Big and Little Kids
For better or for worse, children think differently!
I went to church every Sunday, never told lies and gave all my money to the church,
would that get me into heaven?" a lady told me she asked the kindergarten-age children
in her Sunday School class. 'NO!' they all shouted.
I continued, thinking they were a good bit more theologically sophisticated than
I had given them credit for, "then how can I get into heaven?"
'You gotta be dead first!'
replied one of the five year olds."
was reminded of this old story when I received the description of an office experience
of North Carolina's Dr. Ira Tucker. Both illustrate that kids' reasoning is often
different from ours.
Said Dr Tucker: "Recently a lady returned for
her annual visit following LASIK surgery and brought her 10-year-old daughter in
for examination too. She told me they would be moving about a half hour away from
my office. I said I would be happy to refer her to a colleague closer to her new
"'But Mommy, I want to come back here
next year!' said the daughter. I could feel my head size growing. This perceptive
young lady was obviously impressed with my pleasant chairside manner and/or clinical
"'Why is that?' her mother asked her.
"'Well, this place is so clean, and
there are two rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom.'"
One of the stories I enjoy most also illustrates
that your child patients don't always interpret things in the same way adults do:
When Dr. Linda Bennett was a small
tyke, she was extremely proud of her father. (As far as I know, she still is.) So
when someone would pat her on the top of her head and ask, "And who are you, young
lady?" her proud reply was, "I'm Dr. Irving Bennett's daughter!"
"I know you're proud of Daddy,"
said her momma, Trude, "but instead of bragging that you're his daughter, it would
probably be best after this when you're asked who you are to just say, 'I'm Linda
The very next day, while grocery shopping
with her mother, again someone asked her who she was. "I'm Linda Bennett," she
replied as Trude smiled at her obedience. But the mother's satisfaction was short-lived
as she heard:
"Oh, are you Dr. Irving Bennett's daughter?"
asked the lady.
"I always thought so," said Linda.
"But momma says no."
Children are not the only ones in your office
who are at times difficult to understand. As you well know, some adults are just
as bad. Washington State's Dr. Ken Common reported this patient interaction to me:
"Am I a good candidate for cryorectotomy?"
a patient asked me, obviously confusing the term "radial keratomety."
"I had to stifle myself to keep from
responding, 'Only if you have hemorrhoids.'"
And Minnesota's Dr. Kevin Wulff tells
me he has had recent patients suffering from "mascular degeneration" and "immaculate
degeneration." Also one who was suffering from "stigma."
"I didn't know if he meant that he
had a bad reputation, or if he had just screwed up the word 'astigmatism.'"
OUR CONSULTING EDITOR, LIVES IN ROME, GA. HE'S
ALSO A PAST EDITOR OF OM. CONTACT HIM AT RUNNINGERJ@AOL.COM
BY AMY WUMMER
Optometric Management, Issue: January 2006