Sunday, March 29, 2009

No, Mom, Billy DOESN'T want to stay for dinner

While sitting at the dinner table, someone brought up maggots (I know! – but such is life with two boys of a certain age; disgusting subjects at dinner are the usual fare alongside the main course). Eldest quickly mentioned how skeeved he would be if a maggot were to touch him. Of course, I had to jump in with all of the medical uses for maggots, especially when used to treat decubitus ulcers or other poorly healing wounds. I casually discussed the role the maggots played in debriding the dead tissue and how most patients would likely consider maggot therapy rather than dismissing it out of hand, especially if faced with a potential amputation. I buttered a slice of bread as I chatted about how maggots stayed away from healthy flesh; concentrating on my broccoli, I failed to recognize how quiet my dinner companions had become. As I started in on the medical uses of leeches, I looked up from my plate to see three faces staring at me in horror. Mouths agape, eyes wide, silverware down; my family finally burst out as one: “That’s revolting!”

Er, yes, I guess some might view it as such. Apparently it’s time to brush up on my sense of acceptable dinner conversation, which has at this point been warped by too much discussion around the themes of farts, boogers, loogies and the occasion poop.

Baseball, anyone?

12 comments:

  1. At least you aren't casually mentioning vaginas, as I find myself often doing.

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  2. I grew up with a respiratory therapist and a nurse. We couldn't get through a meal without discussing chunky sputum or placentas. It made me strong. Tell your kids to appreciate their traumatic childhood now...they certainly will later.

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  3. My kids use to complain about the medical journals with yucky pictures on the coffee table....

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  4. Hilarious. Growing up in a medical family and now having my own, this is exactly what dinner is like. It is only when we have company that I realize how inappropriate certain things are to discuss at the dinner table.

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  5. I clearly remember discussing gross lab with a lab partner wherever we went after lab on Friday afternoons in first year. We actually had someone from a table next to us at a restaurant ask us to stop talking about it.

    And then there was the time I brought a placenta home so I could bring it to class and my spouse asked, innocently, what was in the bag in the vegetable drawer (from which I had removed all the veggies, at least). I had wrapped it in a chux and then triple bagged it and written a note that said "YUK!" on the outside just to keep him out of it, but he just had to ask. He was not amused.

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  6. I've had to have my partner give the occasional nudge that I've strayed from "generally acceptable dinner conversation" to "generally acceptable dinner conversation when surrounded by other sex workers and sex worker allies".

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  7. My husband is an intensivist, and I used to work at the VA. We would talk about patients dying on a regular basis during dinner. We finally realized our son was picking up on our conversations when he began telling people that his "brother" (imaginary friend) had died. He was truly surprised at the responses he would get. I can only imagine what he'll be telling his therapist about us in 20yrs.

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  8. Thanks for the laugh on this Monday Morning!!

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  9. Ah, pathology at the dinner table. It brings back such wonderful memories....

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  10. BRILLIANT and HILARIOUS because so TRUE!!!! Thanks for a great post.

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  11. Coming to supper after a day in the OR my conversation leaned toward the latest event there. More than a few times, my 4 kids would say "Just ONE meal, Mom!"

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  12. Hey, I found a restaurant where such conversation would be more than appropriate:

    http://tinyurl.com/dxs65l

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