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Wednesday, 04 June 2014

My Aunt Just Had a Vasectomy But She's Doing Fine Now

By Alan Ginocchio who blogs at Some Final Thoughts

Why is it that medical terms often seem to border on some type of a foreign language, at least for me?

I was recently reminded of a rather embarrasing incident regarding medical terminology that occurred many years ago and thought I would share that here today.

I have never been one who has been on top of the latest medical terminologies at all. Just not something that seems to find a sticking place in my old brain. I can go to the doctor and then the next day I can’t remember one medical term he had used in talking to me about any of my medical issues.

Same way with medications. As much as we hear about acetaminophen in pain killers these days I had to actually look it up on Goggle to add it to this sentence. I just cannot retain medical terms.

So to my little story - and to try to make a long story short, my mom and dad had been divorced for a number of years at the time and my dad had remarried and lived in a town located some 150 miles away from Little Rock which is where we lived.

I didn't see him all that often, especially since I was well into my 30s at the time and was usually working out of state.

At the particular time of this incident, he had come to Little Rock for knee or back surgery and the surgery had been performed in a local hospital. I was in Little Rock at the time and went over one evening to visit him in the hospital.

We were pretty much engaged in small talk when he asked me how my aunt Edith (my mother’s sister) was doing.

Now my aunt had been dealing with breast cancer and had been having a pretty rough go of it to say the least. She was not doing well and eventually opted for breast surgery and she seemed to have somewhat stabilized after the surgery for a period of time.

My dad knew my aunt had breast cancer but was not aware she had recent surgery addressing the issue. So when he asked me how my aunt was doing, I immediately responded that she was doing much better currently and that she had recently had a vasectomy.

My dad immediately got a strange look on his face and asked, “What?”

I of course repeated myself immediately thinking he may not have heard me or was simply concerned. “She just had a vasectomy, but she is doing fine now.”

Well, according to his facial expression - he pretty much looked like a deer caught in a headlight - when all of a sudden it hit me what I was saying and I immediately cried out, “Oh. I mean mastectomy!”

Well, my dad started laughing so hard I thought the nurses were going to have to come in and put him on life support and of course I was really embarrassed. I mean really, really embarrassed.

Turns out that when the account of the incident got back to my aunt she just thought it was absolutely hilarious. One of her sons, however, who was a practicing physician, caught wind of it and found no humor in it what so ever.

Medical Terminology for Dummies

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


This made my day!!! I've had similar slips of tongue, so it's nice to read about others doing the same

Love it, what a cute story!

Very funny, nice to have a laugh in the early hours of the day...Used to be the Reader's Digest did little columns about those brain things...always enjoyed them, some words I had even seen for ages and never really knew what they meant..Haven't seen a Reader's Digest in a dog's age, speaking of things you never hear anymore...

Fortunately, Alan, you didn't correct yourself with "endoscopy."

I feel the same way about the scientific names of plants - hopeless for me.
Years ago, I heard about a patient who was prescribed phenobarbital and called them "peanut butter balls".

I work as a patient advocate and I've heard some doozies. But to be fair, to a person unfamiliar with medical terms an "endoscopy" is the opposite of what the name suggests, and the colonoscopy sounds like a remedial method administered to fifth-grade boys who can't grasp the rudiments of punctuation or conjugate the verb "to be". Sadly most of the physicians I deal with underwent radical humorectomies in medical school, and have not yet discovered that laughter is good medicine, especially when shared.

Appreciate all the comments and had a good chuckle over Deb's referral to the 'humorectomies' many of our doctors undergo before entering the profession! Now there's a term I bet I can remember! :)

I laughed so hard!! Made my night!

When I saw the title, I thought this was going to be a tale about a transgender relative who'd had surgery.

Ha! Laughing a lot!

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