting book I did get is Sensational Knitted Socks. I'm loving working on my first pair of socks and see many more in my future; I've already ordered some more sock yarn. This book was highl recommended by my sock mentor at my SnB. It has general sock instructions and tons of different stitch patterns. I'm looking forward to making some of these with my new yarn when it arrives.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


What to do with leftover croissants...hasn't that become a problem? Not really, but I would buy some just to make these Croissants aux Amandes (almonds in French apparently). From Clotilde at Chocolate and Zucchini.

knitting links

Secret Pal 8 signups -- deadline April 30.

One Skein Swap in conjunction with the book. Deadline for signing up is May 1.

Not really a post about knitting, but she's a knitter so I say it counts. Check out Lolly's recent activity. This girl takes project spetrum seriously.

coyote medicine?

At my med school we have something called Capstone -- it's two weeks of "lectures" stuck into the two months we have off before graduation. Supposedly it's a time to discuss the touchy-feely stuff that isn't taught in med school. Yesterday was our first day and we had a guest speaker -- Dr. Mehl-Madrona author of Coyote Medicine. Dr. Mehl-Madrona is board certified in family medicine and psychiatry and practices Native American healing. Some interesting topics from his talk: The mind is very powerful and can heal disease if harnessed; every person has a "story" and knowing it is essential for healing; religion is good for you ("If you don't have a religion, get one. If religion was a drug you would get sued for not presribing it.")

Some of what he said I understand and agree with. We all know how powerful the mind is and that believing you will get better can help you get better. The placebo effect is a real entity; I'm just not sure that a doctor's job is to hand out placebos. He described a patient who had rheumatoid arthritis and requested penicillin. Dr. Madrona made a deal with him -- I'll give you penicillin and if in 10 days you haven't improved you won't ask for it anymore, but if you are better than I'll give it to you whenever you ask for it. Well, after 10 days there was a dramatic improvement in this man's RA. Does that mean penicillin caused the improvement? No. It could be some placebo effect or the flare ran its course and would have improved on anything or nothing. Don't we have a responsibility to educate patients? And don't we have a responsilbilty to use medications properly, esp. antibiotics to try to slow don't the epidemic of drug resistance?

Another problem I have with his ideas is part of his "everyone has a story" thing. He told us about a patient who had heart surgery and then lost 100# by changing his diet. Some time later he regained 80#. When asked what happened he said that he couldn't stick to his diet because it hurt his family to not eat whatever was prepared at home, which was fattening foods. And that hurt his heart more than the weight. So Dr. Madrona stopped pushing the diet and weight loss because it didn't fit this man's story. I have a real problem with this one. I know that you can't force someone to change their lifestyle or take medicine, you have to suggest and prod and convince. But you can't ignore a problem or disease. Smokers like smoking and don't want to stop, alcoholics with liver disease don't want to quit; you still bring it up. Every time I see a smoker in clinic I ask them if they have thought about quitting and encourage them to try because of the health benefits. Sure, it's often pointless, but sometimes they just needed some encouragment to try quitting again. I was discussing this with one of my attendings a while back and we were talking about what makes a patient pleased with his medical care. It basically comes down to getting his needs met. Of course we don't always know what these needs are. We may focus a visit on hypertension and diabetes when the patient is really worried about his toe nail fungus. He may not care about his blood pressure, not think it's important, not want to take medicine, do hammering away at it and ignoring his real concern will leave him frustrated. OK, I agree with that and I should discuss his funky toes, but it's not okay with me to ignore his blood pressure. I need to educate this patient on the dangers of high blood pressure and the importance of getting it under control. Sure it may be like talking to a brick wall and months or years may go by without him understanding, but as a doctor that's my job. High blood pressure and its effects will kill him and I can't ignore that just because it isn't in his "story"; instead I have to change his story. Now if I can just figure out how to do that.

Feel like reading better written and more informative medical blogs? Check out this week's Grand Rounds at UroStream.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I am mohair

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Mohair.You are a warm and fuzzy type who works well with others, doing your share without being too weighty. You can be stubborn and absolutely refuse to change your position once it is set, but that's okay since you are good at covering up your mistakes.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

a little poetry

I was watching In Her Shoes, a great movie based on a better book, and loved this poem. It's in the book and the movie and Cameron Diaz (the flighty younger sister) reads it at Toni Collette's (the older responsible sister) wedding. It totally made me cry so I decided to share.
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the starts apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

e.e. cummings

Back from Massachusetts

I went up to Mass. last week to look for a place to luck. I checked out a bunch of condos but didn't see anything I liked, so I've decided to rent. I was told to check back in May for availabilities which kinda freaks me out as I need to move in early June. I don't like the idea of being homeless when I start my residency. The trip wasn't a total loss though. I got some knitting done during the 1000 mile-each-way drive -- added some length to my now 50 in long Harry Potter scarf and cast on my second sock. I didn't get to Webs though how I missed it as I walked all over town is a mystery. I did go to Northampton Wools and bought some new yarn. This is for a scarf for my mom...she'll need it when she comes up to visit me!
And this is for... I dunno yet, but I had to have it. The pic doesn't do it justice, but trust me it's beautiful. I great tweedy green.
So I may be homeless come June first, but I'll have plenty of yarn to keep me company!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Autism Awareness

During my first two years of medical school I worked as a therapist for children with autism, one little boy in particular. Winston was diagnosed with autism at 20 months and his mother was told that he would never speak or be a productive member of society. Winston's parents refused to accept that and embarked on a long and expensive journey with their son. He receives 40 hours each week of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy in addition to speech and occupational therapy. I began working with him as an ABA therapist immediately and watched him grow over a period of two years. Initially he did not speak, played inappropriately, made a few sounds like screams. He had some stereotypical behaviors of autism like playing with string, staring, walking in distinct patterns. During his therapy he first began signing, then making sounds, then forming words. He was able to ask for items and activities he wanted and complete tasks like matching and doing puzzles. He began playing with toys like cars appropriately. I have not been able to work with Winston during the final 2 years of school because of moving, but I've stayed in touch. He has made even more progress and is now speaking in sentences and reading. It is amazing how far he has come. Winston was in the newspaper last week because of his mom's activism. The state legislature is voting on a bill to require insurance companies to cover autism therapies, which can cost up to $100,000 a year. It may seem like a high cost, but it works and it helps these children become productive adults and prevents later institutionalization. I think it's worth it. For more information on autism, check out the Autism Society of America.