>April 15 2002

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Today found everyone’s favorite physiology teacher / Survivor show applicant / movie-star-wannabe under siege from irate exam takers for Friday’s respiratory system test. I am sure poor Dr. Hester did not know what hit him after some of our more illustrious question challengers unloaded both barrels on him. It is all quite comical to watch the indignant proclamations of, “I’m going to get that point back!” I will admit that I found a few questions to be either poorly written or have more than one possible answer. Of course on multiple choice tests you are supposed to pick the BEST answer. Sometimes life is not black and white and you have to choose the most reasonable from a set of possible choices. I am including one particularly debated question as my Question of the Day. I will be interested in seeing which answer some of the readers find to be best.

I am now certified in Basic Life Support and am glad to have that over with. The instructor was pretty personable for our skills test. She gave me a brief interview to find out something about me and then gave me some make believe scenarios which tied in with my circumstances to test me on. The first case was that of a middle-aged man who passed out in the middle of Pearl Day festivities, a pretty plausible happening as Pearl Day is a town birthday party in my city held in late June in the City Park. It usually is about 90 degrees and 80% humidity for the day. I just hope I would be able to successfully transfer skills with a mannequin in a non-stress situation to a life or death situation in front of hundreds of onlookers.

We started a gastrointestinal system unit in physiology today. I think it will be good fodder for plenty of bathroom jokes from our not-too-serious professor. He started out his series of lectures with a “tour” through the digestive tract using images from a scoped patient. The final one was the anus, with a slide conveniently noting that this was the “internal view.” He suggested if we needed an external view that we could use a mirror later. Some of the more uptight students found his humor crude I’m afraid but for the still immature crowd like myself, he shows great promise as an entertaining lecturer.

In news from the home front, we had Manning into clinic this morning to discuss the results of his recent pH probe test. It came out “negative” which meant that no reflux episodes were noted, which simple observation had already told us. And amazingly enough he has had the problem almost completely resolve in the last three weeks. Hopefully he is over it, and we can return to some of our old feeding habits. We used to bolus feed him five times a day through his feeding tube and each one would last about 15 minutes. One of the lifestyle treatments for his reflux had been to put him on a pump feeding system, which spread his feedings out to an hour. That amounted to five hours a day. While he didn’t need to be constantly watched during these feedings, they did make it difficult for Angie to plan extended outings. Also Manning’s seizures have decreased both in frequency and intensity in recent weeks. He is only having 2-3 a day for the last month or so and he is noticeably more alert, vocal, and tonic. We are seeing his neurosurgeon Wednesday and are anxious to tell him about the recent improvements.

I am coaching my older girls 9-10 year old softball team. We started practice last week and it is a lot of fun. Right now I only have tow practices a week and the season does not start until the week school gets out so it does not take too much time away from studies. I’ve got to have some outlet for my spring fever and spending a few hours outside in the evening is just the ticket.

About Marcus Lee

Child Neurologist
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