Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Foot in Mouth Disease

Hey, y'all going to the doctor seems to be my new hobby. I was lucky enough to take the Girl to the doctor four times last week and I took the Baby to the doctor today, after my own trip to the dentist. Do you know, I get frustrated at the doctor sometimes. I mean, by and large the actual medical treatment I've received has been fine, it's just that the bedside manner of some of these folks leave much to be desired.

Warning: the first story contains a discussion of a gynecological exam in purely G/PG terms, but if this is distasteful to you, please rejoin us in two paragraphs when I talk about lawyers.

When I was in law school, I went to the Emory Clinic for my medical needs because it's your only option when you're on the university insurance. When I went in for a gynecological exam, the nurse practitioner asked if I would mind if a student conducted the exam. Now, I should have just said no since I wasn't practicing to be a lawyer on people with real legal problems and I was far less likely to cause lasting harm on someone with my ineptitude. But, since it seemed rude to refuse, I agreed to let the student examine me. So, she starts poking around and after a minute backed away from my nether regions with what I can only describe as a horrified look on her face. She says in this stage whisper to the real nurse, "She doesn't have a uterus."

Okay, I hope it's not over-sharing to let you know that I, in fact, do have a uterus. I've used it three times to grow babies, so I'm fairly sure it's been there for a while. Although I did see a fascinating program (on TLC, I'm sure) about a British lady who had triplets, one of which grew outside the uterus.   After I started laughing because, really, the whole thing was ridiculous, the real nurse took a peek and located my uterus, which must have been hiding to play a trick on the student nurse. Silly!

Lawyers are generally not specimens of good health. It's a job with long hours and a lot of stress. When I worked at a big firm, we were always going to the doctor to see whether it was the drinking or the stress that was going to take us. One day, a colleague came back from his physical looking chagrined. "The doctor told me I was in pretty good shape for 37," he said. Unfortunately, my friend was 27. The doctor's manner turned more grim after my friend corrected him.

I know I'm being unfairly critical because I'm sure I would do and say worse if I were a doctor. I'm terrible about delivering bad news because I'm such a pleaser. I'm sure I'd say things like, "it's sort of terminal" and "you have six months, but, on the bright side, maybe you'll be hit by a truck tomorrow." Once I start going off the rails with my crazy talk, I just keep on going; trying to make it better, but making it much, much worse.

For example, the other night I was at a party and a friend was telling me about the back injury that was going to prevent her from exercising for a month. I went off on this whole thing about how she didn't need to worry because she'd probably just atrophy instead of getting fat. As the words were coming out of my mouth, I knew that it was the most ill-concieved pep talk ever, but I just couldn't stop blabbing. I tried to make it better by saying that when  I'm unable to exercise, I atrophy, too and I start looking like an Oakie. I sucked in my cheeks to show her. In my head I was picturing this:

What is my problem? I'm pretty sure that it did not help her feel any better, but because she's very nice and southern she was totally gracious. If she were from New Jersey she probably would have flipped a table and called me a "prostitution whore" like Teresa from Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Can you all do me a favor? If you all are ever with me and I start going off on some crazy-talk tangent, please just yell, "Prostitution Whore!" to get me to stop. Alternatively, you could yell, "you have no uterus!" Whatever seems most appropriate under the circumstances.


  1. If it makes you feel any better, you are not alone! I can't believe I can run marathons w/my feet in my mouth so much. (Hurtado told Murph she had no pulse. She said, "Oh, I forgot, I died."

    1. I forgot about Hurtado. That place was terrible!

  2. Ha...just reading this. You know how easily offendable I am. ;)I think it's pretty much impossible.

    1. I'm glad that your computer let you read it. BTW, I scanned the site with the Google tools and it says no malware, so whew! I thought it was funny that it was this particular post that made it suspicious, given the topic. Glad you weren't offended, but now you know the secret passphrases in case I start my crazy talk. Feel free to use them!