Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Bonus

I was pleased at a request to see a patient at the Angeleno. The source was an international travel service, not the hotel, but the Angeleno hadn’t called in a year, so this gave me the opportunity to make a pitch at the front desk.

The patient was a Brazilian two-year old who may or may not have had ear pain. Infants love everyone, and older toddlers are often frightened into holding still, but from about one to three years, children who don’t like doctors are uncontrollable. Taking a temperature in the armpit required the parents to hold her down. I did not look forward to the ear exam.

There was a knock on the door, and an elderly gentleman entered. This was the child’s grandfather, I learned as we shook hands, and he was a pediatrician. Immediately I held out my otoscope which he accepted with thanks. Everyone piled on; she screamed and struggled. Afterward, he forced her mouth open to examine her throat. He spoke little English but made it clear that nothing abnormal had turned up. He delivered an elaborate explanation to the family in Portuguese. I handed over a bottle of Tylenol, and everyone was happy.


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