I’ve realized that there are many ways Pain Clinic could run smoother. Having an additional exam room would facilitate patient flow. Stocking reflex hammers in every room would also help. But most notably, having a fifth of Jameson Irish Whiskey in the back room would greatly lubricate the process. Made from fine ripe barley, flavor-rich malt, and crystal clear water from the green mountains surrounding Dublin, a sip of that smooth drink between patient encounters (or even stepping out during a patient encounter) would greatly improve one’s outlook on the day.
Such was the morning yesterday. In the afternoon, I got to see several pain procedures, including epidural steroid injection, cryoablation of the occipital nerve, and medial branch blocks of cervical nerves. Lecture in the afternoon with all the other CA-2s focused ostensibly on reviewing the medical literature, but the real take-home message was secrets to advancing one’s career in an academic instutition. (“What I’m telling you does not leave this room…”)
In the afternoon, I planned to meet up with Gloria to check out the free museums along Fifth Avenue. I rode the subway to 103rd Street, and as I realized there was no crosstown bus nearby, the words of a very wise New Yorker flitted through my head. “Living in New York City is all about being separated from your time or your money. You can have your time, or you can have your money, but not both.” This sage advice has proven true on countless occasions. Generally I err on the side of saving money, but to successfully cope with life here, one must be prepared to part with either in certain circumstances. With my dress shoes, slacks, tie, tired feet, and shoulder bag, this was one such occasion. $10 and 10 minutes later, the cab deposited me on the Upper East Side in the shadow of the stately buildings that line Fifth Avenue…
…however, not before nearly running over a woman with her stroller crossing 96th Street at Central Park West. True, we did have a protected left turn, but it’s understandable that pedestrians instinctively start to cross when traffic comes to a stop the opposite direction. My driver seemed to make no effort to slow down, and as we whizzed by within feet of the stroller, he rolled down the window and shouted at the woman! To that woman who was crossing 96th Street at Central Park West at 6:15 PM on Tuesday, June 3, 2008, and to her now traumatized infant in the green stroller: I am sorry.
Nine museums along Fifth Avenue offered free admission that evening, and the avenue was closed off to give a festival sort of feel. We checked out the Museum of the City of New York, which had fascinating displays featuring New York City homes’ interiors through the centuries and the role of the Port and waterfront in commerce, trade, industry, and leisure. We finished the tour in front of the museum, watching a choir from Harlem called Impact perform songs and dance. The group had been featured in last year’s movie August Rush.
All in all, not a bad day.