children, doctors, medicine, parenting

Gooey Eyes and Really Dumb Doctors

Can you read this chart? U cant? You IDIOT!

I took the Beast to the doctor because she had a gooey eye. The doctor was young. VERY young. She looked at the Beast’s eye thoughtfully, hmmm. Up until that point I hadn’t been worried. My kid had a gooey eye. She needed some antibiotic drops and the eye would stop being gooey. End of story. But the doctor looked rather pensive. Hmmm…she said again. I started to freak out. A little. She pointed to a vision testing chart on the other side of the room and said,”Little girl, can you please cover the unaffected eye with your hand and read out for me the list of letters which you see there in the third row? Only every second capital letter please.”

Huh? Excuse me? Me and the Beast both stared at her. Vacantly.

“Little girl, I need you to check the vision of the inflamed eye. Can you please cover the unaffected eye..blah blah.” This time the doctor added a smile. For good measure.

At first, I was indignant. Lady, my kid is THREE years old. She can recite entire episodes of Dora the Explorer, but she didnt understand a word that you just said. And even if she did? My kid is THREE years old. She’s not reading encyclopedias yet.The only letter on that chart recognizable to her is M. For McDonalds. How stupid are you? Asking my kid to read a letter chart from across the room… The @*&#^ letters dont even have glitter on them!

I said, “Oh she’s too young to know all her letters yet.” The Beast nods emphatically and adds, “I dont know everything! I’m still little.”

The stupid doctor looks taken aback. “Oh. I see. Umm..”

And then, I am hit with a truck of self-doubt. Ohmi-dumb-islander-gosh. What if all the other 3yr old kids that come in here can read that chart? What if the Beast is the first 3yrold this doctor has ever met that CAN’T read the letter chart? I’ve always thought that the Beast is the most cleverest 3yr old on the planet – but I have been known to be wrong. (Once or twice in my life.) It doesn’t help that the doctor is Asian because then I jump straight into a hole full of racial stereotyping. She was probably reading Milton’s Paradise Lost when she was three. In between practising violin and studying five different languages. And then she was a child prodigy who went to medical school when she was like…ten. OF course she expects the Beast to be able to read a few letters on a chart. Because she’s brilliant and I am just a loser mother who hasnt taught her gooey-eyed daughter the alphabet yet.

The Beast interrupts my mental litany of woe, tugging on my arm, “Look Mama! There’s B for Bella!”

Okay, so I was wrong, the kid can read TWO letters. My poor baby, trying to redeem us in front of this stupid genius doctor. I get all fiery and fierce. My child has a gooey eye, dammnit. We came here for help, not to be subjected to humiliation and literacy attacks.

“Isn’t there some other test you could use to check her vision?”

So the doctor gets out a chart covered in shapes. “What shapes are these little girl?” (Please Lord, help her to get these shapes right. I promise i wont say any bad words today or complain about my children on my blog. Pleease.)

Thankfully the gooey eyed Beast is excited to show us that she does know everything about shapes.Heck, she even said “octagon”. Yeah take that u idiot doctor!

Atfer all that rigamarole we left the doctor’s office with a prescription for – antibiotic eye drops. Hello, I could have written my own prescription thank you very much. Me and Google are brilliant doctors.

We went home where I immediately started teaching the Beast her alphabet.(I put on the Dora Alphabet Rescue dvd.) And then I thought about writing a letter to the bosses of medical schools everywhere.

Dear Very Clever People, Could you please make sure that your doctors have some practical experience with children before you send them out into the world to diagnose them? I suggest that you introduce new standard protocol: every medical student has to accrue required hours babysitting kids before they can graduate. At least then they will know what children can and can’t do at different ages.I would volunteer my children for your babysitting needs but my Fab5 are faaaar too intelligent and would probably give your students unrealistic expectations.(Mine already knows B for Bella. And octagons, so there so there.)
A Really Brilliant Mother of Really Brilliant Children.

6 thoughts on “Gooey Eyes and Really Dumb Doctors”

  1. hahahahah!! Brilliant!! I want to know if they drs face fell when you surely made her realise what an idiot of a question that was- and sorry, but i can b*#!h and moan about this subject!! sometimes some drs are really green around the ears when it comes to basic common sense…treat the patient, the human infront of you, and not the organ (the 'inflamed eye') or the illness!!! if it were me, she would have been educated right then and there… you need to fish around for a brilliant dr:)especially with your 5 kids of experience!! good luck!!

  2. So glad that you agree Dr N. Especially since youre a doctor AND a mum of some (very brilliant) children. I mean, I know that I'm very fiapoko, or as Dr Atherton at Soifua Manuia Clinic once told me, "You really dont want to believe what Im telling you, do you? You've already got your own diagnosis and Im wasting my time giving you mine…*big sigh*" But yeah, the older i get, the less willing I am to be patient when a doctor does/says something DUH when treating my children.

  3. Oh how precious!. she knows what an octagon is!. that's really cute and really smart for a 'little person' (as my mother would call them). mine doesn't care about shapes yet but she knows her alphabet! But anyway back to why I wanted to comment on your post in the first place.. I just wanted to say that your daughter (the octagon genius that she is) was just showing mummy how 'durr' that lady doctor was!. I mean come on.. who talks to a three year old like that? an idiot obviously. ha ha ha!.

  4. Hahaha! That's a fabulous story! Octagon at three? She's totally going to be a brain surgeon. Maybe sometime in the future, Dr. N will need her. :)And I left an award for you at my blog!

  5. Hahaha I really enjoyed this post, Lani. Lol @ unaffected eye. I would have given her an affected eye just for her silliness. Give me Atherton's eye rolling and pursed lips any day lol. Coco Girl

  6. Thankfully I have not come across such silliness when taking Lyla to the doc (I try to give off a don't-bullcrap-me-doc-I'm-smarter-than-you-and-earn-way-more-I-just-spend-it-all-on-faalavelave vibe when we walk in, even though it's not true).I did, however, have a really bad experience with a Samoan lady doc at Otara (serves me right for going there to save an extra $5 from my usual caring old man GP). I said my body felt numb. She said, "It can't be numb. Can you feel me touching your arm. That's not numb then." I just wanted to numb her mouth right there. I was about to collapse (literally) and the numb-brain was lecturing on me the definition of numb?

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