Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Ears Have It

Or: "You Can't Make This Stuff Up"

Part the First

Around Valentine's day, I get a report from my local ER that a 4-year-old patient of mine was just there because she had put candy hearts in her ears. I chuckle and file the report.

A few hours later her mother walks into the office with some kind of form for one of her other kids. I see her, remember the report I saw earlier, and burst into hysterical laughter. Upon suddenly realizing this could be construed as rude, I went over and explained that I had just read about her daughter's ER visit. Not only was she unfazed, she added, "That's not even the funny part."

Uh oh. What was the funny part, I asked.

"On the way to the hospital, she said, 'After they take them out of my ears, can I eat them?'"

Part the Second

7-year-old girl comes in with an earache. No swimming; no drainage; no URI symptoms. I ask the kid and the mom, "Has she been putting anything in her ears?" Both say no. I look in her ears -- first the good one, just like I was taught. Then the bad one. No pain with tugging on her outer ear. I peer through the otoscope.

I take it out of her ear. I look at the kid; I look at the mom. And I declare definitively, "There is nothing naturally occurring in the human body that is that shade of pink."

The kid looks at the mom. The mom looks at the kid. And then she (the mom) says "Oh yeah!" -- in the tone I have come to expect from my teenagers when asked if there were any calls while we were out despite the dearth of written messages. "She was putting Play Doh in her ears."


At Wed Aug 30, 06:36:00 PM, Blogger drncc said...

Heya dinosaur,


I saw a 3-year-old boy during my FP residency, with the same earache.

I asked him what was in his ears, and he said "peas and corn."

Cute eh.

So, in his ear was something green. Pulled it out -- a sprouting bean.

(Ugh that rhymes, sorry.)

Mom on further questioning figured out he was playing with beanbags.


At Wed Aug 30, 07:40:00 PM, Blogger #1 Dinosaur said...

No, no; I love the rhyme. How about this:

In training, sometimes docs are torn
when 3-year-olds say "peas and corn"
are what is in their ears;
But in the ear was something green;
I pulled it out: a sprouting bean!
'Twas hardly worth the tears.

(alternating between bowing to applause and ducking hurled objects)

At Wed Aug 30, 10:59:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Good to see that Hilaire Belloc is not going out of fashion on your watch. Very nice.

Regards - Shinga

At Tue Sep 12, 10:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my high school biology teacher often spent class time regaling us with stories of her son's antics. the 2nd best was of a carrot in his ear--that went unnoticed for days, but worse were the ants in his nose (at 2 yrs old), that only came out after he stabbed a medcal implement up his nostril.

At Fri Sep 15, 06:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so funny!

I haven't seen objects in ears in the ER, I have seen legos, gummy bears, M&Ms and peas, beans and other legumes in the nose, however!

And no, you certainly aren't dead yet, my husband's new doc is a Family Practice physician in a practice with his wife, who is also a Family Practice specialist. Both board certified. He meets his new doc next week!


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