Medical Director Letter: MacGuffin and The Junkman

I HATE TO ADMIT it, but I never heard of MacGuffin until recently. How did he elude me all these years? MacGuffin has been around for close to 100 years. Kind of old, but MacGuffin still influences us. For me, he recently showed up on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) channel. Watch a Hitchcock film. Watch The 39 Steps. MacGuffin is there. Then MacGuffin continues to show up in many George Lucas Star Wars films, R2-D2. MacGuffin is in The Maltese Falcon. MacGuffin is the Maltese Falcon. In this issue, Jimmy the Junkman is MacGuffin. It all makes sense in the end, but if you are baffled by now, you can Google MacGuffin, or you can just read on. At this point, MacGuffin is a grey area for you.

My search for Jimmy the Junkman was inspired by some old snow tires that I inherited from our house’s previous owners 15 years ago. Don’t ask me why I waited this long to get rid of them. Sometimes we keep things longer than we should—human nature. Ever try to put tires in the garbage. You can’t. No trash collector with an ounce of morals or concern for the law will take them. You need to bring them to a tire recycling center—where else?

Or call Jimmy the Junkman. Well, one thing led to another, and my wife and I walked around the house. We made a list of the detritus we had been living with, inanimate objects (not our kids or our dog). Here is a partial list with some help from my wife:

  1. Three sofa beds used for things by our children that parents don’t want to think about.
  2. One grey couch that our son christened with bodily fluids once when a bit over the top.
  3. A large wooden desk too big for the room it was in.
  4. Patio furniture the color of hospital putrid green. You know this color, VA green.

Jimmy came, perused the situation, and set a price that would expunge us of the unneeded excess. It wasn’t that expensive. It was then that I asked Jimmy what got him into the junk business. His answer, MacGuffin. The same MacGuffin who parades around this issue of VEIN in various shades of gray but definitely not 50 of them.

Gray is a mixture of black and white. This is how we use it in this issue of VEIN: somewhere in between. We purposely chose to discuss the uncertainty and the unsure. Eight thoughtful, knowledgeable, and confident vein specialists contemplate four venous disease areas: superficial disease; deep disease, reflux; deep disease, post-thrombotic; and acute DVT. The authors identify and discuss what we don’t have black and white answers for.

Gray is our symbolic color of uncertainty. But every article in this issue isn’t grey. We don’t want to leave you that anxiety-ridden. Our cover story talks about chronic pelvic pain of venous origin. Mark Meissner and Peter Pappas bring us up to date—really up to date.