Plague Busters with Medical Historian Dr Lindsey Fitzharris and Adrian Teal

KKH Trailer Wide

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: [00:00:00] Knock,

Will: knock, hi! Knock, knock, hi! Hello and welcome to Knock, Knock, Hi! with the Glockenfleckens. I am Dr. Glockenflecken, also known as Will Flannery. Hi, I’m 

Kristin: Lady Glogginpluggin, also known as Kristen Flannery. 

Will: And we are talking to another couple. Yes! 

Kristin: I think, is this our 

Will: first couple? It’s our first four person podcast 

Kristin: episode.

That’s right. That’s exciting. It’s also our first return 

Will: guest. Yeah. Dr. Lindsay Fitzharris and her husband, Adrian Teal. That’s right. A caricaturist, cartoonist, illustrator, and a fantastic, uh, as you can, you’ll see in this episode, um, we see some examples of caricatures and, uh, [00:01:00] one of the two of us, which we will put up on our social media and everything for, for the listeners to see.

Um, and. It made me think a lot that conversation that we had with them just about like working with your spouse. Yeah. Mm hmm, you know Yeah, it’s like how do you think it’s going? 

Kristin: I Think it’s going just fine. I think it is too. Yeah, here’s the thing I think there’s two things about us that make it work well, and I so I can’t speak for all you know Partners all spouses whatever working together, but we have always worked next to each other 

Will: Like 

Kristin: studying.

Yeah, we met in college and we were, you know, good students and whatever. We’ve always, in grad school and med school, I mean, there’s always been like, that’s just been a, just a fundamental part of our relationship from the jump. So that’s, it’s not something we had to like transition to. We just started there.

So the only difference is now we’re working on the same projects [00:02:00] instead of different projects, but we’ve always sort of worked together. And then the other thing is we have separate parts of The business really, right? Like, like your skits, you write and you come up here and you film them and you edit them and you post them and you know, all of that stuff.

And I don’t need to have any, I don’t need to get in there. And then, you know, the stuff I’m doing, you don’t need to get in there. Yeah, I think it makes it work, you know. Just fine. Plus, plus the thing that really makes it work the most, you know what it is? What is it? Is you’re out of the house four days a week.

That’s your real job. That helps, right? Yeah. 

Will: Just get me out of here. Leave. 

Kristin: No, but it is good to have your, your… You know, individual projects and spaces and your 

Will: joint projects and spaces. Absolutely. And we, at times, like to talk with each other. Yeah, sometimes. That’s also a good thing, right? Yeah.

Considering it’s a podcast. Right. A little audio 

Kristin: heavy. Yes. 

Will: Yeah. So. That’s good. Right? Yeah, I think 

Kristin: that that’s I don’t know. Do [00:03:00] you do people like to hear us talk to each other? I guess that’s the question. 

Will: Let us know. Do you like we are now with like seven months into this thing? Do you like it? Do you like hearing us talk to each other?

Probably a question we should have asked you all months 

Kristin: ago. Well, live and 

Will: learn. Yes All right. 

Kristin: We’re not that interesting, but it did seem like Lindsay and Adrian’s lives It seems much more interesting. Absolutely. Yes. They seem fascinating. Every time we talk to them, I’m, or you know, her, them, it’s just, all sorts of things come up that you never could have predicted and you just, you know, they always leave people wanting more.

Absolutely. We heard a lot of comments after she was on the first time that she was a really fascinating guest. So hopefully people will like this 

Will: episode just as much. Can you, maybe you should go and do like a PhD in like history or something. 

Kristin: No thanks. I’m good. Yeah, no, no, I’m all right. All right. 

Will: Well, we have we have enough [00:04:00] to talk about, you know, it’s not like Houdini box and Right 

Kristin: the same kind of take we need to about that?

Will: Hmm? No, 

Kristin: I mean I already see your face All the 

Will: time. All right, well, let’s get to our guest. So Dr. Lindsay Fitzharris, bestselling author of The Butchering Art and the Face Maker, a PhD in the history of science and medicine from Oxford University, prolific writer, a fascinating storyteller. Uh, all the way around.

And then Adrian Teal, as I mentioned, caricaturist, cartoonist, uh, he has, uh, appeared in numerous TV shows as well, including Spitting Image and Big Heads, which I think are like UK based things, which is where 

Kristin: Yes, we talk a bit about, um, Spitting Image in 

Will: particular. Absolutely. Uh, and so, um, and together, the two of them form quite a [00:05:00] duo.

So They do. Let’s get to it. Here is Dr. Lindsay Fitzharris and Adrian Teal.

Today’s episode is brought to you by the Nuance Dragon Ambient Experience or DAX for short. This is AI powered ambient technology that helps you be more efficient and reduce clinical documentation burden. To learn more about how DAX can help reduce burnout and restore the joy of practicing medicine.

Stick around after the episode or visit Nuance. com slash discover DAX. That’s N U A N C E. com.

Do you want to tell them or should I? You can. All right, we’re telling our amazing story live in person. Oh, you mean the story where you died? Uh, no, the one where you survived me dying. Oh yeah, right. We can’t wait. There’s going to be a meet and greet before each show. Uh, you can get a photo with us, you can meet us.

We want to meet you! December 9th, 10th, and 11th in Southern California. 

Kristin: We’ll be at [00:06:00] The Improv in Irvine, Ontario, and Oxnard. 

Will: To buy tickets and check out the dates, go to glockenflucken. com slash live. And we have a special offer for our Patreon members, the Glock Flock. Free meet and greet with a normal ticket.

Just tell us your username and you’re in! See you 

Kristin: in Southern California!

Will: Alright, we are here with the one, the only Dr. Lindsay Fitzharris and Adrian Teal, who are both wearing lovely masks here. So we, so Lindsay’s here in a plague, uh, plague mask, plague doctor mask, and Adrian, uh, just your, your classic, uh, 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: skeleton. Classic death. Classic death. Classic death. Classic death. And in fact, you know, I dragged him all around Venice buying different masks, and you said…

What are we going to do with all these masks? Well, here it is. Now we know. Now we know. 

Adrian Teal: Well, I see It’s like already you’re getting your marital points in, aren’t you? [00:07:00] Yeah. 

Will: I do see already a couple of masks in the background. Now, this is a different background than you were on with us, um, a few months ago.

Uh, and you have some really cool Uh, toys, uh, things. I, I don’t know what you call the, the, 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: uh… Probably, that’s true. I did, I did just call it the playground before we came on. Um, yeah, so we moved a couple months ago. We bought our first house and the nightmare scenario was getting all of this into this house.

And if you see there’s the Houdini box behind me and I told you guys about this in the last episode, I had it in my garage. It was a prop from a TV show that I had hosted. And when the show was done, I said, what’s going to happen to this? Houdini box. They said, who cares? We’re going to get rid of it. You know, and I said, no, send it to my house.

So it was sitting in my old house in a garage for a very long time. I had this idea. I was going to turn it into a bookshelf, didn’t I, Ade? And, um, we moved and then the movers couldn’t get it into the room. I mean, it was a [00:08:00] real, and I, and I’m sure the neighbors were like, what are they trying to move into this house?

They said, Oh, we could bring it through the window. It took ages. So we finally had to. So, we sawed in half, which seemed really fitting for the Houdini box. Yeah, it does. And then put it back together. 

Adrian Teal: It had to sit out in the garden, didn’t it, for a couple of days. Yeah. With shrink wrap around it in case there was any rain.

Although it’s the Houdini tank that was used for the water torture trick, it’s still only made of wood, so, you know, we couldn’t get it wet. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Well, and the other part of it is, the top comes off, and the top has… It’s like shackles. Yeah, it’s really kinky. Because he would have hung upside down and he would have been, you know, so I’m sure that the neighbors were like, who are these people moving in?

But I persisted and I think the payoff was worth it in the end. I don’t 

Kristin: know if your neighborhood has a Facebook group associated with it, but if so, I bet you two were the talk of the group for several 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: days. Nobody’s knocked on our door. We haven’t had

Will: a single visitor. That’s right. [00:09:00] Now, Adrian, do you, do you have any say in the decor at all in your house there? 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Wait 

Adrian Teal: a second. Only the stuff that I’ve done for Lindsay. So there’s the Edgar Allan Poe caricature there. And I have to say, in Lindsay’s defense… She said she said to me once when we when we I think we haven’t been married that long She said I want to fill the house with your artwork And I said really you want to fill this house with my stuff and she said yeah And so one day when we buy somewhere, I want to completely fill the house weird caricature I’m the last few years.

I’ve been doing a lot of kind of really like the old style Hollywood vintage actors as caricatures in black and white And she said, oh, that’d be great in the new place all up the stairs. So she’s absolutely plastered the walls all the So that was very nice of her to do that. Yeah. And tell 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: them, tell them how you did a caricature of me.


Adrian Teal: I actually drew, I actually drew Lindsay as a caricature before I ever met her. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Yeah, Kristen’s very much like, that’s risky. Well, 

Adrian Teal: well, ballsy I think is the word. [00:10:00] Yeah, um, but no, fortunately she loved it, and uh, Yeah, I don’t know if I should tell this next bit. Yeah, I think you should, yeah. Well, she said, I’ve only ever had it done, No, I’ve had it done a couple of times before, But whenever I have it done, the caricatures always draw me with really big boobs.

Ah. So I kind of, I just went for it, you know, I just went completely out of the box. 

Will: I did. You, you, you guys sent me that. It was a caricature of you. I don’t know if it’s that the first one that, um, I think you did. Yeah, it’s great. It’s awesome. Yeah. 

Adrian Teal: Well, actually, uh, I’m, I’m hoping your tech guys listening in here, Rob, do you have what, do you have that, uh, little item on standby 

Will: there?

We, we do, and we’re looking at it right now on our screen, but we’re going to, whenever we, uh, oh, there it is, we’re, we’re, we’re pulling up. Oh 

Kristin: my goodness, that’s not the one we thought 

Will: he was talking about. I was, I was not expecting that one. [00:11:00] Wow! Look at that! Should we go now? I 

Kristin: look like Gollum. So we’re looking…

Will: So we’re looking at a caricature that Adrian, well done by the way, of the neurologist and Gollum. Yes! Gollum 

Adrian Teal: with mascara. Scarra, yeah. Yeah. 

Kristin: Oh, that’s Which somehow is more terrifying. Oh, that’s 

Will: awesome. 

Adrian Teal: I think you look cute. Yeah. That’s my weird 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: There are two kinds of people, people who love caricature and people who are terrified of caricature.

I love it. Kristen would be the one who’s terrified 

Adrian Teal: of it. I feel like I’ve kind of ruined the atmosphere. 

Kristin: No, no, no. No, no. What I think is so cool about your caricatures are, usually it’s like, oh, okay, I can kind of see that it’s that person, but yours look Like the person, even though they are so exaggerated.


Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: I’ve 

Adrian Teal: done my job properly, they should kind of look more like the person than the person does themselves, really. It’s kind of, there’s a weird thing that goes on in the human brain where you [00:12:00] actually, sometimes you can recognize people better from their caricature than you can necessarily recognize them 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: themselves.

And also, tell them about how politicians start to look like their caricature. Yeah, it’s weird, 

Adrian Teal: because you, when you get a new, when you get a new politician on the scene, it’s, it takes, It takes the cartoonists, the political cartoonists, a few weeks to kind of figure out what these guys look like. And then, somebody nails it, and then everybody starts to copy them, and then a weird thing happens, which is that the politician starts to look like their cartoon, rather than the other way 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: around.

Like George W. Bush started to look like a chimp, right? 

Adrian Teal: Yeah, because Steve, there’s a newspaper over here, The Guardian, Steve Bell is the political cartoonist, he started drawing them as a chimp. And then everybody started drawing him with a chip, and then everybody started saying, Actually, yeah, George Bush looks like a chip.

Will: Oh yeah, I didn’t realize you had so much power as a caricaturist. Yeah. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: It is a

powerful thing. That’s awesome. And you know, for instance, I’ll use Will Smith as an example. I’ll say, Well, Will Smith, he’s very handsome. And instantly you said, [00:13:00] His eyes are too far apart. And then you drew a caricature of Will Smith, and I was like, Oh my gosh, his eyes are a bit… 

Kristin: See, so if I were you, Lindsay, I’d be like, what are you saying about my face inside your 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: head?

Oh, I ask him all the time because I have a very round face and I’ll say to him, if I lost a dramatic amount of weight with my face, and he goes, nope, it would just be round. It’s just the structure. It’s your anatomy. It’s just the 

Kristin: face. Yeah, I have a giant square on my neck, so I 

Will: understand. How did you, I want to know how you got into doing caricatures.

Yeah. Who’s done it? 

Adrian Teal: I can’t remember a time when I didn’t do it. When you were a kid, you did. My father remembers vividly giving me a pencil when I was about 18 months old. And he said it was like watching a light bulb go off. It’s just suddenly you realize you can make marks on a piece of paper. You insulted your 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: dad with a caricature.

Yeah, yeah, obviously. But your dad was a pharmacist, and he didn’t know what to do with Adrian. And so, he called, there was a really popular show in Britain called Spinning Image at the time, and they make these… [00:14:00] It’s kind of like, 

Adrian Teal: it’s like SNL, but it’s SNL with satirical puppets. So it’s, it’s caricature puppets of, you know, celebrities, politicians, and they make, they make fun in a topical way of what’s going on in 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: the world.

And so, so your dad called the 

Adrian Teal: creators. Yeah. It was a hugely popular show. And my father phoned the guys who made the puppets and said, look. I’ve got a son. I just, you know, his art teachers don’t know what to do with him. He’s fascinated by caricature and faces. Could he come in and see you? And they said, yeah, that’s no problem.

So I used to go down sort of maybe two or three times a year from between the age of 10 and 16. And they, and they would set me little tasks, you know, and I do, you know, they say, well, let’s, let’s do John Cleese or something. Right. So I do a little drawing and then they get me sculpting and clay and everything.

And I learned more. In an hour with them than I ever learned with any art teacher I ever had. Yeah, 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: and so during the pandemic, they revived the show over here. So, we were all in lockdown and doing, you were doing ridiculous things. You were creating, you know, helping to create all these weird puppets.

There was Trump, and you had the [00:15:00] coronavirus. Yeah, we had the coronavirus 

Adrian Teal: puppet. Tell 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: them 

Adrian Teal: about the design for the coronavirus. The thing about the coronavirus was, at the time, everybody was terrified of shaking hands with other people because, you know, Passing on the virus, right? So what I came up with in the design was to have so his eyes are sort of two, his eyes are on two of the spikes, you know, the protein spikes, but also the rest of the protein spikes are little hands.

So, and, and the reason they did that was because I did a little idea for a. A cartoon which was, uh, I remember, um, who was, who was Prince Charles, but he’s now King Charles. He caught COVID, and of course, as a member of the royal family, you’re always going around shaking people’s hands, aren’t you? So, you know, so I did a character of him shaking hands with the coronavirus and saying, what do you do?

So, that was kind of the trigger for that puppet, so 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: that’s good. It’s on the West End stage right now in London. I’m really hoping someday they give you the coronavirus so that we could have that. We could hang it from the ceiling. It’d be perfect decor in here, have that hanging in the office. Yeah, I 

Kristin: have got to [00:16:00] commend you.

You, I, I feel like I have this in common with Lindsay. It’s just, I’m held in check more. I love a good theme. And I feel like you, you went all the way with your theme. And it’s amazing. Like you’re just casually sipping whatever you’re drinking out of a like Plague Doctor 

Will: cup. Yeah, she’s got a Plague Doctor cup, uh, mug 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: there.

Well, the Children’s book that we’re going to talk about, Plague Busters, was the perfect fit. It’s time for me to bring out the inner child as well. You know, last time we spoke, it was about the facemaker, it was a serious topic. I had to have a serious mug. I couldn’t have the Plague Doctor mug while talking about facial reconstruction during the First World War.

So, and I actually just said to A, he’s just got a glass, but we have another mug over there that he gave me. That is… Stephen King’s It. Oh yeah. And I said, you should’ve been drinking out of that for the interview. No, that’s good. I drank a lot more. Missed opportunity. 

Kristin: I think Halloween with you guys would be fun.

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: I know! I’m trying to convince them, but in Britain, Halloween isn’t 

Adrian Teal: a big thing, so. It’s not as big a deal over here, no, But, yeah. Well, why? [00:17:00] Yeah. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Come on. I 

Kristin: know. That’s because they haven’t met you yet, Lindsay. They haven’t seen what it can 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: be. Do you guys know what Guy Fawkes Day is? Have you ever heard of Guy Fawkes?

Yeah. Okay. Well, I mean, that’s kind of creepier than Halloween because you actually re burn. We burn Catholics, basically. Yeah, like you re burn Guy Fawkes every year. 

Kristin: Right, when you stop and think about it. Like an 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: effigy? Yeah, because 

Adrian Teal: they have like a So what happens sort of from, from late summer? Till sort of middle of autumn the local kids and all the everybody who’s got like old chairs They don’t want or old pallets or you know any bits of wood Basically, you build it on the nearest piece of green land You build a huge bonfire and then on November the 5th, you put an effigy of Guy

Fawkes You put an effigy of Guy Fawkes on top of the thing and you set fire to it 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: basically It’s worse than Halloween. You think Halloween’s such a strange holiday, but that is the strangest. 

Will: And the kids are like, the kids are like dancing around the bonfire and, you [00:18:00] know. Well, they 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: have little sticks with Guy Fawkes hanging from it too.

Oh, perfect. Very age appropriate. So, so that’s why we know that kids are going to like Plague Busters. I think parents get a little bit scared, right, about You know, scary books. And this is scary in the sense that we’re talking about diseases that we’ve largely been able to either eradicate or we can control now.

But it’s 

Adrian Teal: gruesome more than scary in some ways, I think. Yeah, I think 

Kristin: because we can control them now, I think it helps temper the 

Will: fear. Well, we can control most of them now. Right. But, um, 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: But I mean, Now anyway. I watched the intro to, to my interview with you guys, because, you know, you did the interview, the intro.

And Kristen, you said that you don’t like gruesome medical descriptions, which is hilarious that I’ve been on the show now twice, because I am the queen of that. 

Kristin: I was going to say though, this is a book I can read. Yeah, [00:19:00] 

Will: she’s been reading it, and it seems like you’re enjoying it. I 

Kristin: do. Yeah. I think, I mean, obviously it’s for middle grade readers, but I think it’s one of those that you can like read together as a parent with your kid and both of you, you know, are enjoying it.

It’s kind of like a book version of a Disney movie, right? Where there’s, I mean, it has nothing in common with Disney movies other than just, it’s kind of got things for everybody. 

Will: And I, I gotta say the illustrations are fantastic. Yes, they’re pretty 

Kristin: hilarious. 

Will: And it makes it even better to know that the plague doctor on the cover is, uh, Lindsey, you were the model for that, is that 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: right?

That is right, and actually, we’ll hold up the book, because we have to do this because we’re freelancers, so. Yeah. I don’t know if you can see. You can see the Plague Doctor and he’s surrounded by dancing plague rats. And what’s funny about this cover was that we had a, we had a different idea originally.

And the idea was that it would be the Plague [00:20:00] Doctor looking into a crystal ball and all of these viruses would be floating. Which seemed really ominous to me coming out of a pandemic, like what’s the next big thing going to be? Yeah, really. But our publisher said, Well, magic balls don’t really, crystal balls don’t really 

Adrian Teal: exist.

Yeah, it’s too fantastical, but dancing plague rats are fine, apparently. Yeah. 

Kristin: Have you ever been in New York 

Will: City? Including giant bacteria and viruses with faces on them, too. 

Kristin: Yeah, those are 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: fine. Totally realistic, but yeah. So it was, it was a few days after, I think I might’ve, I said this on the last interview too, it was a few days after I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I’ve come through that all fine. My, I know that you guys are all in your PSAs about get your checks. So I’m the boob one, get your boobs checked. Um, but, but it was a couple of days after that. And we, and it was still kind of grim in the household, but you said, look, I ordered this monk’s outfit off Amazon.

I need you to put this on. Put the [00:21:00] plague mask on and you need to pose, so I have a reference here, so that, that really is the show must go 

Adrian Teal: on. She went above and beyond the call of duty there, I have to say. It was a light moment at a dark hour, wasn’t it? It 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: was. Yeah, 

Kristin: you need those. I mean, we’re, 

Will: we’re familiar.

I look at the cover and I’m like, that’s Lindsay right there. Look at that. It’s 

Kristin: a spitting image. It’s absolutely. A 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: spitting image. I know. I mean, imagine me taking the mask off and it’s just this blonde, laughing woman. But for those listening, actually, I, I should say that if you aren’t familiar with the Plague Doctor, which is hard to believe because, you know, again, coming through the pandemic, this image was just being shared on social media everywhere.

But if you don’t know what it looks like, basically the Plague Doctor in earlier centuries would wear this beaked mask. And the idea was that he thought that disease was caused by something called miasma, which is kind of like bad odors. So people in the past believed if something smelled bad, it probably was going to kill you, which kind of makes sense because the slums would have smelled bad and there would have been a [00:22:00] lot of disease in the slums.

So they would put this beaked mask on, and they would stuff it full of sweet smelling or strong smelling herbs. Herbs. We always have a disagreement about pronunciation and, um, and that would protect them. But, you know, it’s, it’s a weird thing because they also covered themselves from head to toe. I actually have another impractical thing I picked up in Venice that, uh, a Plague Doctor puppet, Marionette puppet, but as you see, he’s wearing, you know, this full jacket and he would have been wearing gloves.

So in a weird way, we said in the book, it was kind of like an early hazmat. So, it probably did offer some kind of protection. Yeah, it did work, it just didn’t know what I’m doing. Yeah, and there were weird things that we found out in Plaguebusters that, that sounded completely outrageous, but then ended up actually having some kind of basis of working.

Adrian Teal: Yeah, this, this was, the one that, that I find extraordinary is the, is it, uh, when we put in the smallpox chapter. And this was an [00:23:00] idea that was kicking around from sort of the late Middle Ages, which is that if you’ve got smallpox, the best thing you can do is surround yourself with the color red. Okay, so, when Queen Elizabeth I of England had smallpox, they said, her doctor said completely cover yourself head to foot in red cloth, and people were told to eat red food, be in red rooms, red light with red curtains, it was just red, red, red, just surround yourself with red.

And, Weirdly, it did have a beneficial effect and it didn’t actually cure smallpox, but there was a guy in the late 19th century, I think he was Swiss, I think Swiss or Swedish, I can’t remember, but he did some research into this and he found that red light, it doesn’t cure smallpox, but what it does is it can tackle the inflammation and it can promote the production of collagen.

in the cells, which is the stuff that, you know, knits you together. So 


Kristin: like an early LED face mask. Yeah, so it’s basically… They have those now, same thing. 

Adrian Teal: Right, yeah, so it don’t, it will stop the, the pustules from scarring because it will help them [00:24:00] to, to sort themselves out. And actually I believe as well that red light is good at fighting certain types of bacteria.

So sort of secondary infection, maybe, I don’t know, maybe it was good with that. But, uh, I do like how 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: you said it doesn’t cure smallpox, like spoiler alert. Well, yeah, you know, that’s a vaccine.

Adrian Teal: Just extraordinary. If somebody stumbled across something that actually did some good, you know, 

Will: without. So obviously, Adrienne, it sounds like you have actually learned, you like have a little mini PhD in like medical history here.

I’m sure you’ve, I’m sure you’ve picked up a lot of stuff, but as you were going through illustrating this, this book, uh, which, which of these plagues, I’m curious, did you, did you enjoy, uh, illustrating 

Adrian Teal: the most? It’s not 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Lindsay’s, it’s not Lindsay’s favorite. I know, I’m shaking my, I know. I can’t even believe it’s in the book, cause it’s such a weird one, but.

It’s scurvy. 

Adrian Teal: And I love scurvy 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: [00:25:00] because… But explain, first of all, explain to listeners what scurvy is, cause it’s not something we even think 

Adrian Teal: about today, is it? It’s basically vitamin C, vitamin C deficiency. Uh, human beings… For the Americans there, 

Kristin: that’s 

Will: vitamin C. Vitamin C. Thank 

Adrian Teal: you. You sound like Peter Griffin.

It’s vitamin C, love it. Yeah. Um, it’s, um, it’s a, it’s vitamin C deficiency and humans can’t synthesize vitamins. It’s one of the few animals. that can’t synthesize vitamin C. So again, it’s back to collagen. If you can’t get the vitamin C, you basically, you fall apart, but it happens over a long period of time.

Unlike a lot of the the plagues in this book that will kill you sometimes over a few days, scurvy would take weeks or sometimes months to kill you. And because I love maritime history, and because it was something that affected sailors. A lot, because they’re away from, you know, fresh food. Um, yeah, I just, it’s just fascinating.

It’s just a fascinating area of history. It took a long time to sort out why this was happening. We 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: let it in the book, but I think it’s… [00:26:00] I think there are scarier diseases than 

Will: scurvy. Yeah, I was gonna ask. I was gonna, well, first of all, I wanna say, I’ve actually, I’ve seen a patient. Of all the, the um, the plagues that you put in there, I think I only personally saw, have seen one patient.

with one of those plagues and it was scurvy. So yeah, I think when you see it nowadays, it’s usually, obviously people are very malnourished. Uh, the patient I had was, uh, and this was like 10 plus years ago was, um, alcoholic, so severe alcoholism and, uh, just hadn’t been eating. you know, really anything of substance and had, you know, bleeding gums and kind of bleeding, you know, just the kind of very classic, uh, strange, you know, bleeding diathesis.

Did you know what it was 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: right 

Will: away? I didn’t. Oh, I suspected it. And that’s one of my, uh, you know, you know, pat yourself on the back moments that you have in medical training at times, whenever you, you know, you [00:27:00] somehow come up with the right answer. Because no one is thinking about that. But, but again, I had just…

I was an intern. So I had just finished all of my med school. And so I had this huge wealth of knowledge, the smartest I’ve ever been in my life. Uh, and so I was able to like, Oh, bleeding gums, like a very, like malnourished person. Like. Could this be a vitamin C deficiency? And we checked the levels and it was dangerously low.

And so, 

Adrian Teal: because it’s one of those diseases, it’s like, it’s like rickets or leprosy or gout, you know, disease. Yeah. It’s one of those things that you think has been consigned to the, you know, the dumpster of history, but it’s, it’s, you know, it’s obviously making it every 

Will: now and then it pops up. Well, 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: just like syphilis is making a comeback, right?

Will: Yeah. 

Adrian Teal: I feel like a comeback. It didn’t take you long to 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: get Simpsons into the equation. Or super gonorrhea now. Isn’t that like a thing where there’s like a gonorrhea strain of gonorrhea? That 

Adrian Teal: sounds like the worst superhero ever. It 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: does. It’s [00:28:00] resistant to certain kinds of antibiotics. So yeah, it’s 

Will: coming.

I want to know what plagues were on the cutting floor here? What did you 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: have to leave out? We left out leprosy because, mostly because there’s, you have to talk a lot about religion. Yeah. And we worried a little bit about that, um, going into a U. S. audience. I mean, 

Adrian Teal: if stuff was left out, it was often, as well, purely for reasons of space, wasn’t it?

Yeah. Because you can only do, you’ve only got, with a children’s book like this, you’ve only got 25, 000 words to work with. So you have to really cherry pick the ones that are… We’re going to give you the best stories. I mean, we could have talked about… The best nightmares. The best nightmares. We could have talked about, you know, malaria, typhus, or, you know, there’s a host of others, but we just picked the ones that we thought we could tell 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: the other thing is that sometimes, uh, these diseases were more or less the same story over and over again, like a vaccine was developed.

So we wanted there to be a… You know, a variety in that sense. But going back to identifying scurvy, it’s interesting [00:29:00] because some of these diseases, for instance, if, if they did appear in a hospital, one has to wonder how quickly it would be identified. Because that reminds me of a story of one of the last people die of smallpox in Britain.

She was a medical photographer, if I remember correctly. And, um. There was a sample of smallpox being kept at the hospital and she caught it. And she went, she ended up in that same hospital and they did actually identify it quite quickly. They put her in isolation, but she had given it to her mother. At the same time, her mother ended up in the hospital as well.

Um, they both. developed hideous, uh, scarring from the smallpox. The father went to visit them, and he died of a heart attack from the stress of the situation, and then they died as well. And it was only after this incident that the WHO decided nobody gets to have this stuff. Um, locked away, except for the CDC and a lab in the Soviet [00:30:00] Union, which was really badly 

Will: funded.


Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: great. And actually, we don’t know where that sample went, if I, if I remember correctly. So, I mean, we have DNA sequences, so I guess we could just replicate it anyway. I mean, there’s all kinds of scary things about smallpox. because, um, it’s the only human virus we’ve ever fully eradicated, which is incredible.

But it also means that nobody has any kind of immunity. We’re not vaccinating, of course, against it because it doesn’t exist anymore. I believe that there probably are, um, people listening who are in the military who have had to have the smallpox vaccine. Sometimes people will tell me this on Instagram that they’ve had it.

Um, but otherwise… You know, we’re not vaccinating against it. So it’s one of those scary diseases that if it did come back, you know, I wonder if doctors would even recognize it, um, or recognize it quickly enough because it’s so contagious. 

Will: Well, it’s, it’s in the safe hands with the government 

Kristin: of the Soviet Union.

Will: That’s of a window. So those are really, those are the only two. Only two [00:31:00] places that, that has a sample of this. Well, 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: I, I believe there was a news article recently, I think it was in the last five years, that somebody found a sample in a lab in the U. S. in a freezer. It’s like smallpox was just hanging out in this freezer.

It’s, it’s 

Will: a little vile, this bullshit 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: smallpox. And, and they, they, they were like, oh shit. And, um, there’s a whole protocol to destroying it. So it had, there’s like people from the WHO have to witness it. So it’s like a whole process that everybody has to come and witness the destruction of the sample. Uh, but I don’t remember fully, but I do remember there being this kind of article about somebody found smallpox hanging out in a freezer and uh, everybody kind of freaked out and you know, but, but yeah, 

Will: looking for their smallpox sample left in the freezer.

Who left this here? 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: And I want also for me, smallpox is the scariest disease that we cover. Um, because One teaspoon of smallpox is enough to kill every man, woman, and child on the face of the earth. It’s an incredibly [00:32:00] toxic, uh, you know, disease. And also the way it manifests itself. People kind of now, because we haven’t seen it in modern times, think of it as chickenpox.

It’s really not like chickenpox. Um, it’s incredibly disfiguring, which is why it was feared so much in the past as well, even though things like bubonic plague, for instance, sometimes had a higher mortality rate. Uh, but, but smallpox was very disfiguring and that really kind of struck fear into people’s hearts.

But we open the Plague Buster chapter on smallpox with one of my favorite stories in the history of medicine, which is, takes place at Newgate Prison, which was the most disgusting prison on the face of the earth in the 18th century. And you have this surgeon named Charles Matlin, and he is walking through Newgate Prison, and he is carrying one of the deadliest viruses on earth.

He’s carrying a sample of the smallpox, and he is going to try to inoculate prisoners who have been condemned to die. And the gamble is, If they agree to do it, and the inoculation works, they get to walk free. So the stakes really couldn’t be [00:33:00] higher. And I just love this story. It’s like the 

Adrian Teal: worst game show 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: ever, 

Kristin: isn’t it?

It is the worst. Yeah. Really? Whew. 

Will: Goodness. You IRB? I, not, 

Kristin: no. These days. I don’t think that could happen these days. Yeah. Well, 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: that’s the other thing. So much of what we cover in, in Plague Busters, I mean, ethically, would never stand up. 

Adrian Teal: No, no. Mostly to do with orphans, wasn’t it? Yeah, 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: it mostly had to do with children and orphans and, um, but you know, I mean, it has to be acknowledged that, that these experiments took place and they were, they were unethical to our standards today, but they did take place and they did advance medicine on some level, but there were, and in fact, Ade, we could probably announce, do you want to say?

What the next book is going to be. 

Adrian Teal: Yes. Uh, yeah, we’ve got another one lined up for kids and it’s called Dead Ends and we’re writing it at the moment and it’s about, uh, medical history’s failures, basically, and how some failures, some failures were just that were just failures and were just terrible. And, you know, we should, we should try to forget them really, but we’re digging them [00:34:00] back up again.

But some of them were also, uh, failures that were just. Problems on the way to success, basically. So very often good things come out of terrible things. And that’s kind of the thing that in a nutshell, that’s the theme of the book. And one thing that 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: we won’t we won’t be talking about this in the children’s book, but it is a fun example for the adult listeners.

And some of the adult listeners, you’re going to know this story, but if you don’t, Kellogg’s cornflakes were invented. to stop you from masturbating. Um, so we have, we have a little prop that Aid had made for me a while ago, Fitz’s Corn Fakes, because on my YouTube channel we couldn’t actually put a Kellogg’s Corn Flakes box and we didn’t want to get sued.


Adrian Teal: Right. But Van Looy is bigger than all of them. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Yeah, I would imagine. Dr. Kellogg in the 19th century, he was obsessed with masturbation. He thought it led to all kinds of problems and he wanted to stop people. So he thought creating a, uh, like a biscuit or [00:35:00] essentially bland food. Yeah. Bland food. You didn’t want to heat up the passions in the body.

So he created. The Corn Flake. Now, what happened was his brother came along and was like, you know what would be great? Sugar in the Corn Flakes. And they had this massive falling out because, you know, Dr. Kellogg was like, no, everybody will just masturbate all the time if there’s sugar in the Corn Flakes.


Will: terrible. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Who wants to see that? So, uh, I, I believe there was a big falling out and I believe the brother won and that became the commercial cornflakes that we all love. But the original origins of cornflakes was because Dr. Kellogg was obsessed with this. So that’s not good. That is not going in the book, uh, parents don’t worry, but we thought we’d share that for you guys.

That’s a good bit of bit of trivia. Oh 

Kristin: my goodness. 

Will: Do we have cornflakes in the house? 

Kristin: I don’t think so. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Not anymore. And actually. Will, one of the I remember last time we spoke, you were [00:36:00] upset that I didn’t come up with more eyeball facts, right? Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. So I got some eyeball facts for you. I’ve been seething about 

Kristin: it.

Yeah, he mentions it every night before bed. He’s muttering about 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: it. Actually, I wanted to show you, uh, this is the most romantic thing Adrienne has ever bought me, is a is a ring. I don’t know if you can see that. Here it goes. Made out of a prosthetic eye. 

Adrian Teal: It’s actually 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: the same color as your eye, isn’t it?


Adrian Teal: a little bit too big, so that’s why. Yeah, it’s the Same color as your 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: eyes. But here’s the weird story I wanted to tell you. So, have you ever heard of this thing called optography in the 19th century? You may have. 

Will: Optography. I’ve never heard that term. Okay, so. Describe what it is. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: I may have heard it, though.

So in the 19th century, the late 19th century, after the advent of photography, there was this theory that the eyeball could record the last image a person saw. Like a camera. And in fact, when Jack the Ripper began killing in 1888, they even tried [00:37:00] this out. They thought, perhaps if someone was murdered, they would have seen their murderer and we could get this information from the eyeballs.

And this became such a, uh, You know widespread belief that murderers would actually remove the eyeballs of their victims to prevent this information from being taken from the eyes So that’s my weird eye facts. Wow Yeah, 

Will: that’s really good they made a I think they made a black mirror episode based on that yeah Yeah, the Netflix show It’s like set in modern days where that is actually a thing that they can do.

They can tap into a dead person’s 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: whenever I post about this before they die, um, on Instagram or on social media. Inevitably there are people who say, so does it work ? So, yeah, I had to kind of like, I know 

Will: the internet, like it’s, it’s just potentially plausible, like know, right? It sounds believable enough.

It’s kind of believable if you, if someone like you, uh, talks about it with [00:38:00] enough like authority and like, uh, conviction, let’s start, you could convince it. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Yeah. You can start a whole other podcast where it’s just like weird medical rumors and see how fast it like comes back to you at the hospital.

Will: Absolutely. Probably pretty quick. Yeah. Let’s take a quick break. Let’s take a break. We’ll be right Fitzharris and Adrienne Teal.

Uh, hey, Kristen, what do you got there? Oh, this? 

Kristin: Oh, well, you may not know this as an ophthalmologist, but, uh, this is called a stethoscope. 

Will: Yeah, I know what a stethoscope is. I also know it’s supposed to go in your ears and not sitting on top of your headphones. No, 

Kristin: I like it better this way. Besides, this is not just any stethoscope.

This is the EchoCore 500 Digital Stethoscope. Ah. Three lead 

Will: ECG. I’ve heard about these things. 40 times noise amplification, noise cancellation, three audio filter modes, and a full color display. [00:39:00] 60 hours of battery life too. Everybody loves a good battery life. And it’s durable. That’s right. Awesome. We have a special offer for our audience here in the U.

S. Learn more at Echohealth. com slash KKH. That’s E K O Health dot com slash KKH and use code NOC50 for a 75 day risk free trial and a free case and free shipping to the continental U. S. to get your CORE 500 stethoscope. Kristen, do you remember when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life after training?

I do. Eventually, I decided on private practice, and it was the best decision I have ever made. Hey! Okay, Glockenflecken was probably the first. They have, very funny. But it’s really hard to start your own private practice. It is, especially in today’s world. And that’s why Independent Practice Partners is there.

They want to help you start your own practice, and they will ensure that your practice doesn’t just survive. But thrives. To find out more, go to iPracticePartners. [00:40:00] com. Again, that’s the letter I, PracticePartners. com.

Well, what I thought we could do is, um, uh, it’s a game that you, it’s going to, a lot of people will relate to. It’s basically, it’s the newlywed game. We’re going to play the new, since we got, you guys, we got a couple of here. And. And so what I’ve learned is that we, you learn a lot about your, your spouse, you know, when you work together, you guys that now you’ve been working together.

Right. And so let’s see just how well, so this will show just how well we. You know, we know each other, you guys know each other, so I’m going to read 

Kristin: Wait, wait, wait, wait, do we need to get, like, paper? 

Will: Well, I figure what we could do is just, we go question by question, so I’ll ask the question, and then the person who’s supposed to answer will answer, and then we just immediately decide, okay, what’s the actual answer?

Let’s just do it. [00:41:00] Anyone else follow that? Trust me. Trust me on this, okay? Okay. He’s got a plan. Here’s the first question. Alright. Yeah, it’ll make sense here. Alright, first question. What are Adrian and Will’s favorite diseases? 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Oh, well, scurvy. 

Will: So Lindsey has to answer for Adrian and you answer for me.

Pseudomonas. I think you’re right. I think you’re right. I talk about it a 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: lot. Yeah, you went into this without knowing the answer Will, that’s what’s fascinating. You’re like, yeah, yeah

Kristin: This is how our lives go 

Will: Okay, all right, let’s do the next one. All right, who is more likely to get lost while driving. So you guys This is gonna be 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: easy for you. 

Adrian Teal: Well, I I think it’s me. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: I don’t even drive in [00:42:00] this country! I don’t even And that’s why it’s 

Adrian Teal: me! 

Kristin: Well, that’s a good 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: point. Yeah, it’s a good point.

I’ve never gotten my UK driver’s license, so. 

Will: I think I 

Kristin: would choose me. Yeah, I would choose you too. Okay, alright. You, you… Here’s the thing I do, I have a pretty good sense of direction, and so I usually know where to go, but on the off chance, you know, occasionally it happens that I get turned around, and so I ask him what he thinks, and then I do the opposite, and that has never failed me.

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: That is good. 

Will: Alright, next question. What creature do Lindsey and Kristen fear the most? This is maybe hard for Lindsey, because I don’t, I can’t imagine you, anything that scares you. Yeah, fearing some creatures. So, Adrienne, what creature, yep, does, does Lindsay fear the most? 

Adrian Teal: Well, you see, a few years ago… Do 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: ex husbands 

Will: count?


Adrian Teal: yeah. A few years ago, I’d have said spiders. But I’ve kind of brought you around to spiders, haven’t I? 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: We name them now. 

Adrian Teal: I, [00:43:00] I, I know what it is. And I can’t, I can’t remember the name, but there’s a species of bird… That looks terrifyingly awful. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Oh, I know what he’s talking about. It’s horrible. 

Adrian Teal: Is it called like an eagle vulture or something?

I can’t remember. It looks 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: like a man in a bird suit. It looks like a man in a bird suit. Have you seen this? This thing? Oh my god. No, I mean, I’ve 

Kristin: seen some vultures that fit that description though, so I kind of 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: know what you’re talking about. Or those giant bats. Yeah. Really anything giant. Anything 

Adrian Teal: giant with wings.


Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Yeah. 

Kristin: Yeah. It’s there. 

Will: For us it’s easy. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: It’s spiders. Oh yeah. Oh really? It’s easy. Yeah. Well he cured me of it by making me feel bad about killing them. So now we name them. Because if they have names you can’t kill them. You still kill them. 

Kristin: Oh, I’ll kill them. I’ll kill them. I’ll kill their children.

I’ll kill all their whole family. She does not. We do. I’ve got like a full blown phobia. I have nightmares about them where I like they’re crawling all over me and I’m like in that stage of sleep where you’re like paralyzed [00:44:00] and so I’m in my dream I’m screaming right but then in real life I’m also trying to scream but my mouth won’t open so I just end up going

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: I thought he was gonna say basically anybody who’s on Dateline Who’s a murderer. I watch so much Dateline and I know that there’s going to be a lot of women, because it seems to be like women especially. And I’ve watched so much of it that he did a caricature of Keith Morrison for me for my birthday.

That was like a big… No, Christmas. Or Christmas, yeah. And I’ll send it to you guys, but in the caricature there’s like a body in the background. And tell them initially… Well, 

Adrian Teal: I painted it as a surprise. She was in America when I was painting. I had to do it quite quickly because she wasn’t away that long.

And I very quickly painted in this body in the background with, you know, the police tape around it and everything. And I came back to it the next morning, I looked at it, I thought, hang on a second, that body… is too [00:45:00] small, it looks like a dead child, which is, which would be too far a step even for Lisa. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: I know, so you had to elongate the body and make sure it looked like a dead child in the background, but we have Keith Morrison hanging up in the house as well.


Kristin: that’s 

Will: funny. Alright, I got a couple more questions. Who’s a bigger baby when they’re mildly sick with a cold? 

Adrian Teal: Oh, me. You, for sure. Yeah, yeah. Mantling, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Me? 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Yeah. 

Kristin: I think I disagree with her on that. I live with a chronic pain illness, and I have just, that’s, and I’ve had two babies, and you know, women live with a lot of pain, you just sort of Push through.

Adrian Teal: When I get a cold, I insist that Lindsay has monks outside singing masses in my name. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: And I have to say when, with the breast cancer, um, one of my first consultations with my surgeon in London, he started drawing all over me. And at one point, Adrian was standing in the [00:46:00] corner and he said, Oh, it’s kind of like what I do.

And my surgeon was like, Oh, are you a surgeon? I was like, Nope. Nope. He’s not a surgeon. He doesn’t do anything important in life. It Yeah. He was like, oh, it’s about exaggerating one thing. And I was like, my, my tits are out. Like, let’s not have this conversation. But he and my surgeon have sort of bonded.

And it’s like every time, you know, right before I went into surgery, and here’s another weird thing. I don’t think they do this in the US. Um, but you could probably tell me, well, they made me walk into the operating 

Will: theater. For yeah, um, sometimes they’ll do that for like outpatient procedures like an eight hour 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: breast surgery 

Will: That seems a little unusual.

Yeah, they said we we do it. Yeah. Yeah, we do it for cataract surgery, but that’s like a And so so I I don’t know that’s yeah, so they run out of 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: It’s something they [00:47:00] said, you know, it’s like, uh, This is Britain, dammit. You’re gonna suck it up and go up. But they said, if you can, we just, we prefer if you walk up.

You know, so we had to kind of part ways as I was going into the operating theater, which was kind of, you know, grim. Um, but VII. 7th Hospital, where the royal family are treated and they had like this like lockdown and they were like you could only go in if you had an appointment and they had like a porter who showed us to the room and the guy was really a nervous, he was very nervous and he was making me nervous and then he was kind of 

Adrian Teal: doing things like pointing out obviously like well this is the window.

Kristin: Thank 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: you. Thank you.

It was a very weird, it was awkward, but, but as my surgeon was preparing me, he and, and aid were bonding over their love of old films and you were doing your Jimmy’s. Stuart Impression, which [00:48:00] do, 

Adrian Teal: do. We both love old films and we both love Jaws, right? So we’re basically, we’re talking about Jaws as you’re having your boobs.

Yeah. And 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: I was, you know, and I’m going into this massive surgery and they’re just like, you know, talking about this weird, so it kind of, it helped keep things light, which, you know, as you guys said, is, is important when you’re going through that. Very important. Yeah. 

Will: Sorry about the genius. Adrian. So, so Adrian, when you’re sick, does Lindsay put on the plague doctor mask?

Good question. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Yeah, she does. You’re rarely sick though, you’re actually very robust. I don’t get sick very often. He never got COVID. That’s bizarre. Oh wow. Yeah. I know. Superhuman. Well, we never leave the house either, so that’s… Well, that helps. Yeah. 

Kristin: Yeah. That helps. 

Will: Why would you? You got everything you need in that house.

Yeah, exactly. A Houdini box. Can you 

Kristin: leave the house? Are you locked in? Blink twice if you need help. 

Will: All right. Last, last question. Last question [00:49:00] here. Uh, what are Adrienne… Or Will’s, uh, guilty pleasure TV series or movie. 

Adrian Teal: You’re never gonna get this. I’m not? No, because it’s so obscure, and you’re not even gonna know what it is.


Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: also, you probably Hahaha! And you probably watch it when I’m, like, not here. Oh, yeah, yeah. Well, I It’s not porn. Now that you’ve said Yeah, I know, like, where are we going with this? Like, I mean, now that you’ve set me up that I’m not gonna know, can you give me a hint? Is it, is it British? Ian McShane’s in it.

Oh, it’s um, gonna be that weird show I hate about. He’s the antique dealer. Yeah. What is it called again? Lovejoy. Lovejoy. It is the stupidest show ever. Every time it’s on, I’m like, are you serious? This is horrible. Love, Joy. 

Adrian Teal: It’s like, You know Deadwood was like this really gritty show. It’s the polar 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: opposite.

Exactly. Yeah. This was at the beginning of his career. He was, he played in a British antique cellar and he [00:50:00] got into like, Scrapes. Scrapes . That was kinda like, it was, it was that time. You know, remember Murder? She wrote like all these kind of weird shows where Oh yeah. This 

Will: is from the Woman Who Loves Golden 

Adrian Teal: Girls.

So this is, I do love Golden Girls. Love Joy is my golden girls. 

Will: Well, you just gave away. You just gave away my guilty pleasure. Yeah. Golden Murder. She wrote . Really? No, no, I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. Wow, 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: that’s, that’s 

Kristin: a little . I don’t know what your guilty pleasure show would be ’cause you just watch.

All the, basically if it makes you feel terrible about humanity, he loves it. That’s his, that’s his genre. 

Will: Yeah, I’m a big fan of like the post post apocalyptic, 

Kristin: yeah, I don’t know, people doing horrible things to each other and I don’t, I don’t know, but I, so the only, I gotta, I gotta, I gotta go movies, so the only, there’s two that are coming to mind.

And it, so I’m going to say either Homeward Bound or Marley and Me. Oh 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: God, Homeward Bound is really sad. Those are, 

Will: those are not pleasurable experiences. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Oh [00:51:00] man. 

Will: I, I, that, that was Marley and Me was one of the only movies that made me like legitimately cry. 

Kristin: That’s the only time I’ve seen him cry at a movie was 

Will: Marley and Me.

That’s just a sad, sad movie. I’ll never watch it again. Okay, so, Homeward Bound is what you’re saying. I don’t know if I have any, like, true, 

Kristin: like, guilty pleasure. you are very consistent in what you watch, and it’s all that 

Will: horrible stuff. I mean, I will, I’ve watched every episode of Seinfeld, like, um, thousands of times, but 

Kristin: that’s not like a guilty pleasure.

You don’t need like a classic. 

Will: I, I was. One time I found myself watching Gilmore 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Girls. Oh! That is a guilty pleasure, then. That’s good. It wasn’t bad. It’s good 

Kristin: writing. Yeah, 

Will: it’s pretty good. 

Adrian Teal: I don’t really see why any pleasure 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: should be guilty. I mean, I love, uh… Within certain legal parameters. He knows, whenever there’s a documentary that drops about Everest, I mean, the higher the body count, the better.

I am in, I love those kind of disaster 

Adrian Teal: documentaries. I was, but I was watching a sitcom the other [00:52:00] day, and somebody was reading a book about Everest, and they said… Wow, rich people sure do love to find weird ways to die, don’t they? Yeah, 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: yeah, it is. It’s just fascinating to me. Why would you ever risk going up that mountain?

But I, and I, and I, it doesn’t even, it’s not even just documentaries. I read books about this stuff. I just, it’s fast. And the fact that the bodies are still up there, I mean, imagine, it’s just insane to me. So that’s, that’s definitely my guilty pleasure. What’s yours, Kristen? 

Will: Doesn’t, doesn’t surprise me about you, Lindsay.


Kristin: that checks out. I don’t know what mine would be. be. I don’t know. Um, see, the thing with all these types of shows is that’s, that’s just always what’s playing in my head anyway. I have anxiety, so I’m always looking at like all the things that can go wrong and the ways all my loved ones can 

Will: die.

Kristen is the type of person, like I, I, I kind of like kind of dark, you know, Yeah, I like horror movies. I like thrillers. I like that kind of, Kristen is the type of person who will read the end of a book to make sure she likes the ending before [00:53:00] she actually 

Kristin: reads the book. Cause I can’t take the suspense.

It’s too much. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: But what’s so fascinating about you is you jumped into, you know, Rescue mode in one of the most anxiety producing 

Kristin: moments. That is part of why I was so good at that, and I am. I am good in an emergency, and it’s probably because I’ve run through all of them in my head already. I already know where to go.

I know where the exits are. I know all the I’m already prepared. I’ve got the stuff. I didn’t have an AED at the time. That was a mistake, but I do have one now. 

Will: She’s, she’s like on her way to becoming a doomsday prepper. Yeah, 

Kristin: I could comfortably slip into that, I think, if I needed to. Like, if it 

Will: was, if it was logistically possible to build like a, a bomb shelter in our backyard, like it 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: would have been done already.

Every scenario I have a friend, I have a friend named Kate So, and she’s a disaster planner, and honestly she’s the best person to know because any scenario I throw at her, she’s going to have a solution almost instantly, because like you, Kristen, she’s already [00:54:00] thought about the worst case. That’s right.


Kristin: got fire blankets. I’m not kidding you, these are true facts. Fire blankets. I’ve got sandbags. I’ve got one of those choking devices. You have sandbags? Yeah, we got sandbags. Where the 

Will: hell did you put the sandbags? I’ve got 

Kristin: entire bags full of like… Dehydrated food and like the, the water filter things so that you can just stick it in the ground and like filter any ground water.

Will: I’ve got it the most animated that she’s been in quite a while talking about all her preparatory 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: things. I like how you didn’t know about any of this too. 

Will: I know some of them I don’t, so she just does it, gets, gets, you know, but we’re ready. We’re ready. You have 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: a full atomic bomb shelter. That’s right.

We’re ready. 

Kristin: I would like one. Yeah. Can we have that? 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: That’s right. I mean, can you go see movies like Oppenheimer or is that just like, it’s just too much. She 

Kristin: doesn’t go to movies, period. No. Period. It’s hard to go to movies. For me, I don’t like crowded spaces. , I’m coming off really horribly in the episode.

I spent, I spent, he’s always, ever since the, [00:55:00] the, so I blame, I blame him partially. Yeah, because it was the, the shooting. when The Dark Knight came out. Oh, yes. And that wasn’t the first one, but that one, for some reason, really stuck with me. And then he wanted to go see The Dark Knight, like, a few days later.

And I was still trying, yeah, like, it was still fresh. And so I was trying to, like, be a good wife and, and, you know, he didn’t, he needed somebody to go see it with. I got to the theater, we went in, we sat down, and I was like, I can’t do it, and I left, and I just went to like, the nearest like, Barnes and Noble 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: or something and just waited.

So you 

Kristin: haven’t gone to see a few, but it’s always very hard. I have to like, work. 

Will: But we saw, we saw the Barbie, we saw Barbie. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: I mean, the thing is, the thing is like, A, being British doesn’t understand that Americans think about guns a lot. Like, we think, we think about it. And this became very clear because when we were in Washington DC, we were [00:56:00] coming out of Maggiano’s and a guy in fatigues and a ski mask walks past us and into the restaurant.

Now, me, I’m from Chicago. I’m halfway down the street. I’m like, it’s go time. Let’s get out of here. Right? Right. He’s still standing there, like, is this really happening? Well, it was like an 

Adrian Teal: anthropological

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: moment to another mass shooting, or I don’t know what. But the other thing we learned was that Americans were wearing this This Covid mask, like it looked like I hadn’t seen him in Britain. It looked like a full right face. It looked like a ski mask to me. I guess it was. But he was all in black, 

Adrian Teal: wasn’t he?

He looked like he was, 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: yeah. Ready for combat American. My mind is like, you know, I mean, yeah, right. Yeah. Character. That’s always charact. Getting in the face is not a good end. It’s the obituary. So it’s, I told them when we go to America, just. Follow my lead. If I’m running down the road like that, 

Kristin: you need to follow me.

You’re not going to have those internal alarm bells. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Exactly. So [00:57:00] I totally get the disaster planning, but having now lived in Britain for over 20 years, I have to admit, I don’t think about it as much. So when I go back to the U S I’m always fascinated that, you know, this is, this is a real. Big part of everybody’s life and people do, they think about where are the exits when they go to a bar or, you know, or at least if you’re a disaster planner like Kristen, so, um, 

Will: Oh, yeah, absolutely.

So, yeah. Well, let’s, let’s take a, let’s take one more break. We’ll be right back.

All right. We are back with a medical story that was sent in by one of our listeners. Uh, and we have, uh, Lindsay Fitzharris and Adrian Teal. You’re going to listen to this with us. So this comes from Todd. Todd says, I’m emailing because I have a little to add on the leeches topic. So just to put some background here, last time, Lindsay, you were on, we talked about bloodletting and leeches came into that discussion.

I love that our, our, our conversations always go into these. Strange areas. [00:58:00] So, uh, Todd says, I’m a clinical pharmacist at a level one trauma center that has used leeches over the last 10 to 12 years or so. As people have stated, it’s usually plastics or dermatology ordering them. We use the, we used to keep them in stock almost continuously, but we weren’t using them as often.

So we decided to stock them at one of our other hospitals so they could be available within 24 hours if needed. So now we only have them when a patient. Needs them. It’s interesting to know that they are kind of tough to keep alive. You have to change their water every three days, and we use special buckets to make that change easier.

There’s a special salt solution to add every so often, too. If a leech dies, you have to change the water daily for a few days, and then can go back to every three days if no more have died. We learned quickly that certain pharmacists and technicians were really grossed out by the leeches. And often, and some others, Uh, often people that, uh, that use them for fishing and stuff had no issues at [00:59:00] all.

I often volunteered since people would trade other crummy jobs if I did that for them, which is very smart. I was told that the company we got them from actually is the only seller of medical leeches. They’re called Leeches USA. That’s where you can get your medical grade leeches. Leeches USA. The cost depends on volume, but they’re around.

18 each if you order over 100, so there you go, you get a cost break if you order bulk leeches. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: Do they only drink blood or do they eat other, like, how do you feed them? No, it must be blood, right? 

Adrian Teal: Oh, that’s a good question. It mustn’t be blood. But also, wouldn’t they have to be sterile? Or at least as sterile as you can get them.

Will: This is the more information we need from our listeners. Okay, are they sterile? What do you feed the leeches? That’s what we want to know. And 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: I like that this episode was sponsored by [01:00:00] Leeches USA today. All your leech needs. And also that was kind of like a weird deer penthouse. You guys get people writing letters.

I feel like you need a a whole like segment on the weird letters that you guys get. Yeah, 

Kristin: we should just start soliciting them. Just take, we’ll give 

Will: you advice. We got a note from, we got a note from our producer, Shahnti, who says, leeches can feed from raw liver that you can buy at the grocery store. Okay, that makes sense.

Yeah, you can also feed leeches with blood, like rabbit, cow, sheep, blood. I, uh, I don’t know how you’re 

Kristin: going to procure that. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: What’s going to happen is the next time I come on, I’m going to have some pet leeches. I feel like that’s the one thing missing now. They’ll just 

Kristin: be stuck all over you. Yeah, they’ll just Leeches 

Will: USA, everyone.

Leeches USA. 

Adrian Teal: And 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: you don’t have to walk them. No, I know, the cats might be 

Kristin: upset by them. 

Will: But buy them in bulk. Definitely buy them in bulk. 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: A hundred of them. Can you imagine? [01:01:00] Wow. What 

Will: a weird, what a weird segue. I know. And And what a great, uh, ending to our conversation about the Bulk Leeches. That’s right, we’ve talked a lot about your book, uh, uh, so just to, to recap, Plaguebusters.

Uh, you can get it, it’s, it’s fantastic for families, uh, middle school is, is the kind of target audience. Or 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: trivia people, you know? 

Will: Yeah, yeah. I’m enjoying the book myself. So it’s, it’s, it’s fascinating. And, um, and so definitely check it out and great artwork by the one and only Adrienne here. Um, anything else?

Did we miss anything? 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: No, I think that’s it. It’s just great to see you guys. Absolutely. 

Will: And also you can check 

Adrian Teal: I’m gonna 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: go buy some leeches actually. That’s right. Before the shop closes, yeah. I’m a 

Will: bit worried about that. And definitely, definitely look up, uh, uh, Lindsay on social media, doctor, at Dr.

Lindsay Fitzharris on Twitter, or x, however you can people find your work? [01:02:00] 

Adrian Teal: Yeah. Well, I’m also on social media, all the usual ones, uh, at T or Cartoons, T E A L, Cartoons. And 

Dr. Lindsey Fitsharris: we will be tweeting the, uh, the digital caricature of you guys and be happy to send it to you. Although, I don’t know if Kristen wants that on her wall.


Kristin: had weirder, look who I’m married to, I mean, I feel like Adrienne and I can relate on that, so.

Will: Definitely. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you. Thanks guys. Always a pleasure.

Do you think we can close the book on our leech conversation? 

Kristin: Time will tell. I think people are really interested in that. It’s, it’s It’s 

Will: the weird stuff. The weird stuff about medicine, I think. That we’re 

Kristin: still doing, I think, is why it’s so interesting. 

Will: We need to explore some more of those things. What, what other medical practices out there, uh, Do you think, and you [01:03:00] as in the people listening and watching us right now, um, do you think people would want to know about?

What are the weird kind of off the wall stuff you 

Kristin: It’s a fine line between that and like TikTok trends though, like 

Will: The real things that like you get in like an accredited hospital. 

Kristin: Right. What are the things that we think are gone but are still around? 

Will: But, uh, um, what a fun, uh, conversation with Dr.

Fitzharris and Adrienne. Yes, she’s always so fun. And, uh, um… They, they do seem to work very well 

Kristin: together. Yeah. Yes. I think, you know, like you, it takes a special person Yeah. To, to be able to live and work 

Will: alongside. But the, the, the, uh, illustrations and stuff and that you definitely check out Plague Busters.

It’s, it’s really a cool book. It’s really good. I like it. Absolutely. Um, and, uh, let us know what your thoughts are of this episode. If you have any suggestions for us, guests that you wanna, uh, us to, uh, have on the show, we’d love to hear your thoughts. You can. [01:04:00] Email us, knockknockhigh at human content. com.

We’re on all the social medias, uh, hang out, social a, a thing? Sure. You can just say, social medias. On the socials. On the socials. Yeah. On the social, there’s only one media, but there are multiple socials. 

Kristin: Well, media’s already a plural. Okay, whatever. The, um, 

Will: would hang out with us and our human content podcast family on Instagram and TikTok at humancontentpods.

Thank you to all the wonderful listeners leaving feedback and reviews. You guys are amazing. You’re beautiful. You’re wonderful people. Uh, and if you subscribe and comment on your favorite podcasting app or on YouTube and give me a shout out like kevin. s. 21. On Apple said, discussion with, with uh, uh, Lieutenant Aaron, I was like, what is LT?

Lieutenant! That’s what that is. I should know that. Discussion with Lieutenant Aaron Gregg on Will and Kristen’s cardiac arrest was awesome. So important, an essential topic, and so expertly handled to reveal. What went well, and also [01:05:00] what can be improved in pre hospital EMS handling of cardiac arrest for the patient, and, as importantly, the family.

Specifically, those family who had to take part in a resuscitation. This benefits all of us humans on both sides of the most critical time, most important emergency, where 10 minutes can make the difference between life and death. Bravo. Well said. Thank you so much, Kevin. Thank you. Absolutely. That is the big takeaway from, from that conversation with Lieutenant Greg.

And full episodes of this episode, full episodes of this episode, full episodes of this podcast are up on my YouTube channel every week at De Glock and Flecking. We also have a Patreon, lots of fun perks, bonus episodes where we react to medical shows and movies, hang out with other members of the Knock-knock high community.

Uh, we have a, a potluck every so often, , um, really just, you know, Everybody brings a dish. Uh, it’s, it’s fantastic. [01:06:00] Um, you know, there’s a couple of kind of, you know, oddballs in the group, but that’s okay. You know, every, we need that. We need a little variety in our potluck dinners. What am I talking about?

Okay, we’re also, uh, ad free episode access, uh, interactive Q& A live stream events, and much more! Uh, Patreon. com slash Glockenflecken, or go to Glockenflecken. com. It’s getting late. You’re getting a little loopy. I’m just gonna keep talking here. Uh, speaking of Patreon community perks, new member shoutout to Jan!

Thanks, Jan! Hello! Good to see ya! Also, shoutout, as always, to the Jonathans. We have Patrick, Lucia C, Sharon S, Omar, Edward K, Steven G, Ross Box, Jonathan F, Marion W, Mr. Grandaddy, Caitlin C, Brianna L, Dr. J, Chavert W, Jonathan A, Leah D, KL, Rachel, Ellen, and P. A virtual head nod to you all. Patreon roulette, random shout out to someone in the emergency medicine tier.

We have Amy A. Thank you, Amy, for being a patron. And thank you all for [01:07:00] listening. We’re your hosts, Will and Kristen Flannery, also known as the Glockenflecken. Special thanks to our guest today, Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris. and Adrienne Thiel. Our executive producers are Will Flannery, Kirsten Flannery, Aron Korney, Rob Goldman, and Shahnti Brooke.

Editor engineers Jason Portizzo. Our music is by Omer Ben Zvi. Did I say something wrong? You called him Grob. 

Kristin: So now he is Grob Goblin. 

Will: Grob Go Goldman. Grob. I didn’t say Grob. You said Grob. I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Grob. To learn about our Knock Knock Highs, Program Disclaimer, Ethics, Policies, Admission, Verification, Licensing, Terms, and HIPAA Release Terms.

You can go to Glockenflaggen. com or reach out to us at knockknockhigh com with any questions, concerns, or fun medical puns. Knock Knock Kai is a human content


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