Day 56


2/26/20232 min read

There was no spectacular sunrise to gush over, and while some blue sky was trying to push through, it remains overcast as of late morning. We spotted a hawk flying high overhead, retreating from a bold sparrow in pursuit but by the time I got my camera up and ready, it was little more than a tiny "m" in the sky. All that to say today's photos are a bit of a bust, so perhaps I will continue with the pontification instead.

Mrs. Dr. Sunshine recently shared a quote attributed to Voltaire: "The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while Nature cures the disease." I, of course, was very offended and immediately replied, "I am not just a dancing fool here for peoples' amusement!" This did at least elicit a chuckle. Most of the time, "Nature" and time will cure the disease. Our patients need to be patient! How ironic. In Voltaire's era his words rang particularly true because there weren't many legitimate therapies available. But today there are so many drugs, tests and procedures to wade through. In addition, with the development of them all the line between convenient and necessary has become impossibly blurred in much of medicine. That reminds me of a personal favorite quote that dovetails nicely with Voltaire's words: "First do no harm." This is the other art of medicine. There are so many interventions to choose from, we physicians need to know when NOT to prescribe, cut or scan, as there is no drug or test without side effects. Even sunlight and water can wreak havoc on our bodies if not used judiciously.

The moral of the story is to have patience and ask questions, because "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch!" (Another favorite quote in our house). An antibiotic might save you a day or two of cold symptoms if your cold happens to be bacterial (which it probably isn't). But that day saved will be lost many times over if you develop C. diff colitis because the antibiotic wiped out your gut bacteria. While that may be the extreme, any antibiotic will cause some disruption to your gut biome, not to mention other potential side effects depending on the drug (I'm looking at you, fluoroquinolones!) Hopefully your doctor explains this when he doesn't prescribe you an antibiotic. He isn't trying to prolong your suffering. He's trying to protect you from a worse fate.

As always, this blog is for entertainment purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Please talk to your doctor before questioning your doctor about any drugs, tests or procedures.