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.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Right Thing at the Right Time

I have been fortunate several times in my life to come up with just the right thing to say at just the right time -- instead of three days later, which is what usually happens. Please note that these were all people I knew well enough to be confident that my comments would be taken the way they were intended, and appreciated; which they were.

To the distraught mother of a seven-year-old who had swallowed a ball bearing:
"This too shall pass."

To the oral cancer patient at a checkup; I asked if the bronzing of his arms was from radiation therapy, and to which he had responded no, he had been sitting out on his deck getting a little sun:
"You'd better be sure to use sunscreen. You wouldn't want to get cancer."

To the double amputee as I was about to tell her something surprising:
"Are you sitting down?"

To the patient with longstanding dental problems who woke up one morning unable to find one of his teeth (it fell out regularly; he kept taking it to the dentist who kept shoving it back into the socket) and was pretty sure he'd swallowed it:
"Well that'll come back to bite you in the ass."


At Thu Sep 28, 12:34:00 AM, Blogger Dreaming again said...

I am laughing...

When my son swallowed a penny. The doctor asked if we knew the year. We told him ( I was expecting it to matter medically), yes, and what year. (it was from my older sons collection.

The doctor said "That's a worthless penny. I've already got it in my collection. Just let it pass."


That was the first time I learned to not take a drink of anything while talking on the phone to this man!

After I recovered from laughing he gave me instructions for watching him to make sure it did, indeed pass and not get caught up.

At Thu Sep 28, 02:52:00 AM, Blogger Alyson said...

I'm always a few hours late with a good comment or comeback, so I know it feels good when a good one pops into your head quickly.

I love your blog and wish I had my own son says that Brontosaurus is my favorite :)

At Thu Sep 28, 04:21:00 PM, Blogger Pieces of Mind said...

A gentle sense of humor is indeed good medicine. :)

At Fri Sep 29, 08:00:00 PM, Blogger Sid Schwab said...

When my dad swallowed his hearing aid (tossted back a handful of brazil nuts, he said) I told him he'd hear from it again.

Which reminds me of a good greeting card I saw (too late to give to my dad...)

It showed a guy with something sticking out of his ear. His friend asked "why do you have a suppository in your ear?" The man answered. Wow, thanks for asking. Now I think I know where my hearing aid is."


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