December 15, 2011

My Daughters, The Patients

I have mixed feelings about the doctors office.

On one hand, I appreciate that there is a medical expert with whom I can consult when the medical issues of my children are beyond "put a band-aid on it."

On the other hand, my deep-seeded cynicism leads me to question any diagnosis as mumbo-jumbo and voodoo.

Doctor: "That abrasion is frequently indicative of a sub-dermal hemotoma.  You'll need to remain prostrate until the ventricles have retracted."
Me: "...none of those are real words.""

It upsets my wife that I don't get sick.  Does that seem like she wishes me ill?  Perhaps I should rephrase.

My immune system is composed entirely of grizzly bears who fight off infection with chainsaws and flamethrowers.  As a result, I don't often get sick.  When I do, I fall squarely in the camp of "Sleep on it and it will be better" and since I've been concussion-free since '93, this is a good tactic.  Sadly, I've been trying my best to project my medical philosophy onto my children.  For the most part it works fine.  I do, however, find myself at the doctors office more often than I would like.

The girls have both had runny noses for a few days.  My own thoughts were "The weather is changing, they have colds."  Sara made an appointment for them last night.

I HATE taking the girls to the doctor.  I will take one, but taking both sets my stress level to DEFCON 2.  The last time we were there was for Harper's 2-year check up where the doctor told us not to let her watch too much TV.  I want to take this opportunity to point out that, in the waiting room of this office, there are four televisions and no toys.

Since children in general are pestilential filth carriers, and a doctors office is tantamount to a plague ship, I can understand not wanting sick children to spread their diseases all over fun objects, sharing not only the fun, but also the illness.  This is, however, the first doctors office that I have seen that has NOTHING for children to do but sit and watch TV.

Just inside the door, however, there is a giant bowl of lollypops, just waiting for over-eager 2 year-olds to scream about how badly they want them.  We get called out of the waiting room where I am asked, while holding a baby carrier, a baby snack, a toddler snack, a bottle, a juice cup, a baby and a roaming toddler, to put them on the scale one at a time and please keep them from running into other patient rooms.  The juice cup really has to be watched.  That jerk wanders!

We finally get into the room and Harper wants to drag the chair over to the sink and spray water all over the floor.  Brynn wants to be put down, but knowing what MY kids put on the floor, I don't want her crawling there.  I put her on the table and she immediately tries to climb off, or at least dangerously close to the sloped edges.  By this point, Harper has moved the chair again and has managed to twist the top off of the lighted devices for looking in her ears and eyes.  She wants to examine the unwilling throat of her sister by trying to hold her down and shoving the device into her face.  At some point between breakfast and lunch the next day, the doctor finally arrives and the following conversation ensues:

Doctor: "Hello.  What brings you in today?"
Me: "I don't know.  My wife made the appointment."
Doctor: "Alright.  What did she make the appointment for?"
Me: "I don't know.  We didn't get that far in the conversation."
Doctor: "What symptoms are they experiencing?"
Me: "I think they have colds.  My wife thinks they have something that can only be contracted from monkeys in southeast Asia."
Doctor: "Have the kids been to southeast Asia?"
Me: "We were there for lunch yesterday, but they weren't bitten by any indigenous wildlife."
Doctor: "You're very funny.  What do you say we get out of here and go somewhere to blow off some steam?"
Me: "That sounds great.  The kids can walk home."

That's only if the doctor is one of the hot lady docs at the practice.  If it's one of the men, it goes more like this:

Doctor: "Hello.  What brings you in today?"
Me: "I don't know.  My wife made the appointment."
Doctor: "Alright.  What did she make the appointment for?"
Me: "I don't know.  We didn't get that far in the conversation."
Doctor: "You are a terrible father.  I will be calling child protective services as soon as you leave."

For some reason, I find the male doctors to be slightly condescending.

"Why are we here so often, dad?"
"Either to flirt with the hot lady doctors, or to be reminded what an awful parent I am."

I am proud man, but I'm not afraid to admit when I'm wrong.  This particular trip, Sara was very much in the right.  For the stress that I endured on last nights visit, we were given a diagnosis of three ear infections and pink eye.

Needless to say, I was not as unhappy to go to work today as I normally am.

Alright, maybe my feelings about the doctors office aren't so much mixed as much as skewed drastically to one side.



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