Sunday, April 15, 2012

Close Encounters of the Surreal Kind

Last night I helped to babysit my pseudoaunt. when her husband works a 30-hour shift at his hospital, she either spends the night there in staff sleeping quarters or someone stays at her house with her. She's not exactly scared of the boogeyman, but a disproportionate number of her health problems occur during the night. It's good if she at least has someone there with her. Her younger brother, who is a second-year medical school student, also spent the night. Her husband was supposed to leave the hospital at noon to head home. He unexpectedly arrived at just before 11;00 a.m.

When my pseudouncle arrived, I gathered my belongings and was preparing to catch the municipal bus for home. My pseudouncle told me not to leave. I needed to move quickly if I wanted to catch the next bus and not wait for  half an hour until another one arrived, so I told him I really needed to be on my way. He wouldn't let me go. Then he got out his medical bag and began examining me. He checked my pulse and blood pressure, which were NORMAL. Then he shone a light in my mouth and looked for several minutes at my teeth. Then he took out a tongue depressor  and began examining my throat. Once he started looking at my fingernails, I realized that he suspected for some reason that I was bulimic. Then he  checked my pupils. He was apparently looking for signs that I was taking drugs as well. Then he looked at my arms and legs, apparently checking for evidence of cutting.

My best guess is that pseudouncle encountered a patient or multiple patients roughly my age who were bulimic, self-mutilating drug abusers. it then occurred to him that I might very well be engaging in the same self-destructive behaviors as his patient or patients. This is all perfectly wonderful, but I must draw the line at some point. So I will publish an open letter to my pseudouncle, who occasionally reads my blog when he has time.
 Dear Pseudouncle,
   I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the extensive physical
exam I received from you -- free of charge, no less!  It comes as a relief to me, as
perhaps it does to you as well, to know that I am neither bulimic nor self-mutilating,
nor,as pending lab results will verify, a  user or abuser of illicit drugs. I thank you for
your concerns in this regard. Allow me to take this opportunity to announce that I do
do not smoke, drink, use drugs unless they are prescribed by a physician or, in the
case of over-the-counter medications, unless they are approved by one of my
parents. Neither do I starve myself, binge on food and then purge, or engage in
wanton sexual acts. (As to whether or not I engage in sexual acts that do not fall
under the description of  "wanton,'  I choose to leave it to your imagination.)  Just
because one of your patients has a particular affliction does not mean that, you, I,
or anyone else in your nuclear, extended, or pseudo family suffers from what ails            
your patient.  I am at this time officially notifying you that if you diagnose or treat
someone who has a sexually transmitted disease, you do not have permission to
examine me  for said disease, not that you would derive any more pleasure from the
experience  than I would.

P. S. Please ignore the odd spacing on the letter



  1. It's hard loving a teenager. They can be self defeating. I am terrified of what my daughter will do as one based soley on the awfulness I participated in. I understand your annoyance, but I hope you accept the love from him too.

  2. He is an uncle. With medical knowledge. I bet sometimes his head wants to explode.

    Unless he thought you might have a hitherto unnoticed medical condition? Just a thought...