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It Depends...



In medicine, we tend to think in terms of black and white.  Sore throat = bug = antibiotic. High blood pressure or high cholesterol = heart attack.  However, assuming black and white means all questions in medicine would  have to be answered with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’.  For example - “Doc, I am overweight and don’t exercise – am I going to have a heart attack?”  As this question, like all questions regarding health, in reality, has too many variables to answer with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, allow me to give you the best answer a medical provider can offer when asked a question.  As an important side note, this answer also works for parents: that fantastic answer is “It depends”.  Using this wonderful reply requires some knowledge of the English language, however.  You must use the preposition ‘on’ in the noun/noun clause response.  You cannot use ‘about’ or ‘from’.  For example, the question “Will I have a heart attack?” is best answered “It depends on your lifestyle choices”.  When answering a more detailed question, such as “With my current eating preferences, how long until I get diabetes?” one must respond with “It depends on how important avoiding diabetes is to you.”   That would be an ‘it depends on how + adjective + verb + subject’ answer.  And finally, the statement comes in very handy for a number of particular questions, for example: “Doc – I want to keep doing what I’m doing, and if I have a stroke, so be it.” To this, my answer would be, “That may necessitate your needing Depends in the near future.”    

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