This morning I was thinking over my day, both the day yesterday and the day to come, today.
Yesterday I had one of my favourite patients come in for his “annual” check-up. He is a nursing student. I don’t designate him as one of my favourite patients because he has perfect teeth or no bad habits or perfect hygiene. He is a favourite because he makes us feel good when he comes in. He has a crazy, whacky and wonderful sense of humour. He makes us laugh and we have a good time when he comes in. We will therefore go out of our way to provide him the best treatment we can offer. It is a pleasure to do it. He was the last patient and so he left us all feeling like we had a good day.
Today, I am seeing a much less favoured patient. The patient is fine but his mother…. She questions my proposed treatment, seeks second opinions on things that are really pretty standard treatment. She then wants us to follow up immediately on the opinion she has gotten elsewhere as if the delay in her child receiving treatment is the most critical delay in the world. She questions the costs. She argues with the reception staff. She coddles her child, again questioning anything that is less than pleasant for him. It is not a pleasure to see her. Not for myself. Not for the reception staff. Not for my assisting staff.
There is no humour, nothing pleasant to anticipate at all.
She will provide the finishing touches to my day. I imagine she will be on my mind all day. Part of my job will be to confront her with the way she accepts treatment and how she treats the staff she deals with. The treatment proposed is simple stuff.
Update – Divine intervention?
The child’s father came in.