Flybomber's not the only one getting Xray'd today...I volunteered as a body for an ultrasound clinic, and they thought they saw a pleural effusion (fluid next to the lung). Great. There are about 6000 reasons to have a pleural effusion, and I was not happy with about 5990 of them, so I stared at the ceiling with jelly all over my abdomen and had a reflective moment while my peers tossed one-liners.

I do have a history of lung badness: a pneumothorax and TB exposure, plus the occasional Rothman's when I go clubbing or camping. I have been sucking wind a lot lately, too, a bad sign.

The machine we were using was one that was not used for patients because it was so new and high-tech that noone had been trained on it. A recheck with a neighboring machine looked much more normal, although we are talking ultrasound here: fuzz. Going back to the new machine with a different person yielded a somewhat similar result. The chest films showed nothing; I even ran them anonymously past an attending.

Looking at your own films is scary. I find horrible things in ordinary people every day. As I look at my normalish spine, I can almost see the degeneration and disability that will happen with age; this is a momentous snapshot.