August 25, 2010

Sausage Fingers and Wrestler's Rash: Othropedics, Dermatology, and Rheumatology in 2 weeks

the specialty that scares me the most right now: dermatology. I know it seems absurd - how can rashes and blisters be scarier than hearts that don't beat or brains that don't recognize themselves as self? My sense is that it's because we are used to seeing skin, and we're used to seeing skin intact and generally clear of bumps and discoloration, whereas most of us don't look at hearts enough to have a visceral reaction to a disfigured heart.

and because all this pathology has me feeling even more like I'm forgetting how to speak like a normal person - some fun terms:

first, proof that all doctors think in terms of food:
strawberry tongue
- in an inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis) called Kawasaki's, where the little buds on your tongue become really red and really puffy

sausage fingers
also known as "dactylitis", found in psoriatic arthritis, which is exactly what it sounds like - psoriasis (rash) with joint pain (arthritis)

onion skinning
a specific appearance on an X-ray that corresponds to Ewing's sarcoma, a type of bone cancer that appears in children, that looks like the bone has onion skin on it, because so many layers of the outer coating (periosteum) are forming in reaction to the tumor

and just because I think it's a cute word: ephilides
(it means freckles)

and finally I can feel confident performing a full knee exam - so NOW you can all ask me why your knee makes that strange clicking sound when you bend it!

but there's been a bit of fun so far also, mostly because we are still all feeling like our whole selves - people who think about things beyond disease and treatments. Pig Roasts, Garden Dessert Party, Swimming and Rock Climbing, and lots of long bike rides.

Some photos of a garden dessert birthday party for two dear friends below - enjoy!

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