Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Conversation Overheard in a Waiting Room

During the first year of my pain condition, Richard (my sweetie) accompanied me to most of my appointments with the army of specialists I consulted. He was my memory and my protector. When a doctor would recommend an invasive diagnostic procedure, Richard would charge in with questions like: "What are the risks?" "Would the results change your recommendations in any way?" "Is there another way to get at the same information?" He was also able to remember the more hopeful things the doctor said, while I, beaten down by pain, would mostly recall the doctor's uncertainty.

One time, as we sat together in the waiting room of a uro-gynecologist whose name really was Dr. Flesh, we overheard two young teenagers, also waiting to see the aptly named doctor, engaged in energetic conversation.

The girls were talking loudly, interrupting each other and giggling. Richard and I, not being native Bostonians, could barely penetrate their thick Charlestown pronunciation. One girl began to describe her recent experience with what sounded like “PSDS."

The other one quizzed her. “When did it happen?” “Did it hurt?” “Do your parents know?” “PSDS, I don’t ever want to have that. It hurts!

We struggled to figure out what “PSDS” was. It sounded gynecological (especially given our location), but we couldn't be sure. We listened more closely and heard the second girl ask, “How did he do it?” “Did it bleed?”

Richard and I quietly agreed that they must be talking about either a first sexual experience or a new form of venereal disease.

At that moment, the second girl leaned over the first, pulled her hair away from her ears, and said, “Well, good for you. They do look really pretty.”

Richard and I both started laughing. “PSDS.” Charlestownian for pierced ears.

(N.B. This is actually a twist on a story told to me by my brother-in-law)


Diane J Standiford said...


Dr. Val said...

That's great! I can just imagine their accents... :)

Donimo said...

I really liked this post. And I was so pleased that I figured it out before you gave the punchline!

Deb said...


What agreat story.

dethmama said...

Oh that is just too rich! Great story!

medaholic said...

those bostonians