This week's Grand Rounds has been posted over at Clinical Cases and Images. Thanks to Ves for including me, and thanks to GruntDoc for choosing my post as his "must read" item of this issue!
And in the world of non-human medicine, Fiona Ford went to the garage today.
We like to name our cars; we figure it's good for their morale. Our first car, a venerable used Honda Accord, was named Holly. Holly broke down in one way or another roughly every week and a half. During the three or four years we had her, I think I replaced everything except the engine and the transmission. My mechanics kept saying, "But the car's a Honda! What can be wrong with it?"
Answer: Almost everything.
So we finally traded Holly in for a Ford Escort, christened Fiona. Fiona Ford has been much healthier than Holly Honda ever was, undoubtedly in part because she's a 1999 car rather than an 1981 car. But we just paid her off, so of course she's now developing interesting problems.
I posted about the "service engine soon" light that came on during our trip to San Francisco. Today I took Fiona in to have that checked out. We were all hoping that maybe it was a loose gas cap or something.
But nooooo. It turns out that Fiona needs a new Transmission Fluid Temperature sensor. The TFT sensor is an expensive part, and it's hard to reach; the entire transmission has to be removed for it to be accessible. My mechanic handed me a transmission diagram that looks like the schematic for the space shuttle.
I need some other little things done too: flushes, new filters, like that. Upshot: On Saturday, Fiona will be spending at least five hours at the garage, and Gary and I will have to fork over $800-$900. That doesn't include today's $100 diagnostic charge.
And you thought human medicine was expensive! (Don't even get me started on vet bills.)
I don't think my garage is fleecing me, but if they were, I'd have no way to tell. I have to trust them. And the bottom line is that $1,000 in garage fees is still a lot cheaper than buying a new car.