I taught myself future interests in the ER today.
Harley’s lunge was so powerful that it moved the bullet that is lodged in my side. Beforehand the bullet didn’t hurt at all, and was just slightly sensitive to the touch. Now the bullet stuck out dramatically and was very painful.
I called the hospital and they told me to come in.
I waited in the ER for about four hours. There was a guy around my age who looked like he got the lower part of his ear burned off. He was seen after about three and a half hours.
There were a lot of cough-masks at the hospital, but they sent the possible swine-flu cases in a separate waiting room.
While waiting, I ignored the homeless man next to me (who babbled and drooled in his sleep) and tried to concentrate on some estates & future interests problems. After a few hours I gave up and started watching Legally Blonde, which was playing on the waiting room TVs. Before law school I never noticed how odd that movie is. Maybe I missed something, but I’m pretty sure 1Ls do not get to participate in high profile murder trials, even at Harvard.
After four hours I noticed that the nurses were calling people who came in after me. I walked up to the triage and the nurse said, “Oh, we had a shift change and you’ve been here longer than anyone in the entire hospital! You should be next…”
Twenty minutes later I’m in an examining room. The doctor comes in, greets me, and then asks me to show him the gunshot wound.
The doctor was not listening to me. He immediately pulled back the dressings on the bullet wound and then told me that he didn’t see the bullet.
Me: “Well, it’s over here on my side. It really hurts and I think it’s pushing against my ribs…”
What does the doctor do? He says, “Oh I see” and then POKES THE BULLET.
It hurt. Bad. I was livid.
Doctor: “We can probably take it out. Let me talk to some other doctors and get back to you.”
My eyes are watering up with pain and ask him where the restroom was.
Doctor: “Around the corner. You should probably take your backpack with you.”
I should have left my backpack in that room because when I came back they had a car accident victim set up in the room.
A nurse told me to sit on a stool in the hallway. I sat in the ER hallway for about 15 minutes and talked to a bouncer from Blaine who got hit in the back with a bat during a bar brawl…
When the bouncer left and I got his room.
I then sat there, side throbbing, wincing in pain and cursing the doctor’s name.
The doctor eventually shows up, stabs me with an anesthetic, cuts me open, and removes the bullet.
Doctor: “Oh this looks like a 44. Most people get shot with 9s. That’s the gangster’s choice apparently.”
Me: “I thought they said it was a small bullet…”
Doctor: “Hm. Maybe it got deformed when it got in. The area around the bullet looks infected. Maybe that’s why it is hurting…”
Doctor: “Oh wait, it doesn’t smell. That means it’s probably not infected.”
Me: “It’s nice not to smell.”
Doctor. “Yeah. I’ll make the stitches loose just in case. If it gets infected we’ll just remove the stitches so it can drain.”
Me: “Another day the glamorous life of a law student…”
The doctor dug around for any more bullet fragments, which felt disgusting. I felt like a victim from SAW, cue the Billy puppet… The doctor then sewed me up and said he would come back with my paperwork.
I waited for about 15 minutes and another nurse kicked me out of the room. A bleeding construction worker was wheeled in as I left. I sat at that stool in the hallway again for about 20 more minutes. I checked my watch and saw that it was 7:15pm. I had arrived around 1pm. I decided that I was allowed to play crabby patient. and went to the little doctor’s station and asked if they could mail the discharge papers to me.
Nurse: “Oh, we forgot all about you! What’s your name again? I’ll print the papers for ya…”
Quality care right there…I finally left the ER after six hours, stitches oozing…but grateful that the bullet is gone.