Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sitting In a Trendy Bar in LA

Sitting in a trendy bar in LA I find myself out of my element. My eyes wander to the tables adjacent. The room sways with the music as the beautiful people inhabit their space. And then out of the corner of my eye I catch a glimpse of two men embracing. Young. One then reaches his arm around the other putting him in a mock headlock. And instantaneously the image transports me back to a week earlier...

I'm rushing to the emergency room from my office. I have a thirty minute break between patients. The buildings are connected. I try to sort out what I am gong to say to the family I'm running to meet. Their mother has just died unexpectedly in the nursing home. She was deathly ill but that won't make it any easier. I feel a twinge of guilt as if I could have done anything differently.

I enter the hospital from a side door and start down the long passage that eventually leads to the main entrance and the ER. My eyes forward I almost crash right into the women in the white coat. She is standing at the intersection between hallways. Holding a hand up towards me she is speaking in harsh loud sentences. Her head is turned towards the bisecting hallway. "Okay...okay...they have a bed for us move him forward..." a bead of sweat falls from her forehead.

Next five large security guards stumble forward into view. They are struggling to carry a thrashing figure. They each have a limb wrapped squarely between large arms. The fifth has the patient's head in his hands and is holding it for dear life in a headlock. They are all obviously fatigued already. The man in front responds, "okay...we have to hurry...we can't take it much longer".

And just as quickly as it has come the commotion disappears. Later as I walk through ER I see the attending and nurses scurrying to the exam room with syringes. Ready to sedate on command. The security guards are loitering at the nursing station. Each grasping a cup of water. And I, distracted by the scene, still am not sure what I am going to say to the family as I pass through the main area and head towards the crisis room.

The men in the bar are now sitting. They toast eachother with their newly delivered drinks. And I let go of that day in the ER. It all seems so far away now....

sitting in a trendy bar in LA.

1 comment:

tracy said...

Wow. Just wow. What an amazing juxaposition between two stories, one quiet and loving, the other filled with fear and violence. Your descritions are such that i can see the pictures in my mind...(hope that doesn't sound too crazy!).
Thank you again for another wonderful entry,