In upcoming weeks I will be speaking at several different hospitals about my husband’s and our family’s wildly varying experiences with hospitals and treating physicians during the course of his terminal illness.
I have been told no one remembers hearing from a patient’s family at hospital rounds. This does not surprise me. Who, after all, would want to continue revisiting and answering questions about such dark days? I do it in honor of my husband, a physician who dedicated his professional life to trying to deliver better health care to everyone.
While I am a great believer in telling people what they have done well, I think in this realm there is little room for improvement if one hears only the good stories.
This morning, on the way to school, my daughter asked, “How do I spot an unmarked police car?”
This happens to be at least on the periphery of my expertise, so I promptly launched into a treatise on the most likely makes and models; the regalia an unmarked car would be likely to contain; and the places one would be most likely legitimately to find such vehicles.
(In keeping with my heritage of catastrophic worry, I then repeated my admonition that, once she has a driver’s license, she never pull over for an unmarked car with flashing lights–because any felon can order those–but instead either call 911 to confirm the constabulary’s provenance or else carefully proceed to the nearest police station. My day job is not without inclination to paranoia.)
A normal parent probably would have paused to consider why her on-the-cusp-of-driving daughter would want this particular information.
Of course, a normal parent probably wouldn’t have a cluster of neurons devoted to maintaining a menu of unmarked police cars’ characteristics.
Given my life in crime–or, more specifically, prosecuting crime–it’s in my wheelhouse.