6/16/10

The hazards of talking ass backwards!

A couple of weeks ago I went to see my Doctor to discuss changing the dose on my thyroid medicine. I have a lovely lady doctor and unlike many of her fellow practitioners, she actually listens to how her patient feels and doesn't just go on the test results. I have the appointment, tell her how I'm feeling, my symptoms and we discuss how I should feel. I'm not having a major setback, but I'm just starting to see the signs that I need my dose adjusted downwards.

Two days later she has the test results and to my amazement prescribes an increase in medication! I speak to her briefly about it, but she seems to have good reasons for trying this and so even though I just feel we're on different pages, I agree to try. But I spend the weekend worrying about it, as I just can't understand why she's giving more meds when I think I need less and I hold off changing my dose.

I discuss it with the Hubster, who is also surprised and we begin to wonder if I have confused her. You see I still regularly confuse him, he says I have a habit of saying things 'ass backwards'. We still have arguments because I think I've told him one thing, and he thinks I mean something entirely different or the opposite, talk about frustrating.

It seems Brits and Americans just express some things differently or even the exact opposite way!

So we had the 'what if' conversation and I realised looking back at what I'd said, it was possible. But what to do - I don't like to question my Doctor but decided it was too important not to. So I wrote her a letter, explaining I have a British habit of saying things back to front (to an American) and I hoped I hadn't confused her. I also stated clearly that I was feeling Hyper not Hypo, a crucial statement I never made in person as some symptoms appear in both, kind of important looking back!

The next day I got a call from her nurse, who over laughter told me my Doctor sent her thanks for the great communication and yes I had left her thinking the exact opposite, so she was reducing my meds.

With great relief I told her "next time I'll bring my translator with me"!

But a valuable lesson all round, and I'm guessing we'll both double check what we think we've discussed in the surgery before I leave next time!

18 comments:

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Lol...or not !
I've experienced the same bass ackwards slip of the tongue many a time, onlt to realize later, I think they misunderstood me.
One of the MOST memorable times, is a visit to a friend's home, and mentioning how homely it felt...
In the US 'homely' means ugly, the word is homey here, a lesson I shall not forget ;)
Glad you explained to the doc, before adverse reactions to the meds kicked in.

Brit Gal Sarah said...

OMG LMAO Jo, I never thought about the 'homely' comment and am certain I have done the same thing now you mention it!

Gaelyn said...

A good lesson in the importance of verifying communications between different cultures.

gigihawaii said...

That is pretty SCARY!!! Thank God you wrote that letter.

Anne-Margaret said...

Two countries seperated by a common language...

My British Beau often confuses the piss out of me! I used to be self conscious about asking for clarification but now he knows the minute I say "do what??" more clarfication is neccesary. Gotta love it!

Limey said...

This morning I had an ongoing back-and-forth with a gas station attendant who thought I was asking for change in "old" dollar bills. "No — not 'old' bills, 'all' dollar bills." "Old?" "No, 'A-L-L all'." "Ohh!"

Perhaps, we should enforce the Queen's English upon these Americans!

CambridgeLady said...

The really confusing difference is "I couldn't care less" (UK) vs "I could care less" (US). Is it me or does the US version mean the exact opposite? Glad you sorted things out with the Dr :o)

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I'm glad that you got it straightened out.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Funny, Sarah.... Language can be tricky for sure!!!! What really upsets me is that here in the USA, we have so many doctors from abroad ---who don't speak English well---or at least don't speak it so that I can understand what they are saying...

Luckily, right now, I have a regular Family Doctor whom I can understand and also an Orthopedic Surgeon whom I can understand. That is GOOD.

Glad you got things straightened out with your doctor.
Hugs,
Betsy

Brit Gal Sarah said...

Limey, been there done that with 'water'!!

CL - yes the 'I don't care' thing drives me nuts too lol!

imac said...

Glad you wrote that letter,so taking more would make you sleepy, and to Americans they would think you were wide awake mmmm Im going to get out of bed soon.........

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Good for you for trusting your instincts and checking with your doctor.

Star said...

So glad you got that sorted out! Could have been serious. Just make sure you say 'come on ENGLAND' on Friday and all will be well.
Blessings, Star

Vickie said...

*grin*

My mom has always called it 'bass ackwards'

Glad it all got cleared up..

Sherri said...

Sarah, it is a good think you thought it out and decided to write the letter! You crack me up!!

Kay said...

But Sarah, did the test results say you needed more meds? I don't understand why she's giving you less if the tests are showing the opposite. I think those test results are weird anyway. When I was in Chicago, they said I absolutely needed 1.0 mg. levothyroxine. When I got to Hawaii they said it should be .88 mg. I have to make sure I'm at a certain level because of the cancer I've had. What to believe... what to believe...

Brit Gal Sarah said...

Kay, worry not friend. My test results were borderline, so she could go either way!

Jill of All Trades said...

Oh my that is so funny. I'm glad you got it all straightened out.