World’s Best Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

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My wife brought home a Daughters of Utah Pioneers cookbook she was given by our friend, Louise. Most of the recipes were really dated, like they called for “half a stick of oleo.” This one caught my attention with its audacious title and the cornflakes. I had some cornflakes I needed to get rid of so I decided to make them. They are light and a bit crispy, which surprised me, given all that vegetable oil.

Yield:

42

Source:

Daughters of Utah Pioneeers Cookbook. This recipe is all over the internet with minor variations like amounts of salt or soda.

Ingredients:

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup flaked coconut
1 cup crushed cornflakes cereal
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Cream together butter and sugars.

3. Stir in egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well.

4. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well.

5. Stir in coconut, cornflakes and nuts.

6. Drop 2 tablespoon balls on cookie sheets.

7. Flatten each ball with my favorite cookie flattening method: butter the bottom of a drinking glass. Dip buttered surface in sugar. Press down on dough ball to flatten somewhat. Redip in sugar before flattening the next cookie.

8. Bake 12 – 15 minutes. They don’t brown very much so don’t over cook them.

Cursed to Die / Blood Dripping from the Heart

Written by Tad. Posted in Kooks

Cursed to Die

A 41-year-old woman came in complaining of feeling weak, unable to walk, having a dry mouth and slipping into unconsciousness. All of these symptoms started soon after a man named Bob told her that someone in New York had cursed her to die.

Though she said she was unable to talk or walk, she did both fine for me. After some testing to make sure she had no medical issues, she was sent to emergency psychiatry.

 

Blood Dripping from my Heart

A 26-year-old man came in saying that he had been having symptoms on and off since he was stabbed in the back several months ago. He said that when he got upset, he could feel blood coming up out of the stab wound in his heart. He could feel the “blood and other fluids” dripping out of his heart, inside his body. He had none of those symptoms at the time I was talking with him.

He had been checked multiple times for this complaint. He had several x-rays and blood tests, all of which were normal. The scar from his stab wound was over his left shoulder blade. Otherwise, his examination was unremarkable.

I was unable to get him to understand that his body is not capable of feeling things like “blood and other fluids dripping out of your heart.” He also would not accept that, had his heart been leaking blood for months, he would have gotten sick and something abnormal would have turned up on his tests. He was again discharged, unhappy that I was not able to keep his heart from leaking when he got upset.

 

You Will Be Fine

Written by Tad. Posted in Kooks

Impaled on a Fence

33-year-old man somehow fell onto the top of a fence and impaled himself just to the side of his anus. He was admitted for observation but no surgery was needed. He was discharged the next day with expectation that he would make a full recovery.

Weeks later, he returned to the emergency department. Though he had no symptoms at all, he was very worried his injury might some day render him impotent.

His examination was normal. I told him I was sure he would be all right but he wouldn’t take any reassurance. He nervously asked over and over again how I could be sure he would not end up impotent because of his injury. There was no way I could reassure him and he left just as worried as he had been when he arrived.

 

Dog Bite on the Nose

A sixty-seven-year-old lady came in with a bandage taped over her nose saying a dog had bitten her a week earlier. Underneath the dressing was a completely normal nose. She said she just wanted to make sure it was all right.

Red Stripes!

Written by Tad. Posted in Trauma Strap Bags

We have never had red trauma straps. I wondered if the county EMS people might shy away from “blood-colored” straps for PR reasons. I know they are made in red because I have seen them online.

A while ago, two long, narrow straps were left outside our department. I have no idea who left them or what they were for as I had never seen straps like this before. After they were there long enough to gather dirt and be an eyesore, I brought them home and finally had time to include one in a bag. And it is red! It was just long enough to make two small bags. Here they are.

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Depressed Fontanelle

Written by Tad. Posted in Kooks

The fontanelle is the “soft spot” on the top of a newborn baby’s head. It is where the bones of the skull have not fully formed and allows the head to compress as it passes trough the birth canal. It is usually gone by the first birthday.

Here is a note from the chart of a baby I saw one night:

“Nineteen-day-old male had fontanelle sink in while driving up a hill last night. Mom placed her thumb in the child’s mouth and pressed up to push the fontanelle back up. States the baby is somewhat fussy.”

The parents were a young Hispanic couple and, apparently in their culture, there is an understanding that the fontanelle can “fall” if the child is ill. They believed that pushing up on the roof of the mouth can put it back in place, making the child well again.

My examination of the baby revealed nothing abnormal and he was sent home. Apparently, the mother’s quick action worked.

Mabel’s Oatmeal Crispies – or Not So Crispies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

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When I was growing up, our go-to cookie recipe came from my paternal grandmother. We called them Oatmeal Crispies. Since I don’t like crispy cookies, I tweaked them a bit and cook them a little shorter time so they can now be fairly called Oatmeal Not-So-Crispies. I tried them again this week for the first time in a long time and wanted to share them with you.

Recipe By:

Grandma Mabel

Makes:

48

Ingredients:

1 cup shortening
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 cups oatmeal
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions:

1. Cream together:  shortening, butter, and sugars.

2. Beat in  eggs and vanilla.

3. Sift together dry ingredients. Stir them into butter mixture.

4. Roll into logs in wax paper. Chill overnight.

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5. Slice.

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6. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets.

7. Bake at 325 for 12 minutes.

Steak Burrito Supreme

Written by Tad. Posted in Kooks

A 30-year-old man was eating a Steak Burrito Supreme at Taco Bell when he suddenly got a sharp pain in his throat, a choking sensation and inability to swallow. As time passed, he felt a bit better. He was able to take sips of water and talk but continued with severe pain and difficulty swallowing so he called an ambulance and came to the emergency department.

As I talked with him and prepared to examine him, I expected to find a normal throat. In anticipation of that, I started preparing the patient with an explanation of having a scratch in his throat that would be better in the morning.

I was really surprised to look in and see a toothpick, broken off on one end and stabbed into his right tonsil. I reached in with ring forceps, easily grabbed the toothpick and pulled it out. A little blood came out when it was removed. After watching him for a while for any complication, I sent him home with some pain medicine.  I wonder if Taco Bell every heard about that one?

Black Widow

Written by Tad. Posted in Kooks

I had an interesting patient this last week: a lady I believe was bitten by a black widow spider.

There are lots of black widows around. There were many empty lots around the house where I grew up in Sparks, Nevada. I used to go through those lots turning over rocks, boards and other junk. Almost anything I turned over would have a big black widow spider under it.

There are plenty of black widows around here, too. We don’t see people bitten by them because they are very shy and only bite when forced to.

My patient was a lady about forty-years-old who came in with pain where she was bitten on her lower back. She also had the other symptoms of black widow spider envenomation: abdominal pain, chest pain and aches in all her muscles. She was really miserable. She was trembling and her heart was racing.

There is no specific treatment for black widow spider bites. My patient was given pain medicine and intravenous fluids. Laboratory tests were done to make sure there was not something else going on. When she was feeling better and her vital signs were normal, she was sent home.

The diagnosis of black widow envenomation is made when a patient has the right signs and symptoms and the offending spider is correctly identified. In this case, when they killed the spider, they destroyed the abdomen, which is where the hourglass-shaped red spot is found. The rest of it sure looked like a black widow to me and she had the signs and symptoms. As far as I know, this is only the second one I have seen in my thirty years of practicing emergency medicine.

 

Copyright © 2014 Bad Tad, MD