Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The nicest people in the world

Sadly, I am not one of them.

But you know those people - the ones that are just so nice and kind and generous with their time, money, career, etc.? Those of us who don't fit into that mold tend to wonder if it is for real. Well it is. Because no one not genuine could maintain that facade for long, I am convinced.

My ob is one of those people. I, on a rare occasion, have seen glints of frustration as he has come from another room containing a "wimpy" patient. But 99.5% of the time that I have known him, nicest person

I see these women walk into his office, hugely pregnant, finishing the last drag on their cigarette outside before setting foot in the office (but hovering with the door open), hauling their strung out looking boyfriends/husbands who are wearing pajama pants with them, cussing up a storm. And I cringe.

And then I hear him in the room with them next door, full of compassion and kindness. And I feel guilty.

I couldn't do that. I know a little about his history from the occasional friendship we have forged outside of the office. His passion in life is treating not women like me (educated, able to support ourselves), but poverty level women with few options in life. In addition to his MD, he has a Masters in Public Health and has a keen understanding of how the care (or lack of) a woman receives in her doctor's office translates to her acceptance in social situations and her ability to raise her family. He hopes to retire from his practice soon (has scaled it back to 2 days a week in the office presently) and move to Central America and practice medicine among the third world inhabitants there.

I wanted to go to medical school once. And each time I have been in a hospital be it for birthing my kids or having my gall bladder out I have wistfully wondered what it would be like to be a physician and have longed for that experience of walking through the halls of a hospital. I wanted to be a nurse until I was about 5 when my nurse grandmother said, "you don't want to be a nurse, you want to be a doctor!"

I had a stint in there where I wanted to be an astronaut. Then a teacher. But for the vast majority of my school life I wanted to be a doctor. I scored very average on the MCAT. I worked in a doctor's office for 5 years. I had an "in" to the local med school through my college employer (a dermatologist) who was also a professor at the medical school one half day a week.

Then I dumped it all and went to grad school.

I wanted to be a plastic surgeon actually. While in college I would fill in with one of my doctor's good friends when he was short staffed in his Reconstructive Surgery office. I loved it. But wow it seemed like a long haul. Medical School, Surgical Residency, Plastic Surgery Residency...

I told AB about how I noted that I just did not have what it took to do what my ob does every day. See these women and be compassionate about their situation, when I would really just want to slap them upside the head. I would be the most frustrated person around.

"But you would have never gone into obstetrics," AB said the other night. "You would so be spending your days doing boob jobs intermingled with the occasional pro bono case! You would still have your wackos to deal with, they would just be different wackos."

He is right. It's dang good I went into research and not medicine because I do not regularly have to work with wackos at all this way.

And it isn't just in medicine where you find these nicest people ever. I truly have some of the nicest friends ever. And I wonder what it would take - how they do it? If they don't have that same voice in their head that I do?

Well, I guess it is something for me to work on.

After I birth this baby, because right now it just isn't in me!

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