For chapter 9 click here: Chapter 9
To go to chapter 1 of the novel click here: Chapter 1
(Author’s note: This chapter has multiple pages. Please click the number at the bottom to continue reading the next page)
“What can I do for you today Mrs. Tipton?” Owen asked as she entered his office with her son Aaron.
As they sat in front of Owen, Mrs. Tipton seemed very worried.
“Dr. I am afraid Aaron has an internal injury to his knee,” She said pointing to Aaron’s knee.
When he saw Mrs. Tipton’s name on the list that morning Owen had smiled and placed a check mark against it. He had started his practice almost thirty years ago. In those early years, the parents of his patients used to believe in the knowledge possessed by the doctors. When the doctor diagnosed an ailment and prescribed a medicine it was taken as a gospel. But lately things had changed. People like Mrs. Tipton were educated professionals with computer Savvy. They parsed the internet and mined the data for any sickness before they came in to see their doctor. Mrs. Tipton, for example, would quote WebMD or what she had heard on TV from Dr. Oz or Sanjay Gupta.
Owen always kept his cool and tried to convince parents like Mrs. Tipton about why their child’s case was different from what they had read or heard. To be a good doctor he knew he had to be patient. Just like in shopping where the customer is always right in medical practice the patient is always right, thought Owen, even though sometimes misguided. He realized that if a doctor gets mad or argumentative he gets a bad reputation and loses the patient.
“How are you Aaron?” Owen said turning to Aaron. “How’s your football practice?”
“Well, I haven’t played since last week. I can’t walk.” Aaron said with a sad face.
“Would you like to tell me when it happened and how?”
“Dr. do you think he tore his ACL?” Mrs. Tipton interjected without waiting for son to speak. She looked very serious.
“Why don’t you tell me what happened, Aaron?” Owen asked the young boy, ignoring Mrs. Tipton.
“I was running on the field, sort of for warming up. All of a sudden I get this pain in my knee, like something moved.”
“Let’s see.” Owen asked Aaron to stand on one leg, the one with the bum knee.
Aaron had difficulty putting his weight on the leg. Owen asked Aaron to lie down on his back on the examination table. He bent his knees and pressed the muscles behind his thigh and asked where it hurt. Aaron made an ouch sound when Owen pressed his thigh.
“Could it be his sciatica Dr.?” it was Mrs. Tipton again.
Owen wanted to ignore her, but resisted. It was better to be patient and explain.
“I’m glad you are considering the possibilities Mrs. Tipton, but I think Aaron is lucky. He seems to have pulled his hamstring. It happens and happens suddenly.” Owen said calmly.
“But why would he feel pain in his knee?”
“MOM.” Aaron turned towards Mrs. Tipton to show he was embarrassed by his mother’s nagging questions before Owen had finished his examination.
“Ok. Ok. But I had read all these symptoms on WebMD. I was worried.” Mrs. Tipton said.
“That’s Ok, Mrs. Tipton.” Owen said. “It’s better to do research, but one can’t be sure about all that is available on the Internet. They only give generic information and all the myriads of possibilities. Only a personal exam in a doctor’s office confirms a diagnosis.”
Mrs. Tipton seemed to quiet down.
“Here’s what I am going to recommend.” Owen said, turning towards Aaron. “I’ll give you a print out with some exercises for this condition. Follow the instructions. It will take a few weeks, but I bet you’ll be back to normal before you know it.”
“If there is a problem, or if you have any more questions, just send me an e-mail.” Owen said as he escorted them out.
“Do we need a follow-up appointment?”
“We’ll wait and see. Keep me informed on Aaron’s progress.
Owen knew that was not the end of it.