Saturday, April 4, 2015

     What is the motivation behind people offering unsolicited graphic descriptions of their illnesses and medical procedures? Maybe it’s me, but I don’t find discussions of colonoscopies, endoscopies, oral surgery and hip replacements compatible with my cocktails and salmon wheels. Is this part of the 21st century narcissism epidemic, or are people just clueless? Just for the record, if I ever have to endure any of the above, I pledge never to discuss my experience with anyone other than my doctor whom I don’t want to see unless I am on my deathbed.

     Over the past month, I have not only had to listen to people describe in minute detail their recent procedure, but I have to read it in emails and even on face book. Come on, people, isn’t anything sacred? I am not interested in your private parts, your major organs or your vertebrae. Can’t we talk about something refreshing like the latest good read or the value of friendship? I will never forget going to our CPA years ago, when the guy was describing his wife’s recent surgery. When he began with a pen and pencil sketch saying, “Here’s your butt. . . “ I knew we were in trouble.

     I totally understand that when we have physical issues, we tend to get locked into the “sick bubble syndrome.” All we can think about is what’s wrong with us and what awful end might be in store. Once the bubble bursts, though, and we’re on the mend, why bring it all up and infect your friends with the details? 

     And then there’s the medication discussion: What meds are you on? Are there side effects? Does one drug just lead to another? Hey, people, I have to listen to this in between every three-minute segment of my favorite tv programs, I don’t need to listen to you too. Now that I’ve learned how to record these programs just to avoid all this, why do you have to plague us all with what we’re trying to avoid? Is there some catharsis to hogging the spotlight at dinner with your aches and pains? 

     I guess I need to start hanging out with twelve-year-olds. I think I could tolerate conversations about who’s horny better than which 60-something is main-lining oxycontin.