Saturday, December 31, 2005

happens every time

As mentioned, I took DS2 to the pediatrician today. There's something about me -- the questions I ask, maybe, or the vocabulary I use -- that brings every new medical provider I come into contact with to ask me the question: Are you in health care?

No, I tell them. I'm just a cancer patient and a parent to three children, blessedly healthy but still dealing with normal childhood illnesses and a random allergy or two. I've seen enough exams and been walked through enough assessments to be able to do the basics myself, now. I can look at a throat or listen to lungs; anyone can tell the difference between normal breath sounds and squeaks and pops, if they've ever listened to normal breath sounds. It's not that hard. And it's startlingly easy to see red spots on the roof of the mouth at the back of the throat: yup, that's strep. It's easy to feel for swollen glands, too. Sometimes, it's just a mom thing: there's something not right with the child's affect. Sometimes you can tell just by looking at the eyes.

I have the impression that most moms don't make this kind of clinical assessment. I do, because I don't want to drag us all down to the pediatrician's office if we don't need to go there.

But that's not the only reason I keep track of all that. I find topics relating to health management -- nutrition, exercise, medications, preventative behaviors -- endlessly fascinating. It pays to know about this stuff, so I pay attention. And I read up, and for whatever reason, it all stays with me.

As I contemplate what I'll do with myself when DS2 starts school in the fall, the idea of getting into something health care-related flits around the edges of the field of possibilities, mostly chased away by the reality that it's too late now.

Shoulda - coulda - woulda. Wish I'd realized I had this aptitude this sooner.

1 comment:

Sheik Yerbootie said...

My oldest daughter has a resident under her tutulage who started medical school at 42.

You are a perfect candidate for med school - you are smart, quick to learn, interested and most of all, interested in the science.

Just do it.