Monday, December 29, 2008

Trapper Matt, MD

My brother who also has Friedreich's ataxia once wrote that he wanted, early in life, to be a surgeon because of the doctors of MASH. The FA made him change career choices more than once and now he is an ass-kicking peer counselor.

I liked MASH, too, but never once thought about being a surgeon. Sticking my hands in someone? Gross! I just wanted to be a wise-cracking skirt-chaser.

I do think I crack plenty wise; I crack myself up. The skirt-chasing? Not so much, damn FA.

I have rarely thought that the medical field might be a good one for me. I am pretty sure that hypochondriacs should not be doctors. Imagine this conversation:

    Patient: Doctor, I have had this weird cough.
    Me: Does it sound like this? [Coughs] Because I have had that cough for weeks. What do you think I should do? I am thinking it might be a bronchial embolism. Any advice?

I could not be a disease specialist either. Bad news makes me sad and you can't make jokes about cancer ... Well, you aren't supposed to; some people don't appreciate my talent there.

And if I specialized in a body part or system, that would be trouble, too. I am uncomfortable around way too many body parts. I could be just looking in someone's nose and I would just start to giggle and not tell my patients they were OK.

Even in research there would be trouble. I'd likely cause the resurgence of typhoid by accidentally dropping a sealed sample.

The worst might be Matt as a nurse or a technician. I am thinking of me about to administer a local anesthetic and I sneeze and the local goes in my skull but I can't feel it because I am anesthetized. The patient just looks horrified and I am like: "What? Where is it?"

I think we can all agree I am not cut out for medicine, but this does not stop me from feeling guilty I have shunned a medical career. Whenever someone I love is sick, I start thinking I could cure that. If I had gone into medicine, instead of wasting it in liberal arts, we would have no cancer, no paralysis, no late-night calls that someone is in surgery.

Yes, I am cocky and unrealistic. I am not that smart. But at least I'd be doing something. And who knows, maybe an MD could out-duel FA to make skirt-chasing possible.


Anonymous said...

You'd be surprised the jokes you can make about cancer.

Matt said...

Hey, I meant you are not supposed to. I think my Tums or Halls joke is still comic gold.

Anonymous said...

some jokes come and go, but not having an esophagus is always funny.

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