Saturday, February 10, 2007
Windy Beneath the Wings
People are strange. For the life of me, there's one thing (right: only one!) I could never figure out. As I said in a recent post, I made a major effort to gain patients' confidence, and to have them approach their operations with a positive attitude. With hardly an exception, they'd leave my office in a good frame of mind. Mostly, they'd show up for surgery the same way. But not always. There was that damn Uncle Joe, or the neighbor Alice, or good friend Betty. What the hell were they thinking?
"Joe/Alice/Betty told me he/she/she knew someone who had (insert any operation you can think of) and (insert horror story here.)" Died. Couldn't walk. Woke up left-handed. Turned green. It's mystifying. Were they trying to help? To show off their knowledge? Were they deliberately trying to scare the shit out of them? What, ran out of small talk? Why would anyone do that to someone, right before they're going to the hospital? Nuts. And it's not at all uncommon. What ever happened to "good luck?" Be thinkin' of you. More like, guess you won't be needing that car no more? 'N I have it? With friends like these....
The only thing more annoying is the person who accompanies a patient to the initial consult and who has to make the encounter about him/herself instead of the party of the first part. "Yeah, I had sompin' like that. Worse, really... damn near lost my leg/colon/life/sense of proportion. It started about ten years ago. Got a minute?...."