An insider’s view of the Emergency Department

I have a colleague at Hennepin County Medical Center who is into cool stuff.  He does a lot of biking, he does backcountry skiing in British Columbia, he raises bees in his Minneapolis backyard and makes honey from those bees – honey which has won awards at the Minnesota State Fair, no less.

And he tells a good tale.  His name is Aaron Rutzick.  One time he told me this one about a bike crash he had when in real-time he realized that his helmet was saving him as he hit the pavement with his head . . .

“I was riding down 3rd Ave in south Minneapolis at night, I think I hit a pothole or something in the road because I was going pretty fast and just went over my handle bars.  there I was, upside down, and yes … using my helmet.  I slid to a stop in front of some hipster bikers drinking beer.  They were sympathetic and seemed to have a keen understanding of that moment.  I was OK and took off for home before everything started hurting.  I’d say in general, I’m a pretty experienced commuter, riding most days in all seasons to get to work since 2001.  Thankfully, no car was involved, but it was a reminder that a bike crash could happen in a split second – so BE CAREFUL.  It didn’t keep me from riding, I’m certainly aware that you have to be on your game, especially with cars.  The Twin Cities has really developed its bicycle lanes over the last 10-15 years, and is one of the leading cities in the nation for supporting safe biking and bike culture.  Great place to live for this.”   – Dr. Aaron Rutzick

I especially like the image of Aaron flying over his handlebars in front of “hipster bikers drinking beer.”  Sort of sums up Minneapolis life.  I wonder if any of the hipsters looked like this:

By Lorena Cupcake [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Anyway, you should wear your bike helmet like Dr. Rutzick so you can live to tell about it. Continue reading “An insider’s view of the Emergency Department”

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Finding the ordinary among the extraordinary

Hi, Healthy Matters friends!

I have been steadily moving toward more writing in my career and specifically I’ve been working in an area called “narrative non-fiction.”  My writings are mostly based on medicine, health and wellness.  Big surprise there – sort of like what I do on this blog. I hope to collect them into a book at some point if I get any good at it.

A venue for publishing narrative non-fiction in the medical field is an online journal called Intima and I had an essay posted there in April.  It was called Don’t worry, at least we will die together!” and it was about my experience with medical students in Jerusalem.  If you missed it, you can access the piece in this blog post below.

The editors encourage writers to interact with other writers on the site, and so I wrote a very short post in response to an essay by Margot Hedlin, a newly minted doctor whom I have never met.  Her essay was called, “There’s a limit to your love” and it was really thought-provoking.  She’s a terrific writer and she masterfully got me thinking about the mundane and the not-so-mundane parts of medicine.

My response to Dr. Hedlin’s piece has now been published in Intima.  It is called Finding the ordinary among the extraordinary.”  It has my musings about the need to sometimes find normalcy even in utterly abnormal situations.  Like medicine.

I encourage you to read Dr. Hedlin’s piece first in the “Field Notes” section, then my short response in the “Crossroads” section.  Maybe as a trio these pieces will pull together some themes that resonate with you.

Here are quick links to these three pieces:

I’d love to foster dialogue, so please feel free to share these pieces on Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, or wherever you spend your social media time.  Or simply share this MyHealthyMatters blog post and let people do their own clicking!  (Buttons to share are at the top and bottom of every post I do).

And the editors at Intima encourage a wider conversation, so maybe you could leave a comment on the site with your reaction to any of these pieces.

For the main Intima site, click the logo here:

Happy reading and happy contemplation!

David

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