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Dear Diary

My gosh. I actually get angst when I haven’t posted for a few days.
Actually, I have angst for other reasons, but not posting just adds to the angst.

So what’s been happening lately?

First, the poor WhiteCoat children are having trying times in their love lives.
Oldest daughter WhiteCoat found out from a member of her track team that her boyfriend of 6 months was cheating on her. Another member of her track team was apparently going around and telling everyone that she had a “secret boyfriend” and was also telling everyone the sordid details of the interactions she was having with her “secret boyfriend.” So daughter WhiteCoat dumped Mr. Two-Timer. Mrs. WhiteCoat called his parents to let them know what was up. Papa Two Time said that he didn’t know what we were so upset about because the other woman “pushed herself” on Daughter WhiteCoat’s ex and that the other woman was a “two bit whore” anyway. I’m kind of thinking that this breakup was a good thing.
The next day, Junior WhiteCoat’s girlfriend texts him and says she “wants to be single.” The text gets posted to Instagram. Then about 60 comments later, there are accusations flying back and forth that she’s been dating someone else and that he deserves better. When I was 12 years old, I was climbing up trees with a bag of tomatoes and tossing them at cars. Now my kid is 12 and he’s in need of relationship counseling.

Health hasn’t been great lately. Pretty much every person in the family has had vomicking and/or diarrhea in the past week. Zofran is our friend. But it gets a little frustrating when you’re working in the ED and patients who puked once or who have had a couple of loose stools want work notes to be off for the rest of the week.
Got kind of a kick out of one patient walking into the emergency department as I was leaving work. He was heading toward his car in the parking lot and I saw him suddenly turn around and head back toward the hospital. He was walking like he had a load in his pants. He gets closer to me and he starts shaking his head.
“Ya try to do the right thing and what happens? It bites you in the ass. I’m holding in my gas in the ER and I waited until I get outside to pass it … then I crapped my drawers.”
He did have a load in his pants.
Although if he passed gas in the ED, it probably would have been just as embarrassing.

Grandma and Grandpa WhiteCoat have been having issues. Their health has deteriorated to the point that they were unable to stay independent, so they moved in with my brother. The only problem is that Grandma WhiteCoat has a few cats … like 10 … and that Grandpa WhiteCoat has a book collection … like about 30,000 … all in boxes. He also has a good thousand or so small plastic boxes of pictures that he has taken through the years. All categorized, but none of them ever seen by anyone but the person at the photo lab who initially developed them. And if you want to look at one of them, you can’t take it out of the house because you may copy it and the pictures are copyrighted. Fortunately, he converted to digital pictures about 7-8 years ago, so now it’s just a matter of storage on his computer drive and no additional plastic boxes. But then he sends pictures to you and the pictures have copyright marks all over them.
Well things came to a head when the grandparents wanted to move their things into my brother’s house. My brother had a bad experience with a cat and a muzzle loader once and doesn’t really want any cats near his house. There was a lot of arguing and hand wringing. Finally, Grandma WhiteCoat talked a friend of hers into keeping the cats in her basement. Grandpa WhiteCoat is upset because he has to rent out a storage facility to keep his prized book collection and all of his pictures.
I get caught in the middle with all of the phone calls. Brother WhiteCoat is at his wit’s end. Grandma WhiteCoat says that the cats are the only thing in her life that keeps her happy and that Brother WhiteCoat is just trying to keep her from being happy. Grandpa WhiteCoat just walks around the house in his tighty whities (which are reportedly still white but not quite as tight in certain places) complaining about how these schlubbs at the storage facility better not ruin his book collection.
If you ever wondered whether your family was dysfunctional, it isn’t. Trust me.

The biggest source of my angst lately is a change for me. I’m changing my blog site. I registered a new site at DrWhiteCoat.com and have been working to get it up and running for months. Over the past week, I put a lot of my non-ED time into trying to finish it and it’s almost there. But that was at the expense of posting. As a result, I have a stack of notes on my desk about all the things I want to write about. Literally. There are 11 pieces of paper. Several of them have more than one topic on them. So I’ve got a lot of writing to do.
I’m not leaving EP Monthly, but I’m planning to expand this blog beyond just emergency medicine and I don’t want to keep straying from EP Monthly’s mission, so I’m going to split my time between the sites.
I want to try to do a more regular posting of Healthcare Updates perhaps 3-4 days a week rather than doing them once a week. I don’t like pushing out stale news.
Also planning to do a hospital administrator/hospital rating page within the site – a health care worker satisfaction page. Still need to come up with some cash for that project, but it is already planned out and I obtained a list of all the hospitals in the US to populate the site.
Planning to write some more articles with information to help patients.
Also planning to reincarnate Grand Rounds. Creating a separate page just to promote other medical blog posts.
And I’ve got a few guests who are going to help me with the blogging.
Hoping that it will be a win-win-win for readers, EP Monthly, and me. One way or another the site will be up this week. If you want to be notified when it is up and running, click over to the site and enter your e-mail – you’ll get a notification when there’s new material.

The past couple of days have been spent hanging out with family. Lots of the Rock kind of things. After the kids got sugared up on Peeps and jelly beans, we went out to the park and flew kites. Then we came back, had a great dinner and laughed. Mrs. WhiteCoat opened a bottle of wine, and we are getting ready to watch a movie.

Now I’ve at least gotten my blogging fix and am not in need of intravenous benzodiazepines.

Time to go have a glass of wine and relax.

Back to blogging as usual in the morning.


  1. EP Monthly seems to have been a good host so far, but it has had a sedating effect on your writing. (Maybe it seems to be working out so well because you’ve been a good guest and minded your manners?)

    The new site sounds exciting. Especially the ratings page. That’s a really big idea! I can’t wait to see it take off.

  2. Hey Dr. WC,

    I’m not sure if you’ve discovered it, but eLance is a hell of a resource for technical talent cheap. I’ve used it for our company a number of times, and it’s quite nice to be able to get a WordPress expert for $6, or an HTML wizard for $8.

    Something to keep in mind as you look to get your hospital rating page.

  3. I’m glad you’re all feeling better. And good for your daughter! Some girls would put up with that nonsense, turning themselves into doormats and doomed to be hurt. His dad doesn’t exactly sound like a class act either – good riddance!

    Once in earlier blogging days …we were without power for a night and I actually felt anxiety about it in my extremities. Weird. But …then 8 days of no power with Hurricane Sandy (yrs later now) and not so bad. Congrats on your new blogging digs and I look forward to reading it. :)

    My heart goes out to your family needing to take the care of your parents on as I know it is very difficult for many reasons. It must be especially hard on brother and his family as well as your parents. It must be so hard to lose one’s independence. My mom held back on telling me she couldn’t do certain things and other info, that I now realize was because she was afraid of losing her independence.

    God bless her friend for taking in TEN cats. That is some friend!

    My mother went from her apt ..lived independently until 85 and then to nursing home where she declined and passed away within 6 months. none of it was easy. Cleaning out her apartment, feeling her anger because she was there ..but she needed nursing care. The pain of knowing how upset she was to not have her 2 cats that she referred to as her “babies.”

    Years ago ..when I was 14 …my mom had to take her 2 dogs and a cat to be put to sleep (no one could take them), because my uncle taking us in did not want the pets. It broke her heart. Even in her 80s she still sadly commented about having to put them to sleep. If they have their own room ..is there any way …she could have one cat if it could be contained in their room? How could she choose? But it might help some.

    I don’t know why, but your description of your dad walking around house in his underwear ..doing his own thing is reminding me of the show, Everybody Loves Raymond, specifically his dad, Frank. Quite the dysfunctional family. :) Evey family has some dysfunction. people are human.

    A friend of ours who was becoming a Psychoanalyst, once said, “The whole world is neurotic. It’s just a matter of whether or not your neuroses are compatible.”

    And it must be hard on you too …seeing your parents go through this change.

    THIRTY THOUSAND books?! I’m impressed. What did he collect?

    I hope it all works out and becomes a blessing when everyone acclimates to the new situation.

    Sorry this comment is so long. This post moved me because of my own experiences with my elderly mother. God willing we will all get there someday and ideally our kids won’t have to become our parents. That is just hard both ways.

    One night in frustration with my mother, I said to my sons and d-i-l …”If I ever do THAT ..then just remind me about my mother!” Without missing a beat, our older son said, “Don’t worry Mom, we’ll just put you in a nursing home!” I’m glad we have more than one son. :)

  4. You’re such a tease WC – where is your new blog? :)

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