Thursday, May 16, 2013


I walked into the living room this morning, saw what was either dog puke or shit on the carpet, and walked right back out. I went about making my breakfast and taking my medication all the while hoping that Dearest One would go into the living room to drink his coffee, see the carpet, and deal with the my dog's mess.

I was prepared to feign innocence so I didn't even tell him it was there. Here, this is my problem to deal with but let's pretend it's yours, okay? I don't think Dearest One even went into the living room  before he left for work. (This scene is so reminiscent of the days of I didn't smell a poopy diaper, did you smell a poopy diaper in hopes that he would be the one to change it. Which might mean I haven't matured a whole lot in the intervening decades.) Actually, I just didn't want to deal with dog shit first thing in the morning. I'm guessing that's what it is because the pugs haven't gone and eaten it. See what things one can be grossed out by and then hope for all in one sentence?

Want to hear the worst thing anyone has said to me this whole cancer journey? A doctor, when I showed up in emergency on New Year's Day, with my incision site red, inflamed and painfully swollen said I would be a good candidate for reconstruction because my skin is super stretchy due to the connective tissue syndrome I have. Wait, that's not the worst. What he said next is.

When I told him I wasn't going to have reconstruction he said "Well if something happens to this guy (as he motioned to Dearest One) and some good looking twenty something comes along, you might change your mind." I was stunned speechless. Twenty-something? I'm going to take up with (anyone?!) a twenty-something if Dearest One dies? Are you kidding me?

It was a doctor we've known for over 20 years and I can only imagine that his familiarity with us is what led him to think he could make such a crass statement in such confined quarters and not get kicked in his nether regions. Later, it struck me as weird that he thought what some hypothetically newly met twenty-something thought of my chest would matter to me more than what my husband of over 30 years did. I've puzzled over that more than once since then.

Until recently when I heard that said doctor was caught having a fling with a twenty-something. Here, this is my problem to deal with but let's pretend it's yours, okay?

I've been watching my thoughts lately, reflecting on what I say to others, and recognizing how much I think what they must be thinking is based on what I would in their situation. I confuse what I would do/think with what every other person would, too. If you'd asked me I would have told you that other people project their thoughts onto others, but I rarely do. I only have to say to someone "You must feel _______." instead of "How are you feeling?" to be reminded again how much I project onto others.

What a paradox it is that while we are much more alike than not as humans, what I would do or think is not necessarily the same thing as the next person would. (Although I want you to raise your hand if you've ever done the poopy diaper thing.)

I have no idea if Dearest One saw the dog's mess and chose to ignore it, too. He's a far more selfless person than I so my bet is that he never saw it. However, I know what I'll be doing once I finish this post. After all, it is my problem.


Daisy said...

Maybe it's not too late to kick that doctor in the nether regions.... then it'll be his turn to try and figure out what you're thinking.

Grace-WorkinProgress said...

A lot of doctors seem to live in their own world. Maybe they were studying when they were teaching basic compassion and life skills.

I once had a doctor tell me after 3 seconds that I had MS. I told him that I didn't and that he should not be so thoughtless in his delivery of such bad news. My regular doctor was out sick.

After getting my brain scanned I was right. This was the longest week of my life waiting for results.

At least with the dog poop and poopy diapers you are willing to admit it to us at least.

annie said...

Gah! Hope you've gotten it all cleaned up!

I think some doctors deal with so many harsh things that they get sort of calloused and forget to see they are dealing with/treating individuals.

And yeah, I see the "this is my problem to deal with, but let's pretend it is yours" in his statements to you.

I often think of that when I am complaining about another person's ways, and I wonder if I am really complaining about my own ways.