It was 5 minutes before closing time when 3-year-old Emma’s mom called with an urgent request. Was there any way we could see Emma? She just fell off her bike and there had been a lot of blood. Mom was afraid she had knocked a tooth loose. They were 5 minutes away. Sure, c’mon in.
I remember when I first met Emma last fall. She would hide her face from me, crying, barely letting me examine her. And when Kallie, our mascot dog, would come near her, she would shriek in terror! But over the last few months, Emma had been in the office several times with her siblings, often playing with Sue, picking out stickers or little toys, proudly displaying them. And she has enjoyed playing with the dog.
Today she came in alone, carried by her mom. Her face had a couple streaks of blood but no cuts. Her face was serious as she sat quietly on mom’s lap, facing me, allowing my exam. There was some blood between her teeth, but there didn’t seem to be anything that needed stitches or special care. But were her teeth loose? It was hard to tell with my gloved finger, so I got a pair of forceps to push gently. I explained what I was doing, and Emma sat calmly, eyes watching me, allowing me to push on her teeth. They seemed to be fine.
Within about 5 minutes of arriving, she was on her way home, grasping the plastic whale she chose from our box of goodies. As she turned to wave at Sue and me and the dog, I smiled, loving how this environment lets me provide great prompt personalized care. Medicine the way it should be!