do you drink? do you smoke? do you do drugs?
this is what the physician casually asks while staring blankly at my chart. it comes out as one ginormo word: doyoudodrugs?
and what do we think is the likelihood that anyone has ever responded in the affirmative to such a half-assed inquiry? that some crack addict broke down in tearful confession in the face of this apathy?
i'm betting, if i had a casual pot habit and liked to snort coke every other saturday and shot up heroin last night just for kicks, and a man making intense eye-contact with a clipboard and with a lollypop stuck behind his ear nonchalantly asked me, doyoudodrugs? that probably would not excite a psychological breakthrough.
in reality, i don't smoke and i don't drink but i do have a teeny tiny melatonin habit and a raging diet coke addition (you don't have to be mr. wizard to see the link there). as far as vices go these are fairly benign, but never once have they been admitted to anyone in the medical profession. they don't ask and i don't tell.
and if a doctor leaned in earnestly and held my hand and looked me in the eye and asked, oline, are you a troubled sleeper? do you occasionally unnecessarily take melatonin out of laziness simply because you fear twiddling your toes till 4 a.m.? i'm not absolutely certain i would own up.
we've been taught all our lives to just say NO to drugs. ironically, it goes both ways.