Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

It's June 17 -- Father's Day. I'm working Urgent Care Pediatrics.

On a day to celebrate fathers, I sure saw a lot of them. Worried, broad shouldered, holding their little ones in jammies, blankets or in infant car seats, they brought their little ones in. I walked into one room to find the baby in the car seat fast asleep and the dad sitting on a stool with his head resting on the table, also fast asleep. He wearily recounted a difficult night of sitting up with a fussy, coughing baby.

Here's where the rubber meets the road. Fathers caring for their children, no thanks needed. Selflessly, they did their duty as parents and dads. When I casually remarked to one dad of a 4 month old,

"Hey! Congratulations! It's your first father's day!"  (This was his first child).

He looked at me puzzled for a moment and then broke a smile and said thanks. He wasn't thinking of Father's Day, or presents, or a special day for him. He only wanted his little boy to be better.

In a world that has its share of deadbeat dads, irresponsible, selfish and childish men who father children nonetheless, it was great to see that there are still caring, tenderhearted, broadshouldered men out there who are doing their jobs... even on Father's Day.

Happy Birthday to You!

Working Urgent Care Peds on the weekends is lots of fun. Oh sure, some days you're so busy you don't know if you're coming or going. Yesterday was one of those days. The place was hopping! Imagine my surprise when another 8 patients appeared in my list of patients to see. Curiously, they all belonged to 2 families. Hmmm...

My colleague on the adult side was seeing a couple of adults there too, in relation to the same thing.

Here's the story. Dad had a birthday (yay!). A cake was ordered. The cake was cut, Happy Birthday was sung. Good times for all. While Mom was cleaning up, she began to wash the knife. Imagine her surprise when she noticed that a piece of the knife blade was missing. It was as if an arc-shaped piece from the cutting edge of the knife had dissappeared. She could swear that the knife was entire this morning when she put the knife in her husband's hand. Oh-oh!

The family all rushed to Urgent Care. Was the knife piece in someone's belly -- someone who had eaten the cake? Thoughtfully, they brought the cake along as well. Half of it had been eaten of course and the other half had been cut into slices, but it was still in its glass baking dish.

While we were all contemplating having to x-ray all these adults and children to look for a metallic piece in their gastrointestinal system, our radiologist had the presence of mind to save the situation. He would x-ray the remaining birthday cake. If the piece was not there, then the whole lot of them would be walked through a fluoroscopic (live-action x-ray) machine to look to see where the knife piece was.

Fortunately, the knife-piece in its enterity was discovered in the cake. It showed up beautiful on x-ray. I must say that I think this is the first time I have heard of x-raying a birthday cake but hey, anything's possible.

We did not have to x-ray anybody.

At the end of it all, we were left with one problem (By the way, the family took the cake home). In this day of electronic medical records and billing, how do we record the x-ray? Our drop-down menus all had anatomy locations to choose from (chest, abdomen, thorax, upper and lower extremities, etc). Cake was not among them.

Some problems we can live with.