While waiting for the doctor-long story-I overheard the following conversation between a woman who was hard-of-hearing and an exasperated physician concerning her son in the examination room next to mine. The Doc apparently knew them well:
Doc: " Where's he getting his money to buy beer?"
Mom; " I don't know."
" You giving him money to buy beer?"
"Nooooo! Lord no, Doctor! I ain't giving him no money to buy no beer!"
" Okay. Okay. Did you tell the folks up front that he drank 3 six packs of beer? My God!"
" No. He drank 3 six packs of Cokes?"
" At least that ain't no beer."
" No. Don't get me wrong. If he's gonna drink I would rather him drink Coke. But still that's a lot. Especially on top of all the beer he drank. Just because it's not alcohol doesn't mean it's good for him."
" Okay. I'm gonna order some tests. I mean, that's a lot of stuff. That's my point. Does he just sit around all day and drink stuff?"
" I don't know what he do all day. I got to work."
" Okay. I'll be back in a minute."
I heard the door open. I saw the Doc walking down the hall past the room where I was cooling my jets.
He carried the chart in his left hand. He was rubbing his forehead with his right.
I recounted this story to Nurse Bob.
" I hope to get back to ER work someday," he said. "It's hilarious."
After my Doc came in to make sure I was going to live, the Really Hot Nurse showed up to patch me up.
Me: " It's a lot calmer in here since I was last in here for stitches 10 years ago."
RHN: " What did you manage to do to yourself then?"
Me: "Kid rounded corner on a bike and hit me. Sliced shin to the bone."
Me: " Lots more action that day. There were a couple of guys wheeled in with gunshot wounds and there was one guy that had been stabbed a little. And one woman was being wheeled in on a wheelchair and she was giving birth. It's pretty calm today."
She looked at her watch.
RHN: " Welllllllllll, the shooters and their victims have not gotten out of bed yet. I have no explanation for why we haven't had a baby today. But that's why I like ER work. Never a dull moment."
With that, she took off her gloves and patted me on the back.
RHN: " Okay. You're good. They'll bring you your papers and a prescription."
She pointed her finger at me.
RHN: " You. Be careful.'
I left St. Vincents just as one of the chaplains read the morning prayer over the PA system.
And I was glad to be out of there.