Another sick-child visit, another pouting kid on the exam table.
Cranquis: “Has she been more crabby since she’s been sick?”
Mother: “Oh yes.”
4-year old female patient: “What’s crabby?”
Mother: “You. You’ve been crabby.”
Patient: “I HAVE NOT BEEN CRABBY!”
Cranquis & Mother: *knowing looks*
Well, things have not gotten off to a good start. I approach for the physical exam, and she doesn’t cry or try to escape. But then I rest my hand on her shoulder as I listen to her heartbeat, and she flinches slightly.
Patient (half-muttering): “Don’t touch me. I’m crabby.”
Cranquis & Mother: *trying not to laugh*
Patient: “I hate doctors.”
I ignore that oft-heard (from patients of all ages, actually) comment, and comfortably slip into my Quirky Doctor Physical Exam - hunting for turtles in her ears, seeing who can yell louder (me or her) as I look in her throat, guessing what she ate by what her tummy feels like ("Dinosaur Bones and a Frog Eyeball" is always a good first guess), and ending with a “magical” discovery of a sticker inside of her pant-leg (slipped in surreptitiously moments before, while checking her feet for rashes). The patient struggles to maintain her eloquent pout as she gets down from the table, and I head out the door to retrieve the printed prescription for her seasonal allergies. The exam room door is almost closed when I hear her whisper loudly at her mother…
Patient: “I like that doctor.”
Cranquis (BURSTING back through the door): “Ah-HA! I heard that!”
Another sick-child visit. Another satisfied kid. Another energized doctor.
MAN, I love my job.