Saturday, May 30, 2009

Carrots and Alcohol

I once read a story about the moment in time when a young mother realized she was truly a mom. She was in the car, husband driving, on the way to a wedding. She was feeding her infant baby food which as expected became a carroty mess all over the baby's cheeks and nose. When they arrived to the wedding she realized that she had forgotten to bring wipes or towels. In a rush and not wanting her child to be a mess at a nice event, she licked the baby's cheeks and nose clean.

Gross.

That story made me laugh and wonder if I would ever have that type of relationship with someone needing my help.

Recently in clinic I saw a patient I've been seeing frequently since starting my new job. He has a history of alcohol abuse and I was concerned that he had started drinking again, though he denied this. While doing his abdominal exam, I pressed on his liver. "Take a deep breath in," I instructed. He did so, and then I further instructed "Good, now breathe slowly out of your mouth." At this point I leaned in as closely as possible to his face while still being inconspicuous. As he breathed out I took a slow, deep breath in through my nose. There it was, the nasty smell of stale alcohol on his breath and I had just inhaled it all. My suspicions were confirmed. The freaky thing is that instead of being disgusted I was happy that I had found this clue.

I don't have children yet like this young mother. But I think I get it.

5 comments:

Mandalynn said...

It's amazing what you'll do for people you care for. Although not a mother either, I'll notice me doing things I once never imagined for my students. Think of how more ridiculous we'll be when we do have children of our own.

Anica said...

Congrats on the new house! I love reading your blog. You always have such a way of telling stories. You crack me up!

Photographer: Rebecca Pierce said...

That's a cool story. It reminds me of that scene in Baby Mama where the mother asks her child if something is chocolate or poop, and then she tastes it...chocolate. Meanwhile her childless sister watches in horror. You totally get it. Cute post.

Shannon Farmer said...

Licking carrots off the face is pretty gross, but I've done grosser. Can't wait to swap stories with you some day.

Travis Butterfield said...

p.s. next time you guys are in Arizona you should give me a call.