Monday, November 12, 2007

Dr. Who?

The amount and frequency of medical advice laymen are willing to impart never ceases to amaze me. This did not just begin during my pregnancy, although there are certainly days when it reaches a frenzied height. No, apparently would-be doctors can surface at any moment, for any reason. Example:

I have hearing loss in my right ear. I don't generally discuss it, because for me, it's just a way of life. It occassionally comes up, however, when I explain why I'm talking so loud on the phone, or why I need to use the closed caption feature on a DVD or blast the other viewers out of the room, and every now and again I get the question: how do you KNOW you have hearing loss? Asked in a skeptical manner. Or, more direct, 'Did a DOCTOR tell you you have hearing loss?"

For the record, I know I have hearing loss in my right ear because I CAN'T FUCKING HEAR OUT OF MY RIGHT EAR. Pretty standard symptom. Yes, multiple doctors have been made aware and yes, multiple doctors have confirmed it, but really - do you think I actually prefer reading movies?

Same scenario when I used to make the mistake of sharing my battle with depression. Generally, I'd share that only in the midst of a deep, personal discussion with a person I was being fairly open with, and there would be that question, "Did a DOCTOR tell you that?" I wasn't sure if they meant before or after the prescription for antidepressants was written, but am fairly confident that daydreaming about slitting one's own wrists is not a typical, healthy emotional response to life's hurdles.

Why do people feel the need to question medical issues? Why can't a pat on the back and a sympathetic smile be the extend of the "support" offered?

At work, I am surrounded by people on two teams. Team One members obviously belong to the Future Hypochondriacs Of America Club, where every symptom is a sign of your impending doom and death. Team Two members do not really believe in symptoms. I could arrive at work bleeding profusely from the head, and a Team Two member will hand me a paper towel and suggest I'm bleeding for effect, whereas a Team One member will recount every distant relative who died of anything involving blood in the past fifty years, just so I know.

I believe, from now on, my standard response will be, "Lacking a medical degree, I can only go with what the doctor told me."

And then I'll start counting how many people actually take the hint.

1 comment:

Missy said...

HAHAHAHAHHAAHHA! PJ has hearing loss in his right ear too. Wanna HEAR what the doc said? :P