I Am Not The Doctor

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
"You see it's too much to ask for and I am not the doctor." -Alanis Morissette

You've probably figured this out already, but just in case there's any confusion about this fact, let me clarify: I am not a doctor.

Shocking, I know.

The college I attended is well known for being a nursing school -- so I went ahead and got a liberal arts degree from them . . . see above comment about not being a doctor -- and when people ask what college I attended, but don't bother following up to ask about my degree or career, they sometimes assume I'm a nurse.

Okay, stop laughing.

(Oh, and for the record, Alpha Chi actually was the name of the dorm hall I lived in during college. While Alpha Chi once was a sorority at my school, the sorority ended long before my time when someone died, but the name lived on. Sorry, no sorority sister stories here!) 

While I have a couple brilliant friends who just graduated with their M.D.s (Congrats Sandi and Donna!), I am not a doctor, or a nurse, for a myriad of reasons. Namely, while I consider myself a patient, understanding person, I don't have a whole lot of empathy for those feeling a little under the weather. In fact, on Friday I was accused of "not having a sympathetic bone in my body." Harsh, but probably true.

Andy's not been feeling well lately and every time I pass the bedroom door and spy him lying, pale-faced under the crumpled comforter, it takes me clenching every nerve in my body not to bellow into the room, "SUCK IT UP!"

While Andy would most likely fluff up my pillows, bring me a cool washcloth to lay across my feverish forehead and make some homemade chicken broth to spoon into my mouth if I were ill, I just usually toss a glass of flat 7-Up at the ill person and ask repeatedly if they're feeling any better yet.

I have vivid memories of my father lying on his back on the living room floor when I was little, suffering his way through the flu without any painkillers. I come from a family that, unless you count a genetic disposition for high cholesterol, doesn't get sick too often. A head cold is usually about as ill as we get and that's something you can just power through as long as you have enough Kleenex at hand. We deal it by not dealing it. Whenever someone consistently complains of headaches or backaches or heartaches, or any aches, I usually start to think the person's a hypochondriac.

Sometimes my "we all deal with crappy stuff . . . get over it!" attitude just isn't what an ailing person wants to hear. And sometimes, yes, I wish I had a little more of a "Chicken Soup" outlook on life.

But I am not the doctor.

Still, feel better Andy.


  1. *Chuckle* I will baby my kids when they're sick but I have no tolerance when my hubby is sick. Because when he's sick, it's always way worse than when I'm sick.

  2. A girl after my own heart, lol. I don't view myself as very sympathetic either, yet every spiritual gift test I take shows my highest score is in compassion. I have a tendency to want to shake others by the shoulders and say 'put on your big girl panties and deal with it.' And when I am the one who is sick... I want all the sympathy in the world. ;)

  3. lol-- no it's just that boys don't know how to handle being sick!

  4. You crack me up----but I do feel a little bad for Andy!

  5. I will admit that I don't give my husband a lot of sympathy when he's sick, either. I'm not being mean, just fair. When I'm sick (which isn't often), I just push my way through each day, no matter how much I want to just lie in bed and moan. I get no sympathy from anyone. Him? He just lies in the bed, and moans. It's pitiful.

  6. I also am not a doctor. I get grossed out when people are sick and avoid them. Since I tend to curl up in a ball and just sleep until I get better when I'm sick, I expect others to do the same and not whine...

  7. I am definitely not a doctor, and am nowhere near patient enough to be a nurse.

  8. I used to be empathetic to my husband when he was sick, making homemade chicken broth with special Polish noodles (by hand!) he liked, nursing him better. Now? No empathy. I actually do call out "Suck it up" to him. Why? Because that's what he has always given me when I was sick. He comes from a long line of people who just don't care. Is that terrible?

  9. I am somewhere between chicken soup and 7up - if that makes sense!!!!
    Andy, get well soon before worse happens to you...

  10. Ha! We must be related, because I could have written this post. In fact, I'm probably going to have to read it to my husband later...he'll appreciate it. He just got over being sick himself, and I think I DID actually say, "suck it up" at one point to him. And like your Andy, my Jeremy is a wonderful nurse when I'm sick. He answers to my every whim...and I'm not the best patient either.

    Thanks for the laugh!

  11. I try to nurture my spouse with an equal part love, mocking and back rubs.

    I'm not great, but I am better with my spouse than I am with others, who simply get the "Get the hell away from me so I don't get what you've got. Mmkay?"

  12. I also think we are secretly related. Truly. The number of times I've wanted to say "Um hello...I have BIRTHED FOUR CHILDREN so kindly shut your pie hole and get to work!" probably warrants some kind of reverse good wife award. Terrible wife award most likely ;)

  13. hmm...I'm not very patient when others aren't feeling well (unless it's major,when my mom had cancer I was doing everything possible to help her out). When people call in to work, I usually think they just wanted the day off...mean, huh? I have to admit, i don't like people hovering around me when I don't feel well, I just want to be left alone...


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