Inkwell: Authors and Artists
flash gordon md (flash) Sun 27 Aug 00 21:25
more likely, the damage could come from aggravating a neck injury. this could cause a major inconvenience (like wearing a halo cast for a few months) to become fatal or worse.
Latin Scholar (tigerlily) Sun 27 Aug 00 22:35
primum est non nocere, but leaving out the 'est' did no harm.
Christina Lawson (chrislawson) Mon 28 Aug 00 07:43
Thanks for answering my question vis a vis whether you like being a doctor. When I asked I was not thinking about the horror of HMO's, which for real, caring doctors is probably just as awful as it is for the patients! If it's not too off-topic, do you have any hope that managed care might become more humane in the future? There seems to be a backlash against it now and maybe something good might come of that. Or, more on topic, what do you think about the law that was passed, I think it was in FL, that repealed the helmet requirement for motorcyclists on condition that they carry extra health insurance. This seems discriminatory to me. I mean many car drivers do things which are just as ill-advised as not wearing a helmet! Regarding the question about aiding injured riders, I have seen many riders with a sticker on their helmet that says something like "If rider is injured do not remove helmet".
Undo Influence (mnemonic) Mon 28 Aug 00 10:04
It seems to me that flash could write a "My Turn" for NEWSWEEK about why it's harder to be a doctor now, and why so many docs are quitting practice.
flash gordon md (flash) Mon 28 Aug 00 22:49
i don't feel like i can speak for other docs, mike. i'm not that connected with the medical "scene" as it were. as to whether mangled care -- sorry, i mean "managed care" is going to change: i think it will. i've seen public awareness growing steadily about this issue for quite a while, and the increased connectivity we have from online media (like this) will only enhance the process. i don't know, tho', what the "answer" is, or even if it's answerable. but i know it's good to have more folks discussing the issue.
Susie Bright (sueb) Tue 29 Aug 00 12:48
Hi flash! AS you know, I know nothing about motorcycles per se, but I have a bit of experience as a "biker chick." What makes a great biker chick, that's my first question. Also, I have another Viagra story for you...last night, my lover and I were flipping channels on the TV, and lighted upon a gardneing show, where they were talking about how to keep cut flowers fresh and lively in a vase. The "expert" revealed her secret potion..DILUTED VIAGRA...which she said just perks them UP like nothing else. xxxxx, susie
lameness is celestial (chel) Tue 29 Aug 00 15:15
Susie Bright has the gardening know-how!
flash gordon md (flash) Tue 29 Aug 00 15:21
hi sue! that's a great question: what makes a good "biker chick"? first of all, she's got to be willing to get on the motorcycle with me. that rules out a substantial number of women. next would be her willingness to be a good active passenger. this involves not leaning in the opposite direction as we go around a corner, as in "aaiiee!! the bike's leaning right -- so i better lean left" and also involves what i call "consolidating the center of gravity." this involves my being able to tell where her body is with my back if we're cornering. other good traits include not moving around while we're stopped. i recall one passenger back in the late seventies who decided to lean over and see if her shoes had gotten dirty while we were stopped in a restaurant parking lot. clunk. at least she helped me pick up the bike. of course, a good biker chick has to dress the part. a good leather jacket is important, as are good, sturdy leather boots. leather pants make the ride a whole lot more comfortable. leather underwear-- well, maybe this isn't the conference to discuss all the advantages of that . . . %^)
Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 29 Aug 00 16:26
Mark Kaiser writes: From mkaiser@socrates.Berkeley.EDU Tue Aug 29 16:24:28 2000 Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 14:47:43 -0700 From: Mark Kaiser <mkaiser@socrates.Berkeley.EDU> To: email@example.com Subject: vertigo and motorcycles Dr. Gordon: Have you ever addressed vertigo and m/c's? Sometimes, especially on an empty stomach and on very twisty roads at speed, I'll start getting a bit dizzy and have a touch of nausea. I slow down and take it easy for a while, or if really bad, I pull over and wait it out. Is this common? I am not particularly prone to car sickness. Is there a safe way to prevent vertigo (dramamine (sp?)) so I can enjoy those roads? Thanks, Mark Kaiser Berkeley, CA
lameness is celestial (chel) Tue 29 Aug 00 16:31
on an empty stomach, I'm thinking low blood sugar!
Undo Influence (mnemonic) Tue 29 Aug 00 18:14
flash writes: 'i don't feel like i can speak for other docs, mike. i'm not that connected with the medical "scene" as it were.' Just speak for yourself, flash. I think you really ought to write about this, and your opinion on "mangled care" should be heard by a larger audience.
flash gordon md (flash) Wed 30 Aug 00 07:30
in an earlier post, vadim <krok> wrote There is one statement which I disagree with in the book: about disc brakes in the rain. Maybe author ought to have his front brake checked. I do not think rain water can cause serious malfunction in disc brake. In fact, everyone who ever locked his front wheel under the rain knows that problem usually that they do brake too well. well, we're both right. i notied this month's motorcyclist magazine has an editorial by gordon jennings, their tech editor, who's probably been riding as long as me (38 years). he talks about how early disc brakes had the problem of not stopping when wet, possibly because they had brightly polished discs. but <krok> is correct in saying that the newest, surface-ground satin-finish discs don't have this problem.
flash gordon md (flash) Wed 30 Aug 00 11:29
in another post, mark kaiser asked if there was a way to prevent nausea and dizzyness when riding twisty roads on an empty stomach. first, i'd absolutely recommend *against* dramamine, bonine, or any other anti-nausea medication. they'll make you a little sleepy, which you don't want when riding. trust me on this. since you note that the problem only seems to occur on an empty stomach, i'd suggest you carry a few balance bars or other sports snack with you and just eat one when you start to get hungry. inner ear problems that cause dizzyness in response to head movements tend not to respond well to therapy. you might have your doc look in your ears and do a quick neuro check, but my advice would be "eat when you're hungry." works for me . . . %^)
lameness is celestial (chel) Wed 30 Aug 00 11:42
mmmm, food! So flash, back to more m.d. kinda stuff - I've always wanted to ask you: what was it like to work at the Haight- Ashbury Free Clinic? Any good stories to share?
flash gordon md (flash) Wed 30 Aug 00 12:14
boy, don't get me started. there's probably another book in that -- a lot happened there. i remember one day in the late summer, right after i got back from wavy gravy's camp winnarainbow. it was the first, experimental "adult camp" that they'd had (i even got a t-shirt and a plaque certifying me as an "experimental adult) and we'd spent the time doing improv exercises and having lots of fun. i was having some difficulty making the transition back to "serious" medical stuff. a young guy stopped me in the hallway and said "yo, flash: you got any more of that tetracycline you gave me for my zits? it's working real well, man." "sure" i said. i went back to our pharmacy and gave him a bunch. "have you been having any trouble with it? any side effects?" "well, when i first started dry swallowing it, i got a little upset stomach. so, i opened the capsule, and it was this white powder. . . and i said 'hey, i can just snort it! that way my stomach will be cool . . .'" "you've been *snorting* your tetracycline for the last 6 weeks?!??" "yeah! i figured it'd be closer to the zits, too, and might work better." i must say that at this time, i was having great difficulty keeping an appropriately serious demeanor. i said "well, try taking it with a full glass of water, not dry swallowing it." "you think that might work?" "give it a try" i said. . ."and that way you don't have to worry about the milk powder in other things you snort making it inactive." he nodded sagely. "good idea."
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Wed 30 Aug 00 12:47
lameness is celestial (chel) Wed 30 Aug 00 13:03
Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 30 Aug 00 13:39
On a different topic, Laird writes: Flash, not that this is really a _medical_ question, but you have the background to speak to it: My wife is a former Level 1 trauma and CC RN; this has given her a somewhat prejudiced view of motorcycling. (I.e., it's a great source for organs, end of story.) Given the statistics, particularly among the younger set, it's hard to argue that on a logical level (not that that's necessarily the right level for discussion anyway.) I don't expect her to go out shopping for her own RS tomorrow, but have you any suggestions on "managing" her (or the general public's, to widen the question slightly) perceptions and acceptance? Thanks! -- Laird '96 R11RT
flash gordon md (flash) Wed 30 Aug 00 14:40
the way i see it, life itself is invariably fatal. nobody gets out of it alive. what matters to me is the quality of the life you have. for me, riding a motorcycle gives me great pleasure and satisfaction. i'm kind of a type a personality ("kind of!" i hear certain people sniggering. . .) and hate being stuck in traffic or not finding a parking space. on my bike, neither are issues. i lane split a lot, and park on sidewalks in front of where i'm going. very soothing to my spirit. and since i've had a bunch of angioplasties, i figure anything that lowers my stress level is good for my heart. so you could say i ride for health reasons . . . %^) of course, this may not work on your SWMBO. but give it a shot.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Thu 31 Aug 00 10:41
flash, I know that the helmet law in California is controversial for some motorcyclists. And I've seen plenty of riders wearing what I presume to be old-style helmets that don't appear to be particularly protective. Where do you stand regarding the "enforced" safety of California's helmet laws?
flash gordon md (flash) Thu 31 Aug 00 14:54
back before the laws, i used to say that i was against the law, since not having one would help upgrade the gene pool. still, considering the cost to society of head injuries in folks who are without health insurance or assets, it's probably worth it to require helmets. i know that if my helmet were stolen and i was a few miles from home, i'd take a cab rather than ride my bike.
lameness is celestial (chel) Thu 31 Aug 00 21:29
Yeah - being someone who has always ridden in the time of helmet laws, I definitely feel "naked" riding without it - even if it's just to move the bike from one side of the street to the other... So flash, how did you get started riding motorcycles? What were your first few motorcycles like?
flash gordon md (flash) Fri 1 Sep 00 10:03
wow. well, back in '61, i turned 14 and got my first motorized transportation. it was a solex: a tiny motor mounted over the front wheel of a bicycle, driving it with a friction roller. to engage the motor, you tilted the whole thing down so it was in contact with the font wheel. starting it was easy: you started pedaling the bike, and once moving, lowered the motor. it started right up, usually. to control the speed (advertised top speed was 20 mph, but that was optimistic -- maybe with a tailwind) you had a right-thumb operated throttle. normally, it was in the full open position; when you wanted to stop, you pulled the lever in and slowed down the engine. occasionally, the little injector for the gasoline would clog, and you'd have to take it out, blow thru it, and get things going again. i still have a scar on my right thumb from when my wrench slipped. . . after the solex, i moved up (barely) to a honda 50. great little bulletproof bike. i recall once having the oil drain plug fall out when i was riding. i knew something was wrong when the engine suddenly stopped dead. i noticed the oil dripping out, and followed the trail back 'til i found the plug; kicked the bike into neutral so i could push it to a gas station; filled it up, and rode off. other bikes after that included a zundapp 250, a honda 450, yamaha 750 triple, and eventually my first bmw in 1979.
Susie Bright (sueb) Fri 1 Sep 00 20:57
Flash, if you could be 'drug czar', what kind of "drug education" would you promote in public schools? I'm serious!
flash gordon md (flash) Sat 2 Sep 00 08:35
well, i've done some, myself. i went to talk to <onezie>'s elementary school class a while back, and the kids all had prepared questions. some were of the "how do you like being a doctor?" type; but i recall that "why do people use drugs?" came up, too. i explained that some drugs worked by going into the brain and pushing a button that gave people the feeling of "feeling good." i told them that this button was there to help learn some good things to do: if you were thirsty and drank, the "i feel good" button got pushed: if you were hungry and ate, ditto. i said that people who use drugs a lot were trying to get the "i feel good" feeling without earning it; in a way, it was like cheating. in fact, i told them, people who use drugs a lot can stop doing things like taking care of themselves by sleeping and eating and exercising because they just want to keep feeling that button getting pushed, and that sometimes they get sick and sometimes die. i have to say that i have *zero* background in public education, and i *don't* think it's a field for amateurs. i *do* believe that there should be an integrated program that starts teaching kids about all drugs (including those most dangerous ones, alcohol and tobacco) very early. however, i have served on the board of directors of an organization named DOC (Doctors Ought to Care), a national organization that helps educate the public, and especially young people, about the major prevantable causes of poor health and high medical costs in today's society, which are alcohol and tobacco use. DOC uses humor (so i fit right in). see more on DOC at http://www.bcm.tmc.edu/doc/ .
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