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.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

You Know They're Growing Up When...

One of the coolest things about Family Practice is watching children grow up, especially when they're basically healthy and you only see them once a year or so. There's a flip side to this, though, that was driven home to me the other day with the force of a 25 gauge needle.

Like many physicians, I tend to say the same things over and over. We can usually get away with it, as we see so many different people. But now and then we're startled (well, I am) when patients remember what we say and point out that we're repeating ourselves. What can I say? I have my spiel, and generally it works for me.

I was seeing a 14-year-old girl I had taken care of from age 7. Due to shifting immunization recommendations over the years, there have been several occasions when I've had to give her a shot. This kid really hates shots, though she's gotten better about it over the years, as most kids do. Still, she clearly wasn't happy when I began my spiel about the meningitis shot to her father and her. The dad agreed it was a good idea, so the kid knew she had no choice.

But I started in on her with my usual patter: I'm really good (read: fast) at giving shots. It wouldn't be that bad -- as virtually every other patient in my practice has said upon receiving a shot from me. She wasn't buying it, though:
That's what you always say. Then you give me the shot and it hurts. You say you're sorry and draw a smiley face on my band-aid.
What could I say -- after I managed to stop laughing, that is?

"You're right. It's gonna hurt a bit. Deal with it."

After the shot (which hurt, she claimed) I offered her a band-aid. She accepted. I asked, "Do you want me to draw a baseball diamond on it instead of a smiley face this time?" (small round band-aid with square pad oriented on its corner; just begs for filling in the bases at the corners of the pad.)

"You drew a baseball diamond on it last year."



At Sat Sep 15, 07:28:00 PM, Blogger steph said...

Um. Nothing an art class or two wouldn't cure, right? ;)

At Sat Sep 15, 08:45:00 PM, Blogger Someonect said...

that was classic.

i have several spiels i give (scoliosis, in toeing, flat feet, anterior knee pain, yada yada yada) and i find myself at times zoning out and thinking about other things such as "i wonder what we are having for dinner tonight." do you ever drift off in thought and lose your place in your spiel?

At Sun Sep 16, 10:03:00 AM, Blogger Elaine said...


Some time back I was a Health Visitor, and held clinics doing either developmental screening or immunisation.

Been there, done that I am afraid.

(Loved the story about the neice).

One screening I carried out was for the son of a female doctor. When asked to draw a picture of mummy,he made the most prominent part of the picture heavily scribbled, round objects, obviously breasts.

No prizes for guessing that she was still breast feeding him.

At Mon Sep 17, 09:34:00 PM, Blogger Lynn Price said...

Yes, yes, speaking of drawing, I came sobbing into my ob/gyn when I was nine months preggers with child #1. I felt like a beached whale and wondered if I was going to through life with this bundle of hormones dictating my every waking moment. I continued to whine and moan about the horrors of an inverted belly button while he silently measured my stomach and futzed around.

It wasn't until I was getting ready for bed that night that I noticed he'd drawn a face on my stomach, using my belly button as a mouth in mid scream. I nearly popped my water I was laughing so hard.


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