Thursday, June 23, 2011

So, about yesterday...

...and the post I made. I said there was a bit of humor that occurred that involved my father. Well, I was so relieved at the news that my foot wouldn't be coming off in the near future that I felt I should call him from the car.

Explaining a medical condition to my father isn't easy. He doesn't latch on to the complex information the way I do. Telling him the difference between Charcot-Marie-Tooth's disease and Charcot arthropathy wasn't easy, but I did as the doctor had done for me. The former is skeletal-muscular, and the latter is neurological.

It seemed Dad was missing a vital part of the whole experience for me. Somehow, I'd managed not to connect what was happening to my foot directly to diabetes. That, or he wasn't grasping it. So he asked if this was diabetes related, and I said that it was. This prompted him to start asking all sorts of questions about whether or not I was taking care of my diabetes. Well, that turned into an explanation about how stress and pain cause me to lose control, and how I'd been having a hard time of late because of the foot. And to quell his fears, I fed him the last HbA1C result, which was 7.5, down from and 8.3, and should be between 5 and 6. That that particular result is over four months old didn't need to be shared with dear old Dad.

The conversation then went back to the foot, and what's to be done about it. I told him about needing to wear a cast for about three months, which thrilled us both. I tried to explain that the process was to wear the cast for two weeks and hope the swelling went down, then get a new cast and repeat the process, until such time as I could be fitted for a brace that I'll wear for an undetermined amount of time. (It could be for the rest of my life.) Not sure if Dad latched onto that information, and I suspect that my next followup call with him to let him know my progress, and about the new cast, will have him asking, "Why did they put a new cast on you?" *sigh* "Because, Dad, I was tired of the red cast they put on me, and had reconsidered the idea that hot pink was a much more sociable color." (Becky tried to convince me to get the hot pink coloring for the cast, to which I said I did not want to get beat up should we appear in public at all.)

Dad then moved on to what we both deem rather important. Did I get along with the doctor. Well, the doctor was a young guy, and he was all business. I didn't get to crack wise with him at all, and I think that's because I was in a clinic. He probably had a dozen patients to see in one hour. So here's what he has to to in five minutes: review any radiology films the patient brings, make an initial assessment, order more films if necessary, examine those, decide on a course of treatment, see the patient and explain said course, answer any questions the patient might have, alter treatment for the patient's well-being, and make notes about everything I just mentioned for any official documentation as required by the clinic. Explaining all of this to Dad would have meant little, so I simply kept it as, "He was all business." It then went something like this...

Dad: Yes, but did you like him?
Me: I liked the fact that he was concerned about my worries over a bone infection, and ordered a specific test to rule it out, if only for my state of mind.
Dad: That's good.
Me: He also explained things in terms that I could understand.
Dad: Oh...Did he know that you're probably smarter than him, and understand more than him?
Me: Well, I didn't want to rub that in his face, Dad. It's important not to bruise a specialist's feelings like that.
Dad: (Starts chuckling.)
Me: He'd be no good to me or other patients if he just sat in the corner, crying that I was smarter than him.
Dad: (Still chuckling.) True.

It was rather humorous, him falling back on the smarts he knows I have, which was good...

...but it was also a left-handed compliment, which I only caught on to this morning. Here's how it really translates. "Rob, you are so smart, and yet you've done nothing with those smarts your entire life. I'm so glad that the best of my sons is now unemployable and spending his time watching TV and playing video games." Trust me on that one, gang. Dad may not have said it, but something just like that was going through his head.

But you know what I'm going to try and do? I'm going to attempt to hang on to the good in our conversation, and not harp on the bad. Dad may be disappointed in all of his children, but we are the product of his and our biological mother's rearing. That said, I'm my own man now. It's up to me to choose what my mind latches on to and keeps as valuable. I'll choose his laughter over his disappointment.

Be well, and DFTBA.

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