Monday, June 27, 2005


As I'm about to leave the hospital I receive a urgent page. A child has just cut open the bottom of his foot, leaving a 4 inch gash. The pediatrician informs me that she has stopped the bleeding, but would I be willing to suture it back together?

Sure, of course. Please send the child right over, I will meet them in the ER.

It's been a long day, all I want to do is go home, but you've got to do what you've got to do. So I go down to the ER, get some rudimentary supplies ready, and I wait for the child.

And I wait.

And wait.

And try to remind myself why I got into this profession.

40 minutes have gone by and this child fails to show up. The pediatrician's clinic is only across the street from the hospital. Even if the child was in a wheelchair, going backwards, being pushed by a blind parent on crutches, he'd be here by now.

If he got hit by a car, the most logical place to go would be the ER, so I would have seen them by now.

What happened? Got abducted by aliens? Can't figure out that the large building across the street is the hospital? I'm just about to give up and go home when I see a kid limping into the ER accompanied by his mother. It's well past 7pm.

I put my aggravation aside and get to work, stitching up the foot. But halfway through, I just can't ignore it anymore, so I ask them (pleasantly) what caused the delay.

"Oh, we got hungry so we be at McDonald's."