I like medical shows. You know, those actual reality shows where people walk in from the street with a nose that won’t stop bleeding or are driven in after a stabbing. Of course sometimes it’s something benign like babies with runny noses and sprained ankles.
That extends to drama as well, so long as the ailments and corresponding diagnoses are actually plausible. I adored House. ER had its moments.
My all time fabourite medical show was called Mystery Diagnosis. It’s a show about, you guessed it, mysterious illnesses which were hard to diagnosis. It’s real people talking about real problems and their bizarre journey towards finding out what was wrong with them.
The reason I love these shows is because I like to see how quickly I can guess their illness. It’s like my own personal game show.
I have a sick fascination with this. But, I’m actually, oddly, good at it. In fact, I think I could play a doctor on television quite convincingly–so long as you didn’t ask me to actually explain anything. Or math. God I hate mathy things. So nothing involving dosages. But, that’s kind of irrelevant.
The problem with these shows is that I can’t turn it off. I get into diagnosis frenzy. I start diagnosing myself, my friends, my family, strangers who walk by.
“I think that guy has had his liver checked. He looks jaundiced. He needs dandelion tea and plenty of sunlight.”
That was actually on a Dr. Quinn episode once and I was so excited that they got it accurate! Dr. Mike gave the patient dandelion tea and within a few days she was responding as to be expected.
And then I get sucked into Google for hours learning about things like Legionnaires disease–which by the way was first discovered in 1976 at a Legionnaires’ Convention. Like 35 people five or so died before they found out where is was stemming from.
Also, there is (apparently, lol) this parasite that some people believe was developed by the government as some sort of anti-terrorist form of terrorism, though some think it was just a freakish evolution–but it has like these threads that shoot out of your skin. Fine little hairs; all different colors. And a lot of people were being labeled as crazy hypochondriacs for inventing this problem but finally a few doctors took it seriously and realized that it wasn’t just a parasite but somehow combined with fungus and a virus and was able to spawn in a very odd manner. (Or some wackadoodle idea of like.)
And some say the only way to get rid of it is by torching it. Others, by bringing it to a temper of 180 degrees or higher for at least 120 minutes. But, some swear that it’s also killed, or perhaps repelled by, Bounce dryer sheets. Though I can’t for the life of me figure out why they can’t hone in on exactly what chemical or compound causes it so they can replicate and administer in a more effective way than simply rubbing everything with dryer sheets.
Other people, of course, say they are just bedbugs.
Or that it’s a case of Münchausen Syndrome.
I have no opinion. I don’t know what it is exactly. Probably just a bunch of crazies with some inexplicable symptoms which they are far overreaching to try and explain. But, I was still obsessed with reading about it for weeks. Then I discovered videos of people showing off their weird symptoms which eventually turned into watching old episodes of World’s Dumbest Criminals and the videos about the lack of safety in amusement parks around he world. Look it up! It was just a few years ago that this girl’s legs were completely severed by a wire from a ride that snapped. Terrifying!
Oh my God, Intervention! And My Addiction on TLC. Oh, oh! And Freaky Eaters. There was a lady who ate her dead husband’s ashes so she could feel closer to him. Now that’s what I call some freaky eating!
I like seeing the odd connections between things. Like, did you know there is a direct correlation between a woman’s chin and her cervix? Yeah, if you’re a doula you probably did know that. But, most of you aren’t. And it’s a trick that comes in very handy when you need it!
There was this one special that used to come on PBS when I was a teenager where they go through all this art, worldwide, from centuries ago until the present and find all of the hidden references to aliens and spaceships. What the fuck!? Who ever thought of that? It used to scare the shit it of me for some reason so I kept all the lights on.
Then I discovered the one about the Egyptian tombs and pyramids and how they were built. (Don’t ask me. That had way too much mathiness.) but how the bodies were preserved was just so freaking cool! How did they know so very much back then?
Once I was watching this ER show on television in the middle of the night while my husband was at work. God this must have been like 15 years ago. Anyhow I was just sitting there and this guy on the television had been in a bad accident. He was conscious and alert but he had basically been scalped, but it was still attached to his head in the back. It was a lot of blood but I was cool. Then the doctor examines him by pulling back the scalp flap and it was just skull and blood and it was so cool! But then I fainted. I freaking passed out on my own couch. Alone. Like an idiot. Which really taught me the valuable lesson of never going into the OR with any of my clients unless I had stable blood sugar. Trust me, it makes all the difference! (I haven’t passed out once!)
The way our bodies and brains work every day is completely amazing. And we don’t often consider that until they start to fail us. Until we’re angry that they aren’t working the way we want them to. That they are aging before we feel ready. And they hold weight in all the wrong places. We have a big butt or our hair is too frizzy. Our ankles swell in the heat and we have a trick knee. Our memory isn’t what it used to be. We battle with our own mind like it is holding us hostage against our will. And often we feel like it is.
We complain so much over our bodies. Thinking of them as a burden and not a gift. As a curse more than a vessel providing our souls an opportunity to interact with other souls. We see only the bad about our bodies, our lives, and how very frustrated we are with our limitations.
Why do we do that? Why are we so entitled from the very moment we arrive on this planet?
It’s a very curious thing. And even as I sit here and see the complete wrongness of taking this life for granted I am still powerless to it. And I will continue to do so with this fool-hearted belief that I, somehow, will never have to face being separated from this body one day.
We just do that. I don’t know why. It makes no sense to me. But, that’s what we do.