TITLE: Toadsetta Checks Out
By Laura Manley
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I knew it was time for Toadsetta to see a doctor when her skin lost its vibrant green color. She had been sick with a terrible cough for over a week and now, she had a high fever. Fortunately, I was able to get one of the same-day appointments they reserve for those patients who need immediate care.
Toadsetta did not want to go to the doctor, but trusted my judgment. I carried her gently in my hand to the car, fastened her seat belt, then buckled my own.
In the doctor's office, we went to the desk marked CHECK IN. Toadsetta clung to my shoulder for dear life; it was her first visit. We checked in and sat down in the waiting room.
Our wait was unusually long; all of a sudden, Toadsetta began to scream. I was alarmed I had hurt her in some way. After I calmed her down, I asked, "Dear one, what has made you so upset?"
"I want to go home!" she answered in a panic.
"We can't go home, Toadsetta. The doctor must see you. You may need some medicine to help you get well. Tell me why you want to go home so I may understand."
"I'm never going home from here, Miss Daisy. You see that sign over there? It says CHECK OUT. That's where everybody I've seen today has gone after they've seen the doctor. I'm not going home --- I'm checking out! I want to go home now!"
I couldn't help but laugh, and my sides ached by the time Toadsetta was through with her explanation of why she wanted to go home before seeing the doctor.
"What's so funny?" she asked.
"Oh, Toadsetta, my dear, sweet Toadsetta! Those people are not checking out the way you think. After the patients see the doctor, they go to the CHECK OUT desk to either make another appointment or let the receptionist know the doctor has seen them.
"I'm so happy to hear that, Miss Daisy. I thought I was checking out of this world for good." That said, she settled into her seat to wait for her name to be called.
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