Dear Medical People,
Today reminded me why I retired. My son needed to go to hospital today. Suspected Appendicitis. No biggy really it was a 50:50 odds yes/no. But this is not what this is about. This is about the nasty little assumptions that you lot make about me when I am with my lanky pre-teen son. Here’s the thing People, I know I don’t look my 35 years. I get it. But if you want to know how old I am…try asking. I’m not offended. But I’m not going to tell you straight out either. Why should I? You and I both know that you should be treating me with the same respect as you treat every other adult. Parent or not. But you don’t. You think I had my son at 13 and am some kind of drug addict/ex-drug addict/product of systemic poverty . Sorry, wrong again.
You look me up and down and it’s all over your faces. “How old *is* she?”, “I’ll bet she’s on single parents pension”, “I’ll bet all her kids have different dads” Well guess what? F**K you, that’s what. You’re wrong on all accounts. How about you try this…Just be nice. Just say, “Hey, what can I do for you?”.
Today I was yelled at by an Ambo. AN AMBO!!! Can you believe it? Then every one of you questioned my relationship to my son. Then when my son said, “That’s my Mum.” (for the 100th time) Again, your face gives it away. You can’t hide that kind of offensive stupidity. Thankfully, this time, no-one actually said to my son “Are you sure?”. So, that a bonus. If you can’t past the way I look, you really need to think to yourself, “Should I be practising medicine? What is going on for me here? Why do I find the way a person looks to be a defining factor of who they are? What does that say about me?”
I can only help you with the final question, “What does this say about me?”. It says that you need to spend less time judging and more listening and attempting to understand people. Rather than assume who I am, ask. It’s not rude. You’re a doctor treating my son. I get that you need to understand the environment that he comes from. Dunno, could be all that nursing training I did. Sometimes I’m not sure if is actually me who is crazy…
So that’s just what I feeling right now. You really ticked me off. It’s hard enough being mental and having a sick child. So smarten up.