Friday, October 11, 2013

Looking For Her Old Man
There have been times that I’ve been only surprised and then there were times that I was completely shocked. I was working in the triage area of the emergency department, when a man walked in with the seat of his pants covered in blood. He was pressing a towel tightly against his bottom. I hurried him inside and helped the other nurses remove his pants and underwear while keeping pressure over the area that he had been covering. His pants had an almost three inch tear across the seat of his trousers. When we removed his clothes, we began to wash off the blood as we moved closer and closer to the injury.
We needed to see what had been cut and how large it was. Changing the towel for an ABD pad, we could see its size. It was nearly as long as the rip in his pants.
            While we were cleaning and assessing the wound, the man explained that he had been at a party and was shoved onto an empty beer bottle that had been left on a chair. “It shattered and cut me.”
            The glass shard had cut him deeply. It had lacerated his anal sphincter. When the emergency room doctor saw the depth of the wound and its location, he said, “Keep the pressure on it and notify the surgeon on call.”
            The other nurses started an I. V., started a dose of antibiotic, and began to get the man readied for the operating room. I went back to man my post in the triage area.
I hadn’t been there long when a teenage girl walked in; she looked about thirteen or fourteen. I asked her, “May I help you?”
Flippantly and disrespectfully she said, “Yeah, I’m looking for my old man.”
This was in the early 1970’s and such a cavalier attitude was unusual and unexpected.
“What’s your father’s name?” I asked.
Her answer almost bowled me over. I could hardly believe my ears.
Without giving me the name, she chirped, “He’s the one with the new asshole!”

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