Monday, October 12, 2009

"To Me, You're Already..."

a doctor as spoken to me by a young, black male last night.

What prompted his claim?

I have few vices in life. I don't drink, don't smoke, and have never let an illicit drug touch my system. However, I have a fetish, if you will, for diet coke. Not just any diet coke, but diet coke from a fountain with lots of ice. Strike that... I'm even pickier than that.

Call me a diet coke aficionado. See, there's a chain of gas stations local to our region. There are three specific sites which mix the CO2 and syrup in just the right proportions to get the best flavor. Sadly, I drive to one of the three to get my diet coke fix... three times a day. I SAID I have a fetish!!

Anyway, last night I went to the one closest to home. Walking in I saw an old "friend" who has worked at the station for years. There were two young black males standing around the counter talking to him. After grabbing my diet coke with the proper amount of ice, and approaching the counter, I saw the one young male had a make-shift bandage on his arm replete with scotch tape.

Being me, I asked what'd happened. He said bar and mumbled something else.

I asked how bad it was. He asked if I wanted to see it. I said sure, I was in school to get into med school and become a doc.

Carefully, he gently pulled the bandage, or whatever you would call shredded paper with duct tape and scotch tape holding it together, off. The wound was deep. Knife wound if I had to guess. I could see the bone as he tried to gently pull his skin back over the exposed muscle.

Me: "Are you going to a doctor?"

Him: "No, ma'am." (why is it black men are overly polite to women??)

Me: "Why not? That thing needs to get taken care of medical professionals."

Him: "I know, ma'am. Can you help me right now tho?"

Me: "What happened? I'm not judging, I'm just concerned for how dirty the wound is."

Him: "Yes, ma'am" again muttering something about a bar.

For all you docs who read this, or med school students, sorry... my inner doc kicked in.

I told him to take the rest of the tape off and gently run cool water over the wound. With gloves on, I readied gauze to catch the blood pouring from his gaping flesh.

Taking some other rolled gauze, I put the generic Neosporin on the clothy, mummy type material (got sick of saying "gauze" or in earlier versions, "gauge" - really? must have been stressed!!!), clipped the gauze and waited for him. He came back to me, a little shaky, and stood there looking at the antiseptic wound cleaning package.

Him: "Is that gonna sting?"

Me: "Yeah, a little but that wound needs to be cleaned."

Fear in his eyes, I didn't use it.

After securing the gauze with Neosporin on his arm, taping it down with masking tape laying on the shelf, leaving a bit of the dressing open to breathe, I told him again to see a doc, keep the dressing protected, gave him a package of Neosporin, told him to change the dressing just like I'd done every three hours or until he could get to a doc, get that "puppy stitched up and cleaned right" and wished him well.

His friend... said thank you, and walked out the door ahead of him. He thanked me as well before his friend walked back in.

"To me, you're already a doc... and you're going to be awesome."

I mumbled thank you as I turned around. My "friend" in the store and I had tears in our eyes. Little did that young man know, I'd just left school... and was taking a leave of absence from my pursuit.


Carl Raymond said...

Ok, great last post - up until you dropped the "leave of absence" bomb!

You've been kind enough to be transparent about other matters... but what's up? Is it not possible to continue?

The reason for blogs like this and others by nontrad premeds is to encourage each other through the many challenges. I hope you can find a way to fight through this latest issue. Dreams and ambition are what provide hope, and hope keeps us moving forward.

Even if you have to slow down, I hope you can find a way to keep moving forward. Keep the blog alive either way - you have virtual and real friends supporting you.

A Doc 2 Be said...

I'm struggling to get my act together in light of the financial pressure that I had hoped and been lead to believe, would be resolved.

I do NOT want to leave school - as Dr. Dalai said, when our dreams die, so does a piece of ourselves.

On top of the financial pressure, is my son. A few years ago, "evil" moved in with us riding a big, white shiny horse complete with armor suitable for a paladin of his era.

The abuse suffered at his hands - mostly emotional and mental - was horrible. While I took the brunt of it, my son was home at times with this individual alone when I was out of town.

My son went from a straight A student, popular with other kids, and a basketball trajectory right to Div 1. After being in the top 2 of math in our entire county, and being placed in a math scale leading him to calculus as a 9th grader, he's failed for the past 5 years no matter what my parents and I have tried to do... private school where we were led to believe the basketball coach would ensure study halls with monitoring, to another basketball school with inner city kids who had far less than he, to online, home schooling putting the onus on me to keep him propelled forward.

Sadly, Warcraft claimed his awake time, same as EQ claimed "evil"... my son has morphed into that which he hated and I'm doing everything I can to change his direction... including disbanding the internet, confiscating the laptop (which leads to all other sorts of issues), watching him while he does his online work, and finally, enrolling him at the University which seemed to suit his need for mental stimulation and need to feel like he is not a failure.

Evil is long gone but the stench of him remains.

My plate is full... I'm struggling to put it all together.