My glamorous profession
Warning: don't read this on a full stomach. Did I ever mention that Alec Baldwin watched me to get into character for the movie Malice? It's true. And for my end-of-residency roast, I did a little stand-up comedy for my fellow residents and my attending physicians, wherein I showed this video clip from Malice: You ask me if I have a God complex. Let me tell you something: I am God. Stop video clip. Lights back on me. I'm shaking my head slowly, my mouth agape. Then, I say: It's uncanny. That is so . . . ME. Ah, well. You had to be there. Truth is, if we're playing God, then God has one messy, messy job. You know what I do more than anything else? I mean, as a simple percentage of time spent? I dig out ear wax. But that's not the messiest thing I do. I'm a PusBuster. Pus is one of the main reasons I'm late blogging today. That, and my son talked me into playing two games of chess with him, and of course I had to watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. In residency, I owned a tiny brown bottle full of oil of wintergreen. When it comes to pus, oil of wintergreen is your best friend. Schmear a bit of it under your nose and everything smells wonderful, even gangrene. Well, maybe not gangrene. Somewhere along the way, I lost my little brown bottle. Could have used it last week -- that pus shot two-and-a-half feet across the room. Thank heavens I wasn't in its path. My nurse, a woman in her mid-sixties, said that was the worst thing she'd ever smelled. For a nurse (especially one in her mid-sixties!) that's really saying something. I'm not complaining. I like busting pus, just as I like cleaning ear wax. Nothing satisfies quite like a good spill of the yellow poo or a big fat plug of the brown-and-hairy. These are some of the happiest patients: in the case of pus, they usually experience a rapid resolution of their pain and pressure symptoms; with ear wax, they can hear again. I've been hugged more than a few times. If I thought about complaining even for a moment, I would force myself to remember my comrades in general surgery, who regularly pull beer cans, beer bottles, and baseballs from people's rectums; my comrades in urology, who remove bobby pins and other delightful items from people's urethras; and my comrades in gynecology, who sometimes have to explain to their patients that, no, tampons do not dissolve, and it's a bad idea to stuff one in after the other. See? I have it easy. Only the eye docs have it better. We're medieval barbers, that's all we are. Sometimes I try to explain that to my patients. Usually, I stop myself before they get that glazed, wide-eyed look. D. PS: Here's the US Military's latest recruiting video (NOT). Hat tip to Daily Kos for linking to this biting satire.