My patient one day, a spry 80-year-old, started to cough and feel short of breath during a blood transfusion: classic signs of a transfusion reaction. I stopped her IV, but she needed a steroid to bring her breathing back to normal.
Four days after giving birth, amped up on a combination of hormones and anxiety, I gathered together what was left of my stomach muscles and wrenched myself out of bed. Throwing on a bathrobe, I dragged myself to the neonatal intensive care unit.
A statin can be a lifesaver if you're at risk of heart disease, but some people who take the cholesterol-lowering drugs -- up to 20 percent, by some estimates -- have to stop because of muscle pain, the most common side effect. (Nearly 30 million people filled a statin prescription in 2005, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Statins include popular drugs such as Crestor, Lipitor, and Zocor.)