Questions My Doctor Should Ask
December 7, 2011
© Dan Thompson
My kids have pink eye. And sinus infections. And ear infections. And chronic sugar cravings. The main problem right now is the pink eye. My eyes itch just typing this because deep in my heart I know that if they have a disease, I will soon contract said disease. We all like to share unless our name is Wanda and we are two years old. Then we do everything in our power not to share but we have no control over the social nature of our communicable diseases.
I got to spend some quality time with our pediatrician today and he asked all the standard health questions. He even asked some in-depth questions about my kids’ hygiene, sleeping arrangements and risk factors for germ transmission. At one point, I laughed and said, “No, they don’t share a bed but Wanda likes to stick as many different toothbrushes in her mouth as she can.”
He should add that question to the list – Does your child suck on anyone else’s toothbrush recreationally? Because she does. When I catch her doing it, I rinse the brush out and sometimes even put it through a cycle in the dishwasher. She doesn’t try to hide this fetish. On the contrary – when she gets one or two or ten borrowed toothbrushes, she jams them into her mouth and yells, “Wanda TOOTHBRUSH! Wanda TOOTHBRUSH!” until someone acknowledges her and confiscates the brushing implements by force.
I would like you to take a moment and guess whether or not Magoo just yelled as I was typing this, “Mom! Wanda just licked the wall!” I’ll give you the answer. He did. Maybe the doctor should ask that too – Do your kids ever lick the walls? How about – Do your kids ever lick each other’s faces while laughing hysterically? So yes. We are good communicators… or communicable-ators around here.
Also, rather than ask if the kids’ appetites have changed, he should ask if they ever eat anything at all that I want them to eat. Sometimes, but it has nothing to do with them being sick or not. Then I’d ask him if, since Congress made pizza a vegetable, he could make gold fish crackers a fruit.
He should also probably ask:
Do your kids eat food they find on the floor?
Do they cover their mouths when they cough or flail around spastically with their arms at their sides for maximum germ disbursement?
Do your kids really wash their hands if they think you’re not watching them or do they opt for a quick rinse?
Do they drop wet lollipops on the floor of the van and then try to pick the lint off before shoving them back in their mouths?
Do they ever suck on the bar of the shopping cart during flu season?
Do they know perfectly well what boogers taste like?
But he doesn’t ask these things, probably because he has three kids of his own so he already knows the answers. For now I just try to remember that I no longer lick walls or steal other people’s toothbrushes and I’m very gifted at washing my hands. This wasn’t always the case and I somehow grew to maturity... if this is maturity.