Wednesday, September 28, 2005

yakkity yak

On the way to work today, I was almost decapitated by a red light runner. I had a fleeting concern that my near death experience would shape the remainder of my day. After my first patient, I was considering a career in the psychic arts.

As many of you know, nasty viral infections come in waves. Epidemiologically speaking, one might refer to these as mini-epidemics. The beginning of the school year is a perfect time for viral illnesses to fester and spread. When I saw my ill 4-year old patient today, I was expecting a routine "cough, congestion" exam. That is precisely what I got until she refused to let me examine her throat.

In the interest of full disclosure (not that newFNP is at all interested in that given the nature of this blog), I should note that it is frigging frustrating to me when a kid refuses to let me look in his or her throat. An ear, I understand, but the damned throat. I don't even do anything. It's a hands-off proposition!

So Miss Cough & Cold gave me a big middle finger to the throat exam. "Fine," I figured. I just sat back on my rolling stool and figured that she would come around after some Q.T., crying to her mom. I maintain that my plan was not without merit, but the subsequent events were entirely unexpected and knocked my "wait it out" plan on its ass.

This little girl was not joking about the cough. In fact, she coughed herself right into a spell of vomiting. At 8:45 - after I had nearly escaped death and dismemberment at the hands of a crazed woman in a minivan. I grabbed an emesis basin and held it to her face. She was still crying, still coughing, and still puking. I turned and set the basin down in order to grab a paper towel when I heard the all-too-telling sounds of imminent barfing. I quickly grabbed the basin, with a small amount of vomit still in the bottom, and rushed back to her side.

Now, I have no idea how it happened and it was completely accidental, but somehow I slipped or her mom hit my hand. I do not know what in the hell happened, but the next thing I knew, this little girl had her own vomit dripping down her forehead and off of her nose. And I thought she was crying before the exam and the vomiting.

Fucking hell. What a day.

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