I really really don’t like offices, and I’m sorry, but I don’t like screaming kids. I also have a difficult time conversing with doctors who prescribe antibiotics randomly.

Those were my lessons from the morning. Number one, absolutely no question that I do not want to spend the rest of my life in small enclosed spaces with toddlers running loose and screaming. If I have children, I will keep them in a large room, and I will discipline them enough that they can stop making a commotion every now and then. (Although I foresee a difficult afternoon on Wednesday, when my preceptor sees all his ADD kids. A certain amount of commotion is normal for little boys, and I have a reflexive objection to drugging them because of it.)

Number two, I need to figure out a polite way to say, Why on earth are you giving that girl antibiotics for a mild conjuctivitis accompanied by boggy swelling around the eyes, allergic symptoms, and mild drainage – at the same time as you prescribe claritin? Maybe there’s a good answer, but I don’t know how to ask. Or, why are you admitting a chubby 20month old to the hospital, after two days of vomiting (no diarrhea), for iv hydration (which is making mom cry) and ordering blood cultures? He’s afebrile, honestly! I didn’t get the closest look at the kid’s mouth, so I was buying this, until I saw the order for blood cultures. Please, somebody tell me if I’m being too skeptical.

On the other hand, he did an admirable job with what the nurse described as “18yr old female complaining of severe headache, very stiff neck which she can hardly move, but no fever.” Of course that sounds like meningitis; maybe the first viral meningitis of the season. But then the doctor asked, in the course of his history, “Any recent trauma or injury?” Well, duh, she’d been a passenger in a car accident some 24 hours before her neck started hurting.

Oh bother, I am not looking forward to a month of this; sick or healthy, other people’s babies, whom I can’t hold, are boring. Maybe tomorrow, when he’s promised to let me go in the rooms by myself, it will improve. I miss the hospital. . . that has to be pathological.

This afternoon I spent in a GI specialty clinic, which was better. Maybe because the rooms were bigger. This doctor had a sense of humor, which is always nice. I discovered that peds GI has a lot more to do with constipation and G-tubes for cerebral palsy, than with Crohn’s disease. Next Monday I’m with the nephrologist, who, rumor has it, routinely reduces the residents to tears with impossible questions. . .