I often get one of two responses when an acquaintance finds out that my husband is a pediatrician:
- That must be SO wonderful. Aren’t you lucky!
- [insert medical question]
Now I don’t mind the medical questions at all. I feel useful, and if I have to consult my husband, he is always willing. The medical question often brings up the awkward realization that I, too, am an MD and was going into pediatrics until I decided to stay home with my children. Which leads to:
- [insert another medical question]
- Are you going to go to practice medicine again?
But this post isn’t about me. (Well, sorta.) It’s about YOU. And everything you’ve wanted to know about being married to a PEDIATRICIAN. So here it is folks! Full-disclosure on the luckiness and craziness and sheer intrigue of being the pediatrician’s wife:
- We never have to double-check dosages of Motrin, Tylenol or any other over-the-counter (OTC) medication. (Although we don’t use any other OTC because they DONT WORK.)
- Our children have each only taken antibiotics once. I HATE giving my kids medication, and with the ample evidence that antibiotics are taken WAY TOO MUCH, I don’t have to!
- We have STRONG OPINIONS on our children’s care. (See 1 & 2) But we don’t have strong opinions on YOUR child’s care.
- We support patient-centered care. Because we are the worst patients. We listen patiently to our doctors and read the medical journals. Then decide what’s best for OUR family.
- We thought E had cancer for about a week. (Our doctor did not EVER think E had cancer. I think that he may have said: It’s just a big lymph node, you stress-cases.) We also thought our children were developmentally-delayed in fine motor, verbal, gross motor, social and did I forget a category? Because that one, too. (Stop calling me you stress-cases.)
- No. My husband is not our children’s pediatrician because you either believe #5 or NOTHING IS WRONG. Objective care is nearly impossible. And I’m married to him and know how often he actually showers so it’s hard to take my hubby seriously. (Even though I am jealous of his patients because he IS the best doctor on the planet.)
- I have many theories on children and illness. And each year, one of them is proven by a research team or finally accepted by the AAP. Making me very pleased. Or psychic.
- Yes. I call my husband to ask for advice on our children and my friend’s children (if they want). Yes. He calls me to ask for advice on breast-feeding, not-giving medications, children puking, and childhood mental illness while maintaining anonymity. Remember that I have a good record with my theories. (But he never substitutes my knowledge for his own AWESOME doctor instincts.)
- We write notes to each other in doctor-shorthand and use fancy words like ecchymosis. (It means bruises. But I refuse to disclose any more words. Or the secret handshake.)
- Yes. We give our children vaccines. Except for ones that are not required by the state. Unless it would help protect children who CAN’T get vaccines but are very susceptible to childhood diseases. For example, children with leukemia or HIV. And usually only three at a time. NOT because of overwhelming their immune systems (because I don’t believe that and remember I’M PSYCHIC), but because shots HURT.
So there you have it. The highs. The lows. The TMIs.
And I wouldn’t want to be married to anyone else because, hey, we don’t have to make a doctor appointment EVER. I just show up with lunch and the doctor will see us.