Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sew what?

For the past couple of weeks I've been working in the university hospital's ED. Although the cases are often medically complex and interesting -- liver and lung transplants, patients with multiple diseases, etc. -- we don't always see the same sort of banged-up trauma that we see on every shift at the county hospital.

But the other night at the end of a shift, a guy came in who had bashed his forehead. No multiple co-morbidities, no metabolic diseases I'd never heard of before, just a moderately complicated laceration that had to be repaired carefully given the cosmetic issues of facial injuries. And I have to confess -- I love sewing up lacerations. It was strangely peaceful to just settle into a room for a little while with my last patient of the night and stitch up his wound.

Such are the simple pleasures of my life these days....


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Climate change

Quick phone chat today with a friend in Chicago. Me, standing on the balcony in a T-shirt, watching a hummingbird feed from succulent blossoms. Her, standing outside trying to get reception, turning blue. Conversation ended with a thud when the cell phone fell from her stiff, frostbitten hand.

Believe me, I know how good I've got it. My sympathies go out to all my friends in the colder parts of the country.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Too much view

Trying to take advantage of a few free hours by working on some papers here in the UCSF library. Unfortunately, the library is high on a hill with big windows overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Golden Gate, and downtown San Francisco. How is anyone supposed to concentrate on work with a view like that on display?

Bunny on a plate, anyone?


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Balloons in the park

This afternoon, instead of working on either of the two articles I'm supposed to be writing, I went to the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park to bask in the sunlight. While I was sitting on a bench I watched a family arrive -- mom, dad, a little girl of about 2 in a bright red coat with long frizzy blond hair, and a boy of about 4. They went to an open grassy area and the parents started blowing up five-foot-long balloons. Then, without tying them off, they started letting them go. The balloons flew around randomly, sometimes zooming straight up in the air, sometimes skimming over the grass. The kids were captivated and delighted and chased them, trying to retrieve the deflated remains. This went on for a long time; the kids never got tired of it, and everyone else in that part of the park was enthralled watching them.