Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blonde Moment

Once, when my blonde friend Trishie was still training, she sat down in to sign out at the microscope with the infamous, excellently trained young ruffian attending pathologist Dr. J.  He asked her, 

"Are you still cycling?"

An innocent enough question, especially given Trish's highly athletic nature - running, bicycling, water skiing, etc.  At the time, however, she was trying to get pregnant.  No one knew this - we female residents tend to keep this a secret for as long as we can.  While everyone in the department acts happy on the surface, getting pregnant during training can be the kiss of death; akin to slashing the tires of your attendings.  Nine months of pregnancy - then the baby comes, and a once studious, focused resident might become scattered and sometimes distracted by all night nursing, episodes of mastitis, ear infections, and childcare issues.  Unless you become somewhat of a superhero.  Take myself, for instance.  Not one but TWO babies during residency - all the while staying at the top of my game, earning the respect of my attendings, becoming chief resident, flying through multiple boards seemingly effortlessly, and finally receiving the coup de grace - what I consider the best job in the state of Arkansas.  But that kind of sacrifice can take its toll - causing irreparable damage to one's psyche - as evidenced by my blog content, which is only a superficial measurement of the massive mental destruction.  Not that I was unique as a resident Wonder Woman - Dr. Mellificent preceded me, was an example and mentor, and there were others that preceded her.  

Anyway, I can imagine the inner surprise, my friend Trish thinking that Dr. J had somehow guessed her maternal desires, her ensuing paranoia and quick defensiveness.  She replied,

"My cycles are fine.  Completely regular.  Why do you ask?"

He looked up at her, confused.  "I was just wondering if you were still riding your bicycle?"

Trish answered with a mixture of relief and embarrassment, "Oh, I thought you were asking about my menstrual cycles!"

I'll bet they are still telling that one in the sign out room.


christie said...

I loved this story so much that I told it to my students in Social Psychology on Thursday while we were talking about priming. I remember being so one-tracked in my thinking as I was trying to get pregnant and then stay pregnant, that I began interpreting all sorts of irrelevant stimuli as pregnancy-related. I wish I could remember some examples! My friend Jana once told me that during the week before she gave birth, she glanced down at her laptop and was certain it said "perineum." Um, Jana, that would be "Pentium."

Gizabeth Shyder said...

Thanks for the feedback! Blogging gets strangely lonely without it - even though my readership, according to google analytics, is skyrocketing. I'm glad you liked the story. I loved it, because even though most people chalked it up to a "blonde moment," it really does illustrate how, as you say, one-track minded we get around pregnancy. It was so easy to climb inside her head and see how easily she misinterpreted his question, especially since I had the inside track.

ts said...

ha,ha!! i laughed so hard when i read this! i'm sure dr. j was mortified!!