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Marrying a Doctor Wrecked My Life: 5 Things Doctors Wish Moms Knew

  5 things doctors wish moms knew

When my college boyfriend was accepted to medical school, I have to admit…my chest stuck out a little higher.

That’s right, all you normal people. I’m with the doctor over here.

I was so proud of the endless hours of studying he put in and the ridiculous amount of knowledge he possessed about pathology. I mean, he knew more about my right pinky than I knew about my entire body.

Don’t tell anybody, but one night he even snuck me into the gross anatomy lab of his creepy old med school basement to introduce me to his cadaver. I broke one of the poor guy’s ribs, and checked out a few of his kidney stones. It was unbelievable. IT WAS GROSS.

The next three years of medical school were miserable and hard for both of us. Why rehash it. We’re over it, and you don’t care. But seriously, respect your doctor.

When he asked me to marry him, I will also admit that in my head, I believed my doctor husband would be the Neosporin-applying-Tylenol-giving-temperature-checking advocate for our family.

This, my friends, was a lie. A dirty, nasty, flat-out lie.

I finally realized this the day I dropped a pot on my big toe. I was cooking our Saturday morning breakfast, being the perfect servant wife that I am, and was in immediate crisis over the pain.

I yelled for help. By the time my healthcare advocate/doctor husband arrived to my rescue, I was sinking to the floor. He caught me, laid me down, and then said, What do you need me to do for you?

At this point, I rolled my head over to the side, looked him dead in the eye, and thought, Do I seriously have to talk myself out of passing out to tell you how to take care of me??? I’m passing out! I need a wet rag on my head!

When he returned with a wet paper towel, I may or may not have thrown it across the room and said, Not this! A wet wash cloth! Don’t you know ANYTHING about taking care of people? You’re a doctor for crying out loud!

Not my proudest moment. But a very good learning experience.

I’ve often joked with my dear husband, telling him that I have no idea how he always won the compassionate bedside manner awards, because he didn’t bring any of it home from the hospital with him.

But eight years of studying, training, and practicing later, I am learning to accept his way of administering medical care. It usually doesn’t look anything like mine.

The other day, he called attention to the fact that I had commented on my daughter’s cold moving to her chest. He informed me that if I said things like that around the doctor community {which I had}, they would think I was ONE OF THOSE MOMS.

Guys. I run as far away from being called ONE OF THOSE MOMS as much as I possibly can. My skin crawls with the thought of being put into a category with all the other psychopaths raising children.

So, in an effort to share this inside scoop with all you other life sustainers out there, here are five things I’d like to tell you to help you maneuver your conversations with your doctor. MAY WE NEVER BE THROWN INTO THE PIT WITH THOSE MOMS.

  1. Don’t go to the doctor for a runny nose. Like, ever. A cold is nothing but a virus, and a virus can’t be treated with medicine. So if your baby has a snotty nose, no matter how green the goo you’re constantly wiping up, save your copay and stay at home. Antibiotics are a no-no. There’s nothing your doctor can do.
  2. Vaccinate your kids. Modern medicine is a gift, and there’s a reason we invented vaccines. They are GOOD THINGS. I personally don’t want my kid contracting diseases that the Pilgrims and Indians had to deal with. I also don’t want my kids passing on diseases to other kids with cancer or other immune deficiencies who can’t protect their own bodies. It’s just a common courtesy to your children.
  3. Don’t quote WebMD. If you already know what your problem is, why are you sitting in the doctor’s office? Online resources are great. Really, Google solves hundreds of mysteries for me every day. But if you’re prone to worrying, please don’t type What Causes Diarrhea into your search bar, because scary things you never knew existed will appear before your eyes in seconds, ensuing great anxiety.
  4. Check temps in the butt. I was mortified when shopping for baby thermometers as a first-time mom. I showed my husband the temporal digital thermometer, and he proceeded to pick out the probe option instead. He insists it’s the most accurate temperature reading. And I have yet to check my baby’s temperature. By the way, the I’m a mother and I know when my baby has a fever card isn’t a good one to play, either.
  5. Don’t talk about alternative medicine. If you want to wear amber necklaces, swash coconut oil, or use essential oils, go for it. I’m personally up for trying natural healing methods. But don’t expect a doctor to believe in their effects. If there’s not a randomized, double-blinded study with significant p-values and years of documented research to prove a medicine works, he or she is not going to buy it.

This knowledge has saved me a ton of money on the medicine aisle, a lot of trips to the outpatient clinic, and loads of embarrassment in crowds of educated people. Here’s to making the world of mothers smarter, calmer, and generally more relaxed about our kids and their snotty noses!



Bridget-Shawn HammApril 23, 2014 - 4:50 pm

I love this!! Thanks for saving me from being one of “those moms” haha!

Michelle PrinceApril 23, 2014 - 6:40 pm

Love! Thanks for sharing!!! I do own the butt thermometer….thanks to being a nanny, I learned that was the best method.

Sheri McKinney SmithApril 23, 2014 - 6:53 pm

You forgot the ER is for EMERGENCIES!!! Not a runny nose and a fever. Wait until tomorrow and take them to the clinic!!

Barbara McDavidApril 23, 2014 - 7:34 pm

Great advise; as a new great-grandmother, I’ve been there done that and learned that most things just clear up on their own. Our kids did all have chicken pox and I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone. :) Take care and know you are in our prayers.

Kathy RobinsonApril 23, 2014 - 8:27 pm

I only wish the people who are so against vaccinating their children could have been with me in Africa the day I was called to visit and pray with a mother who had lost not one but two precious children due to measles in one week.

Janice Hoover LasureApril 23, 2014 - 8:53 pm

Lauren boy did this hit home for me….I guess as a 45 year old first time mother I drove Andrew’s doctor crazy. I’m sure we were the topic of many doctor conversations. For example, the time I rushed Andrew to the doctor because he had stuck the candy from a candy bracklet (that a little girl had given him) in his nose..by the time the doctor saw him his body temperature had melted the candy and all the doctor had him do was blow his nose…I reallydont know how he grew up to be a 6’2″ 200 lb. man!!!

Betty Hyneman WaryasApril 24, 2014 - 2:17 am

Lauren, I totally agree with your advice. And Janice, being a mom at 46 I also was a little over protective. But I seemed to get over it!