Friday, April 9, 2010


I just read a laughoutloud, peeinyourpants funny book by Jill Connor Browne a.k.a. THE Sweet Potato Queen. In fact, on my flight to and from Dallas, I'm convinced that my fellow passengers thought I was suffering from Tourette's Syndrome, given my spontaneous bouts of inflight laughter. Browne's latest book American Thighs is subtitled The Sweet Potato Queen's Guide to Preserving Your Assets. There are many, many quotable remarks, all of which could serve as blog topics for the next year. 

This post will focus on men's STOO-PID-ITEE (Browne's phrase) when it comes to medical affairs. Not the kind between nurses and doctors. 

"But if I did an actual tally of the STOO-PID people I know in regard to health maintenance, I feel pretty confident that the count would be heavily weighted on the male side. Guys as a rule, won't go to the doctor until something blows up or falls off in their hand. These same men exhibit an almost religious fervor in their determination to change the oil in their cars on a schedule set to an atomic clock. The slightest ding in a door is duly noted and seen to promptly and the tiniest ping in an engine warrants an emergency tow-in to the best mechanic within a 500 mile radius. In some cases, I've noticed that firearms are likewise maintained with loving attention. 

But a physical? Just because 'it's that time of year' and nothing is festering, swelling, gushing, oozing, throbbing or hanging by a shred? On a likelihood par with wild monkeys flying out of their hindquarters--which, I supposed might actually warrant a check-up--but only if there was a constant stream of them--a one-time occurrence would immediately upon cessation, be dismissed as inconsequential and never mentioned again except as needed for a beer-driven display of one-upmanship with his buddies--as in 'Oh, yeah? Well, one time I had wild monkeys  come flyin' outt my ass!!' (p.46)

Most of you know that my husband is a pretty level-headed guy. However I was so dumbfounded over his recent STOO-PID behavior, that I had to share it. Please harass him about this, when you see him. 

A bit of background--my daughter has been treated by a dermatologist for foot warts. Apparently they are very stubborn warts and despite monthly freezing sessions, they refuse to die. My husband thinks that the doctor should BURN them off. Even though burning has been outlawed in dermatological circles, given the massive pain involved and subsequent scar tissue, he feels confident that his untrained medical opinion is vastly superior to the experts. (not to worry--this is not going where you think it's going)

Fast forward a few months. He asks me to make him an appointment to get his warts removed. I explain that it takes at least 3 months to get an appointment as a new patient. Unless you are dying of skin cancer, forget it. Warts do not constitute an emergency.  Even though my husband has had these warts for months, maybe years, (they've become part of the family), all of a sudden it is a necessity to have them removed ASAP. 

So he takes matters into his own hands. He waits until I am out of town. Then he instructs the teenager to go out and purchase a sautering iron. He can't even buy his own sautering iron. He has to implicate the child. 

To his credit, he doesn't scarify and self-mutilate all in one shot. He tests it out on his hand first. HE HEATS THE SAUTERING IRON AND PURPOSELY BURNS HIS HAND. Apparently he felt justified in his medical decision, because he proudly showed me his burned hand upon my return. LOOK I BURNED OFF MY WART! 

Of course, once you get a taste for self-mutilation, a mere 3rd degree burn doesn't deter you. Overtaken by boldness, he next burns his foot. I'm thinking this constitutes pathological behavior. 

When one is married, one has to bite one's tongue regularly. This is the reason I no longer have any tastebuds.  I've bitten and chewed all of them off. So instead of telling the husband that he is STOO-PID, I use the psychological approach and ask him pointed questions. Why did you feel the need to take medical matters in your own hands? How did it FEEL when you felt your flesh burning? Is your inner sadist feeling UNLOVED? 

He responds that his layperson medical training has prepared him for this procedure. WHAT MEDICAL TRAINING? He knows how to ice his knees after playing soccer. Because he has removed a few stitches and can give a cat a pill, he is now a qualified medical practitioner. 

OHMYGOSH. When he is dying of an infection in the hospital burn unit, I will be tempted to tell him that his STOO-PID actions serve him right. However, most likely, I'll be too busy biting off my tongue to say much of anything. 

UNBURNED WART (Ian wanted to ensure that you knew this WASN'T his wart, but a a google image)

1 comment:

  1. Don't try and cover for him Colette, we KNOW that is Ian's wart (pre-burn)