Medical Terminology & Hospital Fun

Friday, November 6th 2015




Chi-Chi:  Our family’s favorite term for “Unnecessary Torture.

ChiChiville:  The place where your pain subsumes your pride.

That’s where my mom has been spending an ever increasing amount of her time in recent past… especially since she proverbially “slipped a disc” in August of 2014.   Somehow she has continued to manage with hardly any complaints, even continuing to take care of her myriad grandchildren -Miles, Gavin, ClaraJane and the latest addition, Baby Mary- in spite of her considerable pain and  reduced mobility.


Green Bush:  The place the hospital intake, pre-screen administrators say you live, even though you live in “CAMBRIDGE, after one of the MANY episodes of verifying information and thrusting a SEA of incompressible legal mumbo-jumbo documents for you to sign.


Dr. Hwang:  My Mom’s amazing surgeon who earned all these degrees from M.I.T. and Harvard.  (Bachelor of Science, Master of Engineering, Doctor of Medicine and Master of Business Administration, respectively!)

Raymond Hwang, R.E.S.P.E.C.T

Raymond Hwang, R.E.S.P.E.C.T


Earlier this week I had the privilege of accompanying Mom to her pre-operative screening with the surgeon.  Dr. Hwang turned out to be everything she said.  At the risk of gushing, fawning and objectifying… he is beautiful in every way.   Courteous, lovely, thoughtful, patient, engaging, charming and -ok I’ll say it- easy on the eyes.  (Not like my DH or anything but you know.)

After all the questions and discussions and every crossed “t” and dotted “i” he *still* asks if there are any more questions.

“Do you have any concerns about operating on a 74 year old with co-morbidities?” asks my mom.

He simply, clearly, calmly says; “Do it all the time.”

Then he continues; “The thing is to know what the (co-morbidities) are, so we can manage them to the best of our abilities and get the risks down as much as possible, because we know they can’t be 0%.”

“Well,” she said reaching out to shake his hand, “You inspire confidence.”

Almost puzzled he said, “I HOPE so!”

“Not all doctors do,” she pointed out.

“Oh, well,” he hesitated, chuckling humbly, “I wouldn’t know anything about that.”

Okay I’m making up that last little part.  He never said anything the least bit immodest, self-oriented or unprofessional at all, so I made it up because he seems to have found the secret to exhibiting no human flaws whatsoever.  I mean this guy is tall, gorgeous, understanding, easy to talk to and has a voice so rich it’s like a cross between Daniel Day Lewis and Richard Burton or something.

He’s even humble and has a sense of humor when I tease him about how “diverse” it is of him having degrees from Harvard and M.I.T and say, “It’s like Country AND Western!”  (Or at least he’s tolerant of immature jokes.)

Moments later he reappears with my moms prescription for oxycodone and I exclaim, “As if we didn’t like you enough already!”

“Right, the meds,” he concurred, walking away, and as he disappeared around the corner he yells back, “Customer service!”  Apparently he really does take his MBA to heart.  (o:

[Disclaimer: I realize I’m hammering this point hard, but in my defense he *is operating* on her as I write.]

Surgeon in Surgery

Surgeon in Surgery

In any case, my mom seems to be in the best possible hands.

Also, holy smokes.  Talk about a good read, here is Dr. Hwang in an interview for Harvard Business School Alums.  I love when he says, “Nailed it!”

About circuskitchen

performing artist, mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece... just a regular extraordinary person
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