Wednesday, August 12, 2009

is it really wednesday already?

the only kind of list i don't like
i almost lost my cool in clinic yesterday when one family came in with a written list of symtoms, which read like:

nasal congestion
decreased appetite
low energy

accompanying this log was an index of wants. a veritable acute-care shopping list, it included things like:

chest x-ray
cough medicine
blood work

the lists came on the back of an envelope and had been written by mom, who did not come to the appointment. grandma and grandpa were there and seemed a bit sheepish and apologetic about it, but i could tell they had been instructed to come home with the demands met, come hell or high water, because basically they told me this.

the kid? happy, playful, and dancing around the room with a stuffy nose and a temp of 99.5. she was only just sick enough to spatter my face with virus-laden droplets while i examined her throat. the sibling was also there (and checked in), but clearly only along for the ride, with very minimal symptoms ( . . . so far)*. we had actually seen the first child 3 days prior, on day 2 of her cold, and instructed to return if symptoms were to persist past 7-10 days or (of course) if there were any breathing problems or other scary new findings. yesterday was day 5.

it took 30 minutes of talking this family down (including time spent with mom over the phone) before they we could convince them that irradiating their child's chest was unnecessary and that THIS IS WHAT A COLD LOOKS LIKE. so while i love lists most of the time, i shudder when i see one in a caregiver's hand, especially in acute clinic (bringing a list of accumulated concerns to a regular check-up is much less offensive and even sometimes helpful).

* rule of multiples in same day clinic: number of children checked in is inversely proportional to acuity. also, with any multiple, there is typically only one 'sick one' and the others are along for the ride to get 'checked out'. it's sometimes kind of fun to figure out who's who, although most of the time a quick glance around the room does the trick.

google reader
personally, i use google reader for pretty much all of my blog-perusing. sometimes it can get overwhelming (hundreds of unread posts!) but i've learned to just suck it up and 'mark all as read' from time to time when i need a clean slate.

for those of you unfamiliar with the service, it can be found here and it basically serves as an organizing hub for all of the blogs you enjoy following. you can bookmark favorite posts, and it is constantly updated so that you can see when one of your favorite writers has published something new.

one fun feature for those of us who blog is that you can track subscriber numbers and watch your readership grow. ghost world is currently at 88 subscribers, which is 1/20 of the number who subscribe to kath's blog and about 1/5 as many as michelle's the underwear drawer, even though she has posted exactly once in the past 3 months.

not that i'm bitter.

(i'm not, though, really! i'm actually kind of thrilled with 88!).

the only downsides to google reader are that you have to click through to posts in order to comment or see comments, and that bloggers with sponsored sidebars (such as BlogHer on this site, or FoodBuzz on others) won't get credit for posts read via reader because the ads aren't visible. however, i suppose that's a plus for readers, and i don't make enough cash from this endeavor to warrant caring about that!

question of the day: how many of you use google reader? or are there other, even better blog-reading services out there (i've seen some click-throughs via bloglines, but have never used it).



workout: 40 minutes elliptical + weights
- pushups, 2 x 12
- squats with ball, 10 lb weights, 2 x 12 (my butt hurts today!)
- lat pull-downs, 50 lbs, 2 x 12
- walking double lunges, 8 lbs, 2 x 12
- lateral/forward raises, 6 lbs each hand, 2 x 10 each side
- tricep pushdowns, 15 lbs 1st set, 10 lbs second set, 2 x 12
- ball tucks, 2 x 12

doin' time: i'm on a cooking roll this week! inspired by julie & julie perhaps? last night's dinner was based on martha's shrimp and basil pasta recipe (on the sidebar), but i made a few modifications based on what was in the house.

instead of linguini, the pasta is a hodgepodge of whole wheat penne, rigatoni, and spirals, using up 3 opened packages. i didn't have canned tomatoes, so the tomato component was just fresh cherry (local durham heirloom!) tomatoes. and finally, though i know it's not traditional on seafood dishes, i added some parm to use up a container.

it was good.

so was my LLL: laptop leftovers lunch!

peaches, leftover jicama slaw, leftover corn and blackeyed pea salad, whole grain crackers, and a laughing cow wedge

reading: oops, i slacked and watched entourage instead. note to self: i am NEVER going to be able to study in bed after watching TV. NEEEEVVVVVVER.


  1. Anonymous7:57 AM

    Your dinner looks fantastic!

  2. Anonymous8:20 AM

    I only have 34 subscribers. And I'm not embarrassed to admit that I check all the time and get a little excited when the number goes up! 88 is a lot!

  3. I love when patients say things like, "So I've had this problem (non-relevant to why they were admitted) for the past few months, do you think you could get the doctor to check it out? You know, since I'm already here?" Usually this occurs at 9pm when doctors sure don't want me calling them!

    It's kind of like when people tell me they're having trouble breathing and then demand that I get them a drink of water. Let me get some oxygen on you...priorities!

    Anyway. I made that good!

    I just checked my following on google reader...62! Not too bad. I didn't realize that people don't get money from their sidebars if I don't click through to the blog. Luckily I click through to comment, so I really support the blogs I read/comment on the most! :)

  4. Hmmmm... I use Sage reader and I wonder if I should switch to Google. I have no idea how many people subscribe to me, but I'm guessing it's in the single digits.

  5. I don't use google reader or any rss feed for blogs. I have to say part of the fun in checking blogs is to see if someone has updated yet. I know, weird that I consider it fun, but I do. I check blogs in those minutes between projects at work or while I muster the strength to dive back into work.

    Of course, that also means that when I'm super busy I just don't check as often, but I always seem to find the time to get mostly caught up.

  6. I use Google Reader. I wouldn't be able to keep track of all the blogs I read anyway.

  7. How do you want to meet up on Saturday? Do you want to set a time to meet in the lobby? I would email you my phone number, but I don't really know how to do that without the end blogosphere hearing about it. Let me know!

  8. I subscribe to blogs through Google Reader but I never read them that way. I don't like the way they look in there.

  9. Hahaha, I am the same way. Seeing unread posts sends my cortisol levels through the roof!!

    I usually use it as a way to see who has posted and then click on their site through reader. I like to read posts on the actual website for layout variation...and to get them some page hits!

    I started out at around 8 subscribers and one day out of the blue it turned into 21! I was bouncing off the lame. And then it went down to 19 :(

    I cannot even fathom Kath's 1600+...whew!

  10. atilla3:13 AM

    don't use and until today, didn't know about google reader

  11. Anonymous8:54 AM

    i use google reader and while it's amazing to keep all the blogs and stuff i read in one place that tells me when it's updated, if i'm really busy one day it's soooo overwhelming to see how many unreads i have!

    and i laughed about that mom with the written lists. in clinic the other day one mom came in with a BINDER of everything that had ever happened to her kid!

  12. Hi Sara, hope you are doing well! I was wondering where you got that Bento-style lunchbox? I NEED one of those desperately!