Tuesday, September 20, 2005

An Unexpected Guest

Guess who it was.


Of course, I can't divulge medical details. However, I think it's okay to comment that he's a very nice chap, though the situation at that particular time wasn't exactly optimal for proper social interaction.

I failed to recognize him initially, but was quickly brought up to speed by a male nurse and the orthopaedic MO-on-call. Being the doctor in charge of him from arrival till admission afforded an interesting glimpse into an international sports celebrity's personality, and I was very impressed with his soft-spoken demeanour, lovely manners, and pretty high pain threshold.

His team doctor - a super-friendly cardiologist with grey hair and a great tan - was an absolute pleasure as well. A little high-strung at first ( and for good reason ) but once assured of his patient's stable condition, completely transformed into the quintessential Italiano with the easy humour and penchant for physical contact. I suspect he wanted to high-five me, but I just stuck to a normal handshake, following which I got a nice, err, pat on the head. ( I also suspect he was going to hug me, so the head-pat was a relief, haha. :))

It was fun meeting you both. Good luck for your next race!

House At The Emmys

Congratulations to David Shore, who picked up the award for Writing for a Drama Series. No-one deserved it more, and I finally found out what he looks like - late 40s maybe, grey-streaked hair, slight resemblance to Jon Lovitz.

Staying true to his amazing ability as a writer, he provided an equally witty acceptance speech, an excerpt of which includes the line "I want to acknowledge all the other people who've come into my life and made me miserable and cynical and angry because this character wouldn't be the same without them and they know who they are."

Pity about Hugh Laurie being bested by James Spader. In a perfect world, there'd be a tie ( 'cos I'm a fan of both actors ). Perhaps next year then.

And speaking of which, here're more quotes from last week's episode ( i.e. The One With The Nuns ):

House: I've been a doctor for years. Why do I have to keep assuring people I know
what I'm doing?

Dr. Robert Chase: I hate nuns.
House: Who doesn't?

Dr. Eric Foreman: I don't trust a man who won't admit he might be wrong.

Nun: Being a nun doesn't make you a saint.
House: Being a doctor doesn't make you a healer.

Dr. James Wilson: Sometimes patients die against all reason and sometimes patients
get well against all reason.
House: That's not true. We just don't know the reason.

The sarcasm isn't that prominent this time round, but it's my favourite episode so far, mainly because there're some truly beautiful, heartfelt discussions about God and the concept of faith.

Chase apparently has a checkered past - he went to seminary school but later dropped out. His conversations with the sick nun are extremely moving, like a gentle dance or a lilting duet, with arguments from opposing perspectives yet superbly accomplishing the difficult task of remaining neutral.

In our profession, religion is a sensitive issue. I've seen patients either lose or find their faith, and one never quite knows what each person hopes to get out of it.

It is yet another testament to Shore's writing genius that this episode struck the perfect balance without ever degenerating into corny preachiness.

Gotta love that House comment about the "sacred skunk of Joseph". Good thing I wasn't eating or drinking anything when that line was said. :D

Other Emmy Mentions

Donald Trump dressed as a hillbilly farmer, belting the theme to "Green Acres". What a hoot! But I do admire a man who's comfortable enough with his ( ahem ) softer side to make a fool of himself before billions of viewers. Bet he's quite pleased with the Emmy Idol title, heh heh. :)

Gary Dourdain from CSI ( Las Vegas ) was a pleasant surprise during another performance of the theme from "The Jeffersons". Wooo, all these actors are so multi-talented!

Tony Shalhoub picked up his 2nd award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. Looks like I'll just have to buy all the DVDs, 'cos local TV is never going to bring the latest season here.

And of course, James Spader was hilarious, with his self-deprecating jibes ( "all that sex and weirdness I did over the years" ). Don't know where the pudginess came from but hey, he's finally found his groove and I couldn't be more pleased.

More Interesting Blogs

Haven't scrolled through everything yet, but here're the links:

An intensivist?

The intensivist's friend, from what I can gather.


The September 12 issue of Time magazine, which features a special report on New Orleans, has a FANTASTIC article by Nancy Gibbs.


"Mother Nature behaved as everyone warned one day she would, but human nature never fails to surprise."

"...nurses hand-pumped the ventilators of dying patients after the generators and then the batteries failed, while outside the hospitals, snipers fired at ambulances, and invading looters with guns demanded that doctors turn over whatever drugs they had."

"When Dr. Greg Henderson, a pathologist turned field medic, arrived at the Convention Centre, he was the only doctor for 10,000 people.
"They're stacking the dead on the second floor," he told Time by phone. "People are having seizures in the hallway. People with open running sores, every imaginable disease and disorder, all kinds of psychiatric problems. We have poeple who haven't had dialysis in several days. I just closed the door on a man who ran out of medicine for his kidney transplant. Very soon his body is going to go into rejection."
Henderson went in with New Orleans police, and when people saw him in scrubs, they surged at him from every side. He tried to tend the sickest and the babies first.
He tried to get them settled and asked them to show him the sickest.
"And they lead me. It's not a subtle thing. It's generally the ones who are seizing on the floor."

The photos are devastating. Blocks of decimated wasteland alternating with images of entire houses submerged beneath murky waters. Bodies float beside a woman standing upon a highway. The worst of it? A shocking picture of the elderly infirm packed at a baggage claim area at the New Orleans Louis Armstrong airport, too stiff from contractures to even move themselves off the luggage belt.

Like everyone else witnessing this incomprehensible disaster, the question of how something of this magnitude can occur in a country as wealthy and medically advanced as the United States demands an answer. And President Bush better make it a good one ( he hasn't succeeded so far ).

All I can say is, I hope Singapore won't suffer the same fate one day.

Waxing Lyrical About A Naked Dude

Click on the above title for really cool pics. :)

I didn't leave much time for this entry, so will truncate this a bit.

There aren't many things worth gawking at in Italy ( coming from a cultural illiterate, that is ). But Michelangelo's David definitely ranks high on my list of gawk-worthy sights.

Housed within a very nondescript-looking gallery ( i.e. the Galeria dell'Academia ) in Firenze, Florence, large groups of students and tourists milled around outside the teeny tiny entrance for almost a half hour before we were ushered in just after lunch.

You walk through a few rooms of artwork ( paintings, sculptures and such ) before coming face to face with the actual masterpiece. I guarantee you'll find your jaw dropping despite all efforts of resistance, with an accompanying exclamation of "Whoa".

Photography is strictly forbidden ( you won't feel like tempting the hostile guards, believe me ), so I can't post anything from my personal collection. In short, the statue is GORGEOUS, HUGE, and POSITIVELY CREEPY WHERE ANATOMICAL ACCURACY IS CONCERNED.

And no, I'm not talking about the, um, you-know-what. ( Please, give me some credit! :))

The structure is approximately 20 feet tall, a very pale cream colour ( after undergoing major restoration last year ), and reverently placed under a dome-shaped skylight, hence lending it an almost otherworldly quality.

The silence is palpable as you near the exhibit. Footsteps lighten, paces slow, and everyone's face is uniformly upturned.

The contours are smooth, the proportions perfect. David's head of curls are thick and layered, his posture relaxed, almost flirtatious even.

Doctors should stick around for a while and soak in the clearly protruding right sternomastoid ( yes, it's right there! ), not to mention those branching veins in his right hand and forearm.

Our guide even made a tongue-in-cheek comment about how many women think David's best side is his posterior ( sorry about the pun, heh ).

My opinion? I'd pick his right profile any day.

Don't miss it.

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