DON’T ASSUME

I really shouldn’t be surprised.  Renee and I have been married long enough to know what each other are thinking but it still surprises me when what she says is the thought that just ran through my mind.  In this case, the thought has to do with our Illinois home.

It looks like our home has finally sold.  It’s been a great house having hosted many summers of fun by the pool, our house raised three kids to adulthood.  In the early years of my practice, I had an exam room in the basement and did reverse house calls on weekends and holidays.  In a reverse house call, I stayed home, and the patient came to me.  Yes, I made house calls!

During my first year in practice, a family of 5 went to a civil war reenactment.  They lost. They came home from the battle with food poisoning and were too sick to make it to my office so I went to them.  They lived in a new neighborhood I was unfamiliar with and I got lost.  This was during the pre-cell phone era, so I stopped at a random house and explained that I was a doc making a house call and I was lost.  I stopped at 2 more houses before I found my patients.  The word spread through the community; Dr. Segal makes house calls.  

That house call was a major success.  As it turned out, one of the family of 5 had an acute appendicitis that would have been missed over the phone.  Correctly diagnosing that child taught me the importance of seeing my patients even if it meant making a house call.  The second lesson was that making house calls was a practice builder.  The third lesson was that making a house call on weekends and holidays cost me precious family time.  The obvious solution was for me to stay home with my family and for the patient to find me.

I know telemedicine has grown due to Covid-19 but, without being able to put my hands on my patient’s belly, I never would have made the diagnosis of appendicitis in a timely manner.  After all, they all had abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Now, back to my main message.  Renee said, “I hope the new owners really enjoy our house.  It’s a great house with a great history,” at the same time I thought it!  I’m sure those of you who have been married a while have experienced this phenomenon.  Forty years of practice has also taught me that this phenomenon causes a lot of marital problems.  Yep, after a while, you start to assume that you know what your spouse is thinking and act accordingly.  The problem is that some of the time your assumption is wrong!  Today’s lesson is that you should always verify that what you assume your spouse is thinking is true.

Remember, assume makes an ass out of you and me.  Assuming that the child discussed above had the same thing as his parents and siblings might have cost him his life.  Assuming you know what your spouse is thinking may cost your happiness!  Check it out!

Here is your music and a few quotes.

Unknown author:

“SOME PEOPLE NEED A HIGH FIVE

IN THE FACE

WITH A CHAIR”

George Bernard Shaw

“The biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

Unknown author:

“I’m not really a control freak. But can I show how it should be done.”

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