Friday, January 21, 2005

trip to the doctor's office, version 1

I was barely through the door when the doctor and two nurses ran over.

Dr. Steinburg: "Rand, what the hell happened?"
Me: "I'm not really sure, I just..."
Dr. Steinburg: "Don't talk... Let's get you to a room first.. I want that bandaged up before you lose any more blood."

After being escorted to a private room, the nurses wrapped up my arm. One nurse remained, while the other went to get some equipment. I was feeling a little light-headed, but I don't think that I was in shock. I seemed to be very cognizant of the entire experience.

Dr. Steinburg: "Are you in pain?"
Me: "No... I mean, there's a reason for that, but it's a long story."
Nurse: "Son, do you know where your hand is? If you have it with you, we might be able to reattach it."
Me: "I honestly have no idea where it is... I don't know what happened to it.. I was just trying to get my subway pass out, and knew something was wrong when I couldn't feel my wallet when I reached into my pocket."
Nurse: "Just sit back and try to relax."

Dr. Steinburg: "Rand, if it was anyone else talking, I wouldn't believe it. I have got to hear this story."
Me: "I don't want to trouble you... I know that you're a busy man."
Dr. Steinburg: "Don't be silly."
Me: "Really, your job is very important, and people's lives are in your hands."
Dr. Steinburg: "I always have time to talk to you... you know that. Any time you want, you should just stop by."
Me: "I know your schedule... it feels selfish to take up your time when it's so demanded. I wonder if you take your position for granted; people need you."
Dr. Steinburg: "Being a doctor isn't just about healing the body... I care about my patients. Besides, whenever I talk to you, I learn the most interesting things."
Me: "Don't say that. You must have tons of stories that you could tell. I can't even imagine some of the things you have to deal with on a daily basis. You're just being modest."
Dr. Steinburg: "Son, you just walked in here with a hand missing... I think that you might have a story or two to tell yourself."
Me: "Well, that's true I suppose. Still though, I don't want to keep you from your other patients. There seemed to be quite a few people sitting out there waiting to be seen."
Dr. Steinburg: "They'll be fine; don't you worry about them. They saw you come in... I can gaurantee you that they'll want to know what happened just as much as I do."
Nurse: "That's true; I'll be bombarded with questions all day as well."
Me: "Heh, that's kind of flattering. I never think my experiences to be all that interesting, and I'm a horrible story-teller. Man... there's too much pressure on me now.. I couldn't possibly tell the story."
Nurse: "Please do... I'm very curious. I've been a nurse for six years, and I've never once met a person who lost a hand without realizing it, let alone one who was able to be so casual about it."
Me: "Oh, I'm probably just in shock... the reality of it all will kick in later."
Dr. Steinburg: "No, you're not in shock... that was the first thing we checked for."
Me: "Hmm."
Nurse: "Have you done any drugs today?"
Dr. Steinburg: "Rand doesn't do drugs. Once you get to know him, it'll all make sense... he's just a very unusual character."
Me: "I feel horrible stealing the spotlight like this... really, I'm fine... come back when you have whatever equipment you need, and I'll just wait here."
Dr. Steinburg: "Please, Rand, as a personal favor to me.... you've got to tell us what happened."
Me: "You sure that I won't be troubling you?"
Dr. Steinburg: "No trouble at all."
Nurse: "Yes, please... do tell."

The other nurse returned to the room with an IV drip and some other machinery.

Dr. Steinburg: "Just in time, Loretta, Rand was just about to begin telling us what happened."
Loretta: "Oh, wonderful! I've been dying to hear about this since you came in."
Me: "Well, it all started yesterday, when I realized that there was no hot water...."

The pager in Dr. Steinburg's pocket started beeping.
Dr. Steinburg: "Damn, I have to take this. Rand, you just sit tight; everything's going to be fine. Loretta, make sure that his wound is cleansed thoroughly, and do all the preparations."
The doctor left the room, and the nurses began working on my arm.