Monday, November 23, 2009


The average child laughs 400 times a day; the average adult a mere 25 times daily. I think this is tragic. Laughter is a scientifically proven health-enhancer. It boosts the immune system, helps with pain, fights depression and creates great wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. Okay, perhaps that last one isn't so great, but I'd rather laugh my way to the plastic surgeon's office. Heck, who needs plastic surgery when one is happy!!!!! So, pick up the comics, watch I Love Lucy reruns, rent "Some Like it Hot", or spend time with friends who make you chuckle.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More Things We Don't Want to Hear

 I have witnessed many liver biopsies and they have all been uneventful. In most cases, the patients seemed completely relaxed. On one occasion, the patient said, "Let's get this over, doc," after it had already been done.

In spite of the fact that every liver biopsy I've seen has been smooth, I could not resist poking fun at it. Here are some more things we don't want to hear our doctors utter during a liver biopsy:
  • "Better save that. We might need it for the autopsy."
  • "Accept this sacrifice, Oh Great Satan."
  • "Oops. Who knew that the liver was on the right side!"
  • "There's a first time for everything."
  • "I wish I hadn't drank so much last night."
  • "Missed again."
  • "It looked so easy on the video."
  • "I'm not a real doctor. I just play one on TV."
  • "Shoot, I dropped the sample and have to do it again."
  • "I wish I had paid more attention in anatomy class."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Things We Don't Want to Hear

A friend sent me a list of things that one wouldn't want to hear during surgery. I'll provide more of the list in future posts. Today, I want to discuss one of the phrases, "I wish I hadn't forgotten my glass." This actually happened to me before my first liver biopsy. It was in the 1990's. Two weeks before the procedure, a well-meaning friend told me the gruesome details of her liver biopsy. She said it was the worst pain imaginable and although she had never had a baby, she couldn't imagine anything worse. She didn't stop there, but you get the picture.

I was a wreck worrying about the biopsy. The day of the procedure, I could barely walk, my legs were quaking in fear. Then the doctor arrives and says, "Damn, I left my glasses at the office." I replied, "Seeing is very important. You are not doing this without your glasses." So, we waited another half hour while his assistant ran over to his office to get his glasses.

In the meantime, I am hyperventilating from fear. The glasses show up, he does the procedure, and it's over before I can say hepatic encephalopathy. It wasn't bad at all. I wish I had seen the You Tube video of Gerard's liver biopsy before my procedure. It is very reassuring. I have provided a link to it.

So, two things you don't want to hear before a liver biopsy are:
Damn, I left my glasses at the office
Liver biopsies are the worst pain imaginable

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Hep C treatment wasn't all bad. I had a patient who loved the hair loss. She had very thick hair and for the first time in her life, her hair was cooperative. When her treatment was over, she said she wished she could keep that side effect.

HCV treatment was the easiest weight loss program I was ever on. I was never hungry and I didn't think about food at all. It's all a matter of perspective. Did anything good come out of your hep C treatment?