Monday, November 26, 2012

Modern primitive strikes back

The Hatchling doesn't really understand equivalence relations in set theory. She's so cute that way. Still, I hope it's something that she overcomes soon or she's really going to struggle when I start reviewing topology with her next year.

This all came to light during bath-time. I asked her what colour her little turtle was, and she quite rightly responded, "Green!". I then held up a green cup and asked her what colour it was, and she said, very confidently, "Purple!"

I had to explain to her that since the turtle was green, and since the cup was clearly the same colour as the turtle, that the cup must also be green. She was gracious enough to admit her mistake in this instance but didn't seem to be convinced by the more general principle.

Note to self: Hothouse not hot enough. Make more flashcards.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Modern primitive

The Hatchling doesn't really understand Newton's third law of motion - the one about "for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction". It hadn't occurred to me that kids actually have to learn this kind of thing, but I guess they do.

I'd been pushing her up and down the driveway on her little toy tractor. She can scoot herself along pretty well, Flintstone style, using her feet. But clearly it's much faster, less effort, and more fun to get me to push her. She would lean back as I pushed her in the small of the back, putting her feet up beside her hands on her steering wheel, and saying, "a-whee!"

It's all good fun, but I'm not as fit as I used to be when I was young, so after half a dozen times I got a bit puffed out and bent over so I told her that I need a rest and she can do it by herself. She pushed herself along for a metre or two, but then had a brainwave! She put her feet up on the steering wheel again, put one hand behind her back where my my hand had been, and gave herself a good push. All to no avail. She was most perplexed. And the upshot of it all was that I had to do another half a dozen runs up and down the driveway.

I downloaded a copy of Newton's Principia Mathematica and read it to her that night at bedtime. She fell asleep pretty quickly but I think she got the general gist of it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My dog has no nose

Come in to my office.  Does it smell funny?


My last patient had urinary incontinence and I'm wondering if I've aired the room enough.

I've got a cold so I can't really tell.

How convenient.  You should cultivate that cold.

I have a 2 year old at home so there's no need. We have colds on tap.

How lucky you are.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pain or something like it

Medical bloggers love to bang on about the 1-10 pain scale, usually to comic effect.  Here's my contribution, but with cynical intern burn-out substituted for comic effect:

So, the 1-10 pain scale, eh?  In my experience, there's no need for anything so elaborate.  There are only 4 actual subcategories of pain.

1-4. Bearable pain.  Take paracetamol (known in the USA as epinephrine.  No wait, that's something else. Forget it.).
5. Unable to articulate character, site, severity, onset etc etc etc.  Refer to a general medical team.  They love these guys.
6-10. Severe pain. Give opioids and request a general surgical review.  They'll need a baseline before the patient re-presents with constipation from all the opioids you gave them.
11. Drug seeker. Or renal colic.  Either way, some indomethacin up the butt will give someone some relief.