Saturday, December 31, 2011

Restoring faith

After my post yesterday, where I rant and raved about deadbeat coward dads who beat little kids senseless, I think the Lord knew I needed some therapy.

So, the first 3 patients in my schedule were it. Now, keep in mind that apart from a new last minute changes, some of my patients, especially those coming in for complete physicals have been scheduled months in advance.

This morning, one after another, I got to do physicals on relatively healthy, young (in their 30s to 40s) wonderful men. They had jobs or ran their own businesses. They took care of their health, eating sensibly and exercising. They were married and faithful to their wives. They were loving, protecting and doting fathers. I could not help but tell them that I appreciated their stepping up to the plate and fulfilling their role as men, husbands and fathers. One of them gave me a quizzed look. He probably wondered why I was making so much of what he just did as a matter of fact. If only he knew...

The 90s

Yesterday was a strange day. Med-Peds makes for some interesting contrasts. I went in to see a 93 year old. She still drives, lives alone and is quite healthy, other than some arthritis. I once joked with her saying "I hope that when I'm 90, I'm as healthy as you and still practicing medicine. She came back with "And I hope I'm still your patient."

The next patient was 2. He was, well... 2... running around, playing and talking.

The next patient was 96. He came with his daughter. Apart from swelling in his lower legs, he was doing quite well, thank you.

The next patient was another 2 year old, a girl, this time.

Thank you, dear patients, for bringing joy and hope to my life.

To those of you who still live in the past (when people who died in their 70s had 'lived a long and good life', it is time to update: we CAN live into our 90s and enjoy a good quality of life.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Needed: a few good men

If you're not in the mood to hear me rant and rave, don't read this post...

Nothing tears your heart up like child abuse does. When a child feels guilty for turning in his father or step-father that is abusing him and his younger siblings, you want to grab him by the shoulders, shake him and tell him that he's the victim, the abused. It always amazes me that despite being beaten badly, thrown across a room, physically abused and made to feel like trash (wish you were never born, you're not my son), a child still misses his dad.

Oh, for a few good men. Men who earn a living and provide for their family. Men who protect their children rather than beat the living daylights out of them. Men whose children feel they are big and strong and inspire confidence and a feeling of security, rather than make them cower in fear. Men who inspire their children to run home to them when they are afraid, rather than their children being afraid to go home to them.

I thank God for the many fathers in my practice who love their kids. I even appreciate the ones that hover over me when I examine their child, or yell at me, frightened and helpless, to do something, when their child is sick or in pain. These are men.

Not the cowards who use their strength to beat up a little one, who hurt and dissappoint.

And through all the fear, bruises and being put down, these children still miss their dad and want to make them proud. Go figure.

Be vigilant. Stamp out child abuse. Join me in affirming and assuring children that if they are being hurt, they can talk to you and you will do something about it. Show these little ones what adults can really do. Speak positive things, affirm, praise, reassure and cheer up a child.

ER over Christmas

I love my family! From December 1 to 15, I got to go home. I saw my Mom, brother, his wife and my nephew. We did not do anything special... just hung out. It was great to eat home-cooked food, and just to spend time with my family. When we're together as my mother often says, it's birthday, anniversary, Christmas, New Year...every special day. I agree completely.

So I returned to good 'ol Marshfield refreshed and ready for action. I volunteered to work extra shifts in the the ER over the Christmas holiday, Saturday through Monday. Here's a sample:

Cow kicked man in thigh. Man got mad, kicked cow back...sprained ankle.

Sewed up the foot of a 3 year old that stepped on a Christmas toy. Despite numbing up the area, he cried through the whole thing, even with rubbing gauze on an injured portion of the foot. Oh well, put the stitches in and got out of there.

Finally, I saw Jesus on Christmas. Well, I mean Jesus was an infant with gastroenteritis that I got to see in the ER. Still...

I love my job!