So, the next morning, (see previous post if this needs explanation), I started off at Pen Club. The London, Ontario, Pen Club is a rather remarkable club. Its only rule is that there are no rules and that any attempt to introduce them will immediately result in expulsion from the club. So far there have been no expulsions. Since we meet every Saturday morning without exception unless Christmas day falls on a Saturday morning (even Yom Kippur does not qualify in cancelling a meeting!), there is usually adequate time to philosophize and solve the world's problems after the Pen discussions. In fact, I have suggested on many occasions that we should extend our title to 'The London Pen Club and Philosophical Society'. None of the other members of the club seemed enthusiastic about that,so we left things as they were. Nevertheless, I continue to regard the club as my 'ex-doctor medical lab' and listen to the comments, complaints and sometimes praise of the health care system.
A couple of weeks ago one of my club co-members and friend, whom I will call PC2 was concerned about having an angiography and stent placement.
" You've had that done, how was it?"he said to me.
" I wrote a piece in the "Medical Letter" describing it in what I hope was as humorous a way as one can. I'll post it in my blog or re-write it for you."
I did and I hope it brought him a little enlightenment and humour.
In the meantime he'd had and survived the procedure and felt better now that the stent was in place.. We discussed details. My stent has lasted ten years. Then we discussed pens because PC2 knows more about Pens than I ever knew about stents!
That evening, I received a call from a relative, we'll call her FM3. Shortly into our conversation she asked me, "What do you think of this whole Valsarten issue?"
Me: "What Valsarten issue?"
Valsarten is a blood pressure and cardiac medcation. It was even around when I was practicing full-time and considered an effective medication as it is today.
FM3: "Some batches of it have been found to cause cancer. Not the actual stuff, but something used in its manufacture, by some companies."
All my family think I'm brilliant and know everything!
"News to me. I'll have to look it up."
FM3: "The pharmacist phoned and told me to bring the remainder back and to talk to my doctor about a new prescription."
I looked it up in the FDA site and there it was. A list of formulations containing NDMA, (look it up) apparently used in the manufacture or somehow appearing as a contaminant in some of the formulations.
" I'll certainly have to follow up on that one!"
I'll follow that one carefully!
Later on, my lovely bride said to me,
" Oh I've got this funny pain in my elbow. Want to take a look at it?"
Me,"Oh it's probably old folks arthritis," I diagnosed glibly.
MLB, "It sort of feels like a splinter. Want to take a look at it?'
Me, "I can't see anything there."
MLB, "You don't have your glasses on, feel it!"
I grudgingly admit I can feel something.
"I'll get my magnifying glass."
I find a tiny splinter that could have been a speck of glass. I get some alcohol (not to drink) and a needle and sterilize the needle and the operation site, I'm pleased to report the surgery was sucessful!
It's almost like being a doctor again!
God help me!!
- and my poor patients!!