mellicious: pink manicure (Dr Who - adipose)
2013-02-03 03:37 pm

Medical term for today

accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity, most often due to cirrhosis

(This is pronounced with three syllables, accent on the long i.)

This is one of those words that I know I've come across before but it hasn't quite stuck in my brain for some reason. I usually think putting those here helps. I'm doing an A&P refresher as part of my next round of continuing education, and I definitely can use the refresher since I'm not doing this stuff on a day-to-day basis. If I was, I'm sure I'd know this one by now. (Actually, I suspect the picture on the Wikipedia page may be enough to make me remember. Don't go look if you're delicate, it's a bit gross.)
mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas light gif)
2012-12-22 07:17 pm

Saturday semi-random

Because I have mentioned this topic several times this month: I was surprised to see the Crown Princess in port in Galveston today, since I thought Princess Cruises were not coming to Galveston. Maybe wherever they're going to go in LaPorte - which is inland, up the Ship Channel - is not ready yet. But it was definitely here for today. (In fact, if it's on a normal cruise ship schedule it's probably gone by now. They usually leave around 4 or 4:30, far as I've ever been able to tell.)

It's quiet at work today, but not quite as much as I expected. Really not much more so than any Saturday has been lately. (Hospitals do have to keep functioning through the holidays, after all, though, so campus is never completely deserted, even on Christmas.)

I've been going gradually back through my old LJ entries and fixing keywords (and icons, which also got broken somewhere along the line) - it's interesting to read through those old entries. The keyword I was fixing today was "news" and some of those entries are a bit perplexing to read now. I was talking about current events to an audience who presumably knew what I was talking about at the time, and I didn't always bother to explain to any great degree (or sometimes at all). And most of the links don't work now, of course. Most of it I remembered after thinking about it a while, but there were one or two that I had forgotten about completely.

I also found a reference to the movie "Hollywoodland" which I had completely forgotten the existence of. I had to go look it up before I remembered what it was at all. I vaguely remember it now, but only vaguely. The George Reeves thing, yeah, but what actually happened in the movie? Not really. And yet I quite liked it at the time.

Oh, last night I found About a Boy in the $1 section of OnDemand, so I watched that. I remembered that I liked it, although not a lot about it, either - and Rob also wandered through and got interested, so he's going to have to come back & watch it later. It's a 2-day rental, so if he'll remember to do it we don't even have to pay another dollar. It really is a pretty good movie - it holds up better than a lot of Hugh Grant's movies. (Also, the "boy" of the title is one of the mutants of "X-Men: First Class." I would never have figured that one out without IMDb. He doesn't look much the same at all. And Natalia Tena is in it! - she did actually look the same once I stopped and looked at her, although she was 15 or 16 at the time.)

I did finally talk to my aunt. We are having Christmas dinner at my cousin Brittany's new house, which of course I haven't seen. She also has a new baby which I haven't seen either. (I'm pretty sure I never sent a baby gift, either, come to think of it. Darnit.)

(Yes, my cousin is much younger than me. I use "cousin" extremely loosely to refer to a bunch of first cousins and cousins-once-or-twice-removed and people who I have known all my life - or theirs, anyway - and usually don't stop to figure out my actual relation to. They may or may not be actual blood relatives, but they're all cousins as far as I am concerned.)

Come to think of it, I read the book of About a Boy once too - Nick Hornby wrote it. I remember that it was not quite so heart-warming but y'know, Hugh Grant movies of 10 years ago were required to be heartwarming, it was like a law or something. So not surprising.
mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas bow)
2012-12-12 02:57 pm

Medical term for today

Bladder Botox
Refers to the procedure described in the code below, in which botulinum toxin (Botox) is injected to paralyze overactive bladder muscles.
New CPT code for 2013:
52287 Cystourethroscopy, with injection(s) for chemodenervation of the bladder

The presenter also threw around some jargon I hadn't heard before, which I present here for your edification:
  • GEMs - general equivalence mappings (refers to ICD-9-to-ICD-10 mapping - "general equivalence" seems to be a way of waffling around the fact that it doesn't always work out quite right)
  • Provider neutrality - refers to rewording that the AMA is doing to clarify that not all work must be done by a physician - this has led to the use of the term "qualified healthcare professional" (abbreviated QHCP or QHP), mostly meaning those people that you sometimes see in lieu of a physician, like physician assistants & nurse-practitioners

And, since this is not everyday jargon for most people, a quick guide to the acronyms:
AMA - American Medical Association
CPT - Current Procedural Terminology (aka procedure codes) - published by the AMA
ICD-9 - International Classification of Diseases, 9th edition (aka diagnosis codes) - to be replaced by ICD-10, the 10th edition, somewhere in the near future (currently scheduled for 10/1/2014, but it's already been changed several times)

Added I would like to note that I got the quiz afterwards (which earns you an extra CEU credit if you pass) 100% right on the first try, and all three of those items (i.e., "bladder botox" and the two bullet-point items) were on it. So I owe my stellar grade partly to the time I spent typing all that out!
mellicious: pink manicure (brain leaking)
2010-06-25 04:17 am

Dictionary of American Regional English (volume 1)

I read somewhere, a couple of weeks ago, about how the last volume of the Dictionary of American Regional English is (finally) being published - the first volume came out in 1985 - and my latent reference librarian suddenly came to the fore and I ended up buying the first volume from Amazon (used). I should never shop online at 4 in the morning, because I needed a big reference book like that like I needed a hole in my head, but at the time it seemed like a huge bargain, and it was, relatively speaking - it was only $17 when the other volumes were $70 and up. So anyway, I thought I would pass along some interesting words and phrases, when I think of it, like I did for the medical terms earlier. It makes me feel more like I'm getting my money's worth if I share.

Here's one I'd never heard (and I'm condensing a bit - this is written with copious examples, sort of like the OED):

California blanket    n joc
1926 [Hobo lingo] Newspapers when used for sleeping purposes (as a substitute for bedding)
mellicious: pink manicure (brain leaking)
2009-09-02 07:35 am

Fancy words for everyday things

I found a list that I was compiling somewhere along the line, so for your entertainment, I give you:

Fancy word

Normal word



Biliary colic

Severe pain from gallstones

Renal colic

Severe pain from kidney stones


Hair loss






Sore throat

Acute coryza

Cold symptoms












This is not near complete, but it gives you a few of them.

Meanwhile I have finally plowed my way through the last chapter of the anatomy book, so all I have to do is review and I'm done there. Meanwhile, I have also started working on the coding material. The second chapter of coding is a review of anatomy and terminology, so maybe I can overlap those and use it to study for my anatomy final!
mellicious: pink manicure (dragon)
2009-07-15 06:38 am
Entry tags:

The indignant womb

Another nugget of medical history from my anatomy textbook:

Plato believed that the womb (uterus), if unused for a long period, became "indignant." This indignant womb then wandered around the body, inhibiting the body's spirit and causing disease. According to the male thinkers of the day, a woman was so controlled by her wandering womb that she was considered irrational and prone to emotional outbursts and fits of hysteria. This belief was the reason that the womb was named the hystera. The term has persisted in medical terminology...

I knew about the relationship between "hysterectomy" and "hysterics" - if I hadn't, it was pointed out in my Medical Terminology book as well - but what I hadn't heard before was the part about the indignant wandering womb. (However, the Greeks also believed that the arteries carried air, so it's not that their medical knowledge was otherwise all that sophisticated, in any case.)
mellicious: pink manicure (Dr Who - blink)
2009-07-13 11:58 pm

Etymology post!

Remember back when I posted the word cryptorchidism and I was all interested in why "orchid" was a root word for testes? Well, apparently I am not the only one interested in that - there's actually a whole "fun facts" box about it in the anatomy book, including exactly who's responsible. Here it is, verbatim:

Do You Know . . .
Why Aristotle called the testicle the
The root of the orchid plant is olive shaped; in Greek the shape is called an orchis. Noticing the similarity between the shape of the orchid root and the testicles. Aristotle dubbed the testicle orchis. The word orchis is still used in medical terms. For example, orchitis refers to inflammation of the testicles, and orchiectomy refers to the surgical removal of the testicles. The word testis comes from the Latin and means to bear witness to. The word testes shares the same Latin root as the word testify. In ancient Rome, only men could bear witness, or testify. To show the importance of their testimony, the held their testicles as they spoke.

Huh. Well, that's interesting.
mellicious: pink manicure (Firefly - brain)
2009-07-12 06:30 am

Sunday medical term

abnormal collection of fluid, usually causing swelling

I'm sure a lot of people know this word, but I'm putting it in here anyway because it lets me discuss the mechanisms of edema a little bit, and I thought it was interesting. I like this definition (from the anatomy book) better than the one from the medical terminology book, which was worded the other way around - something on the order of "swelling, usually caused by abnormal collection of fluid in the tissues". The excess fluid arises on a microscopic level, in the interstitium between the capillaries and the cells. Normally the capillaries take out the same volume of fluid that they bring in, keeping things in balance, but when things get out of whack the fluid builds up in the interstitial space and eventually becomes noticeable as swelling. One example the book gave was hypoalbuminemia - a lack of albumin, which is a protein, in the blood. The presence of the proteins in the capillaries - in some mysterious way that I don't entirely understand - draws water back in with them, so a lack of proteins means more water stays in the interstitium.

OK, the page is sort of swimming so I think that means it's my bedtime. Hope this makes a reasonable amount of sense!
mellicious: pink manicure (ST - bones)
2009-04-14 11:36 pm
Entry tags:

A lesson on renal filtration

... concerning that word from last week. This is mostly for [ profile] columbina , who I know was interested!

I have been going around all week saying "glo-MER-u-lar" - this word is just a mouthful before you even get to glo-mer-u-lo-nef-RI-tis. OK, so here is the deal - the glomeruli are tiny capillaries, which are inside the glomerular capsule, which is inside a nephron (which are inside the kidneys, which are inside the peritoneum, and so on and so forth), and they are where one step of the work of filtration takes place. Materials filter through the porous glomerular wall and out into the nephron - this is called the glomerular filtrate - it's water, electrolytes and other nutrients as well as waste materials. Bigger things like proteins can't come through. After it leaves the glomerulus, the liquid filters through long (but itty-bitty) tubes in the nephrons where the things that your body wants - the water and electolytes and so forth - are reabsorbed, leaving only the waste material. That make sense?

Now, as far as glomerulonephritis - if you break it down, that word just means "inflammation of the glomeruli and kidneys" but apparently it has a more specific meaning in actual use. It usually follows an immunologic reaction, often in another body system, and often goes with autoimmune diseases like lupus. I'm not really clear on the mechanism (and probably don't really need to be at this point) but what you end up with is very damaged kidneys, with blood and protein escaping from the nephrons and into the urine. Most people recover from this, but chronic glomerulonephritis can lead to renal failure and the need for dialysis and all of that fun stuff. (Not.)

So there you go, more than you wanted to know about the glomeruli and diseases thereof. You're welcome.

Oh, and also? I have a tendency to write "gnomerulus" which I ascribe entirely to too much WoW. (If you looked closely at the unedited version of this post you know that already.)
mellicious: pink manicure (spring flowers)
2009-03-29 12:26 am
Entry tags:

Vocabulary geekery

[ profile] columbina  is confused about the class business, and if he is, I figure somebody else is too, so let me clarify. I'm now taking two, count 'em, two classes:
1. Medical Terminology - I'm about halfway through this one.
2. Anatomy - I'm just starting this one.

They're both online, and there's a lot of overlap between the two, which is good - not only because it makes it easier, but because there's a heck of a lot of new material (to me, anyway) contained therein, so by the time I go over a lot of it twice I'm more likely to actually remember it.

Col and I also spent a bunch of WoW time, between fights, geeking out over vocabulary. Here's one bit I've been having trouble with that I was telling him about, and I'll repeat it all again because the more times I repeat it the more likely I am to remember it, and there are still a couple of these that I tend to forget. Some you'll know, some you probably won't unless you have a background in this stuff.

Suffixes for surgery:
-centesis - puncture, tap (like amniocentesis)
-desis - binding, fusion
-ectomy - excision, surgical removal
-pexy - surgical fixation
-plasty - reconstruction, plastic repair
-rhaphy - surgical repair, suture
-stomy - surgical creation of an opening (colostomy is probably the most common)
-tome - instrument for cutting (incising)
-tomy - incision
-tripsy - crushing (as in a gallstone; lithotripsy is a general term for crushing of a stone)

(Maybe later I'll tell you about the intestines. Right now I'm not in the mood for the ick factor of that one.)