It's Only YouBy: Sheryl Lister
“Simona, Dr. Harris has been looking for you.”
Simona Andrews barely held back an eye roll. She had been on her feet for ten hours in the hospital’s emergency room and was too tired to deal with Dr. Harris’s antics tonight. “Why? There are several other nurses on duty.”
“True, but you’re the only one on tonight with pediatric experience,” the other nurse answered.
“Where is he?”
“Exam room four.”
“Thanks,” Simona called over her shoulder, increasing her pace. She hoped the good doctor really had a patient this time. Then she heard the crying—well, screaming, actually—from two doors away.
“Thank God,” Dr. Harris muttered when he looked up and saw her enter. “Ms. Andrews, Thomas here is a victim of little brother syndrome.”
He placed a subtle hand on her back, and she immediately moved out of his reach. “Hi, Thomas.”
The doctor quickly explained that the child’s mother had brought the two-year-old into the hospital’s emergency room when he wouldn’t stop crying and couldn’t move his right arm. Further questioning revealed that the woman’s teenage son had been swinging Thomas around in circles by his wrists, resulting in Thomas’s right shoulder dislocating.
Simona moved closer to the table where Thomas sat crying, shaking his head and clinging to his mother. She knew the doctor could easily maneuver the joint back into place, but not without some pain to the child. She produced a small stuffed tiger from her pocket and extended it to him. He stared at it for a lengthy moment, then reached out to touch it. Gradually, his tears stopped.
“Does your arm hurt?” she asked softly.
He nodded, and his lip began quivering again.
She pointed to the tiger. “That’s why I brought you my special friend. I think his name is the same as yours—Thomas the Tiger—and he helps little boys be brave when they get hurt. Would you like to hold him?”
He looked down at the tiger and back up at her, as if trying to decide whether Simona was telling the truth. Finally he nodded again and took it from her outstretched hand.
Simona smiled. “Now, Dr. Harris is going to fix your arm, but it might hurt a little, so Thomas the Tiger is going to stay right in your arms to help you be brave. Is that okay?”
He glanced at the doctor, back to Simona and then laid his head against his mother.
She caught the doctor’s eye, and he maneuvered closer to the little boy’s injured shoulder. While she told Thomas stories of the tiger’s adventures with other little children, Dr. Harris worked quickly. Thomas winced and let out a small whimper, but by then the doctor had finished and stepped back.
“Wow, Thomas. You did a great job,” Simona praised. “You didn’t even cry.”
He gave her a shy smile.
“You’re such a big boy,” his mother said, kissing his forehead. “Thank you, doctor.”
“No problem, Mrs. Peters.” He gave her some precautions and patted Thomas on the knee.
“And thank you, Ms. Andrews. I don’t think my baby would’ve let the doctor touch him if you hadn’t been here. You even calmed me down,” Mrs. Peters added with a chuckle.
Simona smiled and gently stroked Thomas’s back. “You’re welcome. Take care, Thomas, and no more human airplanes.” He reached for Simona, catching her off guard, and she hugged the toddler.
His mother stared. “I can’t believe it. He never goes to strangers. You must be a baby whisperer, Ms. Andrews.”
“I’ve said the same thing,” Dr. Harris murmured.
Ignoring the doctor, she laughed. “I don’t know about that, Mrs. Peters, but I love children.”
“Do you have any children of your own?”
“No. But I’m a proud aunt.”
“Well, you’re going to make a terrific mother someday.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” the doctor chimed in with a gleam in his eyes that went well beyond professional.
She sent a warning look his way, then turned back. “Thank you, Mrs. Peters. Let me show you to the discharge area.”
Dr. Harris chuckled. “Have a good evening, Mrs. Peters, and take care, Thomas.”
Glaring at him over her shoulder, Simona ushered Mrs. Peters out before she could ask any more personal questions.
“Is my son going to be okay?” the woman asked nervously as they walked out.
She smiled reassuringly. “Your son will be fine, Mrs. Peters, but please make sure you tell your other children not to swing Thomas by his arms. As the doctor said, at this age his joints have not completely developed, and it’s easy for them to slip out.”