Monday, March 31, 2008

An Instant Diagnosis

Demetrios tells me a certain young friend of ours is almost certainly pregnant.

“How wonderful!” I exclaimed. Did she tell you?”

“No, I observed it.”

“Observed it how? If she’s pregnant, she isn’t showing.”

“Well, perhaps not exactly. She has put on a little weight, you may have noticed.”


“Her breasts are twice their former size…”

“Aha! No, that I did not notice. That probably takes a man to notice.”

“A doctor. With enough experience to recognize a pregnant woman when he sees one.”

“I did notice she has a certain glow. I attributed it to being madly in love with that nice husband of hers. But perhaps that glow is from happy anticipation…”

“And from prenatal vitamins. And did you notice, her face has taken on a sort of roundedness. That isn’t from the weight gain. That’s pregnancy.”

Well, Demetrios is seldom wrong about these things. He notices everything. I remember once in church hearing him sigh, “Poor Father, with that painful right knee!” The priest was fully vested! But floor-length robes notwithstanding, Demetrios had noticed a slight limp. He'll see some commentator on TV whose mouth is a little crooked, and say, "Bell's Palsy." He notices that Vladimir Putin of Russia walks strangely, allowing one arm to swing more or less freely as he walks, while holding the other straight down at his side. “And what’s very odd is, the man who is his successor does the very same thing!”

Perhaps eager for confirmation of his diagnosis, Demetrios wishes I would ask the woman, which I shall not. "I try to keep my clinical skills sharp," he says, then confesses, a bit sheepishly, “and although you may not be aware of it, I take a certain satisfaction in being right about such things.”

I couldn’t resist reminding him of the time in Ireland when he and a carload of other doctors passed a farmer in the road and were debating what that large, dark spot might be they noticed on his temple. They stopped the car, the better to observe. Each doctor had a different opinion. Then Demetrios decided, in case it were a skin cancer, to approach the man and just mention it. Perhaps closer inspection, or questioning, could resolve the issue.

“Ow,” said the fellow, “we’re all dairy farmers here. ‘Tis only cow s___!” Whereupon Demetrios noticed there were several spots of it on the man’s shirt, as well.

But I do hope he’s right this time! Stay tuned.

UPDATE, 05 April: Last night when I saw this friend, she was wearing the same jacket as last week, but this time, unbuttoned. (Last week the buttons were about to, er, bust.) With the jacket open, I could clearly see her tummy, and sure enough, there was a large bulge, just in the right place. Not fat. So I am encouraged to hope.



Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Please let us know when it is confirmed that Demetrios is right !

A now-retired doctor friend also had the ability to unfailingly do this :-)

DebD said...

Yes, please let us know! This story reminds me of the stories my dear MIL has told me about her father (an old-time country doctor). Apparently, he liked to keep his "clinical skilled sharped" too.