Thursday, December 14, 2006

Zem of the Day

Sometimes when I am examining a patient, I get a whiff of B.O. This happened twice yesterday. I find this distressing because, for a brief second, I have to pause and ask myself if I am the one with B.O. Then I have to try and figure out if I had a shower that morning, and whether I did a good enough job on the “hot spots”. Or, if I have had a particularly exertional morning, did I enlist appropriate antiperspirant support? Taking time out from a patient encounter to ponder these important matters can really hamper a budding physician’s productivity.

In Benin, most people have body odour. I understand this. Given the sweltering, crippling, oppressive heat, it would practically be a full time job to ensure that one never smells bad. Occaisional B.O. is almost inevitable. The same is not the case here in Ottawa.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but in Benin, most people commute either on foot, or on a ‘zem’ which is basically a crappy motor scooter. One interesting game we used to play was “Zem of the Day”. One day I saw a man on the back of a zem with three queen-sized mattresses on his head. People also walk around with a lot of unbelievable stuff on their heads, like we're talkin' Ripley's. But that is a different game, which I will report on later.

Have a good day my feline friends.



Blogger bbctchr,M.D. said...

Good to hear from you, and glad to hear you are alive and well.

As fas as odours are concerned, I am fortunate enough to have a very weak olfactory nerve (or untreated chronic sinusitis, which would also account for my constant sniffling). Anyhow, I am very insensitive to all but the most powerful BO. However, some of the smells I encounter in my line of work are offensive enough to affect even me.

Luckily, in my line of work, I know it isn't me...

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tomcat and you could swap some serious BO war stories. His "best" involves some ass crack of the worst kind...not that there is a good kind of course.

Glad to hear that you are back in the good land.


PS: I'm jonesing to run the Ottawa half marathon. All jazzed about eating well, drinking lots of H20 and getting fit. Care to join me?

9:37 PM  
Blogger telltale tabby said...

Dear bbctchr,

It's great to hear from you. You are very lucky to have sheared off your first cranial nerve at some point. Just yesterday, I was wishing to god that it was socially acceptable to plug my nostrils with cotton balls or something while doing a physical exam! Truthfully, the patient I was working with would probably not have noticed.

You may or may not find it surprising to hear that people with chronic, treatment-resistant schizophrenia are very forgetful when it comes to foot care.


10:14 AM  
Blogger telltale tabby said...

Dear Tamcat,

It's great to hear from you. I had no idea you were blogging. I am also desperately in need of some radical lifestyle changes. I have no idea how things got so far out of hand. I am a slovenly pig these days, and there's just no denying it any further.

I am interested in training for the Ottawa half. I can think of no better motivator to pull my ass off the couch. The only problem is that even though I am ready to commit to the training, I don't know for sure if I'll be around at the end of May.....

I'm gonna start training soon anyway, (as in running on the treadmill in Inuvik so that I can hold my own if a polar bear decides I'd be a nice light snack). So, if you want a virtual training partner, I am in.

If, however, you want someone to commit to running the race with you, I suggest you contact Shakes. She's probably more reliable.

Okay, you and Tomcat have a great holiday. I hope you are getting a bit of time off from all of that ass crack, both foul and sultry.

xo tab

10:27 AM  

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