Thursday, February 28, 2019

Me and mines.


Last month on rounds

Her: "Before you say anything, hold on for a second, okay?" *fishes around in bed for her phone* "I need to get my sister on the phone." *opens flip phone*
Me: "You know. . . . if you want, we could call her for you. You know. . . and update her on everything."
Her: "Nawww. Let me go on and call her right now, okay?" *holds up index finger telling me to wait*

*inward cringe* 😬

CONFESSION: The whole "let me get somebody on speaker phone" thing in the middle of rounds is so not my favorite. Like, at all. For one, I don't enjoy having to speak louder and more animated to bring someone else into the discussion. And lastly, by definition, people on the phone seem to need more to make up for not being able to see your face and expression as you talk. It can get lengthier than normal. Which isn't always so fun when you're super busy.

Terrible, I know.

But I do have a workaround. The compromise for me is that I offer to personally call that loved one afterward. And usually that's fine. This time? Not so much.

Me: "You sure you don't want me to just call her directly? I am happy to do that, you know."
Her: *chuckles* "See, if it was just up to me? You calling her later would be fine. But that ain't the case."
Me: *inward cringe* "Okay."

*silence as she scrolls through her contacts*

Her: "See, my sister? She don't play. She like to hear WHAT they telling me WHEN they telling me. She said she don't like no after the fact summary for the family, you know?"
Me: *presses lips together and nods* "I can see that."
Her: "Some doctors don't like all that, though. They ain't patient like you."

*inward cringe*😬

Her: "Like, this one surgeon? I said I need to call my sister and he flat out said, 'Your sister needs to be up here if it's that important to her to hear every single thing play by play."
Me: "Whoa."
Her: "That dude was talkin' 'bout some, 'You want to be IN the game? You got to be AT the game.' He started laughing, too. Like he said something funny."
Me: "Wow."
Her: "What's messed up is that I laughed, too. Even though that wasn't funny."


Her: "Let me tell you what else wasn't funny though--when my sister called to ask me why I ain't call her when them surgeons came by and I told her what he said. You know, about the game and all."
Me: *squinting eyes and wincing*
Her: "Baybaaaaaay."


Her: "When I say she took the WHOLE DAMN DAY off from work the next day to wait for his ass? Girl, like a damn playground bully after the school bell!"
Me: *laughing*
Her: "That dude walked in and she was like, 'Oh. You the one who said that stuff about me being in the game, right?' He called his self laughing it off, too. She was like, 'Let me tell you ONE GOT DAMN THANG about ME AND MINES!'"
Me: *eyes widening and erupting with laughter* "She didn't go to the 'ME AND MINES' did she?"
Her: "Girl, he ain't knew that when somebody black say 'ME AND MINES', it don't NEVER end well."
Me: *doubled over*
Her: "Dr. Manning! She was like, 'OH. ME AND MINES? We ONE BALL, boo boo. I'm in EVERY GAME, you hear me?' Patting her chest, looking all crazy and all up in his face." *laughing and shaking her head* "Lawd. That po' man."
Me: "Wait--did she really say 'boo boo?' 
Her: "SHOLL did."

*hollering laughing*

Her: "Chile, for the rest of that week that man was calling my sister so much she got sick of him!"
Me: "It was the 'ME and MINES' that had him shook."
Her: "Please believe!"


After that, she pushed a few buttons and then put her sister on the speakerphone. We all talked about what was happening with my patient--her sister--and what to expect next. Sister was tough--as expected. She asked a ton of questions and with each one, my patient rolled her eyes and shrugged in my direction. Eventually, all the questions were asked and answered. And all was well.


Was it awkward to be talking in Dolby stereo over an antiquated flip phone? Of course. But did I do it? You're damn right.

I'd be lying if I said that now I've had this epiphany about how much I'll now enjoy bringing in family on speakerphones during rounds. Nope. But I CAN say that I haven't stopped thinking about Sister's reason being that she wanted to hear EXACTLY what the doctor said to her sister EXACTLY when they said it. This was advocacy on a whole different level.

I remember when a family member thought she had uterine cancer because of the way her fibroids were described by the doctor on rounds. "Tumors on her uterus," they'd said. Which, to her, meant cancer. I wonder what those 72 terrifying hours of thinking she had cancer would have been like had she insisted I get brought in on speakerphone that day. . . .

Me and mines.

So this? This is why I take a moment every day to sit and think about what's going on around me. To let empathy push down my selfishness and remind me that you and yours are as important as me and mines. And that we ONE BALL.


"I'm in EVERY GAME, you hear me?" 

- a badass baby sister who took exactly ZERO mess from anybody.

#amazinggrady #idontmakethisstuffup #meandmines #supportisaverb #standbyyourfolks #andstayinthegame


  1. You are yours are just beautiful. I’m so glad to see you back here. I was missing your humor and humanity and also watching those wonderful boys grow. Btw you have a wicked ear for dialogue. It’s like I’m standing right there.

  2. That doctor DIDN'T know anything about the me's and mine's. How easy would he find it to get off of his work and be at a family member's bedside at some vague and undetermined time? Of course he'll never have to answer that question. He's a doctor. A surgeon. Might have a touch of the narcissist in him.
    Your family is gorgeous. Those boys are growing up good.

  3. Family is fearful in a place and medical situation they're struggling to understand. I've been there so many times and I get ferocious in advocating and asking questions for my loved ones. In retrospect I assume that ferocity is in place of fear and lack of control for loved ones. Wish I encountered more doctors such as yourself. You've got heart to go along with all that knowledge and experience.


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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