Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Apple is Still ON the Tree

To say that I'm known for my tendency to dispense medical advice and wisdom as if I actually have a medical degree...or have spent even a single day in medical school, for that matter...is a grotesque understatement. It is as much a part of me as my name. In fact, it's become part of my name. After all, they don't call me Dr. TC for nothing.

What they didn't teach me in not-medical-school, however, is that practicing medicine without a license is a genetic trait.

A couple of weeks ago, Baroy walked into a glass door (don't ask), cutting open the skin above his eye. It was a nasty cut that probably could have used a couple of stitches, but because it was days before we were to learn my fate at work and he was worried about affording even the co-payment--and because Someone Who Shall Remain Nameless But Whose Pseudonym Rhymes with Tadoy has just the teensiest bit of a martyr complex--he chose to treat it at home with some butterfly bandages.

Later that evening, we were all sitting down at the dinner table and I was fussing over Baroy a bit.

"It looks like it's still bleeding," I said, examining the cut. "Does it hurt?"

"A little," Baroy admitted. "Mostly, my head hurts. After dinner I'll probably go take something for the pain."

"Don't take ibuprofen, though," I said. "Take Tylenol. Because ibuprofen..."

I wasn't able to finish that thought, however. Because my 11-year-old daughter interrupted me.

"Yeah, Dad," she said. "You shouldn't take ibuprofen, because it will interfere with your ability to form a clot, and so your cut will just keep bleeding."

Baroy and I just stared at her, open-mouthed.

"Where did she..." I began.

"How did she..." Baroy began.

We both stopped and continued to stare.

"What?" she asked, looking from one of us to the other. "What did I say wrong?"

"Nothing," I said, starting to laugh. "I'm just...I'm so proud! That's exactly what I was about to say!"

Baroy just hung his head. "Oh, god," he said. "Not two of you. What did I do to deserve TWO of you?"

I was reminded of this story--which I'd meant to blog about back when it happened--as I drove the kids home from Hebrew School this evening. N and a boy in his class had bumped into each other, with Jay's head hitting N's lip, splitting it a bit on the inside and causing a not-inconsiderable amount of blood, from what I was told by the various teachers (and by Em and N as well). While we drove, N complained that his lip was still hurting.

"Yeah, I know," I sympathized. "It'll hurt for a little while, sweetie."

"But the good news is that it won't hurt for too long," Em noted. "Because your saliva actually makes cuts heal more quickly."

"That's true," I said, my immediate flash of that's-my-girl pride soon tramped into the ground by my annoyance at the fact that she'd dug that little biological nugget up before it had even occurred to me. "But do you know WHY saliva heals cuts more quickly?"

"No," she admitted.

"Because there are proteins and enzymes in saliva that have healing properties. Saliva is more than just water," I noted with undisguised smugness in my voice.

Show ME up, would she? We'll, I'd shown HER. Yessiree. I'd one-upped my 11-year-old and shown her who's the chief attending at THIS make-believe hospital.

Dear god. Really, I should be ashamed of myself. I'm not...but I really should be.


Anonymous said...

I grew up with a (pretend-doctor) mother like you. Unlike Em, I took it in another direction--absolute distrust of medical advice, regardless of the source. *sigh*

Green said...

I have correctly diagnosed broken bones, bronchitis, edema, and panic attacks.

My non-medical school turns out excellent non-graduates.