Saturday, September 30, 2006

Three bloody patients

Don't worry, there won't be any pictures. Unless you really want to look at bloody things. I saw all these people when I was working in the ER.

Patient #1: Gored by a bull

Brought in by helicopter from out in the country, this guy had a scalp laceration and a punctured cheek. He wasn't even in a rodeo, just going about the work of raising cattle.

Patient #2: Open leg laceration

Poor guy was helping a friend with some roof work when a piece of metal sheeting gashed his calf almost down to the bone. You could plainly see the different layers of skin and muscle, fascinating really. Luckily for him, compensating mechanisms had kicked in and he wasn't in any pain. He said it just itched.

Patient #3: Mulitple shallow razor cuts to the face, self-inflicted

I knew what she'd done when I took the paperwork in for her to sign, but I had to make an effort to make eye-contact and stay composed while looking at her face streaked with dried blood. Even though this was the least serious physically, it was the worse of the three. The other two were accidents, this was intentional and indicative of some profound problems. I can't imagine what it will be like to live with fine white scars all over your forehead and cheeks. I hope she got the help she needed. Since then I've seen more than a few girls who cut and the scars on their arms and thighs depress me terribly.

Dang. Didn't mean this to end this under a dark cloud.

1 comment:

  1. I think you are brilliant -- wickedly funny, smart as a whip, well-informed and with a fascinating outlook on life. Keep up the good work.