Dr Ranj is a real doctor and he’s on all kinds of programmes but the only one we are interested in is Get Well Soon on Cbeebies. He is a very smiley patient doctor who is visited by a whole range of puppet patients with a variety of ailments. He listens to them, listens to their worries, talks about their illness and how to help it get better. Simple premise yes, but until this programme overlooked in my opinion. Children get poorly or have to have injections and have to go to a place that often smells funny and let a practical stranger look at them and are supposed to make sense of that. Now I know we talk to our kids about trips to the doctor, dentist and others and can talk about getting better- but how many of us do it to a funky song and dance routine?!
Oliver has spent a lot of time being poked and prodded when going through diagnosis and then the genetic testing so as you can imagine he is mighty upset when he has to go to see the GP. By the way our GP’s are fantastic, very patient and friendly. It usually results in me saying what I think is wrong while he turns all the lights off and crawls under the examining table so he can’t be looked at. At home we play with the medical kit regularly, the toy one obviously, and the little ones now know how to look in ears, eyes, take a blood pressure and give mummy 500 injections. If I don’t say “Ouch” they do it until I do. I hoped it would help with doctor visits. Alongside this we started watching Cbeebies, we were Milkshake fans for a long time, and came across get well soon. The kids were entranced. It is colourful with lots of singing and not everyone is happy. But it’s ok, they don’t have to be. It’s ok to be scared and worried and sad that you’re ill. And more importantly it’s ok to tell the doctor if you are feeling those things. Dr Ranj explains without being patronising. Watched a brilliant one on asthma. My sons favourite is the ear infection though, the song made him giggle and he actually tried to join in the singing. His version went “doctor, doctor, ear- OW!” which was close enough and he loved doing the OW! bit and dancing. (the words are “go to see the doctor when your ear goes OW”) so pretty close.
Anyway he had to go, coincidentally with a suspected ear infection and although he didn’t like it much he was much better at being examined. He let our doctor take his temp, look in his ears, listen to his chest, almost let him check his throat and suffered the pulse-ox finger monitor for 15 seconds which was brilliant. Then he went and turned the lights off. I understand that the NHS is under strain and GP’s are supposed to keep to 10 minute appointments but I have to say that mine never make me feel rushed and if I go in with a sick child, they take the time to talk to the child, explaining what they are doing and why. I think it’s important that the child feels like they are involved, important and have some say. When Popples had a hip infection, she was only just 3 but the doctor said to her “can I just put you up here on the bed and have a look at this poorly leg” which made her feel like she had a choice. When he said to Oliver “can I see inside your mouth” he got a “No no no” so he didn’t push it (we weren’t overly concerned about his throat, it’s just if he sees him he likes to do as thorough a check up as possible as we don’t go that often) , but then got to listen to his chest. It builds up trust and lessens the fear. I think all doctors should watch get well soon, some of the ones we saw at hospital had no idea about children even though it was their specialty. All I need now is for my GP to learn a few song and dance routines, although I suspect the kids would then be feigning illness in the hopes of seeing him everyday! If you haven’t seen it, you should give it a go. I should warn you though that the songs can get stuck in your head.
Until next time- Be happy, be healthy and get well soon!