Don't Try This At Home (July 28, 2020)
Last week, as is my practice whenever i am at a loss for a decent newsletter topic, I pulled up several health news aggregate websites for inspiration. (I COULD just write about my cat, but I can't help thinking that that would get old very fast. For you, that is, not for me. She is SO cute! ...) About ten minutes and a thousand covid19 headlines later, I suddenly had my inspiration in the form of "how about a break from all this stuff?" So, that's what today is -- a break, hopefully an amusing one.
You remember the Darwin Awards? Probably. But just to refresh your memory, here's the website header:
"In the spirit of Charles Darwin, the Darwin Awards commemorate individuals who protect our gene pool by making the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives. Darwin Award winners eliminate themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our species' chances of long-term survival."
Laughing at stupid people is normally, as my mother would have said, not something that nice people do. But they can't hear us do it because they're dead! So, just this once, it's ok.
Of last year's nominees, the one that I felt should have won due to its wonderful headline ("Rhino Poacher Killed By Elephant And Eaten By Lions") sadly did not. Instead, the winner was "Two Texans Die Trying", a cautionary tale of two men (why are the nominees for these stories usually men? am I missing a good newsletter topic here?) who drowned when their attempt to jump an open drawbridge in their pickup (a la Fast & Furious, or maybe the Blues Brothers) failed miserably.
You'd think by now that your average person would know that most of what they see in the movies is bogus, wouldn't you? However, that apparently is not the case. So for your edification and entertainment, and possibly even on the chance of saving a life (albeit a stupid one), I provide the following list of Health-Related Movie Fabrications.
-- Hiding in a refrigerator will not save you from a nuclear explosion. (Unless you're Harrison Ford, I guess.)
-- Speaking of explosions, they don't tenderly transport you through the air and allow you to tuck-and-roll upon renewed contact with the earth. Given the choice, you should avoid them at all times.
-- Running in high heels. This is not possible. In fact, you shouldn't even be walking in those things. They have put more chiropractors' kids through college than you can possibly imagine.
-- Dodging a stream of automatic gunfire. Ok, if you are in a position where you absolutely MUST give this a try, be my guest. Because you know, what have you got to lose?
-- Sitting, standing, walking, dancing or fighting on top of a moving vehicle. This one really annoys me. Have you ever even tried to go from one subway car to the next when the train is moving? And that's even without having been bitten by a zombie or carrying a suitcase nuke.
-- Go ahead and swim with dolphins, if you like. Aside from humans, they're one of the relatively few species that kill for fun. If you catch one on a bad fin day, look out!
-- Breaking a window with your fist or other body part is something best left for the experts, if there are experts in such a thing.
-- Do not yank out an arrow, a spear, a picket fence, a screwdriver, a chef's knife, or anything else of worthy size if you are impaled by one. Even if you can manage to touch it without fainting. If something that big has put a hole in you, it's probably also keeping a major artery from bleeding out.
-- If someone is unconscious, by all means do CPR but don't expect them to wake up. I once asked an EMT how often that had happened in his extensive experience. He said, exactly ONCE. CPR is done to keep someone alive until they can be stuck with multiple technologies.So keep it up even if it seems like it isn't working.
-- Do NOT use a defibrillator on someone whose heart has stopped. Defibrillators are for hearts that are out of rhythm, not stopped. If you are in a position where you are dealing with stopped hearts, of course, you know this already. But, just saying.
-- This is my favorite. Here it is -- injuries (including surgeries) HURT and you do NOT "just get past them". There have been so many movies with people performing the most athletic activities with gunshot wounds or broken limbs that people often feel like losers for experiencing pain at all. And doctors are no help -- they are always telling their patients that they'll be up and about "in no time" after a surgery, often major surgery. They should be ashamed of themselves for minimizing how debilitating even a relatively minor procedure can often be, especially when people are already so strongly inclined to do it themselves.
-- Coffee will not automatically teleport you from "drunk" to "sober". Even if it's black coffee. Even if it's a Starbucks double espresso. You'll just be a wide-awake drunk.
-- Arms, legs, heads and the like do not come off all that easily. It took all afternoon for three of us armed with scalpels to get the head off that body in freshman cadaver lab. You are held together most wondrously, so that in real life you should be able to get through even the worst horror movie without some kid cutting your arm off with a butter knife.
-- Please don't try ANYTHING you ever saw Jackie Chan do in a movie. He is most likely a sleeper agent intended to get American idiots to kill themselves trying to copy his stunts. That's MY conspiracy theory of the month.
Cheers! Stay well.
--dr. diane holmes
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