Thursday, March 11, 2010

But I got my health, so what do I care (in Bette Midler singing voice)

M's studying for The Big Exam, which is next Thursday. This is the culmination of years of medical training, dealing with patients, reading, attending courses, and doing whatever it is that doctor-types do to get fully qualified. I'm glad it's not me.

The exam is with actors (some minor BBC actors, actually) and is watched by a panel who scrutinize every move. It's knowledge, bedside manner, communication skills, follow-up steps, all the things you never think about when you make an appointment. I've been reading through some cases with him, and aside from my awe of the bigness of M's brain, I've developed a refreshingly content attitude toward my body.

Getting up in the morning with everything working is a pretty amazing feat. There's so much that can go wrong, if you think about it. I hadn't thought about it until meeting M and diving into doctorworld (i.e. M's friends from uni and work). I remember one of his mates scolding me for not knowing what renal failure was. (See, there, again, I forgot. Had to ask M. He asked the context. I'm, uh, blogging.) Anyway, this friend went off on a tangent about how ridiculous it was that people didn't know their own bodies, that they could recite any number of unnecessary things but not know what the pancreas does.

He's right.

I find it interesting that some people think they can buy their health. Sure, the 'best' care might prolong things, but if your body fails, you can't just slap down a million and get a new body. And it is 'practicing' medicine - everyone deals with treatment, drugs, etc. differently. Medicine is a science, but only to a point. 'Proof' is relative. And sometimes docs just don't know, and sometimes they're wrong. That's another thing I've learned. It's easy to play the blame game with doctors, but they do what they can and hope they get it right.

Dear body, thank you for working properly. Please forgive me for not knowing what all the parts of you do. I promise to do yoga and meditate and make carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting to keep you happy.

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