The Holiday season is fast approaching, but let’s not overlook the season we are currently in: Cold & Flu.
Much less heralded than the commercially successful Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, Cold & Flu still carries with it the standard trappings: less sleep, numerous out-of-pocket expenses and a child guaranteed to come down with some kind of illness.
In keeping with the spirit of the season, my daughter Quinn came down with some kind of mucus-producing bug that kept Pam and me up all weekend. As any responsible parent would do, I volunteered to take Quinn to the doctor. (Volunteered = parent-speak for “I lost the coin toss.”)
Our four-hour visit to the doctor not only provided us with a bubble gum flavored cure to Quinn’s ailment, it also enlightened me as to how medically stupid I am when it comes to my daughter’s health.
To kill time during the three-hour wait, the nurse handed me a form to fill out about Quinn’s medical history. I’ve never tested well and that is exactly what this form was, a pop quiz designed to prove quantitatively what an ignorant, rotten father I was.
I didn’t have a cheat sheet and seeing as I was already in a doctor’s office, faking an illness was out of the question. I tried to copy off the lady next to me but she kept covering up her answers and scooting her chair away… untrusting witch. I had to answer these questions based upon my own knowledge, a scary proposition, but I figured I could use Quinn’s input to help me through:
Q: Child’s age:
Where has your child gone for past checkups?
Almost exclusively to a doctor.
Date of last checkup:
I think it was a Tuesday.
Date of last dental checkup:
Coincidentally, a Tuesday as well.
Allergic reactions to any foods?
Once after eating a cherry Pop Tart, her neck and face swelled up and she turned a light shade of purple. We thought it was a reaction but later that day, we realized her shirt was a little too small and the top button was cutting off the blood to her head.
Any unfavorable reactions to immunizations?
When she was 4, she received her shots for Mumps and Measles. When the doctor stuck the needle in, Quinn had a knee-jerk reaction to the pain and drove her little foot straight up into my groin. I found that to be quite unfavorable.
Any serious injuries?
Serious? No, but it hurt like all hell. Dropped me like a sack of wet cement right there on the clinic floor. Had to ice down with a bag of frozen snow peas for a couple hours.
Circle any diseases that the child’s parents, grandparents or aunts and uncles have had:
“Quinn, this year when the family is all together at Thanksgiving, I need you to ask grandma, grandpa, Aunt Maureen, Kathy and Beth if they have ever had any of the following: aids, mental illness, abused drugs, alcoholism or any venereal diseases. That’ll spark a good conversation.”
Does the child take any street drugs?
“Quinn, are you currently geezing, riding the white pony or on the yam yam?”
“What?” Quinn responded.
That’s a “No”.
Is patient sexually active?
NO! And won’t be until I am long dead and buried.
Any problems with diarrhea or constipation?
When she was 6, she got the diarrhea after a bowl of chili. That same year, she ate a whole package of string cheese and was constipated for a week. We gave her a bowl of chili and that straightened her right out.
Onset of menses:
She’s never had her I.Q. tested, but she’s pretty sharp.
Days in cycle:
“Quinn honey, how often do you ride your bike?”
“2 or 3 times a week.” she replied.
Any problems with periods?
No, but she really struggles with the proper uses of the semi-colon and ellipsis.
Last menstrual period:
“Ooohhh. Quinn maybe you should call your mother and re-do these last few questions.”
Does your child wear a helmet while bike riding?
None of your business! (A man’s got to draw the line somewhere on the personal questions).
Information given by:
A complete moron.
The test did provide me with some valuable insight: learn more about my daughter’s personal medical history or get a whole lot luckier at coin tosses.