mellificent: (Xmas bow)
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!
mellificent: (brain leaking)
the little ropey bit attaching the yolk of an egg to the white

I didn't know this word, and I hate that part of the egg. When I make omelets (which is usually the only time I cook with eggs), I always try to throw that part away. So it's a bit useful to me to have a word for it!

Added: Oops, I almost forgot to say that I found that here:
(And yes, it's a food blog, a place that I don't normally venture. I wandered over there from Pinterest, because I had pinned this cake: - which is very pretty and is made from bundt cakes, so it doesn't require buying a special pan. Not that I'm planning to make such a thing, anyway. Definitely not!)

(Now locked to further comments since I was getting spam here.)
mellificent: (brain leaking)
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)
mellificent: (Default)
No man's land
the area between the distal crease of the palm and the proximal end of the middle phalanx. Also known as Zone 2.

I know the definition above may not quite be in English for everybody, so here's the illustration. I had to think this one over, myself.

Don't ask me why it's called that. It's not in the medical dictionary and not in Wikipedia except as pertains to World War I. I have no idea. Maybe before the days of arthroscopic surgery you didn't fool around with the flexor tendons, I don't know.
mellificent: (cat - yuck)
This one's just a bit icky, but not too bad. (Anything involving wound care is gonna be relatively nasty, let's face it.)

I picked this because I've already had to look it up twice, so I figured this would help me remember it. Here's the first definition, from my textbook:

Surgical inclusion separates and there is a loss of approximation of wound edges.

Well, gee, I guess no wonder I didn't remember - having read the second definition, I have a vague idea what that means, but only a vague one.

So here's the second version (Stedman's Medical Dictionary):

a bursting open, splitting, or gaping along natural or sutured lines.

which makes a great deal more sense. Silly textbook.
mellificent: (brain leaking)
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!
mellificent: (Dr Who - blink)
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.
mellificent: (Firefly - brain)
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!
mellificent: (buffy quote - flawed design)
erythroblastosis fetalis
A grave hemolytic anemia that, in most instances, results from development in the mother of anti-Rh antibody in response to the Rh factor in the (Rh-positive) fetal blood; characterized by many erythroblasts (red-blood precursor cells) in the circulation, and often generalized edema and enlargement of the liver and spleen; sometimes caused by antibodies for antigens other than Rh. Synonyms: congenital anemia, hemolytic disease of the newborn, Rh antigen incompatibility.

I was reading about this the other night after we were discussing Your Medieval Death, and it occurred to me that this might have been my sister's medieval death - not mine - since I am the older child of an Rh-negative mother. In case you've never heard of this, what happens is that an Rh-negative mother develops antibodies to the Rh factor with the first (Rh-positive) child, but the antibodies don't attack that first child, only subsequent ones. Actually, until I read about this in the other class, I had forgotten all about my mother being Rh-negative, but once I remembered that, I also remembered some discussions about this - apparently the drug that you take to prevent it (which I believe is called Rho-GAM or something to that effect) already existed in 1961, so my sister was born without incident. -- Well, without incident regarding Rh-factors anyway. There was the hurricane, but I've talked about that story before.
mellificent: (buffy - patrol)
buffy coat
the light-colored layer of blood that is seen when anticoagulated blood is centrifuged or allowed to stand. It appears as a layer between the plasma and erythrocytes* and is composed of leukocytes and platelets.

*definitions for the definition:
erythrocytes = red blood cells
leukocytes = white blood cells
platelets = the things that make your blood clot

First definition from anatomy class! I had never heard this term before - even in Medical Terminology - and as a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan of old, I was amused. (The medical dictionary does not give an origin but I'm guessing it's from "buffer" given the definition.)

In other news, I am as surprised as anybody to report that I liked Terminator: Salvation. Actually I liked it quite a lot more than I expected to, although admittedly this is a low bar since my expectations were practically zero. If I can gather my thoughts sufficiently - always a crapshoot, with me - I may have more to say about this later.
mellificent: (brain leaking)
the awareness of posture, movement and changes in equilibrium; receptors are located in muscles, tendons and joints

OK, so the last chapter of the medical terminology book is The Senses. (Well, actually it's not the last chapter; it's the last chapter I hadn't read. But whatever.) It gives lip-service to the other senses and then goes on to talk about the ears and the eyes. But this word was in the first part and it's one I didn't know that I thought was interesting.

This is gonna be a multiple-word post in honor of it being the last chapter - oh, but I am gonna put in an LJ-cut, because I know how some people are about the eyes. So WARNING: if you're squeamish about eye stuff, don't look!

possibly-squicky eye stuff here )

Anyway, I still have two more tests to take, but I am done done done with the book.

mellificent: (Dr Who - blink)
definition 1, given in the chapter on drugs: mimicking the action of the sympathetic nervous system; sympathomimetic
definition 2, given in the chapter on the nervous system: describes activity involving epinephrine

Things you need to know to understand this:
1. epinephrine = adrenaline
2. The sympathetic nervous system controls the "fight or flight" reaction - i.e., things involving adrenaline.
3. Epinephrine, like acetylcholine and dopamine and... (I think there's a couple more, but you probably don't need to know that part!), is a neurotransmitter, meaning a chemical that the nervous system uses to send out instructions.

[ profile] columbina  and I were discussing this word a while back; it was initially used as a general term for drugs like Sudafed. Neither one of us had ever heard it before. So when it came up again in this chapter, with a completely different definition, I was interested. The thing that gave me a sudden "aha" moment was that there was a parallel adjective for acetylcholine: cholinergic. One word-part that I tend to miss over and over is "erg," as in ergo, work. (I think I tend to read it as part of the "like or pertaining to" ending of adjectives, like "-ic.") But if nervous system activity involving epinephrine is adrenergic and activity involving acetylcholine is cholinergic - even I didn't manage to miss that one. (Also bear in mind that the trade name Sudafed is basically short for pseudo-epinephrine - in other words, it's a stimulant. I am not clear on why that should help to clear up your nose, though. Anybody?) So really the difference beween the two definitions is that they're talking about adrenergic drugs vs. the chemicals that your body manufactures on its own.

I finished going through this chapter; now I have to review the two chapters (the endocrine system and the nervous system); then there's just one more chapter, which is just called The Senses. One chapter and three tests, including the final. Yuck. Sometimes I think I'm never going to finish this.
mellificent: (brain leaking)
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
a slow-growing degenerative brain disease caused by a prion, an infectious protein agent. Related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or "mad cow" disease) in cattle.

This is another one of those things where I had heard the name but I didn't really know what it was. (Mad Cow Disease is not something I've paid a lot of attention to, I admit.) I also didn't know that there was such a thing as an infectious protein.

In other news, I'm taking a jewelry class all day tomorrow - 10:30-4:30, I think - which I signed up for ages ago. I think we're making some sort of necklace that had a bunch of different techniques involved in it. As I recall, I was more interested in the techniques than having the necklace, really. I hope it's a good class because it's going to involve getting up at what is for me nowadays a really incredibly early hour. Speaking of which, I need to go make sure I have the things I'm going to take with me gathered up. (Including a lunch, for goodness' sake. I really just am not a big "sack lunch" person.)
mellificent: (Dr Who - blink)
protrusion of the eyeballs, as seen in Graves disease

Did you know there was a fancy medical name for this? I didn't. (Not that I'm surprised, really, but still....)

I finished going through the chapter on the endocrine system yesterday and now I'm starting the nervous system - they're both on the same test and I noticed that the average grade on this test is lower than most. Now that I've read the endocrine chapter I'm not surprised - there's a lot to remember. Lots of endocrine glands, a couple of which I've never even heard of (parathyroid? really?) and some of the glands secrete six or seven different hormones. I'm sure they won't really expect us to have all of that memorized, but I'd like to at least have some clue about it!

A couple of links, one medical and one not:

Really fascinating article about how Apgar scores for babies came to be. (I'm never 100% sure about whether you can see some of these without a login - tell me if you have trouble!)

Tangential to the Sotomayor nomination, here's [ profile] drdenny about the "mainstream" and how the political parties are fighting for possession of that rhetorical territory.
mellificent: (Dr Who - 11)
congenital absence or closure of a normal body opening

I just took the test on the female reproductive system, which included pregnancy and birth, and along the way included stuff like genetic disorders, which was depressing. (I have said before that what I would really like to have is a medical dictionary which wasn't illustrated. Diagrams are alright, but some of the photographs are highly disturbing, so much so that I will refrain from even telling you about them.) Luckily for my chance of sleeping well later, the book was short on specific examples of atresia - I don't think I want to know. Anyway, I made another 96 but this chapter wasn't really as easy as I thought it would be - maybe partly because I am a nulligravida, a woman who has never been pregnant, so I've never had that kind of crash-course on the terminology of pregnancy. I started to use "eclampsia" as my word because I didn't actually know what it was exactly before last week - but I figured some of you guysgirls have actually been pregnant or just were paying attention in health class and would know that one. (Actually my health class didn't cover it, but anyway, you get the point.)
mellificent: (Dr Who - blink)
pain during sexual intercourse

I came right over here to put this one on the computer because it baffled me looking at it. Past "dys-" which just means "bad" or painful, I didn't see any word roots to latch onto for this one. Turns out that's because the main root is Greek: pareunos, which meas "lying beside". Don't throw this greek stuff at me, people - it's too late at night and I just don't do Greek.

Oh, I did take my third test last week; it was another 96. (Don't ask me what I missed on this one; I've wiped it from my mind already.) So I am now past all of that and can move on to the female reproductive system and pregnancy and birth, thus the choice of word.
mellificent: (gotbooks)
comminuted fracture
a fracture in which the bone is splintered or crushed

So, I intended to take three tests this week, and I have taken two. I made a 96 on the first anatomy test (skin and muscle) and 98 on the medical terminology test (muscle and skeleton). So that's going well, and the one that's left is the anatomy test over the skeleton. I am a little more worried about this one because the book goes into a lot of detail about some of the individual bones, much moreso than the medical terminology book. However, the notes that the instructor wrote imply that she does not intend to ask about, say, the individual names of the bones of the skull. (I can remember frontal, parietal, and occipital - after that I tend to get a little confused.) I have been making flash-cards to help me go over this a couple more times, but I'm probably overthinking it.
mellificent: (nautilus)
the largest of the tarsal bones; it forms the heel and articulates with the cuboid anteriorly and the talus above.

I love how the medical dictionary doesn't just define it as "the heel" - no, it's the bone that forms the heel. Whatever. Medical terminology is like a foreign language, really. And I suspect that medical coding, some of the time at least, is just being the doctor-to-insurance-company translator. The funny thing is that most doctors mostly know how to translate it all into English since they have to, to be able to to deal with patients. Medical terminology is just this little private doctor-to-doctor language. I know there's reasons for that but it still gets a little comical.
mellificent: (Mel - carnival)
Heberden nodes
small, hard nodules formed in the cartilage of the distal joints of the fingers in osteoarthritis

I've finished working my way through the chapters on the muscles and skeleton in the Medical Terminology book, but there's no way I'm ready to take the test right now (I nearly said "take the quest" - too much MMORPGing!) so I'm working my way through the same chapters in the Anatomy book now, hoping that will help. It's all straightened itself out in my head a lot, but not everything has stuck yet, so it needs some more work. I'm not having any more trouble with the names of muscles and bones than I am with with names of diseases. Things like the difference between all the different forms of bone cancer were stumping me until I finally spotted a pattern - if it's just "-oma" it's not so bad, but if it's "-sarcoma" look out. So an osteoma is benign and so is a chondroma (which is in the cartilage) or even an osteochondroma (both bone and cartilage), but an osteosarcoma is malignant. This doesn't always work for other cancers (myeloma, for example) but it seems to for this bunch.

(I know the icon is awfully busy but I like it. At least it doesn't actually blink.)
mellificent: (Dr Who - delete)
the bony socket in the hip bone that holds the head of the femur. From the Latin word for "vinegar" due to its resemblance to the base of a vinegar cruet.

I'm putting this here hoping it will help me remember it. Hey, it worked for glomerulus and epididymus.

I've been working my way through the chapters on the muscles and the skeleton - out of order, as far as the medical terminology book goes. I'm glad I started on them early, though. There's a lot to remember. I don't think Medical Terminology seems to expect me to know as many muscles and bones as Anatomy does. (And neither of them seem to expect you to know all of them, the way a medical student would presumably be expected to. Thank goodness for that.)


mellificent: (Default)

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