Monday, November 21, 2011

"You Doctor....You Fix." A Strange Experience.

On Saturdays we are open from 8 AM until 2 PM, although we never get out on time as the day is usually pretty hectic with all types of emergencies. But one Saturday was very different as we had a very unusual emergency situation.

It was mid-summer, quite a few years ago and it was probably about 3 PM, after a typical grueling Saturday. We had just finished up with our last case, were in the back part of the hospital in the process of going through the end of the day shutdown, when I was paged by one of our receptionists. "Dr. Sakas, could you please come up here right now?" There was something in her voice that seemed quite unusual and the fact that she wanted me to come up to the reception area had me concerned with all kinds of thoughts running through my head.

When I got to the reception area of the hospital there were two men standing there. One man had on a tee shirt, shorts and a pair of sandals. The other man had only a pair of skimpy Speedos and a hat, the type that bicyclists would wear with the bill flipped up (now they all wear helmets). Both men had very foul body odor, to the point of being nauseating. I noticed the man in the Speedos had no shoes on his feet and that there was a gaping hole in his right foot that was bleeding. The blood was beginning to pool on the tile floor of the hospital. I was absolutely aghast and the receptionists were behind the desk horrified by the whole scene.

I then asked the men what was going on and what they wanted. In a thick Eastern European type accent, the non-bleeding man, acted as the spokesman and began to say, as he pointed to his friend's foot, "You Doctor? You fix!" I was absolutely flabbergasted and for one of the few times in my life was totally speechless. He then became more insistent, "You Doctor.....You fix." I finally found my voice and said that I was an animal doctor and that I did not take care of people. He then continued, "You Doctor, yes? Then you fix." I tried again to explain that I could not work on people as I was not trained to do so and it was also against the law for me to do so. He became agitated and said "You fix." He began to make a gesture like someone suturing a wound or so it seemed. He was not getting it and I kept trying to explain. Strangely, the more I argued with him, the more I began to sound like them, despite my thirteen years of college, saying "I animal doctor, I fix dogs, cats, birds, no people, not legal, I lose license if I fix friend." All the while the man with the hole in his foot is calmly standing there bleeding while the pool of blood is getting bigger. We got a towel for him in the hopes of stemming some of the bleeding. In my heart I wanted to help, but I knew I could not.

I then said, "There is place down street", and I pointed north on Milwaukee Ave. "It like emergency room, it for people, they fix friend there." ( I couldn't believe how I was talking). I was trying to direct them to an immediate care facility which was a few blocks north, a place I would refer to as a "Doc in the Box" (which no longer exists there). The staff was pretty amused hearing me talk in my halting English and seeing me so flummoxed by the whole situation, as I am generally cool and under control. The harder I tried to explain what the place was and how to get there, the more confused he seemed. All the while the bleeding man is silently standing there, bleeding.

I finally had a blaze of inspiration. I told them that I had an idea that could help them out. I went to one of the phones at the reception desk and began dialing the Niles Police Department.  I then told them, "I am calling police, they help take you there." Suddenly the bleeding man got a look of utter horror on his face and yelled, "Police?????" They both turned to look at each other and began running out of the hospital leaving a trail of blood behind them. By this time a Niles policeman came to the phone and I began rapidly relating the story to him. As I was looking out our front windows I saw them driving out of our parking lot, onto Milwaukee Ave. and heading south. I was TOTALLY shocked because I could not believe who was driving....the man with the hole in his right foot (which obviously he was using to access the pedals)! I described the men and the car to the officer, but they were speeding away. He said he did not think they could catch them. So I never ever found out what happened to those men.

You just never know who or what will walk in the door! But every once in a while at the end of a Saturday and I am walking up front as I am leaving the hospital I visualize those two men standing there, one calmly bleeding while the other is insisting, "You Doctor....You fix!"

1 comment:

  1. Interesting to have this kind of response, but this is kind of how people see the medical community. They don't want their condition treated, they want it fixed.