Friday, September 23, 2011

Emergency Room / Rebeca Monzo

Emergency Room / Rebeca Monzo
Rebeca Monzo, Translator: Unstated

Normally, the emergency room of a hospital is a chaotic place, where
ambulances are constantly arriving or cars bring in injured people, you
hear screams and cries. But not always, at least not in the neighborhood
polyclinics. Here things are more relaxes, as the emergencies go
direction to the hospitals, as do the people who feel extremely ill,
they don't come to these primary care centers, they go quickly to the
place where they know their problems will be resolved: the hospital,
where they can count on there being more resources.

The cases I related below are true, though they seem like jokes, and
what's more they star the polyclinic in my neighborhood.

One of the doctors in whom I have the greatest confidence told me, that
one Sunday when she was in the emergency room a young woman came in
somewhat upset and said to her, "Doctor you have to save my life, if you
don't help me my husband will kill me."

"Tell my what the problem is and let's see if we can help you," the
doctor said to her.

"Look, in all honestly, I am having an affair, and the thing is, I fell
asleep and now I can't go home without justifying to my husband where I
was. I need you to admit me, and if you can, give me an IV!"

"Let's see," the doctor answered, "for this I have to consult with my
superior, I can't do this on my own."

She consulted with the chief of the emergency room and both of them
fearing for the physical integrity of the woman who was really very
upset, decided to admit her and give her an IV with glucose. They called
her house and told her husband to come and get her, because she had come
into the emergency room sick and they had spent the night stabilizing
her. The husband, totally crushed, came immediately and looking at his
defenseless wife he covered her in hugs and kisses and only reproached
her for not waking him up and asking him to accompany her.

The other case was simpler but nicer: A woman of about 30 came and said
to the doctor, "I've discovered a lump in my breast, but as I was
teaching a class I waited to finish before coming to see you so you can
tell me it's cancer and how long I have to live." The doctor grabbed a
short white coat and said, "Take off your clothes and put this on and I
will examine you immediately."

The lady went behind the screen and at that moment a little metallic
sound was heard. "Thank you doctor, but I don't need you any more!" the
patient said, "I found the cancer. I hadn't noticed but in my haste to
finish lunch, I was holding a dessert spoon in my hand and when I looked
at the clock I had to run so I wouldn't miss the bus, and I couldn't
think of anything to do with the spoon other than to put it in my bra
and I forgot about it. You can't imagine how worried I was having that
lump all that time."

The other case was a man who came to the emergency room with a matchbox,
and shaking it to make a noise, showed it to the doctor. "Doctor, don't
think I'm crazy, but these are not matches, look, it's two stones."

The doctor asked, intrigued, "Are they something you excreted?"

"No, Doctor, I found these in my Cerelac when I was eating breakfast,
and I wanted you to send them to be analyzed to see if they are poisoned."

"Please, Sir," the doctor said, "If you had been poisoned you would have
symptoms. Better you go back to where you bought the product and make a
claim against the seller."

September 22 2011

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