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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dispatch From The Trenches

From: Dr. Bob
Date: Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 1:04 PM
To:  Dr. Bob's Fan Club
Subject: another day in Paradise


So a guy walks in to see me today with a chief complaint of: "my girlfriend bit part of my finger off and then the bitch swallowed it...".

HPI  (HISTORY OF THE PRESENT ILLNESS) (this is the best part of my job, to ascertain who is truthful, and who is, well, a 'biting bitch off her meds').
The patient asserts that one week ago (of course) during a drunken escapade with his schizophrenic girlfriend, things got going in the wrong direction and she bit his left Tall Man.  This is the finger used alone to greet President George Bush all over the world.

She bit him on purpose on the middle finger,  midway between the distal interphalangeal joint and the fingernail. For non-CSI fans, the 'distal' term means  "the last joint going away from the heart and toward someone's mouth". This action by the girl effectively removed all tissue down to the bone;  skin, adipose, muscles, tendons, ligaments, small areteries and veins, nerve fibers of significant special function (fingertips and eyelids most heavily innervated dermal areas of our body).

Then, she swallowed it.  For me, this is the point at which the story finally became interesting.

Betsy, a pediatrician friend and I had the great fortune of seeing David Sedaris in Davenport, Iowa 2 years ago.  At performance end, he invited the audience to send him examples of 'people being mean to each other'.   I might finally have a suitable submission.  I don't want to blow this, Mr. Sedaris explains life for me and I abhor the thought of wasting his time.  And yet,....

My patient went to the local ER, around sunrise of the next day.  Why you might reasonably ask?   Because his self administered first round of analgesics (alcohol) and anesthetics (quien sabe?)  wore off,  no doubt causing him to call his girlfriend worse names than he offered up here today in clinic.

At the ER he was given antibiotics, had xrays showing a 'tuft fracture' of this tiny bone at the crown of Tall Man, and was sent home with instructions to find me next.....

Of course he finds me, and upon removing the dirty dressings I observed exposed bone poking out of the Tall Man's tip area

It reminded me of:
- anatomy lab
- my frat house Hell Week  in college and a shameful, frightening display of  machete handling by my drunken pledge father who had anger issues
-Omaha Beach and Saving Private Ryan, on a very tiny scale.
I also thought:  "buddy, you could take a grinder and convert that to a permanent, always handy, toothpick", but I could not actually see teeth in the oral cavity because any lone survivors were encrusted with a solid brown plaque.

I sent him back to the ER in hopes that a kind Dr. this time might take the trouble to ask a surgeon to FOR GOD"S SAKE ROTATE A FLAP OF TALL MAN'S DERMIS UP ONTO THE PART THAT GOES TOWARD SOMEBODY'S MOUTH. If interested, stand by for the next chapter, which will take time to unfold since the girlfriend sits in the county jail.  Is she mulling over new possibilities, such as after viewing on movie night the excellent film Silence of the Lambs. NO!! Bob, don't go there. One Hannibal Lector is one too many for Planet Earth.

None of this story weakens my faith in humanity, nor leads me to think other than, "today is just another day in Paradise". Instead, I am grateful yet another day has dawned in which I do not find myself in a four point restraint and I don't know how I got there.

Thanks for listening. Send me a fee and I will consider paying it.

From: Attorney Betsey
Date: Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 1:39 PM
To: Dr. Bob

I find this account horribly one-sided.  What did he do before she was forced to bite off Tall Man?  Was it to save her own life or the lives of others?  The unborn?  Until you have both sides of this story, I don’t think you can submit this as an example of “meanness” to David Sedaris.   I’m just saying….

From: Mr. Media
Date: Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 1:57 PM
To: Dr. Bob

Hillarious. If you have no objection I am forwarding to my Simba float crew who will get it one and all. I suspect these people are related to the woman found attempting to make meth in some fashion in the Walmart bathroom.

From: Dr. Bob
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2012 2:11 PM
To: Dr. Bob's Fan Club

    I am flattered that your Circle of Trust might enjoy these musings, fire it off into the ether.
    After I sent this I began to wonder  "where in the Hell are we as a species going?", toward self inflicted extinction, or to new frontiers of Ontogeny? What if, following global mass extinction of entire nations, what if this story is found, and a new version of Shepherd of the Hills is launched?  Would the mutants 400 years from now think this was a mating ritual?
    Betsy says that the story is 'horribly one-sided'  as in " was she fighting for her life, etc". That is what I would expect from a smart, smarmy, well seasoned female litigator, always seeking the Truth and Justice. And it is irrelevant that it may make the Man look like, well, a deranged pig , which in fact is what one finds when a Man is stripped down to his core being, his essence.  I just do not  like being reminded of this by a slick lawyer.
    Sadly I lack time to flesh out  (sorry)  these vignettes for sharing every day.  These moments serve as my Beacon to my True North.

Go Tigers, Badgers, Hawkeyes

Dr. Bob

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