Hey, Folks. This one is a nice midwinter pot boiler. It's a little bit long and it gets crazy near the end. It's just the thing to keep you entertained during these snowy winter afternoons. SS06
I had just finished wheeling the stretcher from my last patient out of the examination room, when it happened. I walked into the control room between the two examination rooms and noticed the look on Rachel's face. Something about her expression put me on edge.
As she hit the switch to expose her patient, I thought I heard her say something under her breath. After the exposure, Rachel looked at her screen. Whenever we worked together, I used the CR room and Rachel took the DR room which she preferred. The DR room was digital, so there was no need to run cassettes. Another advantage was that the images came up on the screen almost immediately.
For the first time that I can remember, Rachel cursed. She actually whispered the "F" word before going back to the examination room to position her patient. It shocked me because usually Rachel's "F" word is "fudge."
For her to be that upset, it had to be something that she could personally relate to. I began to think that maybe this was one of those cases where she might need a shoulder. I imagined that she was probably doing x-rays on a person that she knew personally and that her images indicated a pathology that might be hard or life threatening.
While Rachel positioned her patient, I looked at her orders. The woman she had on the table was only twenty two years old. She'd been in and out of the hospital for the past three years. The ER doctor had ordered x-rays on her chest, clavicles, her right shoulder, humerus, forearm, wrist and hand.
Rachel's images showed several fractures and a peek into the room showed a lot of bruises. The door to the outside hallway opened suddenly. That shouldn't have happened because there was a light just above the door that warned everyone outside that X-rays were present inside of the lab. Anyone with common sense would have realized the danger of being exposed to radiation and stayed out of the room.
The guy who opened the door was probably deficient when it came to common sense. He was tall and thick, with a rat-like appearance. He had more tattoos than sense and looked around for the woman on the table. From his nervous appearance, I got the idea immediately that he was the reason she was here.
"Sir, you can't be in here while the exam is going on?" said Rachel.
"Are you done? Is anything broken? I want to see the x-rays," he said nervously.
"Her doctor will go over the x-rays with her," said Rachel. The guy was steadily approaching and had paid no attention to Rachel informing him that he couldn't be in the room
"I said I want to see the x-rays," he said again.
"I can't allow you to view them," said Rachel. There was fear in her voice and the asshole, like a rabid dog sensed it and tried to take advantage of it. I punched a code into the phone for our security team and went into the room.
"It's against hospital protocol," said Rachel.
"Rules were made to be broken, right sweetie," said the asshole, backing her up to the wall. "I've been breaking rules since I was..."
I was in the room before he could finish his sentence. Seeing another man come into the room, especially one who was nearly his size changed his entire demeanor.
"Get out of the examination room, sir," I said. I emphasized the word "sir." I was trying to remain professional.
"I was just saying that I wanted to see my wife's x-rays," he said politely. "Is there a problem with that? I'm worried about her. I came home from work and she had fallen down the stairs. I rushed her here and..."
I stepped closer to him inserting myself between him and Rachel. "You need to stay home from now on then," I said. "Because her bruises and contusions don't look like they came from a fall." His face got a completely different look then. He was nervous. He was bigger than I am but I'm more muscular. I think he realized that in a fight, things might not go his way. And even if they did, he wouldn't come out of it unscathed. He started to back off.
"As a matter of fact," I continued. "It looks like some big, dumb assed, chicken shit, coward beat the shit out of her. So you should probably stay home with her from now on." He looked towards the exit.
"I think that the doctors are required to report injuries like those to the police," I said. His face turned three shades paler while I watched.
"Uhm, I'll wait outside in the hall," he said. He turned and headed for the door that he'd just come in through. As he opened it he found the four huge guys from our security team and a smaller man with graying hair, who wore a suit and glasses.
The security guys came into the room just as he was going out. "What's going on Mark?" asked the first man though through the door. His name was Goren Merpyle, but we just shortened his first name to "Go."
"The guy who brought this lady into the hospital, came into the room during the exam," I said. "He demanded to see the x-rays. I think he was worried about something."
"I'll get a copy of his license and ID," said Go. He opened the door and went into the hall. He came back a few moments later. "He's gone. Don't worry we'll get him." He pulled out his phone and started yelling orders into it. He told the members of his team who were stationed at the doors and in the parking lot to look out for the guy and gave them a description. Then he and the guys who were with him, left the area.
I went into the hallway with the older gray haired guy, so Rachel could finish her exam.
"I should have known," he said.
"Should have known what, John?" I asked.
"This was Rachel's exam and you stepped in, to rescue her," he smiled.
"John this was an unusual situation," I said. "She doesn't get paid to fight off two hundred pound gorillas. Her job is to get diagnostic images. And she's really good at her job."
"Oh shit, Mark," he said. "Don't tell me you've got it too! I guess I could use a tan, turn around."
"What have I got?" I asked. "Why the hell are you standing behind me?"
"You know what I'm talking about. Rachel thinks the sun shines out of your ass. And you're sitting here telling me how good she is at her job. It sounds like some kind of weird mutual appreciation society."
"Uh, John, can we have a statement from the representative from the sense and sanity department?" I said. "I'm fifteen years older than Rachel. I'm almost old enough to be her father. I'm also happily married."
"There is that," he said. But he didn't sound convinced. "But I'll give you to the benefit of the doubt. So let's talk about what I came here for. You know that I'll be transferring to the new hospital in six weeks. It's time for you to step into management, Mark. You can't hide in an exam room forever. I'll let you pick your own team. The hospital opens in three months. I'm only going to have a couple of weeks for the transition. We're in the interview process right now. All you have to tell me is that you want the job and it's yours."
For a few moments there was an awkward silence between us. "Come on Mark, with your daughter going off to college you're going to need more money. I see this as a golden opportunity for you. I know you don't like changes, but this one would be good for everyone concerned. You can even bring my granddaughter with you. You and Rachel can be a package deal. At least think about it."
"Alright John, I'll give it some thought," I said. I hated lying to him, but there was no way I wanted to move to another hospital. I especially hated the idea of trying to help set up the x-ray department in a new place. I had my mind on all of the arguments and nightmares that would happen during the first couple of years of operation. I wanted no part of that shit.
"So what were you and my grandpa talking about?" she asked. I turned and saw Rachel behind me. As usual she looked over me and then came to me and made a minuscule adjustment on the radiation badge on my collar. She had to reach up to do it. Rachel was barely over five feet tall. At five nine, I towered above her.
Her long blond hair was gathered into a long braided pony tail. It descended almost to her rounded butt. Her huge green eyes seemed to always be wide open. I was sure that Rachel had absolutely no idea how beautiful she was.
"We were just talking about the new hospital," I said.
"Have you made up your mind yet?" she asked.
"I haven't really given it a lot of thought," I said. "I kind of like it here."
"Me too," she said quickly. "And Mark ... thanks for helping me with that guy."
"No problem, Honey," I said. "I'm going to have Go assign a security guy to hang out here, while I'm gone."
"Where are you going?" she asked.
"Remember, I have to drive Lila up to her college. We're leaving first thing in the morning so she'll have Saturday and Sunday to settle in. Registration is on Monday and her classes start on Wednesday."
"Oh my God, I forgot," she said. "I'm going to miss her. Send her my best. And I'll see you on Monday, right?"
"Yes ma'am," I said jokingly.
.... There is more of this story ...