Friday, January 21, 2011
Paging Dr. House
As a wife and mother I not only have to be a chef, maid, teacher, handyman, therapist, stock and inventory person, miracle worker and superhero - I also have to be a doctor.
For some inexplicable reason I have to look at suspicious moles, rashes, non-existent injuries and the likes and give a preliminary diagnosis on a daily basis. I don't know if they know that not only do I have no idea what I'm talking about, but my degree from the university of ER, House and Grey's Anatomy is not real. I don't go to med school, or hook up with nurses in the on-call room. I don't even own a stethoscope. As an observer of TV medicine I am not qualified to give any kind of opinion, fictitious or otherwise, regarding the state of anyone's health.
There is also a very important element everyone keeps forgetting - I don't want to look at anyone's ailments, injuries, rashes, moles, infections, yucky eyes or ingrown toenails. The reason why we have health insurance is not because of emergencies. In cases of emergencies the public hospitals look after you pretty well and you can usually come out of there with mediocre medical treatment, which when compared to other countries is not that bad at all. No, the reason we have med is so that if there is anything suspicious on anyone's person at any time, instead of coming to me - a medically ignorant person at best - for an invented diagnosis with memorized lines such as: "subdural hematoma", "blunt force trauma", "hypertensive myocardial fibrosis", they can just schedule an appointment with a professional.
Isn't that the best solution for everyone?
In some rare cases I have been known to give sound advise. I once told HRH that his shoulder was not hurting because 2 days earlier he may or may not have eaten some bad chicken. I also told another friend that her hives were not from eating ramen noodles the night before, that if she had a stomach ache or nausea it would have been an indication that something was wrong with what she ate, but otherwise she could probably relax.
Somehow, for some reason, unbeknownst to me, I keep getting stopped in the hallway to diagnose - what in my opinion is usually nothing - and when I give an unsatisfactory diagnosis, which I most certainly will nearly every time, I get screamed at. So uncool.
Currently I have been holding off on a specific diagnosis. Someone came to me with their hurt finger. There is no sign of anything, it doesn't really hurt when it's moved, only when it's pressed, there is no bruising, swelling, redness and barely any soreness at all. Contrary to what "someone" had concluded it is not broken. This leaves me with one possible alternative - it's nothing and they should just wait for it to go away and stop whining about it. This particular bit of advice will not be well received, so I'm stalling. People, particularly men, want to be babied when they're sick and "hurting" so I'm thinking of telling said person that I've seen this injury before and that while serious and oh-so-very painful, there is no treatment and that in most cases the body will heal itself and that they just have to wait for that to happen, but in the meantime, try icing it 2 times a day, drinking lots of fluids and taking a good nap.
You think they'll buy it?