This blog is for all you husbands out there with annoyingly smart wives. You know who you are. We are the men who must endure an endless procession of that dreaded four word incantation that is sometimes spoken but more often merely smugly implied…I told you so.
Take this weekend for example. Twelve days ago I got a rare cold. I struggled with the runny nose, sneezing and congestion the entire time I was in Pigeon Forge with my kids. Then I fought against coughing and sluggishness all of last week when I returned. Saturday night was a long sleep deprived night of coughing. Sunday morning, Pam looks at me with a combination of compassion and irritation and calmly says, “If you still have cold symptoms after ten days, it has obviously turned into bronchitis. You need an antibiotic and some cough medicine to take at night. Common sense should tell you that if you are not getting better after so long, you need to go see a doctor…now.”
Patient First is right down the road, so there I was walking through the door reading the huge poster in the lobby warning me of Ebola symptoms. Nice! After signing in, I sat with all of the other sick people in the aptly named “waiting room” for twenty minutes. Finally a perky nurse-ette bounded into the room. “Mr. Doonivant?” Close enough.
Blood pressure slightly elevated, temperature normal, weight unchanged since last visit. “Doctor so-and-so will be in to see you in a few minutes,” she explained as she walked me to my cubicle. I glanced at my cell phone. It was 12:17.
I was actually looking forward to seeing my usual crazy Patient First Indian doctor with the horrible bedside manner, brutal accent and charming sense of humor…
Doctor: Why are you here?
Me: It hurts when I do this.
Doctor: Well, how about you stop doing that??”
It would be 1:05 by the time my disappointingly boring American doctor drew back the curtain to my prison cell and spent all of 5 minutes examining me. I challenge you to spend 45 minutes in an 8x8 room with no pictures and no magazines and spotty cell phone coverage, on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. I had been reduced to reading up on the early signs of carpal tunnel and am now pretty much an expert on the differences between the common cold and fall allergies, not to mention fully up to speed on the dangers of smoking and childhood obesity.
Dr. Whitebread finally reappears to tell me his diagnosis:
“Generally speaking, any cold that doesn’t go away after ten days or so will most likely turn into bronchitis. Your lungs are sort of a mess so I’m placing you on an antibiotic, some prednisone and also some cough medicine to take an hour before you go to bed.”
Are you kidding me? I just paid this guy God knows how much to quote my wife back to me??
So, I return home to essentially admit that my wife is smarter than me. Her plan to go to the doctor was better than my plan to do nothing and wait until it went away on its own.Grrrrrrr….