Gratitude Is: Knowing I’m Not A Doctor

I haven’t said this out loud before. I haven’t really had a need to. It’s not something people generally say. But, the thought hit me recently, while traveling to Utah for a long weekend.

“I’m so thankful I’m not a doctor,” I said to myself, watching from my aisle seat as a couple folks walked past me to the front of the plane.

The flight attendants had just called for a doctor. Or some type of medical professional. Someone with some kind of knowledge to help a passenger who was not doing well.  I’m thinking it must have been kind of bad if they had to put the APB out.

And oddly, before the flight took off, they had mentioned on the intercom that if any passenger felt like they needed medical attention, they could just push the call button above their seat.  Weird. I had never heard that before. Maybe they had some idea of what was to come?

Anyway, it was at that moment, as the man and woman walked super calmly to the front of the plane – then leaned in towards the window seat where the distressed passenger was – that I felt this incredibly selfish sigh of relief wash over me.

“So glad I can’t do that.”

I mean, if we were in a desert and someone had some crazy wound that needed to be attended to, like Hunger Games style, I’d totally Katniss that. Like, no problem. Because no one is watching and it’s life or death. But on a plane? Or some other place? Where people need credentials and a ton of schooling to actually handle a situation properly? No. Not me.

Not that I’m lazy. It’s not that. I’m a super doer. I just don’t need that pressure. Doctors are apparently always on. These two were definitely in comfy travel clothes, sneakers and workout pants, hair in a bun (the lady, at least). But they needed to be on. Half of the plane was sleeping, drooling a bit I bet, and this combo had to be up. Alert. Ready to assess what the heck was going on.

I mean, that could happen anywhere for them. At the grocery. At the county fair. At Ruby Tuesdays, if that place still exists and if doctors go there even. Really, anywhere. They are always on.

Maybe the only other profession that never truly clocks out might be a police officer? Right? If they called for one of those over the intercom I would need medical attention. That would freak me the hell out, anxiety-attack style.

plane 2

But me?  I’ll never be called in an emergency. I write. There will never be a word emergency while I’m traveling or spending my own time. There just won’t – at least not one I feel obligated to respond to.

There are definitely word emergencies in my profession – by day. And sometimes, in special circumstances by night, or by early morning. But that’s when I’m working. I’ll never get called over an intercom. Ever.

Not for words. Unless, while flying, Independence Day collides with Arrival and I need to Amy Adams our way out of some linguistic tango. That’s possible. Highly unlikely, but likely the only reason I’d be drafted to help on a plane. In an emergency.

And that’s just fine with me.