NPO and be merry

It is the holiday season, and all through the hospital, patients are being made “NPO.”  This is the medical term for “no eating or drinking allowed.” Mr. T, silver-haired and newly unemployed, is NPO on account of his pancreatitis.  "We don't want to upset your pancreas," the team tells him when we pass through on morning rounds.  It is nearly breakfast time.  We hover around his bed in a half circle ...

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On a recent Saturday morning, I took my problems to a bar.  The bar was on Boston’s Boylston Street at the end of a row of pubs.  Years ago, during orientation week of medical school, my classmates and I had worked our way methodically down that row. The bar I headed to on this particular day was the Apple Store Genius Bar.  The “bouncer,” a man with skinny arms and a ...

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