He’d awakened, miserable. “I couldn’t get to sleep,” he said, scratching an arm. It’s so itchy.”
Sure enough. On legs, arms and chest, red blotches had broken out. “That’s not poison ivy,” I said, knowing from painful experience. Filled with maternal concern, I sent him off to the doctor’s office, tossing the spaghetti grabber at his retreating back to aid in his relief efforts. “Here’s this,” I said. “You can keep it.”
Using my opposable thumbs, I messaged him. “Let me know,” I said, “what you find out.”
Using his own opposable thumbs, he texted back. “They think it looks like hives, that I reacted to something.”
“Meds?” I tapped out on the BOP (Bright Orange Phone).
“They’re giving me levocetirizine and told me to come back for ‘pregnazone’ if it persists.”
“Lord, have mercy,” I thought to myself. I’d been in the “pregnazone” myself. Four times. But it was certainly not something a physician could, would or should prescribe. “Giving thanks on bended knee that Kid Kaboom is not a doctor. Or a medical transcriptionist,” I said to my friends. And in offices, coffee shops and homes, they hooted and howled, highly entertained at the thought.
As a transcriptionist, I’d been listening to doctors for 10 years now, turning their squeaks, squawks and sneezes into accurate medical records. I certainly knew that prednisone, not pregnazone, could be prescribed for an angry, red rash. But typing it up was not the same as personally seeing an anxious scratcher, figuring out the ‘why’ behind the itch and then knowing what to order.
I was content where I was, that was sure. Happily tucked into my second-floor office with round two in my mug, I did what I was trained to do while they did what they were trained to do. And it worked.
It was important, I thought, to operate in one’s gifting. I’d not been gifted, called or equipped to be a physician, but I had great respect for those who were. These men and women took care of everything from scalp conditions to our plumbing and all that lay between. And for the most part, they maintained their good cheer.
I knew my limits. I knew how tempting it would be to use a square needle on a Grumpy Pants, an approach that didn’t fit with the Hippocratic Oath. Thankfully, I did know how to spell prednisone, even if I couldn’t prescribe it, and I was happier not seeing the rash. Everyone, it seemed, came out ahead this way.