366 Paediatrician Clinic 2in1

    Even though it was Chinese Valentine's, it was not a public holiday so hospitals were open for business. Nan Xiang City's Third People Hospital saw a large crowd in the emergency room. The patients and their families filled up the waiting hall and the buzzer kept ringing. There was a superstition at most hospitals. Hospital staff should never say things like 'things look quite quiet today' or else things would quickly go south. In fact, an experiment had been done on this overseas. Two groups were isolated with normal workflow. One of them spoke the taboo and the other did not. The result showed that the former indeed ended with more workload.

    Regardless, tonight at the Third People Hospital, everyone was busy regardless of the taboo or not. The bustle was especially heavy at the paediatrician clinic. The doctors and nurses there had worked from afternoon until dawn.

    "We'll keep him on observation after giving him this shot." Liu Guolin, one of the main physicians just finished checking a seven-year-old boy with fever. To be honest, he was against administration of the shot. Temperature of 38.3 degree was not that high and the boy did not suffer from other symptoms like coughing or phlegm. The optimum treatment should be an ice pack and lots of water. Normally, a few days of rest would return the boy back to normal. If that did not work, only then would he apply the shot. The shot was not an ambrosia, it had many side effects. In fact, it had caused cases of fatality before. Even though the dosage would be heavily controlled, most doctors would not suggest a shot in this situation. But the boy's parents were particularly insistent on the shot. They wanted the immediate effect. Due to the complicated legal-binding relationship between doctor and patient, Liu Guolin eventually caved in and obliged.

    "Aiz." Once the parents led their boy out of his room, Liu Goulin shook his head and sighed, "Such parents." Doctors like him often had such complaints in private. Certain patients and their families were too opinionated, they'd rather put faith in web medical advice than to place trust in actual doctors. In fact, some of them treated hospital doctors with open hostility.

    In today's age, being a doctor, especially at a Chinese hospital was incredibly complicated. Other than to cure patients, they had to deal with bureaucracy from both the pharmaceutical companies and the patients. For example, when a doctor gave a prescription, they had to consider whether to prescribe imported medicine or local medicine. Even though they might have the same component, the imported medicine would cost 100 RMB but the local counterpart 30 RMB. If they prescribed the latter, the hospital would lose income and the doctors would lose bonus. Their superiors would complain and their days at the department would be hard.

    Other than that, the doctors had to consider the consequence. If something bad happened, the patient's family would blame the doctor. Accusations like 'why did you not prescribe the imported medicine', and 'is it because you took a cut from local medicine pharma' was far too common. However, it was also these patients who complained about the high cost of medication. At the end of the day, it was always the doctors who were blamed.

    This was particularly true in paediatrician clinics. Children normally could not express clearly their symptoms and every parent held their children like treasure. When a child started to wail, not many parents could keep their cool and their only vent at the hospital was the staff...

    Liu Guolin worked at the hospital for five years already. At the start, he'd try to reason and explain to the parents but now, he'd just go along with their request... he knew he was being acclimated into the people he detested the most but sometimes there was no other solution... He was not Gu Jun, not a Phecda member. He was just a common doctor. He had his own back to watch. Ever since the slap he received from an agitated mother, Liu Guolin just wanted to keep a low profile...

    Tonight, he worked the day shift. His shift would end at midnight and he did not want anymore trouble until then. Liu Guolin just removed his mask and took up his thermos for a drink when the next patient rushed in. A couple around 30 carried a girl around 5 years old into the emergency room.

    "Come and greet Doctor Liu." The mom pushed the girl forward and the girl said politely, "Good evening, doctor."

    "Very good, good evening." Liu Guolin studied the girl's medical history handed to him by the girl's father. The girl was 6 and she did not suffer from any serious illness before. From his observation, the girl did not show any symptoms like fever, stomach ache and so on. The patient looked perfectly normal. She was not crying, or making a fuss. Liu Guolin thus asked the parents, what was the problem.

    The mother answered in a nervous voice, "Doctor Liu, something is wrong with my daughter. She kept blinking her eyes and scrunching up her mouth and nose. But the strangest thing is whenever I lay her down to bed, she would make this strange noise... I can't replicate it but it is just awful..."

    "We were so frightened." The father added nervously. "The sound could not be made by a normal girl. Doctor Liu, can you check what's wrong with our daughter?"

    "Okay." Liu Guolin nodded. He shone a light into the girl's eyes and inspected her throat and mouth cavity. There was nothing wrong, there was no inflammation of the tonsil. Her eyes reacted to the light just fine, everything was perfectly normal. Liu Guolin already made his diagnosis, this was yet another case of the parents being overly worried. The child was fine, she probably just was going through a phase. But that worried her parents so much that they thought a visit to the emergency room was necessary. Of course, he would not say that out loud but continued his examination. The mother claimed the symptoms only appeared that morning. It became more common at night. The girl made that strange sound only once so far.

    "Little girl, your mom says you've been blinking your eyes constantly. What's wrong, do you feel uncomfortable around the eyes?" Liu Guolin asked the girl. He kept his voice gentle and kind to not spook the girl.

    "Erm..." The girl shook her head shyly. "No, I just feel like blinking."

    "Then, do you feel like blinking now?" Lui Guolin asked with a smile. They had been in his room for 3 minutes already. Based on his observation, the girl did not blink that often.

    "No." The girl answered.

    "Then... is it like an itch?" Liu Guolin suggested, "You feel like scratching it when there is an itch but you feel fine otherwise."

    "Yes!" The girl agreed with the analogy. Her parents looked at each other, they had no idea what this meant.

    "Then is it the same case with the sound that you made?" Liu Guolin asked, "The sound was stuck in your body like a sneeze and you have to let it out?"

    The girl nodded again.

    "Then can you resist it?" Liu Guolin pressed. "When you want to blink and make those sounds, can you resist the urge?"

    "I don't know..." This time the girl shook her head. She turned to her parents. "I never wanted to do any of that... I don't know."

    By then, Liu Guolin confirmed his earlier diagnosis. He picked up the pen and scribbled hastily on the medical pad. The girl was fine, she was probably just trying to scare her parents. He sneaked a glance. The father appeared more collected than the mother. He had the mother bring the girl out of the room first. Then he worked out the words he wanted to say so that they won't trigger the father.

    "The girl should be fine." Liu Guolin began slowly and he'd stop when he noticed something was wrong. "At her age, a child will often use this method to grab a parent's attention. Just pay attention to her needs and she'll be fine after some rest..."

    "Doctor Liu!" The father interrupted harshly. He was even more agitated than the mother. His face was flushed. "This is not that kind of problem! My daughter is a very obedient child. We are a great family and she normally will not act like this. And that voice she made is too strange, it's not even human-like... Doctor Liu, wasn't there news about supernatural energy recently? Could this be related to that..."

    Liu Guolin grumbled internally, 'Then why do you come to me? Go to Phecda.' But honestly, his professional opinion believed that was not the case. The girl looked so healthy, her parents were probably being overly concerned.

    "Erm." Liu Guolin glanced at the girl's medical history, her name was Guo Qinying. "Mr. Guo, calm down. I'm not saying that it is that case with Qin Ying. Perhaps she just wanted to play a joke but when she saw how worried she made you guys, she did not dare to admit it due to fear of admonishment. For now, I think you should keep a close eye on her and do not pressure her. If this continues, then we'll see what we can do."

    "But..." Mr. Guo said anxiously, "That voice was too scary... It sounded like the repetition of two syllables, like she was summoning something or someone."

    Liu Guolin wanted to laugh. Some of these parents had such vibrant imagination. Ever since Phecda revealed itself to the public, some of the parents he met could be a scriptwriter. A small cough could be legionella pneumonia and a trip was them having a malicious shadow. Some of the children picked up on this fashion. To avoid school or scolding, they made up sickness like stomach ache. In the past, their parents would not have believed it but now everything was a cause for worry. Work for doctors like Liu Guolin was getting more and more difficult.

    "Mr. Guo, then how about you try calling the Phecda hotline? Because if it's really related to supernatural force, then I can't help you either." Liu Guolin naturally wouldn't say affirmatively it was related to the supernatural. He had learned from experience which terms could be a trigger. Adding 'if', 'perhaps', 'possible', 'should' in his diagnosis... could save his career.

    "Oh..." Mr. Guo scratched his head. He wanted to say something but stopped himself. Thankfully, Mr. Guo was ultimately a reasonable man. He did not make a scene and left with his daughter's record. Liu Guolin made the right choice because once Mrs. Guo heard about the diagnosis, she charged back into the emergency room to demand for shots and medicine. She demanded that Liu Guolin at least do something. Liu Guolin was speechless. The girl was perfectly healthy, what was the basis for him to prescribe medicine?

    In the end, it was her husband who pulled her away.

    The couple stayed at the hospital to observe their daughter's condition. Thankfully, little Qin Ying did not show any more symptoms so the parents eventually calmed down.

    At midnight, Liu Guolin handed the work over to his night shift colleague. He removed his doctor's coat and returned to the hospital staff hostel to sleep.
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