RX:  Chicken Soup

RX: Chicken Soup

Poor lil e.  She has a terrible cold, and coughs and coughs, and is very grouchy.  Myndi tried to give her cold medicine, but cold medicine is gross!  So gross she can’t swallow it!  It makes her feel even worse and she is probably allergic to cold medicine and nobody cares.  We point out that she could take the kind that’s a pill instead of the kind that’s a liquid, but life is not fair and nothing helps.  When she coughs it makes her sides hurt.   Shawn helpfully suggests that she probably has a hernia.  “Don’t tell her that!” cries Myndi.  “You’re not helping!”  “A hernia!”  Emily wails.  “What’s a hernia!?”  Tears ensue.   She is sent to bed with a promise that she can go to the doctor the next day.

I took her to the doctor’s office the next afternoon.  The doctor was actually a Physician’s Assistant in Training, who didn’t look much older than 13 herself.  She took Emily’s complaints extremely seriously.  We didn’t mention the hernia theory, but Emily did explain about the pain in her side when she coughed.  The doctor poked her in the side a bit and then declared that it might be a tired muscle but was not a hernia, thus simultaneously affirming and evaporating her concern.  The doctor asked which had come first, the sore throat or the runny nose, and wrote everything down carefully before declaring that Emily had a cold and might consider taking cold medicine.  One can, she reminded us, always take the pill form if the liquid form is objectionable.

I was very pleased.  In my own experience, doctors have generally been pretty cold and uninterested in patients as people.  I have generally found that going to the doctor makes me feel like a piece of meat – worse, a piece of meat with something wrong with it.  But this young lady was taking Emily very seriously as a whole person, and I liked her approach.  Before we left, I said, “Since you have the doctor’s full attention, is there anything else you want to ask while we’re here?”

Out of the blue:  “Do you still get your period when you’re pregnant?”

The poor assistant-in-training suddenly looked like she suspected she was on candid camera, or being subjected to some kind of pop quiz.  She sat down, folded her hands calmly, answered the question matter-of-factly and gently asked if there were any other questions she’d like to ask.  “Nope,” says Emily, and off we go to seek out cold medicine which can be swallowed in pill form.

I feel like I’ve accomplished something, although I’m not sure I can explain why.

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