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DEFINITIONS Wednesday, October 1
Commentators have had fun with a new system of medical diagnostic codes (denominated in from 4-10 digits each) scheduled to take effect next October, and the “Healthcare Dive” blog had its laughs in a July post. The codes for “problems in relationship with in-laws” and “bizarre personal appearance” are quixotic enough, but the most “absurd” codes are “subsequent encounters” (i.e., at least the second time the same thing happened to a patient) for events like walking into a lamppost, getting sucked into a jet engine, receiving burns from on-fire water skis, or having contact with a cow beyond being bitten or kicked — those have separate codes. Also notable was S10.87XA, “Other superficial bite of other specified part of neck, initial encounter,” which seems to describe a “hickey.”
CANCER: Oct. 29-Nov. 4 Yesterday at 10:24 AM
Native American hero Sitting Bull (1831-1890) was a renowned Lakota chief and holy man. He led his people in their resistance to the U.S. occupation of their land. How did he become so strong and wise? In large part through the efforts of his doting mother, whose name was Her-Holy-Door. Let’s install her as your exemplar for now.
PLAY IT AGAIN, DOC Wednesday, October 1
For patients who are musicians, deep brain stimulation (open-brain) surgery can provide entertainment for operating-room doctors as they correct neurological conditions such as hand tremors. In September, concert violinist Naomi Elishuv, who’s performed with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, played for surgeons at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center so they could locate the exact spot in the brain for inserting the pacemaker to control the hand-trembling that had wrecked her career.
LEO: Oct. 29-Nov. 4 Yesterday at 10:25 AM
This is one of those rare times when it’s OK for you to just throw out the dirty dishes that you are too lazy to wash. It’s also permissible to hide from a difficult person, spend money on a supposedly foolish indulgence, binge-watch a TV show that provokes six months’ worth of emotions in a few hours, and lie in bed for an extra hour fantasizing about sex with a forbidden partner.
WHO YOU CALLIN’ SHRIMP? Wednesday, October 1
Buddhists believe in the wholesale “mercy release” of living creatures, with smaller and less consequential animals making even stronger statements of reverence, according to a July New York Times story from Yushu, China, describing the freeing of river shrimp the size of a fingernail clipping.
VIRGO: Oct. 29-Nov. 4 Yesterday at 10:26 AM
Our evolutionary ancestors Homo erectus loved to eat delicious antelope brains. The fossil evidence is all over their old stomping grounds in East Africa. Scientists say that this delicacy, so rich in nutrients, helped our forbears build bigger, stronger brains themselves. These days it’s harder but not impossible to make animal brains part of your diet.
TAKE A LOAD OFF Wednesday, October 1
University of Arizona Medical Center surgeons removed a 47-pound tumor from a woman’s stomach in April — not even close to being the largest ever mentioned here, but likely the only such large tumor held in the arms of a member of the surgical team, as pictured in a post-op photo.
LIBRA: Oct. 29-Nov. 4 Yesterday at 10:28 AM
“The egromenious hilarity of psychadisical melarmy, whether rooted in a lissome stretch or a lusty wobble, soon defisterates into crabolious stompability. So why not be graffenbent?” So said Noah’s ex-wife Joan of Arc in her interview with St. Crocodile magazine. Heed Joan’s advice, please, Libra.
WHAT’S THE MAGIC WORD? Wednesday, October 1
A September report from Rhone, France, tells of a 33-year-old man sentenced to prison for 10 months for harassing his ex-girlfriend with 21,807 phone calls and texts over the 10 months following the split (a daily average of 73). The man insisted he only wanted the woman to say thanks for carpentry work he’d done on her apartment.
SCORPIO: Oct. 29-Nov. 4 Yesterday at 10:29 AM
In AMC’s famous TV drama, a high school chemistry teacher responds to his awful luck by turning to a life of crime. The show’s title, Breaking Bad, refers to what happens when a good person cracks and veers over to the dark side. So then what does “breaking good” mean? Urbandictionary.com defines it like this: “When a criminal, junkie, or gang-banger gets sweet and sparkly, going to church, volunteering at soup kitchens, and picking the kids up from school.”
 
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