Monthly Archives: July 2010

Foodie Friday: Produce Quiz

Many summer picnics and barbeques likely incorporate this tasty produce pick into the appetizer spread. However, I’ve never seen it in its “pure” form, until stumbling upon a bin of these at the local Whole Foods. What is it?

For A Laugh?

A friend sent me this forwarded email. Not sure where to give credit. You’ve probably seen it, and yeah it’s silly, but admit that you laughed out loud too!

Two medical students were walking along the street when they saw an old man walking with his legs spread apart. He was stiff-legged and walking slowly. One student  said to his friend: “I’m sure that poor old man has Peltry Syndrome. Those people walk just like that.” The other student says: “No, I don’t think so. The old man surely has Zovitzki  Syndrome. He walks slowly and his legs are apart, just as we learned in class.” Since they couldn’t agree they decided to ask the old man. They approached him and one of the students said to him, “We’re medical students and couldn’t help but notice the way you walk, but we couldn’t agree on the syndrome you might have.  Could you tell us what it is?” The old man said, “I’ll tell you, but first you tell me what you two fine medical students think.” The first student said, “I think it’s Peltry Syndrome.” The old man said, “You thought – but you are wrong.” The other student said, “I think you have Zovitzki Syndrome.” The old man said, “You thought – but you are wrong.” So they asked him, “Well, old timer, what do you have?” The old man said, “I thought it was GAS – but I was wrong, too!”

Fracture risk and PPIs

Last month, actually I think it was late May, the FDA came out with a revised safety statement indicating possible increased risk of fractures in patients taking certain antacid type medications called PPIs. With vacation and the information backlog that goes with it, I didn’t give this more than a passing glance. Interestingly enough, I haven’t had a single patient ask me about it. And I think the vast majority of patients I see, particularly those older than 50, take “stomach medicine” – or Proton Pump Inhibitors.  A nice discussion can be found over at KevinMD. I don’t like reinventing the wheel so I’ll just point you over there for more info.

I Can’t . . .

I love this post of Roni’s. Thinking about laminating it and posting it in all my exam rooms. We’re all guilty of “I can’t” behavior and I seem to spend a lot of time with patients brainstorming about how to turn the excuses into action. Thanks, Roni, for ongoing inspiration!

Foodie Friday: Taste of London

Last month I visited London, England, for the first time. Sunny skies and temperatures of 80F for an entire week sure didn’t match with my expectation that it was going to be a grey, drizzly place. I got to act very tourist-y and saw this:

And this:

And some folks participating in a little friendly competition:

But what I really loved was the FOOD!

A new taste: Rabbit! Yup, I did. I’m not a huge meat eater and thought it tasted like lamb, I guess. It was the husband’s dish, eaten at The White Horse Pub at Parson’s Green. However, he loved it! 

Another favorite – I don’t know how they did it, but it’s some kind of flash-fried baby spinach with a sweet yogurt sauce. From Bombay Brasserie.

Turkish food I could probably eat all day every day. Ordering the “healthy meal” at Sofra (Mayfair) brought out about a dozen little plates with all my old friends – creamy hummus, fresh fava beans in yogurt, little meatballs. OK, I’m seriously starving now! Imagine this sitting in an open-air restaurant, live music from the cobblestone streets just below. Yup, a great night in a city I can’t wait to explore again.

Not pictured were a couple good curries, remnants of a fish and chips platter and the strawberries and cream washed down with a Pimm’s Cup atop Henman Hill. I know I have some London area Twitter followers. I hope they find this and send suggestions for good eats on future trips!

Want to see some travel posts from other bloggers? Good Cook Doris and Jill of All Trades, MD both enjoyed trips to Spain.

Foodie Friday: HOT bananas

The mercury hit 100 in the outskirts of Boston this week, while my non-air conditioned house registered at 87. What better time to bake? Actually, heating up the oven didn’t really make much of a difference in the overall house temp. There were 4 bananas threatening to turn to mush and a bunch of beets from last week’s CSA that needed to be roasted. So, double duty oven use it was.

The recipe I followed is from an old (1992) Family Circle cookbook, pretty much the banana bread recipe I’ve used forever. I think it’s pretty standard; flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, butter, vanilla, mashed banana. And the special touch – chocolate chips. I’m all for experimenting with healthy substitutions but with the exception of using white whole wheat flour, this is old school baking. I doubled the recipe and have 2 loaves that must go to the office with me today, or I might just eat 2 loaves in 24 hours!

Other baking adventures:

Mini donuts

Pear Muffins

Cherrywinks

The Implausible Rheumatologist

A few weeks ago, Dr. R.W. posted this article about Rheumatologists’ views of complementary and alternative medicine. The results were as follows:

Of 600 rheumatologists who were sent the questionnaire, 345 responded (58%); 80 (23%) were women. Body work had the highest perceived benefit, with 70% of respondents indicating benefit. Acupuncture was perceived as beneficial by 54%. Most were willing to recommend most forms of CAM. Women had significantly higher composite benefit and recommend responses than men. Rheumatologists not born in North America were more likely to perceive benefit of select CAM therapies.

Is this surprising? No, not to me. One of the challenges of caring for people with chronic pain is that brick wall both the doctor and patient hit time after time. With the best intentions, I will deliver my evidence-based argument about how time, exercise and other conservative treatments like ice/heat and NSAIDS are best for musculoskeletal complaints like back pain. I will cite studies that dissuade use of narcotics for chronic musculoskeletal pain. I will try to convince my patients that an MRI is not needed “just to make sure” at the first twinge of pain. And yes, I can find studies to back up all these things. And when the patient hasn’t had any success with my evidence-based recommendations? Why can’t massage be beneficial? I don’t think many people in this day and age think of massage as an “out there” treatment. Yoga? Great. Meditation? Super. Anything that helps us slow down and relax. Start talking about energy treatments and I’m a little skeptical but if you think it helps you and it’s not hurting you, go for it (and I am hoping a certain Reiki practitioner isn’t reading this, you know who you are).

Chronic pain is very difficult to have and very difficult to treat. I’d like to try to keep an open mind regarding possible therapeutic options. I think, and perhaps this survey illustrates the point, that I’m not alone in this opinion. OK, I’m ready for the onslaught!