Two Tales of A Doctor’s Appointment


My mom saw her orthopedist today about her broken arm. Her version of the appointment was, “The doctor said the bone was crushed and crumbled. It needs surgery, but he isn’t sure how much of the crumbled parts will be salvageable. And it will take months to heal if it ever will.” Pretty dramatic, right? It sounds like the grossest break in the history of the world.

My dad went with her and has heard her regale various people with the horror of the break. His version is, “The bone was broken into five pieces. It needs surgery. It’s the same kind of break I had about 10 years ago and the same kind of surgery that I had for that break. It’ll be okay.” Not as dramatic.

When he gave his version of the appointment, she responds with things like “my incision will be longer” or “my osteopenia1 makes it worse” or other things like that. Those things might be true, but she seems to enjoy making it sound really bad. Of course, that’s sort of par-for-the-course with her. Every bad thing that happens to her is the worst thing ever.2 And, with my dad, he has a tendency to downplay things that shouldn’t be downplayed. Also, I know that he doesn’t always listen to what is being said.3

I’m really confused about how bad the injury might be. I’m also still feeling like a bit of a crappy person for thinking that she fell to keep me from going to see the doctor yesterday. Her history of breaks and bad falls seems to directly correspond to important doctor appointments for me. Usually they occur within hours of an appointment that it will have taken days or weeks for me to work up the courage to schedule. I know that she doesn’t like to have broken bones or be injured, but there’s that little bit of me that thinks that maybe some part of her needs the spotlight or something. Like I said, it’s me being a crappy person for thinking that way.

I do know that the surgery is scheduled for next week. I know that it is an outpatient surgery, which makes me feel like it might not be quite as bad and dramatic as she said it is.


  1. Her osteopenia is bad. 

  2. Yeah, I know that that sounds like how I react to things, too. 

  3. Neither does she. 


About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.