Leaves

“I can still feel the breeze
That rustles through the trees
And misty memories of days gone by”

 

They drift gently downward to the ground, and crunch when stepped upon. Along with the vibrant colors, this adds to the charm of the fall season.

 

 

Whether you have trees, or not, leaves are quite adept at covering the ground and sidewalks. They always find a way into the house, and gather in the least expected of places.

 

If there is anything we miss, it is the burning of leaves. Growing up, that was one of the traditions of the fall season. It went away in the mid-1960s in our part of Colorado. It wasn’t like anyone set their yard or house on fire by accident, but our county government implied as much. In the late 1990s, someone down the street had decided to burn the leaves that deeply covered his yard. His fire did briefly get away from him, but he put it out with his water hose. The scent of those burnt leaves did waft through the neighborhood. It likely reminded a few of us of the old days of fall.

 

*Lyrics at the top of the post is from the song “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart” by the Bee Gees.

The Gotcha Day

Nine years ago, a certain young tabby girl became the chosen one. Her fact sheet said she was an active (read: high energy) cat, has a fondness for wood and carpet, very social, and a purr machine. She is indeed all of that and more.

in the first hour at home, with Dino watching from behind

 

Dino, my 16 year old Siamese boy didn’t know what to make of her. He was likely thinking, “nice to meet her acquaintance, but when is she going back.” For the remainder of that day, and late into the night, Miss Egypt investigated every square inch of the house. She was satisfied when all had been investigated.

relaxing on the bed

 

Though she wanted to play with him, Dino did not take kindly to Egypt’s aggressive style of play. Nonetheless, they developed a bond of sorts. He waited for her to come home from her vet visits. She sort of watched over him. Not a snuggly pair, they were good at sharing the various sleeping spots around the house.

Egypt sleeping on the office chair

 

Happy Gotcha Day, Little Miss!

 

About the photos -

Not the best of shots, these were taken with an APS film camera. Probably a good idea, as a camera type, it didn’t last long.

Rounds: Doctor Notes

A special contributing post by Lauren Westin, MD

It is not often I offer comments on health matters in the headlines. I’ve had to reassure a few of my patients and their families not to worry. It is easier said than done when it comes to a little-heard of disease.

The Ebola virus has been front and center in the headlines over the past few weeks. The last several days, it became “another day, another development” type of event. Though others call it a crisis, I loathe to label it as such – at least here in the United States. At its epicenter in West Africa, there is no escape from calling it a crisis. It is a crisis there, with the potential of spiraling out of control. If it does spiral out of control, it becomes an enormous problem of unimaginable consequences for everyone, everywhere.

The declarative statements, such as “we are fully prepared” and “all of our health professionals stand ready”, belied our actual readiness to handle Ebola. The response was glaringly poor from the beginning. Protocols and guidance from the CDC were virtually nonexistent. It underscored how our preparedness is rather limited in coping with such diseases. A lack of leadership, lack of organization, lack of procedure, and lack of equipment has led us to where we find ourselves. Moreover, the many shortcomings undermined the confidence and reassurance that is needed in these kind of moments.

While an individual is, statistically, more likely to contract the flu or the common cold, we are quite fortunate and lucky that our brush with Ebola, outside of the hot zone, has not been worse. The ability of our health system to regain its footing, after a bad stumble, is a credit to those frontline professionals who made adjustments on the fly. Being ready, being prepared, for this kind of situation requires practice on a consistent, repeated basis, much like how we practice for mass casualty events. It requires defined roles, resource planning and critical review.

Next time, we may not be as fortunate or lucky.

 

About the image -

From the archives (2008), the University of Colorado Hospital at the Fitzsimons campus in Aurora, CO. UCH is deemed as one of three hospitals in Colorado to be ready to receive Ebola-infected patients.