, , , , | Healthy | December 11, 2018

(My dad is on the phone with me one day while I’m away at college. I’m in my late teens. English is not our first language, and as is the case most of the time with immigrants and their children, I have a much better knowledge of the language. He’s looking for a medical specialist to go to for some issue he has and is reading off a list to have me help him figure out what type of doctors they are.)

Dad: “It says this one is an anesthesiologist. What is that?”

Me: “That’s the doctor who puts you to sleep during surgery.”

Dad: “This one is a dermatologist.”

Me: “That’s a doctor who treats skin conditions.”

Dad: “Okay, this one is a nephrologist.”

Me: “They treat the kidneys.”

Dad: “Hmm…Let’s see… The next one is a Neurology doctor.”

Me: “They treat the brain and nervous system.”

Dad: “Okay… Oh, how about this one? It’s an OB/GYN. What is that?”

Me: “Uh… That’s… really not the right kind of doctor for you, Dad.”

(It’s worth noting here that I have a poor and very awkward relationship with my father, to the point that we’ve essentially not talked about anything personal in my entire life, and NEVER anything to do with sex.)

Dad: *in a curt and impatient tone* “What kind of doctor is it? What does OB/GYN mean?”

Me: *trying very hard not to be forced to say anything that would be extremely awkward for me* “That’s not the kind of doctor you’re looking for, Dad. I’m definitely sure about that.”

Dad: *suddenly snapping at me loudly and quite angrily* “I don’t care what you think! Just tell me what the h*** kind of doctor it is! I want to know what OB/GYN means, right now!

Me: *startled and insulted* “Um, well, that’s… that’s a doctor who treats babies.”

Dad: *immediately calms down and pretends nothing happened, then goes on with asking about other doctors from the list* “Oh. Well. Okay, the next doctor is a….”

(I was very awkward back then about anything to do with sex, and very easily intimidated and bullied by my parents. Looking back on it now, I really wish I’d answered him with, “Well, Dad, that’s the doctor who treats vaginas and uteruses! You know, the doctor who looks into vaginas and then puts his hands into vaginas, and then puts all sorts of medical implements into vaginas! Vaginas vaginas vaginas vaginas! So, how about it? I guess I could have been totally wrong! Do you think that this could be the doctor you’re looking for – the doctor who treats vaginas?”)

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