Saturday, January 23, 2010


I had a follow-up with my primary oncologist at the end of last week.  My blood counts and vitals were normal and there wasn't much to discuss.  I also have twice weekly in-home nursing visits at which she checks my vitals, which are normal.  Not too long ago, colon cancer surgery required a two-week hospital stay, but someone figured out that it's cheaper to send patients home and have a nurse visit them.  I have no objections, because I couldn't spend another week in the hospital.  The food is OK, but the TV channels are very limited.

One of the nicer things about the hospital, though, was the morphine infusion.  The machine was set to give me a continuous supply, and I could get a bolus by using the on-demand button.  I could only get the bolus in ten minute intervals and the machine would chirp when it was delivered.  So I would press the button, listen for the chirp and then press it again every 30 seconds until the chirp sounded.  It was more entertaining than whatever was on TV.

My daily schedule is pretty simple. I wake up at 4 AM to take some percocet, try unsuccessfully to go back to sleep, and then spend the rest of the day reading, watching TV, occasionally eating, and going for a short walk.  I squeeze in a shower somewhere in that routine.  During this time, I started thinking about the number of physicians and surgeons I've seen since June.  The list doesn't include nurses, physician assistants, patient care techs, etc. So you can imagine just how many medical professionals I've met.  Here are the docs, roughly in order of appearance.

  1. Primary Care Physician
  2. Gastroenterologist I
  3. Anesthesiologist I (colonoscopy)
  4. Pathologist I (colonoscopy sample examination)
  5. Primary Oncologist
  6. Consulting Oncologist I (Mrs. 270's cousin)
  7. Radiologist for PET and CT scans
  8. Radiation Oncologist
  9. Consulting Oncologist II (gastroinestinal oncologist)
  10. Gastroenterologist II (endoscopic ultrasound)
  11. Anesthesiologist II (endoscopic ultrasound)
  12. Consulting Radiologist (friend from college)
  13. Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist (my picture of hope and her expertise iis useful because I'm so childish)
  14. Colorectal Surgeon
  15. Anesthesiologist III (surgery)
  16. Pathologist II (surgical sample examination)
  17. (and 18-20) Surgery Residents
Hooray for a good health care plan, although numbers 6, 12, and 13 are unpaid counselors.


  1. "Morphine infusion" is a great name for a rock band.

    "Normal" and "wasn't much to discuss" are words I want to read on this blog. Great stuff, I-270.

    I must say, when I got to "I squeeze in..." I wasn't sure what was going to follow!

  2. Good to see that you're back home. And you realize you can only add 6 more docs to your current roster of 17 before hitting the FIFA limit of 23? If Dempsey is still hurt, have you considered Dr. Adu?

    Joe Doc - Morphine (minus infusion) is a great band! Check out "Cure for Pain" if you haven't heard them, fantastic record. Bass, sax, drums and vocals - nothing else!

  3. Are you reading anything you particularly like?

  4. 17 Docs? And that's without the Obama health plan.

  5. I've got some Man Utd Season Review DVD's I could lend you.

  6. thats an impressive list of the docs you met! my claim to such fame could have been during the time i was recovring from my spinal surgery - though i dont know if i could say "i met them" bec it was really by posterior that met them! oh the ignominy!! there i was, bandaged and lying on my tummy bec an 8" long plate had been implanted, and a parade of doctors, helpers, med students would all come in turns, , lift the sheet and not minding my cringing posterior , stand over it and discuss it as if it could not repsond ...which it did by getting tighter and tighter until it hurt!! i just hope your meetings were plesanter!!