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Is this rural ridiculousness? December 16, 2011

Filed under: What's Up? — Noelle Bickle / Abby Brooks @ 10:06 PM
Tags: , , , ,

So my last post was all about the beauty of small town living. It was a heartwarming experience and I wanted to share it with all of you. It made me feel happy about living among the cows and the small town folk, it really did.

I had another medical experience this week when I took my son in for his appointment with the pediatrician to follow-up on the chest x-ray. Considering all other medical experiences I’ve had have been in cities (or at least suburbs) I can’t help but think that this might be about living in a small town too. I don’t know that I understood this scenario any better than the first that happened this week except this time it was the pediatric senior intern rather than a young broken snowboarder.

So I have to begin by saying – again – the parking was great, the wait was short, and we were given double the doctor face time than I’ve ever gotten in urban medical facilitates. All was good. The attentive, young, (and incidentally, gorgeous) intern went over our files and said she needed to go through some routine information. No problem. We answered questions about birth order, genetic diseases, past medical history, and the basic rundown. Then she asked the question.

“Do you and your husband or any other married couples in either of your families share the same blood?”

I was sure I heard wrong. She made the snowboarder’s manners look like Martha Stewart. “I’m sorry?” I asked.

“Are any family members married, but share the same blood?” Her eyes didn’t leave the clipboard.

“Like, incestuous relationships – siblings or cousins or something?”


“No…no way. Well, not that I know of anyway.” (I didn’t want to get too cocky – closet skeletons have a way of making the self-righteous eat crow!)

“It seems like an odd question, but you’d be surprised how many people answer that with a yes.”


Okay – is this just me? What the heck is going on? Have any of you been asked that question in a medical exam, or is it my three eyes and my son’s extra toes that made her ask? It’s been a weird week for conversation…


16 Responses to “Is this rural ridiculousness?”

  1. Rhonda Says:

    Truly laughing out loud at Starbucks. YOU my friend, are a funny writer. 😂

  2. sheryl Says:

    As medical professionals we have to ask that question. I can tell you how many deliveries I have seen that have gone horribley wrong because the parents were married first cousins. Its just how it is now in this age of multiculturalism.

    • Wow – in all seriousness, I really didn’t think it was a problem that was increasing. With all the people in the world, why stick to family? This is news to me, but you really see it all Sheryl. Thumbs up to all of you in the medical profession!

  3. Stacey Says:

    I agree with Rhonda, I laughed right out loud at this post. You are so talented at painting a picture of your medical ridiculousness it’s fabulous! (and by the way, have lived in rural Ontario for almost 40 years and have NEVER been asked that question. LMAO!)

  4. Lisa Llamrei Says:

    I’m still laughing. I’ve also lived in rural Ontario for more than 30 years and have never been asked that question. Maybe it’s a localized Simcoe County thing?

    It’s not as uncommon as you might think, though. My mother has a cousin who married a relative. They’re more distantly related than first cousins and weren’t aware of the familial relationship at all until they had a child born with a condition that is far more common when the parents are blood relatives.

  5. Lisa Llamrei Says:

    Oh – and I just remembered that when my ex did some digging into his family background he found out he was distantly related to his ex with whom he had two children.

  6. Dave Jones Says:

    Actually from Bobcaygoen and environs north, this IS a standard question. It seems to have special meaning in Wilberforce where there are only three last names in town and everyone wears glasses.

    As an interesting follow-up to the snowboarder blog, I went to the eye surgeon in Markham and while waiting (over an hour) I studied the crowd in his waiting room. There were no people looking to start a conversation although one old farm couple looked like they would speak if spoken to. It was a city crowd. No eye contact. However, what was interesting were the people who spoke louder than neccessary when talking to whoever they were there with. Their conversations seemed to center around ‘the new house’ and how busy so and so was with whatever because of it. When that conversation flagged (duly impressing all around, I’m sure) the next conversation was about so and so’s high power job and the toll it takes on so and so’s life (presumably in their new house).

    Over all, I’ll take the snowboarder.

    • LOL…so funny Dave!

      I think you’re waiting room story is a sad reflection on society. I’m with you, I’d take the snowboarder hands down over house…blah…blah…important job, important life, important me, me, me…

  7. Annie Says:

    That is a wild question…don’t think I’ve ever been asked that one. I do have friends who married their first cousins and their parents were first cousins. Sort of creeps me out, but what can you do. They have four children so I’m wondering if there will be enough cousins to go around! Got to say…you have a wonderful way with dialogue.

  8. Sandra Clarke Says:

    That’s a new one on me, Noelle. I’m laughing, even after reading all the responses.

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