Whiter than Rice

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I May Hate Children, But Sometimes It's Really Not Their Fault

On Friday Morning, I had the wonderful experience of seeing Audrey, a two year-old-girl with intermittent left eye deviation to the temporal side. There were a bunch of patients we could choose from, but I got her because everybody went "Hey Tony, the name on the patient chart is English instead of Chinese, she must be Foreign, you take this one!"

Anyhoo, the kid wasn't actually White, but was American. Dad was Taiwanese, Mom was a Honger. So I spoke Mandarin to the dad while I spoke English to the mom.

I won't bore you with medical details, because they were really really boring. Opthalmology just generally blows.

Our department head's instructions that morning were to "take a detailed history, leave the physical and local findings to me". So I did that.

Of course, when the Department Head (he's this old balding fat guy) tried to examine the eye, the little girl started crying like there was no tomorrow. He tried to sweet-talk the little girl, tried to have her grab the examination scope to prove it's harmlessness, nothing. Then they tried getting her to take pupil-dilation drops for a fundus examination, she started crying even louder.

The problem in the end wasn't that serious, our department head told them to come back for a follow up session. (they SAY they're coming back next year when they come back to Taiwan from the USA, but everybody lies.)

Maybe I should have said something... but seeing how I'm in Asia, it was a good idea that I didn't. It's HIS fault that he couldn't figure out that the kid DOESN'T SPEAK MANDARIN. The kid's parents speak English to her, while the grandmother (mom's side) speak Cantonese to her.

If I were a 2 year-old-girl with some fat old strange Asian guy speaking some weird gibberish at me while flashing a bright light in my eye, I'd fucking cry too.

I did say something to the mom as they left:
"Don't blame Audrey, I have the same reaction whenever I see our department head too."


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