I will sometimes hear people talking about medical problems. This can be at the grocery store, waiting at the DMV or any number of other places. They may be discussing their own problems or those of a friend or relative. It may also be an issue that was on a talk show or in a magazine.
Here’s my dilemma: Lots of the information that is passed around is not exactly right. It’s easy to ignore the pronunciation issues. I just wince and keep on reading my book or crocheting my baby blanket.
What’s harder is to not comment on the medical advice. The people that are talking are strangers to me. I have never met them before. They don’t know what I do. I have no idea what they do. I will never see them again. Is the advice harmful? Generally it isn’t.
I had a professor when I was a resident who asked me: “Why do Obstetricians have wide, flat hands and smoke cigars?” I answered, “I don’t know Dr. X, why?” “They have wide, flat hands from sittin’ on ‘em so they don’t do somethin’ that they’re not supposed to do. And they smoke cigars to have somethin’ to do when they can’t sit on their hands anymore.” (He was from Texas and talked that-a-way)
I remember his advice when I am in this sort of dilemma. I figuratively stick my hands under my bottom. I literally bite my cheek. I hum to myself. I crochet faster. It’s not my business. I’d rather deliver a baby. Hmmmmm.