Between about 6PM and 9PM on most Sunday evenings, our emergency department seems to become more crowded with kids and their parents. It used to be less because Sundays were school nights, but now that the kids don’t have to be in school the following morning, the numbers seem to be increasing.
I’ve also noted a trend in the presenting complaints.
You see, due to many court orders governing divorced parents with custody rights, said custody of offspring must change hands at some point in the week. In our county, it appears that the courts like the children to be transferred between parents at 5PM on Sunday evenings.
Of course, after being in the custody of that other evil parent all week (or all weekend as the case may be), the parent with the halo then notices a plethora of bite marks, bruises, fevers, scratches, ravages of vermin, and potential sexual assaults that were inflicted upon their children while those children were not under the watchful eye of the good parent. Emergency documentation of such evidence must be obtained immediately – both to prove that the alleged injuries occurred during the care of the transferring parent and to also prove that the alleged injuries did NOT occur during the care of the receiving parent.
The other problem with these visits is that they induce more visits. If mom is trying to prove that dad is not taking care of the kids, then when dad gets the kids back he sure as shootin’ is going to bring them to the hospital and get pictures to show that mom is really the one who is sexually assaulting the kid AND causing those bruises. As possession of the children changes, so does possession of the halo worn by the parents.
Normal exam. Check.
Alleged hyperdefecation. Check. No I will not say that it is because his mom spanked him. No I don’t want to see pictures of your toilet bowl and I’m not putting pictures of someone’s stool into the chart, either. Not once, not nevah. You can save those mementos and hang them on your fridge next to the calendar.
Normal exam. Check.
Alleged sexual assault. Normal physical exam. Check. No I can’t test for DNA to determine whether anyone’s fingers have been down there besides hers.
Skin rash – resolved. Check. No, there is not a rash there now and it does not matter if we shine a light on it. The rash isn’t there, ma’am.
Insect bite. Check. No it is not a rat bite and no he does not need a rabies shot. If you think her house has rats in it, call the health department. I don’t do house calls.
Bruise to shin from bicycle accident. Check. No I’m not commenting on whether you think his father knew he wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time. You weren’t there. No I’m not writing “severe” bruise. It’s not severe. You have to look at it twice to see it once. My kids have worse bruises than those.
Come to think of it …
Honey … how exactly do you discipline the kids while I’m gone?