Acute Rhinitis, and Other Words- Sign #2 That You Live With a Med Student

It occurred to me recently that, in an effort to support hubs, my vocabulary was changing. I try my darnedest to understand what the heck he’s talking about, using words with more letters in them I thought possible in the English language. I mean, really, who sat around and decided some of these names? Myocardial infarction (heart attack), acute rhinitis (runny nose), emesis (vomiting). Why not just say she’s barfing her guts out? Or he has a snot face? I suppose that’s not really professional, but who has the time (or brain capacity) to learn all of the “alternative” words for our common daily ailments? I do try hard to at least kind of know what he’s saying. Sometimes my space cadet expression gives him the hint to elaborate on whatever he’s said. Other times when he’s wandering around the house talking about a lecture he heard or a study he read and starts sputtering off some random words, I actually understand him! In fact, a couple of times I’ve even surprised him by knowing a few things (thank you Grey’s Anatomy!). When I tell him that I learned it from TV he rolls his eyes, which makes it even better.

I do have to be careful though. Sometimes I say a technical word outside of the house and I’m sure I sound like an obnoxious know-it-all. Which is not my intent, it kind of comes out before I can catch myself. Be assured that I am NOT interested in becoming a medical doctor. At all. I just am trying to support hubs learning all of these crazy words so he can sound like a doctor. Well, and be one too.

So, in the last several months, we’ve had our fair share of different illnesses with the kids. The common cold, puking, diarrhea, fevers, you name it, I swear we’ve had it. I struggle when I take the kids into the doctor, how to properly communicate. If I say they’re puking, does that sound too simple? But if I use technical words, does that sound too textbook? Or, my worst fear would be that the doctor would then begin communicating with me in all the doctor lingo that I really don’t understand. It’s like being in a foreign country and knowing about five words. When you use them, locals think you can speak the language and begin a lengthy conversation with you. Before you know it, you’ve sold your kidney on the black market for a mere $7. So, I typically opt for the simpler vocab.

All in all though, based on what hubs says, it doesn’t seem that doctors really expect patients to be able to say the technical words. In fact, there have been a few times when I’m going over my medical history, that I will say that I had a P.E. (pulmonary embolism- blood clot in the lung) and I get the look from the in-take person as if they’re confirming with me if I really know what I’m talking about. Yup, I’m pretty sure I won’t forget that whole experience, thank you very much.

I suppose this whole process might just be another sign (side effect) of living with a med student. I wonder at times, if I learn enough by osmosis, can I get an honorary degree? Seems like a good idea right?

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