Madder and badder than the 15th

Saturday, 28 October 2006

Does this mean I wouldn't be allowed to wear my Port Power Tie?


BBC News
Thanks Arbroath.

Novelty sock

Novelty socks ban plan for medics

Doctors, nurses and health visitors in Lancashire could be banned from wearing novelty socks to work.
The proposed ban is part of a uniform policy which would also stop staff from having tight clothes, unusual hairstyles or excessive tattoos.

The East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said it wanted a "corporate image which presents a professional and business-like approach".

But a Conservative MP has labelled the policy "completely daft".

Lynn Wissett, director of clinical care, said: "Many of our staff work with very sick or dying patients and the policy is intended to make sure that our staff present a professional image at all times.

"Our staff and members of the public have told us is that we need to spell out clearly what is and isn't acceptable in relation to personal appearance, dress, grooming and hygiene."

'Silly socks'

Ms Wissett added that the trust would adopt a "common sense" approach to such issues.

The board met to discuss the issue on Wednesday but Nigel Evans, Conservative MP for the Ribble Valley, said the policy "should not be a priority for the NHS".

"I would have said that in children's wards it would be compulsory to wear silly socks," he said.

"I think people would prefer to see happy doctors and nurses - it's dictatorial and it's over the top.

"It's completely daft, this cannot be a priority for the NHS."

Friday, 27 October 2006

BMI 37 and falling

My main problem is I have to eat so damn slowly, no such thing as 5 minutes at lunch time between phone calls and patients to scarf* down a sandwich... And remembering to drink 10 minutes or more before a meal, I keep forgetting, so I get thirsty during a meal, and then I am supposed to wait another 30 minutes before drinking any fluid. This is made even worse by my habit of drowning the soups in Chilli power.

I have been eating just about everything, at least until my neighbour out the back, Mrs Hat, gave me a kick up the pants and reminded me why I went through this damn operation!
In fact, I do not think I'll tell the dietician this one, but the only other thing aside from french fries (previous post) that has caused me even the slightest discomfort was a meat pie
(I was conducting an experiment, I used to be a research scientist - work with me here???)
I had about three mouthfuls of mostly meat but including some pastry, and I could feel it just sitting in my oesophagus, from the discomfort in my back between the shoulder blades. It just sat there.
In the end I didn't exactly vomit, I regurgitated it and there was absolutely no acidic taste to it, so clearly it hadn't gotten into the stomach properly. Nothing else has caused me any discomfort whatsoever, no sense no feeling I suppose.

BMI now 37, the lowest I have been in 11 years!
An encouraging sign is that all my clothes are getting loose on me...

On the subject of fat, I was reading this article following a link from Arbroath's Blog, and it reminded me of when I found in an old chemistry catalogue book, that you could buy something called Depot fat, guaranteed rendered from humans.

Increase success by lowering expectations
57) Ignorance: It's amazing how much easier it is for a team to work together when no one has any idea where they're going.

* A word stolen from Bronze John, is that how you spell it?

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

Did you ever stop and wonder...

Recently - someone emailed me this, I was feeling particularly pedantic, and I have included my replies...

Did you ever stop and wonder...

Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these pink dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out?"

Nah, they would have seen the calves drinking, and people would have seen babies being breast fed and put 2 and 2 together.
Actually Goats and Sheep were milked long before cattle. Indeed there is evidence that Kuhbla Khan's secrets to cross the Mongolian desert was they drank their horses milk and the horses ate the grasses of the Steppes.

Who was the first person to say, "See that chicken there... I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta it's bum."

Again, birds eggs are seen widely in nature and very much treasured source of food for indigenous population, and IF you have had live young of your own, you would know that they do not quite come out of the bum.
However the first person to try oysters naturale... (ewwww!)

Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?

When I worked in my father's butchers shop when I was a kid, the freezers all had lights, but they had to be protected from the cold cos they would shatter when they turn on (indeed when coming in on Mondays the light in the walk in fridge would often shatter, and it had its own catcher, so no glass would get on the meat). So you would get this dull light from a light inside a thick plastic enclosure. Indeed a few modern freezers (big ones not small household ones) often have lights behind glass in a vacuum sealed space or use fluoros. Some new freezers have diode type lights that do not have the same sensitivity to cold/heat shock.

Why does your Obstetrician, Gynaecologist leave the room when you get undressed if they are going to look up there anyway?

Out of courtesy, people don't like their doctors "perving" at them as they undress, actually I would prefer to watch as I get useful clinical information out of the way people move, I try to always watch people get up and walk into my room when they come in to see me. So the covering is for patient modesty, we certainly are less couth when the patient is unconscious in the operating theatre.

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs?

Here's an excerpt from the Disney site:
Goofy was created as a human character, as opposed to Pluto, who was a pet, so he walked upright and had a speaking voice (first supplied by Colvig, and later by George Johnson, Bob Jackman, and Bill Farmer).

Can blind people see their dreams? Do they dream??

This has been answered in detail several times in various journals.
I should do a quick google, but I remember a series of New Scientist articles, including "the last word" on this about 5-6 years ago. In summary, if the blind person has never seen, then other senses recruit much of the brain to assist, so they often have good hearing ability (eg recognise 2 or 3 or more songs played simultaneously, you try it - its hard) and apparently can dream in non-visual ways, one explanation I read about was tactile dreams, "seeing" the room and faces by touch...
If they have had vision - even as young as a few months, then they may well dream in images, and the older they are when they lose sight the more visual the dreams are. So if people are blind at age 80 their dreams are usually primarily visual.

If you want to see a serious treatise check this out

If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests? (This one kills me!!!)

Well if you go on pattern recognition the answer is testical, which is a homophone for testicle.
If semantically correct the answer would be testing (imperfect present tense or present particible)*

And stolen from Yahoo Answers - (I really liked this one)
"quizzes are precursors to tests. Tests are the end action to tabulate what you know"

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from?

Oil out of the ground which is likely derived from huge algae blooms buried millions of years ago, and may be called petroleum oil or even petroleum jelly (depending on viscosity). So if the product (type of oil) is named by origin it should be corn, vegetable, petroleum if named by function then cooking, frying and baby, respectively.

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?
from some online dictionary I forget where
1 The ability to distinguish good and evil or right and wrong, right or good conduct.
2 Ethics, motivation based on ideas of right and wrong.

When it comes to things religious, I suspect the answer is yes!

Why do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

It was quite common for nursery rhymes to have similar tunes, their origins quite often derived from bawdy tunes and musical criers for contemporary events (like bah bah black sheep about the farmer complaining of paying taxes to their lord and to the church and only keeping a third themselves)

Stop singing and read on...

Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?

Yes, unless one is trying to construct sentences, or someone is a very bad dyslexic, then they are usually able to read basics, especially the alphabet, so as an educational tool to help with familiarity of patterns (recognition) then they may well get even more benefit.

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

If you stick your face close enough to a dog even without blowing it is likely to provoke them. If the dog is very close to you (emotionally) they may even like you blowing on their face, I remember an old ex-gf who had a sooky lapdog who loved it when she blew on its face (initially to get its hair out of its eyes but then it continued on out of habit) but if you got to close while blowing snotfeatures** (it was an inbred King Charles with a really bad sinus problem, I was surprised it could breath at all) it would also snap. Indeed it was fun oscillating the distance between me and the dog to see it change moods rapidly...

Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?

No, but it distracts you for some time and allows venting of frustration so helping pass the time until the elevator gets there. In fact Edward De Bono (the lateral thinker who uses the different coloured hats) had a solution to some Japanese high-rise problem with only 4 elevators and people getting impatient waiting for the lifts - and this was a common problem in the 70s with taller and taller skyscrapers having to fit more elevators in and therefore creating more dead-space... His solution was to install mirrors on the outside of the elevators so people were too busy checking out others and preening themselves to even notice the greater time for the lifts to arrive.

Do you ever wonder why you gave me your e-mail address in the first place?

That one has got me stumped


* I was a research scientist, I know how to write in the passive tense, I can put insomniacs to sleep.
** or snort-fiend or ... I can't remember but the bloke the ex- dumped me for had even more names... last I heard of her she married some other bloke, and had a German shepherd as best man!

PS Any Wikipediac, feel free to add this ad libitum to the 'pedia, if you feel so inclined.

Sunday, 15 October 2006

Gastric Banding

Dear Reader,

A break from gleaming interesting snippits from the web, as there are always those who do it so very much better.

Inspired by Lockjaw's story of weight loss (you will have to listen to his podcasts), here is mine about Gastric Banding.

Here is my story - BMI 41 prior to using Optifast and KicStart. The latter tastes less worse and available in Coffee flavour... Hint #1 - I found adding Benefiber helped to make the shakes creamier and more filling. Hint #2 - Coffee (well Caffeine - Sorry all you LDS'ers ) is good....

The gastric banding was interesting! From the Fluoroscopy I was so full of gas (CO2 I presume) that I ached from both my shoulder tips. In the fluoroscopy it was interesting to see the intraperioneal gas - it was "frothy"... I would not have picked that up from the static xrays or from my research prior to having a lap-band.

I am still getting L) shoulder tip pain!!!!

The Anaethetist had some interesting ideas, post operatively, it is apparently important not to vomit (and risk a perforation or displacement of the gastric band) he wanted to avoid using opioids. So in surgery he apparently likes to add Clonidine to the mix and therefore maximising the analgesic effect of the perioperative fentanyl with out post-operative opioids. I have to admit I used absolutely no opioids post-operatively (I know it is only an N=1 trial, non-blinded).

One fellow "Band"it undergoing surgery at the same time, she is 51, Insulin Dependent Type 2 (42 IU of sustained acting insulin a day and about 10 of immediate acting insulin) She stated that the shoulder tip pain was just like when she had angina (LAD stented last year).

Currently it is taking about an hour to have lunch or dinner, I'm supposed to be on a liquid diet (anything that will go through a straw). Well toast isn't too bad in soup (Bread esp. white bread is supposed to be bad) and as long as I chew it thouroughly meat seems to be okay, cashews were okay, but chips (esp fast food crap ones) really really causes indigestion (Yes BJ I am sure you would have known just that!!)

Doc: (to the surgeon who did the op) or the dietician who works with him, If you think that your patients are not going to challenge the limits of the band and what can be tolerated, well... I have this bridge I need to sell real cheap, Jesus died for you sins and the check is in the mail, and John Howard really is the hero of the Working Classes.

I am sick of custard and canned soups.

A really good example of what is required and recommended can be found in this booklet .

I lost about 4 kg pre-surgery, but I couldn't do the ketosis thing (using Kickstart or Optifast). I got so sick - coincidence??? the two times I got to 3 days (aborting it the first time was interesting, it took about 750ml of sugary soft-drink).

So - 4 weeks ago - BMI 41
Last week prior to surgery - BMI 39 (well if I relied on the hospital's scales BMI of 36)
Now BMI of 38.

Let me know if you think it is worthwhile for me to continue? (I mean I am not as eloquent as BronzeJohn).


Friday, 6 October 2006

Whadda-I do now?

I thought I would pinch a bit of this article from the Short Shart Science blog, from New Scientist, especially since it is about my mundane world namesake....

Thursday, October 05, 2006
Time to go, limbo.

Goodbye limbo, it was fun while it lasted. And it lasted a while – since the Middle Ages. The concept of limbo – the place where dead children go if they die without being baptised – has been abolished by Pope Benedict XVI.

Read on...