We have a window that looks out from the Clinical area into the Children's waiting room which allow us to have a quick look at the children before we see them,in what is at worst , a neutral environment;and at best,a mini-play zone.
We can in effect spy briefly on children and their parents if there are concerns about child-abuse.It also lets us rate the 'yummy-mummies'...in fact,that seldom happens given the prevailing local diet-and-exercise programs.
And at some point in the future,we hope to be able to use the window to dart and tranquilize the little devils!
And so,on Sunday night I picked up a file and saw that the father had written that his 18-month-old son was 'inconsolably crying and clingy,tired and having difficulty breathing'.
Concerned,I walked swiftly to the window.
In an otherwise deserted waiting room,-it being after all 21H25 on a snowy Sunday evening-,a plump FLK was rolling happily on the floor,chatting merrily to a stuffed giraffe.
A man who I assumed to be his father was sitting reading a newspaper.
He was a plump FLP.
[ I should perhaps explain for non-medical readers that if a Funny-Looking-Kid (FLK) has Normal-Looking-Parents (NLP's) then you have to think about the child having a weird illness or strange syndrome. And sometimes parents are unaware that their child has an underlying problem.If however a Funny-Looking-Kid has Funny-Looking-Parents then they are probably just ugly.]
I opened the door and the child jumped up from the floor and threw the giraffe at me.
The FLP heaved himself from his chair and called for his boy who promptly made a run for the door.
"So...what can I do for you tonight then ?"
Well...he was okay this morning...and then at about 2 o'clock this afternoon he started to cry...and he cried until 6 o'clock...
" What happened at 6?"
Obviously we gave him some paracetamol...
('Obviously'? What is it with the English and their bizarre use of prefacing unrelated statements with the word 'obviously' ?)
"Right...so after the paracetamol he calmed down ...has he had something to eat or drink?"
After a thorough and exhaustive examination,-exhaustive mainly because Baby Cham took every attempt to examine him as a personal invitation to a tickling match-,I decided that he had a mild viral upper-respiratory-tract-infection...a diagnosis I shared with the FLP.
That's what the GP said on Saturday morning...
"Okay...the GP...and what else did he say?"
Well he said to give him paracetamol for 24 hours and then to see what happens...
"Well...what happened was that when you suddenly stopped giving him paracetamol at exactly the 24-hour mark, was that his temperature went up and he felt unwell...and that's why he was 'clingy' this afternoon"
Oh...okay...so are you going to give him any antibiotics?
"No.He doesn't need anything except some paracetamol...and fluids"
Oh...okay...but he's still unwell...
"Jah...and he's probably going to be unwell for a few days...but since he is trying to climb up the curtain and escape through the air-conditioning vent,I think you can safely take him home."
"And by the way,let me get you a referral to the Plastic surgeons..."