If there’s one interesting thing about working as a copywriter for a medical company, it is this: my knowledge of certain medical conditions is growing by leaps and bounds. A couple of weeks ago, I barely knew a sneeze from a sniffle. Now, I can discuss otalgia until the cows come home, and hold my own in any conversation centering on Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Pretty cool, because just being able to pronounce those words makes me sound smart, and knowing what they mean? I feel like a five-time Jeopardy champion.
I posted something along those lines on Facebook the other day, and my friend Heidi wrote, “wanna play doctor?” (It’s okay, she flirts with Tara just as hard (hello!) but that’s a post for another day). Her comment made me realize something, though.
I do want to play doctor.
Without actually having to examine patients, that is. I still practically faint at the sight of blood, and cannot swallow a pill without gagging. But I like talking the talk, at least. I met up with a couple of former coworkers for lunch yesterday, and they were telling me about one of their sales reps who is forever sticking his foot in his mouth and making inappropriate-for-the-situation comments. “Sounds like he may be suffering from pragmatic social disorder,” I remarked. They asked me about symptoms, causes, and treatment options, and I actually had all the answers to their questions. I swear, I have never felt so smart in my entire life. The day before, I just happened to write an article on that very condition, and there I was, diagnosing it in somebody else!
I was also discussing vertigo with my mom the other day, and suggesting to Tara that her allergy symptoms may actually be associated with chronic sinusitis. Who needs medical school when there are fantastic resources like WebMD available right at our fingertips? I was tempted to go pick up a stethoscope afterwards.
Unfortunately, I’m not able to put a down payment on a new Mercedes. While I may possess some of the knowledge a doctor has, I am earning about one-fifth the salary, so my automotive choices will be confined to the Kia lot for the foreseeable future.
Maybe I can at least finagle a decent table at a nice restaurant? I’ve gotta have something to show for this sudden abundance of medical knowledge, otherwise it’s – gasp! – useless. We can’t have that, so if any of you are suffering from some mystery ailment and want a professional assessment, shoot me a private e-mail and I’ll get you a diagnosis and give you some tips for treating your condition.
Even we medical professionals like to relax after a hard day, so last night Tara and I joined my parents for dinner at a nearby winery. There was Caesar salad, wood-fired pizza, and chocolate cake. Plus wine, of course. I almost refused the alcohol because I thought I might be “on call,” but then realized there was a small possibility I was getting carried away with the whole doctor thing, so I went ahead and had a couple of glasses of Riesling.
There was a dog there, a very friendly Labrador retriever who took up residence right beside my chair. I gave him a quick once-over for canine distemper, remembered that I’m a doctor and not a veterinarian, and then remembered that I’m a copywriter and not a doctor, and proceeded to simply pet him instead. Which he seemed to enjoy. That led to me feeding him pizza crust, which he really seemed to enjoy. Both my parents and Tara told me to quit feeding him, but I couldn’t help myself. He was just so. dang. cute. When we left the winery, I wanted to swing by the store for a stethoscope AND a dog.
I’m hopeless, huh?