“Good morning, Dr. Pruett,” a strange, chipper voice said as Viviana was walking toward her office.
“Good morning! I’m sorry…you are?”
“Oh, your new intern. I’m sorry. I thought you knew I was starting today.”
“Oh! Of course. Pregnancy brain, I tell ya. Is there anyone waiting for me?”
“Yes. A little girl in room four. Poor thing is crying because her head hurts!”
“Awww. I do love to make the little ones feel better. Ok, I’ll go see her right now. Can you take my stuff and put it in my office? And could you start some tea too?”
“Yes, Dr. Pruett.”
Viviana waddled to room four and looked at the chart outside the door. When she saw who it was, a smile took over her face and she walked in the door.
“Hi, Holly! Do you know who I am?”
“Yay! You remember me! What’s going on, little lady?”
“My head hurts really bad!”
“Aww, ok. Well, let’s get you checked out so I can make you feel better, ok?”
Viviana already knew what was wrong with her. She treated child after child year after year for bloaty head. But, she went through some tests just to be sure. Being a mother taught her how to have excellent bedside manner, and she enjoyed putting the children at ease. They were often afraid without their parents in the room, and she was a stranger to many of them.
“Let’s take a look in those ears first, all right?”
“Are you having a baby, Aunt Vivi?”
“I sure am! You’ll be able to meet it any day now. Ooooh…I know why your head hurts.”
“What is it?”
“There are tiny creatures in there!”
“Yep! Little garden gnomes and llamas and freezer bunnies.”
“Ooooh! Freezer bunnies? What are they doing?”
“They’re having a party. They have a disco ball and everything!”
Viviana took out the body scanner and put it on Holly’s chest and told her to breath deeply so she could listen.
“Yep…just as I suspected. The music is so loud! No wonder your head hurts!”
“How do we get them to turn it down,” Holly asked.
“Well…let’s see if they’ll take a hint when I shine this light in your eyes.”
She shined a light in Holly’s eyes, but it made her head hurt again.
“Uhhhn, nooo! Too bright,” Holly moaned.
“Ok, ok. I’m sorry. Well, I guess we’ll have to make them leave then.”
“How do you do that?”
“I’m gonna have to give you a shot…”
“Is it gonna hurt?”
“It shouldn’t. Lie back for me, ok?”
Holly swung her legs around and folded her hands as she lay there anticipating the needle.
“Ok! Are you ready,” Viviana asked. “Oh no, don’t get tense. That will make it hurt. Try to relax, ok?”
“Ok,” Holly said and turned her head and closed her eyes.
“You can open your eyes now, dear.”
“Oh cool! It didn’t even hurt!”
“You are cured, my child. No more parties in your head!”
“Yay! Thank you, Aunt Vivi.”
“You’re welcome, sweetheart. Tell your parents I said hello. Be good!”
Viviana filled out Holly’s chart and placed it in the tray outside the door and proceeded to her office to update Holly’s medical records. Her intern had a cup of tea waiting for her. She took a few sips and continued writing her medical research on the correlation between certain diseases and gender in children. In her years of training, she’s noticed that more boys come in with gas and giggles than girls, but an equal number of boys and girls get bloaty head. The research was in its early stages, and honestly she didn’t even know if there was anything to it without knowing the population of girls and boys in the neighborhood; but because she had to do some research, doing something related to children was an obvious choice. She loved pediatrics and vowed that when she got to the top of her career, she would go back and focus on pediatric medicine.
“Dr. Pruett,” her intern said.
She loved the sound of her new name.
“There is a patient in room 2.”
“Thank you. Are you doing anything else right now?”
“No. I’ve straightened all the beds and mopped the floors.”
“Excellent. Why don’t you shadow me on this one?”
“Really?! I mean, yes…thank you, doctor.”
Viviana smiled at the intern’s excitement as she recalled her beginnings in her very shoes. She took one last sip of tea and waddled to room two with the intern in tow.
“Wow…another family member,” she said as she inspected the chart.
“Oh! Hi, Aunt Viv! I was hoping I’d get you,” Anthony said.
“Hey there, handsome! What’s going on with you?”
“I’m all stuffed up, and I’m coughing and sneezing all the time. And, occasionally I have spots.”
“Spot and not swirls or stripes?”
“Yeah, definitely spots. Like the ones Callie had.”
“And they come and go?”
“Yeah. I had them this morning and yesterday afternoon.”
“Ok. Well, I’m sure it’s nothing serious, but I’ll run every test just to make sure.”
“Thanks, Aunt Viv,” he said through a coughing spell.
“Ooooh, yeah, we’re gonna get that cleared up, dear.”
“Is your mom here?”
“Aunt Viv…I’m 35 years old! I don’t need my mom to take me to the doctor anymore,” he laughed.
“I’m sorry,” she blushed. “I’m still not used to all of you guys being grown men! Ok, I’m gonna go analyze this and come back and see what we can do for you.”
“I can analyze it for you, Dr. Pruett,” the intern said.
“I know. I’d like to do this one myself, thanks. Make sure Mr. Holmes is comfortable, and bring him a glass of orange juice.”
“Yes, Dr. Pruett.”
Viviana smiled at Anthony and waddled to the lab to analyze his sample. It wasn’t every day that her family members were her patients, but when they were, she took care to do everything she could to make them healthy again. She had no reason to think he had anything serious, but she just wanted to make sure.
It took about 20 minutes for the test to run, and when it was over, a look of defeat washed over her face as she read what the results said.