Monday, January 3, 2011

Hmm, You Should Ask a Doctor

Typically when I gather with my family around the holidays, everyone enjoys retelling the same embarrassing stories of yesteryear. That time when I vomited out of a moving vehicle. The trip where I ripped my baby brother's stuffed animal out of his hands because I was scarred of the baggage claim at the airport. And who can forget the day when wee little Second Shift got so excited at Discovery Zone, he found himself in need of a dry pair of scrub pants? Ah yes, the memories.

This year, however, was the damnedest thing. Rather than the 20th recounting of how I very nearly burned the house down with a birthday candle, family members were instead seeking my expert medical advice. Now, they warned us that this would happen when we received our white coats, but I thought if anyone could see through that charade, it would be the same folks who remember me from my too-fat-to-wear-a-turtleneck-because-it-would-strangle-me days. I was wrong.

"I've had a pain in my back, but today it moved to the front, why is that?" "Can I take medicine X with medicine Y?" "You're the doctor, why do I sometimes wake up with a stuffy nose and sometimes not?" "Hey cuz, can you write prescriptions yet?"

Folks, if it doesn't involve one of the enzymes of glycolysis that I've long since forgotten, you're out of luck. Predictably, the only one not to get caught up in the collective madness was Uncle Jerk. As my father pushed him to seek my advice on his treatment options, Uncle Jerk replied that unless I had taken out a few hundred prostates in my first few months of med school, he'd stick with the real doctors.

Glad we're on the same page for once, Uncle Jerk.

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