Our eyes are locked. Imagine a Wild West Stand off. My fingers flex at the side of my white coat, the small persons bites there lips inquisitively. The second hand on my watch is ticking away. The sweat trickles down my brow as a draw my stethoscope and as fast as I can begin listening to the child’s chest. Quick, listening in the required zones, each intake of breath is like a ticking time bomb. As I start listening to the the back, her mouth opens wide, I’m 80% done but I wince anticipating the cry that will mean examination from this point will be difficult.
“Dr Fluffy!” She says, grins and reaches for my hair.
I breathe out a sigh of relief as I quickly finish auscultating her chest.
Dr Fluffy has quite the ring to it I must say.
So far I’ve been Dr Fluffy, English Doctor, the pale doctor and Dr clear skin and big eyes!
I’ve chased a child around the ward trying to assess a graze in their lip, stepped on tip toes to listen to a child’s heart whilst they were standing up pressed to the back of their hospital crib and auscultated a patients little brother to prove that the stethoscope was not scary.
If you look at it from a child’s point of view sitting in the crib and here I come in my big white coat with this weird tubey thing around my neck- not exactly comforting. Not to mention the fact that I look different to all the other doctors here and talk with a funny accent!
Like tackling most tasks in life though all I can do is smile, talk in a kind calm voice and be enthusiastic!
I will say though, having spent time with my family in Antigua that understanding the Caribbean accent has become so much easier!
Dr Fluffy to the rescue!