Domhnall MacAuley: No more sad/happy movies

Domhnall Macauley

No more sad/happy movies for me. I hate the thought that someone might see me blubbering in the cinema. Alpha males shouldn’t cry. Tonight it was The Well Digger’s Daughter. I will not spoil it for you by telling you what happens. Lovely scenery, good acting, nice story. But, I had to pretend I didn’t really like it. Not many moved before the credits had finished—I guess they had to dry their eyes too.

Teenage unmarried mother. Nothing  new.  A career in general practice means I have seen many. Before pregnancy tests became so easy, girls had to see you first before sending in a urine sample. Youngsters in school uniforms, uneasy students, career girls caught out. I cannot understand how even the most conservative straight laced fundamentalist doesn’t melt when faced with the tears of a distraught unexpected mum. These things happen. We are all human. I have seen their mothers run out of the consulting rooms shrieking, fathers ready to murder, and pregnancies concealed to term without anyone suspecting.  But, give it a year. Sometimes it works out. Babies do strange things to people. Happy supportive grannies at the baby clinic, grandfathers beaming with pride, and teenagers coping wonderfully. Lives may have changed dramatically but, it’s seldom the expected disaster. 

For every teenage pregnancy, there is someone hoping. Years ticking by and longing for a baby. No sign, not even of a man. Some, who have given up chose to have a baby on their own. Lesbian couples, Gay couples. Funny how you can start off with ideas of what should be and finish up thinking there is no such thing as should be. General practice does that to you. Life is a sad/happy movie. Sometimes I even have to dry my eyes between consultations. But, please don’t tell anyone.

Domhnall MacAuley is primary care editor, BMJ