A happy Mother’s Day to everyone, and a special salute to my Mom – just the best there is.

Status:  8.5/10.  Despite an order for an overnight transfusion, I insisted that they delay it until the morning – I think they’re finally catching on.  And I put my foot down and said no more Benadryl.  I told them that they were the #1 rated hospital in the U.S. (at least according to U.S. News and World Report), and surely they could come up with a satisfactory alternative.  I told the attending on rounds this morning that if she took Benadryl 4-5 times a week she couldn’t function.  She agreed, and they’re changing my standard transfusion prep to Zantac, which worked fine today (but you know everyone else will still get Benadryl).

Events: A relatively quiet day.  Judy Golding stopped by on her way back to Philly.  Daniel Fischer stopped in for moment. Enjoyed the company, but it’s amazing how much energy it takes to engage in simple conversation.  Lisa spent the day with the kids and getting some much needed rest.  Next to my Mom, she’s the best Mom out there.

Comments:  I must admit that I’ve have a history of rebelling at arbitrary authority and what I frankly considered silly rules.  It’s just my nature, and you learn you are who you are.  I said on many occasions that the purpose of a stoplight is the guide traffic at a busy intersection for everyone’s safety.  But to sit at a red light at 2 AM way out in the countryside where there’s not a car in sight just doesn’t make any sense.  However, if got ticket for running that red light, that piece of logic probably wouldn’t get me out of it despite its clear rationale.

   When I was at CDC, there was a day when I was going on and on a little more than necessary about some asinine government regulation.  My officemate, Kathy Shands, and later life-long friend, after listening to me complain for far too long, said, “Bruce, you know, rules were put there to keep the uncreative people in line.“  It’s one of the best pieces of advice I ever got, and has been a creed I’ve followed ever since.  

  I hope you had a lovely weekend, and think I’m starting the week off in pretty good shape.




15 Responses to “”

  1. Lynn Oliver Says:

    The things we do to patients…and WHY? We are idiots. (I remember them sticking me/ drawing my blood twice in the span of an hour after having a baby once–once because I was O + to do “Mother Baby Studies” even though the FOB was also O pos and the baby wasn’t jaundiced, so who cares even if he weren’t the FOB, and the second time to check my Hct even though I was perfectly fine, not dizzy, etc etc….minor, I know, but STUPID).

    I mean, it’s not as though there aren’t enough things in all this that are unavoidable misery–so why cause more with Benadryl and middle of the night awakenings?

    Rebelling at arbitrary authority and silly rules!!!! I have often said the exact same thing about stop lights..
    Oh Bruce, you are a KINDRED SPIRIT.
    Here you are, making ME laugh! I think that is backwards….

    You are my hero.


  2. Judi Golding-Baker Says:

    My Dear Bruce

    You are such a vital, creative soul – keep right on rebelling!

    Love you,


  3. Hope Dan Says:

    And you are the best there is!
    Love, Hope

  4. Jill Stewart Says:

    I’m smiling at the idea of you starting the week “in pretty good shape.” that’s marching orders for the rest of us.

  5. wendy Says:

    B- and to think you called me rebellious. Hum, not gonna let you forget this blog..EVER!

    I always say- if you don’t like the rules, help to get them changed. Or if defying the rules, get permission, or don’t get caught.

  6. Henry Miller Says:


    Re working around the rules. . . When we were at the ‘tute, there was a time that I needed to use Harvard’s Widener Library and I asked you how to get privileges there. You told me just to breeze through the reception area as though I belonged and was in a mild hurry and nobody would ask me for an ID. You were right, and that advice has stood me in good stead ever since!


  7. Joe Robertson Says:

    Bruce, good logic on rules for the uncreative – although some of those rules seem to have been thought up by people with a strong knack for creating the absurd. And when they are driving you crazy, keep in mind the old Latin expression Illigitimi non carborundum (“Don’t let the bastards wear you down!”)



  8. joel steinberg Says:

    “First came the roads; then came the schools; then came the lawyers; then came the rules.”–Dire Straits, “Telegraph Road”. When we were taking a vacation in Scotland, we asked our guide why Scotland had so many round-abouts (Traffic circles). He replied, “Can you even imagine any Scotsman waiting at a red light?” Nae, Laddie. I dinnae think so. Hang tough. Joel S

  9. Hope Dan Says:

    I think you got a few of my Genes . Occasionally I get to a red light in a deserted area, stop for a few seconds and say to mysellf out loud ” this is stupid” and go on through with a tiny bit of guilt.

  10. George Lundberg Says:

    The last time I was driving in Rome (Italy not Georgia), I am pretty sure that the natives really did consider those annoying traffic lights to be “guidelines”.
    They and we survived. So will you.

  11. Catherine Says:

    Dearest Bruce,

    I had just finished reading The Checklist Manifesto because I was trying to apply it to my work and then saw your reference to it. On top of that I am reading Cutting for Stone by one of our docs here at Stanford. And with your blog added to the mix I fell very full with well-written medical themes.

    I was out of town and just now caught up with FIVE days of your postings. Your writing is the BEST of all. I just wish it did not have to be first person reporting on your part.

    I was away participating in one of the largest breast cancer walks in the county and could not help think of you when the speakers gave examples of breast cancer research being applied to other cancers. I really held you in my heart during this moving event.

    I am so happy to read about all your visitors and the love the surrounds you. After reading the two mentioned books I applaud you turning your treatment into teaching moments.

    Love to you and your family.

  12. Christine A Hinz Says:

    Dear Bruce,

    I don’t know if you’ll remember me from our AMA days, but I ran across your blog accidentally while researching a cancer piece.

    Needless to say, I was stunned by what I read. Having been through NHL with my mother, I know a little bit about the blood cancers, and the power of chemotherapy. Hang in there.

    I wish you the very best!

    Chris Hinz

  13. Donna Hill Howes Says:

    Ah yes, those pesky red lights in the middle of the night…..ran as many as I could (safely) without once getting a ticket! Some rules are meant to be broken, or at least challenged!! Go for it, Bruce!
    May the rest of your week go equally well.

  14. Rick Davidson Says:

    Rebelling? Let me remind you about the first time I ever saw you. You were standing on a dinner table at the Divinity School cafeteria at Vanderbilt trying to get a girl’s attention. STANDING on the dinner table. I asked Tony Anderson who that was and he said it was a medical student. Naturally my response was….gotta meet that guy. Glad I did….

  15. Barbara Lehman Says:

    Hope tomorrow is a better day. Love Barbara

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