Walking For Granted

leg statues in Chicago

“He seems to be getting along fine on the leg now, but it was pretty mangled when he showed up on our doorstep.” 

The vet picked up the squirming kitten, examining the hindquarters for a moment.

“Yeah, that’s a girl you have there, not a boy.”

Thank goodness we had picked Whiskers for a name. Gender neutral….

“As for the leg, if it injured a growth plate, she might have trouble later on.”

Without even thinking, I nodded and murmured in agreement.

“What? Do you know about growth plates?” His eyes narrowed suspiciously as he looked me over.


I sighed. I was going to have to tell him.

“I am a physician,” I said quickly. “Do you think he… SHE needs an X-ray?”

“Where do you work?” he demanded, ignoring my question.

I told him.

“Say, did you know I had a stroke three years ago? Can’t even tell, can you?” He smiled, then proceded to tell me about the clot buster he had received and how his subsequent therapy had gone in great detail. 

It was a miracle he was even walking, he said….

Surviving a stroke is a big deal. It changes your life forever. I imagine you would want to talk to everyone about it, especially someone in the medical field who might better appreciate how far you’ve come, and so I listened patiently, forgetting all about the X-ray question until I got home again with the kitten in tow.

Oh, well. 

She seemed to be fine for the time being. It was a miracle she was even walking, given her initial injuries. I would just have to make another appointment for her.

This is why I try to keep who I am and what I do for a living quiet when I am out and about in the world. It only serves as a distraction beyond the clinic walls.


92 thoughts on “Walking For Granted

    • Kitten seems to be doing well! As for strangers talking about their health, as soon as people know I am a physician that is when it starts. It probably is due to the respect and trust that they have for physicians which is a good thing, I guess.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. I bet you are popular at a party! My neighbor is a dentist but people just call him doc. He has been shown various body parts for a consultation during a party. Fortunately he has a great sense of humor and doesn’t mindas long as they are on a beautiful woman.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad the kitten is well. Most people talk about their occupation when they meet others. Just this morning I spent 45 minutes discussing safety with a gentleman waiting for his wife at the hospital.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for this post!
    We are trained listeners in primary care. It’s what we do.
    Do you also find yourself sometimes having to control your urge to give unsolicited advice? Because are trained advisors, too. I often overhear people talking about their conditions or medications to each other near me, and I cringe a little at the erroneous assumptions and misinterpretations they express. And I remind myself that it’s none of my business…
    We are physicians. Our work is caring for people and also cool science. I like that I get to apply it outside of the office sometimes. I also appreciate the chance to practice monitoring and holding my boundaries. πŸ‘ŠπŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Yes .. but look … I broke my ankle about five years ago .. I was in the vegetable garden but I told the ambulance driver I had been sky diving .. anyway …

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can see where it would become a challenge. Everyone wants an opinion on their ailments. My brother-in-law has a similar problem when people find out he is a computer tech. All of a sudden they have a million questions about their computers problems!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Aw. Rescuing a kitten from the river gave us 18 years together. She became the wolf pup’s mom and our dear friend. The love goes on. I empathize with you in the vet scenario. My favorite doctor usually sat next to me in church. Sheesh. As for your costume, a cape, mask, maybe gold wrist bands would blend well I would think. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think you should keep a receipt book handy and charge for all questions asked.

    My husband is a computer tech and you are right. He gets calls every single night from someone wanting him to walk them through the process of fixing some type of error. He gets pretty tired of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ha! When I was in the hospital and thought I was dying from my colitis (“omg, I thought you were dead!”), the doctor who came to insert my PIC (?) line learned that I was a real estate paralegal and then proceeded to ask me numerous questions about how to consolidate two parcels he owns onto one tax bill and what to do about title searches, etc. Really? If he came to my office on a complicated real estate deal, I wouldn’t pepper him with questions about my health situation.

    Even worse, the surgeon who operated on my husband several years ago came to the waiting room and upon learning (how,I don’t know) that I was in law, began reciting how his wife had just served him with divorce papers and what could he do about that? All I could think was – THIS GUY JUST OPERATED ON MY HUSBAND! I politely told him I didn’t do that kind of law.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Glad the kitten is OK and I can see how this would happen to you a lot. I could tell you many stories of my medical experiences but don’t worry, won’t do πŸ™‚ Just be glad you aren’t my physician, he shakes his head.. I am the patient that never “goes by the books” Apparently my body didn’t read them!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well if it isn’t one cotton picking thing after another. I’m glad the vet is ok and perhaps your kitty will be as well but go with your instinct and get the x-rays if you feel the need.

    Now about Paul. I’m so glad he is ok. Gads that was a close call for him. I talked to an OT at my sis’s rehab place and her esophagus was nicked when she had a cervical fusion. Bad things happen and you have to wonder if the doc was just careless or what.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Good luck with kitteh ^_^ My dog was injured as a puppy so she has a bum leg. She’s okay, she just can’t walk as far/long as other dogs. My kitten one, I guess his tail broke during birth, he’s got a lil hump there, doesn’t seem to bother him…
    I have never asked doctors for free medical advice or whatnot. It’s funny to me that people do that. Funny weird, not funny haha. However, I do hit up my RT friend when my kids breathe funny. But she’s their auntie, so I think that’s okay. If not, my nephews shouldn’t call me for homework help, yeah? LOL
    I can see why people would want to talk about coming back from a stroke, but I feel for you, the way you’re targeted.
    I love that my job involved a disclosure agreement. There should be an inverted measure of this for you…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your story does show that people feel quite free with trusting physicians with their personal health info. I imagine other professionals might have the same problem if they reveal their handy expertise (computer experts, auto mechanics, lawyers, etc.) but the intimate nature of the issues wouldn’t be so, um, er, revealing. Well, maybe lawyer questions would! πŸ˜‰

    No asks a former college professor for her professional opinion on much of anything!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What an interesting post. It had never occurred to me that doctors may get swamped with questions and stories from those they meet out and about, but of course I can completely see that being the case. It wouldn’t occur to me to do so, unless I was in the surgery, but I can see how it happens. It has now got me thinking about the other professions that people may cringe to say out loud as they know the way the conversation is likely to go. Food for thought πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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