The Ears Have It
Or: "You Can't Make This Stuff Up"
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?'"
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."