Can’t See Why Some People Become Parents

, , , , , | Healthy | February 24, 2019

(Ophthalmologist’s offices in Germany have a rotating system of which office has to stay open for emergencies on the weekends. Today, it’s our office’s turn and I’m manning the front desk. A couple comes in with their five-year-old daughter. She has a very red eye and says it hurts a lot. I take their info and ask how long she’s had those symptoms.)

Mother: “I think since this afternoon — a couple of hours maybe.”

Me: “Okay. Did something happen? Did she get something in her eye?”

Mother: “I don’t think so; I was watching her all the time.”

(The mother looks a little annoyed at my questioning and the father just nods, apathetic. I give some numbing eye drops to the girl to ease the pain and send her right to the doctor. My coworker follows in, only to come back out some minutes later looking rather angry.)

Coworker: “Guess what? This girl has a metal splinter burnt into her cornea.”

Me: “She has what?”

Coworker: “Yes, her father let her watch him using the angle grinder without safety goggles.”

Me: “And he didn’t think that might be kind of… dangerous?”

Coworker: “Apparently not. I’m getting the instruments to get the splinter out.”

(My coworker goes back in to the doctor and they start trying to get the metal out. After a while, the couple and the girl storm past me out of the door, the mother looking angry, the girl rather relieved with a patch on her eye, and the father pouting. My coworker and the doctor come out right behind, looking exhausted.)

Coworker: “WOOOOOW!”

Me: “What happened?”

Doctor: “The girl was wriggling all. The. Time. [Coworker] couldn’t hold her by herself, so I asked the mother to hold the girl, too. When I was just about to pick the splinter out, the mother let her wiggling daughter go and said, ‘Oh, no, I almost got a cramp in my hand,’ and I was thinking, ‘Oh, no, I almost impaled your daughter’s eye, but good for you that you didn’t get a cramp!’”

Me: “What caring parents this girl has…”

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