Thursday, April 9, 2009

Healthy, wealthy, and stupid

After seven years of being misdiagnosed, my nearly 10-year-old son had surgery two days ago and is home now recovering--while not happily at least optimistically. Hooray for all the wonderful doctors out there who helped us figure this out over the last couple of months. As for you other doctors who dismissed my doubts that this was what you thought it was for all those years? My letters to you are in the mail.

And when he got up this morning, my older son, Simon, said his throat hurt. A peak inside showed white spots, a sure sign of strep to this mother who has seen more than her fair share of it in this household. But would the doctor prescribe anything over the phone? No, he would not. "But I have a child home recovering from surgery," I said. "I'm sure it's strep throat." "Well, can you have a neighbor come over?" asked the nurse.

So two hours later with a toddler in tow, Simon and I ended up at the doctor's office, Owen home alone with a neighbor's phone number in his hand. After half an hour of waiting, we got back to the examination room, where Simon promptly threw up all over the nurse, the exam table, the floor, and, oh, a bit in the trashcan as well. The PA came in (the doctor who'd said "no" didn't have any openings!), looked in his throat, and said, "Yep. I think it's strep." She printed out a prescription and we were on our way. SO glad I showed up for that, because I sure couldn't have looked in his throat . . . like . . . that . . . Hm. Seems to me I did.

I then called Simon's piano studio to ask if we could reschedule his lesson today, figuring they would rather he not show up and infect everyone there with strep throat. Apparently, my reasoning skills differ vastly from theirs. We can cancel, certainly, but then we lose his lesson fee, which I paid at the beginning of the month. "We keep our prices reasonable so it's not a big deal for you to miss a lesson." Not a big deal? Since when did someone else get to decide what amount of money I consider a big deal? And how is it wrong for it to be a big deal to me but not to him? "No," I said. "He won't be missing the lesson. He'll be there. With strep throat." And then the guy hung up on me (yes, hung up--not "thank you, goodbye," but "click") and turned to his coworker to complain about what a *)&*# I was. I'm imagining that last part, of course, but based on the way "Ma'am" started coming out 4 seconds into our conversation, he sure didn't hang up to say, "Gee. Y'know, that charming and very calm woman on the phone just now made a lot of sense. Perhaps we should change our policy a bit to reflect reason. I wonder what other pearls of wisdom she has to offer up to us. I think I should apologize when she comes in today."

So starting in May, Simon gets to take his piano lessons at home, from me, for free. His teacher, a sweet kid at the studio, has been good at encouraging Simon to challenge himself. But by kid, I mean I've played the piano longer than he's been alive. Actually, come to think of it, I've played the piano--as in the number of hours I have literally sat on the bench and played--longer than he's been alive. Oh my gosh. That's not even an exagerration. Just thinking about it makes me think I need to go find some BenGay for my back.

I don't like coming across as a *$#)&, by the way. Truly, I don't. I'm a nice person who thinks primarily nice thoughts and wishes the world well on most occasions. But when I know I'm the reasonable one and the person I'm speaking with isn't only unreasonable but is so sure he is reasonable that he can't see I'm being nice by not screaming his stupidity at him, then I feel a little . . . miffed.

But Owen is healthy today. In pain, yes, but healthy. And a healthy child goes a long way toward helping you deal with the stupidity in the world.

Now about those pre-paid hip-hop lessons he's going to miss these next couple of weeks.


Ron said...

Based on this post (which is great, as always), I don't think my being unreasonable would be tolerated for long. I can only infer I must be a pretty good husband.

Bobbie said...

When you *are* unreasonable, at least you don't call me ma'am in the process. And I know I can be unreasonable as well at times. Rare times, but none the less...

And you infer correctly.

Jeff said...

You've really got to read more Beetle Bailey. Fake cussing is an ancient art form, passed down from those $@*%!^# cavemen, generation by generation, to the &*##@%$ modern cartoonists.

So, if you're going to write "%!#@&", the first thing you need to do is to avoid using parentheses.

...nobody swears like that these days....

Bobbie said...

Nobody but me. A parentheses represents a euphemism within a euphemism. It's as vulgar as I can get here. Don't make me pull out the big guns, Jeff!