Thursday, February 11, 2016

OMG! That POOR Man!

 Empty hospital exam room : Stock Photo
 Photo Credit

I hope this isn't offensive to anyone.  In this post, we are only laughing at my naiveté.

It cracks me up that of all the funny stories emanating from the ER over the years ...my friend still thinks the electrocution story was the funniest.  I may've written about this or I wrote and didn't post.  Because of the "P" word.  Which I am perfectly capable of saying ...even in mixed company ...not that I do or have ...but I can ...if I wanted to.  Just saying.  Although, writing about it in a blog or discussing it in a restaurant ...not so much.  Well in blogging ...I just don't want to attract the wrong searches.  In a restaurant ...it's a restaurant.  So in this post, I am reverting back to shwing-schwang  in place of the "P" word, if I need to write the "P" word.  Unless I just say, the "P" word.

Anyway ...I remember the incident like it just happened yesterday.  It's the kind of image that just stays in your brain.  It's not that the "P" image would, but that I thought it was so horrific.

 I felt such compassion for the patient.

It was just after dinner.  The ER was slow. I remember that it was a damp and cloudy, April evening.  We were all hanging out when the call came in that a man had been electrocuted at a local factory and was en route, via ambulance to our ER.  Staff got ready and I went back to my department.  I registered him from the info given to me by the squad.

Then I walked back to bring the chart to the ER doctor.  His desk was in the same room as the patient.  (Small ER.)  I couldn't help seeing the patient, but out of respect, quickly averted my eyes.  I didn't expect to see the poor man all burned, stripped down naked and lying on his back, perfectly still on the cardiac bed.  I wasn't even sure if he was still alive because no one was rushing around even though he looked badly burned.

After handing the doctor the chart, I immediately went right into the tiny work/break area, right next to the cardiac room and exclaimed (in a whisper) to my friend:  "That POOR MAN!"

Nurse, looking somewhat baffled, "Why?"

Very concerned, I said, " Because he is burned all over his body and even his SCHWING-SCHWANG is SINGED!"

Well ...she busted out laughing so HARD, she could hardly get her breath and her eyes watered up.

After she composed herself, she matter-of-factly said, "He's fine."

"But he looks charred, especially his SCHWING-SCHWANG?"

"That is his SKIN!  He's Hispanic!"

"Oh ...Thank God!"

I was genuinely surprised and very RELIEVED for him.

I explained that I didn't know someone could have that shade of skin.

More laughter.  :)

*To my defense, if I hadn't averted my eyes so quickly, I would've realized it was his skin.  Well, I think I would have.  Because it was dark, whitish skin but with a blackish tint to it.  Hence ...I thought he was left smoking and singed.  I thought he was just zapped with electricity and his schwing-schwang got it the worst.  Again ...all these thoughts were lightening fast ..within seconds in my brain.

So ...even though this happened almost 30 years ago, my friend just loves to tell that story ...every time she comes back east.  And we laugh just as hard as she did back then.  Admittedly, I didn't laugh that night because I was still processing it all.  But ...in retrospect ...

And hey ...it's nice to know that I'm remembered for something.  :)