Jun 132015

Doctor Learning EmpathyThe last time I posted, months ago, I’d been feeling optimistic about the latest doctor I was seeing at UCSF. He’d seemed interested and respectful, unlike some of the others. But then his tests came back without an obvious explanation for my abnormal brain MRIs and corresponding increasing debility.

He quickly became disinterested and dismissive. I’ll spare you the details. But it was depressing.

Not long after that awful, demoralizing appointment, I found a little cloth doll at a craft store. My immediate thought was, of course, “Voodoo doll!”

Then, the last time my friend Shirl and I were at our favorite supply shop, Dollhouses, Trains and More in Novato, I found a cute little stethoscope. It fit my voodoo doll perfectly.

One of the things the dismissive doc dismissed was the pain I described that feels like burning pins on the bottoms of my feet. Some days I can barely stand to wear socks. Or, come to think of it, even barely stand. He said it didn’t mean anything.

Empathy is an important quality in a doctor, wouldn’t you agree?

Teaching a Doctor Empathy

However, in spite of the “experts” at UCSF, I might now actually have a diagnosis.

Sort of.

I visited a dear friend last week. She mentioned she’d recently found an amusing 70s-style tarot deck among her late husband’s things. She was delighted to know that I like tarot cards. “Pull a few!” she suggested.

And this is what I got:

A Diagnosis

Hey, I said as I turned over the second card, “Those are nightshades! That’s really funny. I can’t eat those. I’m allergic to nightshades.” We looked up the card in the the guidebook that came with the deck. It helpfully explained that people who follow a macrobiotic diet believe these are basically poison, but most people can eat them just fine. (Except for Ellen!, we laughed.)

After that was a card that said, “What’s Happening?”

Then the final card said “I come from a different planet.” Hmmm…. The guidebook explained that my memories were erased at birth, so I don’t remember. But I’m actually a space alien.

I figure it’s as good an explanation as any. Don’t you agree?

Feb 032015

I thought I’d share a few random details from my natural habitat (aka The Studio). And, just like my studio, it will have no particular order. This shelf features a few parody “pharmaceuticals,” among other things. There are also bottles from real (now withdrawn from the market) pharmaceuticals I’ve actually been prescribed, as well as souvenirs from when my […]

Dec 202014
Travel Scenery and the Usefulness of a Sketchbook

I’m back from my latest medical excursion to the city. Actually, I’ve been back for a while, but upon my immediate return I succumbed to the cold virus du jour. It’s taking me a while to get my strength back. Hence, the extended silence. I went to see yet another neurological specialist. He doesn’t know what […]

Sep 192014
Confusion Reigns

I just returned from my latest medical excursion to the city. Still no answers. I’m supposed to go back next month. Why? I sometimes wonder. I guess because it beats trying to get any help from the local “specialists.” (Insert mental image of a duck. Quack! Quack!) By coincidence, just before I left, I discovered […]

Aug 042014
Where Oh Where Has My Blog Gone…

[Update: Restoration of the blog has been underway. Things are not nearly as dire now as originally reported. If it still is missing things when you look at it, please try refreshing the page.] Some surprises are not very nice. If you are a regular reader, you might’ve noticed the blog is looking rather strange at the […]

Jul 172014
And the Giveaway Winner is…

Everyone who left a comment on the last post! I couldn’t just pick one. I like all of you! The hard part now is picking out which big philatelic surprises to send… They’ll be mailed on Monday here in California. If I don’t know your address, I’ll be contacting you over the weekend.

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