Malpractice Makes Perfect

Panel one is the actual exchange I had with the ER doc that did my spinal tap just after the needle went “pop.” If you have never experienced what it is to have a device manipulating around in your spinal column, let me just say that I A) DO NOT RECOMMEND IT and B) can’t stress enough how wrong it feels.

HEALTH UPDATE: I feel worse today than I did yesterday. This does not bode well for my trip to Baltimore in roughly a week. If I don’t feel better by Sunday I’m going to have to go back to the hospital.

BOOK UPDATE: The books officially exist and are shipping from the frozen wilderness of Canada today. The bad news is the print run went over by 100 books which cost me another $600 (this is apparently something that happens when you print books). So ORDER THOSE BOOKS!!! Order 100 of them!

Special thanks to you Fancy Bastards that have donated towards my medical bills. You’ve covered over $500 in the last week. I appreciate your generosity more than I know how to express.


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  1. Funny! (and a bit tragic)

    by the way, i just used you as an example in my office when talking to a patient about the importance of healthcare. You are a poster-child now; use your powers for good, not evil.

    oh; and i DID tell him to buy your book because i am a hopeless shill.

  2. I had my elbow tapped once by a bone doctor with absolutely no bedside manner whatsoever. He pulled the needle back out and it was empty. He told me "Oh, oops, I have to go in again."

    I've never said the F-word to a doctor before or since that event. But I SHOUTED IT at him. As in "F*CK! FINE! DO IT ALREADY!" I think my husband's jaw hit the floor when I yelled. I mean, he knows I have a tendency to curse like a sailor, but I don't think he expected me to do it at a doctor's office. And certainly not that loudly.

    Having experienced that pain, which made my face leak (not crying, but just leaking) for like FOUR HOURS AFTERWARDS, I can honestly say that I would never, ever, ever, ever want that done to my spine, nor the spines of anyone I respected, loved, liked, or even disliked. It was HORRENDOUS.

    I hope you get to feeling better soon and that you don't ever have to do this again…gah!!!

  3. We all hope you feel better Joel! It's a testament to your skillz how you can make a joke of your pain.
    Eli! Denise! Josh! Make Joel fell better!

  4. Get Well Soon Joel! It's a testament to yur skillz on how you can turn your own horrific pain into joke fodder.
    Eli! Denise! Josh! Make Joel feel better!

  5. I feel for you. I had to have an LB once. Worst headache I've ever had. Not to mention that it lasted two solid weeks.

  6. Also here to offer my best wishes on the feeling better and awe at how you manage to a) be funny through the pain and b) do the comic through the pain. Rest up and get well.

  7. I had a spinal tap when I was 15 due to a head injury, and it took me 2 freakin' weeks before I even felt remotely human again. I share your pain.

  8. I think the best way to describe a spinal tap is that it's like having a root canal… in your spine.
    I had 3 done in under 18 hours, so I feel your pain. The website link goes straight to my (somewhat humorous) account of it, in case you feel like your misery would like some company.

    Did they have you sitting up like that when they did it? If so, that is a surefire way to get an LP headache, what with exacerbating the sudden pressure drop in cerebral fluid. 🙁
    Hope you feel better!

  9. Ow. I got a laugh when I read the first paragraph of the journal entry, altough, perhaps, I shouldn't have. I hope for fast recovery and superman-like drawing skills. I've shuffled through every comic here and love it.

  10. ahaha that was suuuch a good movie. 'he was knighted for the founding of hogwart which is summer camp for pale young boys' <3

  11. Dude, you should move to Canada…we've got free healthcare for you, Canadian-style bacon for Josh, and 14% beer for Eli. Just don't move to Ottawa….that's where Darth Prorogueis (Stephen Harper).

  12. My best friend got a spinal tap they messed it up 10 times and got it right the 11th. I came to visit him and gave him a copy of “This is Spinal Tap” because I am an asshole

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