You get runs of things when you work at Triage. Some days it seems everyone has eaten a monster panzerotti and is presenting with bilary colic; last week there was a streak of people returning from Cancun or Montego Bay with clots along with their duty-free rum and calves looking like sausages.
Last night it was men coming in with chest pain, lacerations, Colles fractures, epistaxis, what-have-you. This is not, in fact, unusual. What was strange was they were all being chaperoned by their middle-aged mothers, who appeared to be sharing the same address. I’m not talking about university students living at home or anything like that. I’m talking about thirty-something guys with respectable jobs and hair on their backs.
Frankly, it was weird. One mother insisted on giving her son’s history, as if he were twelve or deaf or cognitively impaired (“Do you have any allergies?” “He’s allergic to kiwi fruit and nutmeg.”) Another helped her not obviously incapacitated son undress for an ECG, which to my mind crosses that invisible, yet definite, line between Mildly Amusing and Dude, This is Really Creeping Me Out.
I understand about boomerang children and guys living at home to save up money for a house and so on. Even so, a male friend of mine has a theory that guys — straight or gay — really want to leave home as soon as possible because they want to Get Some, repeatedly, and your mama’s presence in the room next door tends to cramp, even obstruct, the whole attendant process. As for the contrary, he says, the guys living with their moms into their thirties (and beyond) — well, draw your own conclusions. Like everything, it all comes down to sex, and the acquisition thereof.
I repeated this theory to a colleague of mine in an ill-advised moment of familiarity.
“Well,” she said, “Rupert was thirty-eight and lived with his mother till we got married.”
“Oh look,” I said, “that patient has fallen down.” And ran away, quickly.
This is why I blog. I just can’t keep my mouth shut.