She Blinded Me with Science (and $25 Bucks)

Doctor's Kit

Fisher Price Medical Kit (who remembers this?!)
Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia, PA
photo credit: Melissa Firman, May 2009

So I finally got around to scheduling the kids’ well-visit checkups with the pediatrician.

We skipped last year’s visit – a fact that, when revealed to The Husband, horrified him as much as if I’d confessed I’d been cheating on him with the neighbor’s dog.

Not the NEIGHBOR, mind you. The neighbor’s dog. Because you see, The Husband is freakin’ religious about things like regularly scheduled doctor’s visits and flossing and all that grown up shit you’re SUPPOSED. TO. DO. He takes that crap VERY seriously. Me? Meh. Not so much.

My excuse for missing last year’s well-visit is The Cancer, which has been my excuse for … well, everything I want to blame cancer for screwing up. (Which is everything.) But, hey, we’re getting back on track with life now, sorta, so there we were in our lovely pediatrician’s office this afternoon.

(And really, this pediatrician practice is lovely. We like all of them very much.)

As tends to happen, the good doctor was running behind schedule. Of course.

See?  I’m thinking to myself. THIS is why I hate going to doctors. Exhibit A. The bullshit of waiting.

The nurse comes in to do all the pleasantries and prerequisites, and then makes us an offer.

“Dr. L. has two med students with him today,” she explained as a reason for him being late. “While you’re waiting, would you like to be part of a research study being done by Pitt on safety and risk factors in pre-teens and teenagers?  Your son fits into the right age group.” She went on to say that all that was required was to answer about a dozen questions on a laptop,

“You’ll get $15 and your son will get $10. Takes about 10 minutes of your time.”

“Sign us up.”

Because, dudes, FINALLY.


A doctor’s office paying me for THEM being late for my appointment. Cha-ching!

(Well, I know, not exactly, but work with me here, ‘kay?)

Plus, y’know, I’m kinda scraping the bottom of the unemployment barrel by living on borrowed time with 8 weeks left until they cut me off for good, and $25 bucks at this point is $25 bucks. (I’m hoping My Research Patient forgets about his earnings, although there’s little chance of that happening – he’s been gloating to his sister all afternoon.)

Besides that, I think this whole thing is freakin’ brilliant. You have a captive audience of potential research subjects right there in the pediatrician’s office. We’re at our wit’s end and our bag of tricks is empty in terms of distractions for the kids.

(I mean, forget fucking waterboarding: if you REALLY want to torture a terrorist, leave them alone with an infant or a toddler in a pediatrician’s office while waiting for a doctor who’s running 45 minutes behind. And if you really want the hardened convict to sing, leave ’em in there with TWINS and they’ll confess to anything. There were days during Betty and Boo’s infancy when I would have confessed to crimes I’d never heard of if it meant getting the hell out of medical jail.)

I’m quite proud to say that we did our part for science. So when you see an academic study come out with something like, ‘MULTI-GAZILLION DOLLAR FUNDED STUDY FINDS 11 YEAR OLDS WHO WEAR SEAT BELTS ALSO INTERRUPT THEIR PARENTS!” know that yours truly had a hand in this important research.

But the best part?

We go back to the pediatrician TOMORROW for another well-visit appointment, this time for Betty.

Send me some good vibes that HER doctor will also be running late, will ya?

My bank account thanks you as well.



Thanks for sharing this post!