Saturday, April 9, 2011

My readers write

Bruce writes in with today's post. He's a yak herder north of me, in the foothills of Mount Wannahockaloogie. Today, however, he's pretending to be a pediatric lung specialist.

Until recently I thought there were just 4 classes of smokers identified by their answer to the question "Do you smoke?":

1. The righteous nonsmoker who responds, "We do not, and anybody who lights up around my child will be shot on sight"

2. The rabid smoker "Yeah - and so what? Anyone who bugs me about my smoking is shot on sight". This guy always has the most interesting messages on his t-shirts.

3. The drive by smoker comes into clinic smelling like a Carolina tobacco barn. She doesn't smoke herself but her clothing stinks because her (husband, girlfriend, dog, neighbor) smokes. I have been tempted to suggest she take off all her clothing whenever she's around her (husband, girlfriend, dog, neighbor).

4. The nature-loving smoker is the most common type that I encounter. She only smokes outside; never around the kids. All the plants in front of her house are dying.

Recently I met a new variety, who also never smokes around the kids. He told me that "when we smoke we send the kids outside, so they don't breathe it in". I dared not ask what they did when they wanted to smoke while driving.

I also get very interesting responses when I ask if children have allergies. Not long ago I had parents refuse to give their wheezing boy any asthma medication because he was allergic to chemicals, like in medicine, but not allergic to anything organic. I refrained from discussing organic chemistry and that almost all modern medications are organic compounds. There was no future in that conversation.

I did, however, review the results of their son's allergy tests showing reactions to moulds, house dust mites, and the organic family cat. These concerned carbon-based life forms replied that all the results REALLY showed was an allergy to the chemicals used in making the needle used for skin prick testing.

I will retreat now, to my aluminum-clad safe room.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

After sixty some odd years I finally realized that I am allergic to myself.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for that wheezing boy. I hope he survives his miserable childhood.
My brother and his wife insist that their children don't know they smoke because they only do it outside and when the children aren't around. I always laugh when they make this claim.

EDNurseasauras said...

When they come in reeking of cigarettes, I need a neb myself after 5 minutes in triage. These people will always admit to "one or two cigarettes a day". Yeah, right.

apotential said...

Bruce is hilarious and should write a blog or a book about his adventures in pediatrics.

Or his adventures in yak-herding. I'd read either.

Anonymous said...

The scariest thing about those parents is that they pass those iron clad beliefs right on to their little tykes.

Anonymous said...

It's a tiny bit like veterinary clients insisting they won't put dangerous chemicals on their pet-- all the while it's crawling with fleas and ticks (looks like the skin is moving).

Jon said...

I hope your safe room is full of inert gasses.

Bertha said...

Why do people pay to see a doctor if they're going to completely dismiss anything he says?

Moose said...

And this kind of logic is what fuels stupidity like the anti-vaccine nutjobs.

I so often wish for a time machine so I can go back and prevent some of these poor kids from ever being conceived. [I mean the stupid parents. Let's go back and *really* fix the problem.]

Anonymous said...

I'm highly allergic to organic patients. Should have become a vet - animals don't invent such nonsence (Sorry, Mrs Owner, we don't allow owners in the examination room because they disturb the organic aura and if it clashes with my aura, the environment will become toxic to you and your pet.)

Not House said...

Here, you should try this homeopathic remedy for the allergy. It's guaranteed to have almost no chemicals except hydrogen and oxygen.

Patti said...

Some of my house cleaning customers, who claim to be so terribly allergic to EVERYTHING, have the dirtiest, dustiest homes I've ever seen! It's all I can do to keep from bringing that up in converstation to them.

Amy said...

LOL at the parents of the boy with allergies. I feel sorry for the boy, though.

Anonymous said...

Anon @11:26

You think vets don't have to deal with that nonsense? It's worse sometimes. You can't kick the owner out of the room (no matter how much you want to). They won't leave their precious baby-- they think we might perform some horrible experiment on the animal in the owner's absence. All veterinarians chose vet school out of some deep seated desire to torture animals (sarcasm font here).

Anonymous said...

You're missing a particular kind of smoker: The ex-smoker. Probably even more anti-smoke compared to "the righteous non-smoker".

Regarding the "organic" nutjobs. It almost sounds like parents willfully endangering their child...

Anonymous said...

One word:

AAAAggggggghhhhhhh

The Mother said...

If the kid survives to adulthood (and that's a big if, given their response to medical advice), he's going to rebel, big time. The second he finds out that his youth would have been much more tolerable if his parents had believed in Claritin.

Mingle said...

There's a town near where I live/work composed of mostly "organic" nutjobs who have almost completely refused to vaccinate their kids because it's "inorganic and dangerous" but smoking marijuana is a-ok.

Catbird said...

Aluminum causes Alzheimer's!

terri c said...

My Dad was a variant of a type 2. He insisted that the evidence linking smoking to disease was not correctly described and the statistical links overstated. He insisted this until he had his first, last, and only heart attack, age 58. (oh, of course, there was the vodka too, so who knows? He may have been right. Maybe it WASN'T the cigarettes!)

C said...

I just read a headline recently (not the article) about vegans whose child died because of a deficient diet. I know there have been other instances of people giving their children such an extremely low fat diet that they had health problems.. :(

Persephone's Maiden said...

"he was allergic to chemicals, like in medicine, but not allergic to anything organic. I refrained from discussing organic chemistry and that almost all modern medications are organic compounds. There was no future in that conversation."

I shall have to file this away in my memory banks when my self righteous hippie friends use this argument. Organic chemistry is something I need to learn more about!

Loki said...

Howabout the fully informed, incredibly addicted smoker who hates the risks and lusts for the nicotine whilst never smoking anywhere but alone because subjecting others to the smell, he knows, they find highly objectionable?

I'll keep trying 'till I win.

Anonymous said...

The 2-year old was seen in the hospital for pneumonia so in our neck of the woods, we ALWAYS inquire of the parents about the smoking history. These priceless parents said they only smoke in the basement!! If they were going to smoke indoors, it'd have been better perhaps if they'd smoke in the attic, but then there's the possibility of burning down the house...

merinz said...

There is also the 'recreational', 'occasional' or 'social' smoker who maintain they only smoke when they are around others.

Who are they kiddin'.

Anonymous said...

I love the people who drive around with their arm hanging out the window as far as possible to minimize the smoke in the car. They all litter when they throw the butt away. Heaven forbid their car smell like their habit.

Amy Wainright said...

Ah yes, the "I only smoke when I drink" folks. Guess what, still considered a smoker unless you don't drink. There are mostly nut jobs out there!

Anonymous said...

Former (Thank Goodness!) smoker here. Grew up on a Carolina farm. We grew tobacco among other things.
I agree that smokers stink,but they smell nothing like the inside of a Carolina tobacco barn.
A barn of tobacco being flu cured in the old style smelled very nice.
Flame suit on but if you haven't actually been there you don't know.

Anonymous said...

ahh yes, the organic nutjob... because nothing from nature is ever bad for you. That's why it's A-OK to eat any mushrooms or plants you come across in the wilderness...

Anonymous said...

Here in Central Massachusetts no one with kids ever smokes inside the house. Right...

suzy pepper said...

Bitches be crazy. That is all.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 3:02pm

Some feline specialists have a procedure room in the back where they take the cat to do anything involving restraint. I asked once and it's because some owners get upset if they see their cat being scruffed. (It doesn't bother the cat.)

Anonymous said...

Heh, as an ex-veterinarian myself, when I take my cats to be vaccinated I scruff them before the veterinarian gets a chance. My stud Birman tomcat doesn't like me much, because he came to me from an owner who was daunted by his size and strength, but I know so many good moves for restraining him.

Anonymous said...

Had a patient pick up 8 breathing medications the other day while wearing her cannula affixed to her oxygen tank. When I asked what she was taking them for, she replied "Emphysema." Noting that she reeked of cigarette smoke, I asked her what she knew about smoking and emphysema. "Well, I know I need to cut down, but my doctor told me that I'll know when I need to cut it back. I'm just way too stressed out right now to quit." Maybe because you have emphysema, and you have to take eight different medications in order to stay alive. My next question was going to be what she knows about smoking while using oxygen, but I didn't want to hear something like she holds the oxygen away from her face when she inhales the cigarette.....

Tee said...

Totally off subject, but the first two examples reminded me of a bumper sticker I saw a few months ago. (I'm in the deep south of Mississippi.) "Fight crime. Shoot back."

Anonymous said...

Seriously...God bless you. As an adult asthmatic who grew up with parents who didn't believe in using medication I did suffer needlessly. And I always wondered what peds lung specialists do. As a social worker I worked with one badly asthmatic kid who's grandmother smoked like a chimney in the house...and was also badly asthmatic. It was just bad. And I had to threaten to call child protective services at some point. You know breathing....it's not really optional even though as a kid I always thought it was sort of a plus when I could you know...breath without those evil added chemicals.

Melissa

 
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