I love doctors. You will almost never hear me say a negative word about them. They look great in their white coats carrying clipboards. You must realize by now, in this country looking great is of primary importance. It doesn’t matter whether you know what you are doing, if you look great then everything’s okey-doke. Take celebrities for example, they get away with all kinds of stuff, just because of how they look. So, remember if you need to get away with a minor crime, always look your best. Now, where was I? Oh, yes, doctors.
Doctors are highly educated. They go to school for eight long years only to work like a slave making almost nothing as a resident. They deal with everything from a minor sore throat to life and death situations. They even know what a Laparoscopic Myocardial Bilateral Cystectomy is. (That even hurts my fingers to type it.) Yes, doctors are great people. They do have one minor flaw however. It seems their brain shuts down if you don’t answer a question in a way they feel it should be answered. Allow me to elucidate. (Doctors even know what ‘elucidate’ means).
A while back, when my lovely wife was pregnant with my son, she came to me and uttered the clarion call. In other word she said, “It’s Time.” Now, if you have ever had a pregnant woman around you, you know those are two words which really get things moving. I barely had to whisper “It’s Time” to my assistant, and she jumped up and immediately started clearing my day. You have to remember, “It’s Time” comes after nine months of fear, joy, anger, frustration, and hormones. So, at the proper time, those two little words are the most welcome thing I know of. Yes, I loved being able to say, “It’s Time” even more than doctors, which brings me back to the story.
Now we had rehearsed several times, as the book suggested, so I was okay. I calmly got out of the building and coolly drove home. I picked up the pre-packed suitcase and helped my ailing wife to the car and loaded them both in. Then I drove only slightly over the speed limit to the hospital. By the way, saying “It’s Time,” got me out of an eighty-dollar speeding ticket.
Anyway, we made our way to the fifth-floor birthing suites. I was still fine because I was prepared. But then the questions started. Is there any fluid? How far apart are the contractions? How long are they? When did they start? Who’s your doctor? Do you have insurance? What’s your favorite color? Who was the 15th president of the united states? If a train leaves Baltimore at 9:00 … all right maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but suffice it to say there were a lot of them.
Please remember, my wife was in pain, so even though the various questions were aimed at her, I had to answer most of them. I am proud to say I only lost my cool a little and we made it through with minimal stumbling. Until the big one, (ominous music) the one I was not prepared for. It took me off guard. It was the first question directed solely at me. “Do you want to cut the cord?” In the heat of the moment, all I could say was “Yuuuuuck!!” However, I recovered quickly and gave my true answer “No”.
The room went silent. All the doctors and nurses stopped and looked at me as if I was eating cockroaches. They had all snapped. Someone finally said, “You don’t need to decide right now,” only then did the confusion continue. A short time later I was asked again. My answer was the same, although without the “yuck” part. My wife’s doctor looked at me as if I was speaking in tongues. She then shook her head and wrote it down on his clipboard. I was embarrassed, and felt like an outcast, but at least it was written down and I would not be asked again. Oh, how wrong I was. Every doctor and nurse which happened to walk by, asked me again. Some even looked at the clipboard before they asked, as if to imply it must have been written down incorrectly. I counted that infernal question over twelve times in one hour, and once almost agreed to it just to stop their stupid asking. But no, I stood my ground, against the odds, like the marines on Iwo Jima. Then the 7:00 shift change happened, and it started all over again.
What was it that confused them so? It was a question, and questions by definition have more than one possible answer. Sadly, not one of them could comprehend my negative answer. With all their education nobody explained, to them, what ‘No’ means. You’d think some college professor would have mentioned it. With the strong lack of knowledge, I witnessed, maybe there should have be an entire semester course, ‘Meaning Of “No” 301’ I think 301 is better because if their college experience was anything like mine, their first year is most likely lost in a beer-infused haze.
I have written the AMA and asked for an investigation into this matter. I mean, what other simple words are missing from the basic medical school curriculum? Or an even worse case, what if medical school crams so much into their alcohol-preserved brains that it causes the simple stuff to fall out? This could be a real problem. What if putting on pants drops out? What if eating is lost, and several of them starve to death. This has very serious ramifications. Am I the only one who has noticed this?
Well eventually my wife started delivering the baby and the doctors went back into their professional yet secluded reality, no longer troubled with the foreign word that had confused them so. I think I probably would have been asked again, and maybe I was. Perhaps, they finally realized what ‘No’ meant when they saw I wouldn’t be up to the task. You see, I was passed out on the floor at the crucial moment. Of course, she might have tried to give me the scissors, I don’t know. I was unconscious at the time.
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