Thursday, November 08, 2007
Notes on an Emergency Room Conversation
“Clear the way!” I said, rushing into the Emergency room with The Younger slung over my shoulder. “Medic! Cortisone stat!” I plopped The Younger down on the counter in front of the on-duty nurse.
“Who are you, and what's wrong with him?”
“You!” I pointed at some random medical personnel who happened to be walking by, “500ml of saline solution, stat! This boy is in real need of medical attention. Take a look,” I said, pointing to The Younger's hand. The nurse at the front desk picked up The Younger's hand and looked at it.
“I don't see anything wrong.”
“What are you, blind? The other hand! Where's that saline solution? Where's the cortisone?”
The nurse picked up the other hand and peer closely. “I still don't see anything.” I pointed to a spot on The Younger's hand. “What is that? A mosquito bite?”
“That,” I said, “is a puncture wound from a staple.”
The nurse blinked at me. Loudly. The whole room was filled with the sound of the nurse's blinking. “A staple wound.”
“My God nurse! How can you stand there like that? This boy needs medical attention! Stat! Where is that cortisone?” I started looking around the room for anyone to order around.
“How old is he?”
“Eleven,” I said.
“Twelve,” said The Younger, with an exasperated tone to his voice as if he's been constantly correcting adults in his age for two months.
“Twelve,” I said. “You!” I pointed to another random medic. “Warm up the CAT scanner!”
“He attends middle school, right?”
“Have you yet to take your Hippocratic Oath? This boy needs immediate medical attention.”
“Yes,” said The Younger.
“The only thing he needs is maybe a tetanus shot—”
“You! Tetanus shot! Stat!” The random medic I ordered just looked at me rather funny and continued on her way.
“—and if he's in middle school, then he's already had his tetanus shot. It's part of his DTP shot he needed to get into middle school.” The nurse looked rather pissed.
“Anything else I can do for you or the kid?”
“Thank you. Have a nice day.”