It’s the Pitts 11-23-09
November 23, 2009
Not too long after Abe smashed his thumb in the squeeze chute he let out a silent scream that could only be heard by the canine residents in three surrounding cow counties. When the attending veterinarian swung into action by placing the ice pack, that had previously been keeping the vaccine and the beer cold, on Abe’s throbbing digit his bellering could be heard by all the remaining residents. Witnesses say Abe’s blood curdling howl sounded like the noise a fresh cut bull makes. “It almost brought tears to my eyes,” said one bystander.
The trip to the hospital, that shall go nameless for fear of a malpractice suit on my part, was 25 miles of bumpy road interrupted by three gates. Every time the truck hit a rut lightning bolts of pain shot straight up Abe’s spine. Between screams Kristi used her cellular phone to warn the hospital and briefly explain the chute incident. Less than two hours later they pulled up in front of the hospital.
Once inside it was obvious that the emergency ward staff had gone into a state of extreme preparedness. Kristi attempted to get someone’s attention but an orderly told them to make way because they had a shooting victim coming in.
“Oh, that’s terrible,” said Kristi sincerely. The two of them sat patiently in the waiting room reading three year old magazines. At least Kristi read. Abe spent his time moaning and dripping blood all over the floor.
Now, the word “INTERN” does not refer to the order in which patients are taken care of in an emergency ward. The more seriously wounded are taken care of first and certainly a shooting victim would take precedence over someone with a dangling digit. Much to their credit it only took about 45 minutes for the hospital staff to realize that Abe was the “chute-ing” victim.
The word “intern” DOES describe the doctor to which Abe was assigned. Fresh from an Eastern med school the young Doc was a little short on experience. So short had been his career that he had not yet begun collecting Ferraris.
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If you’ve been to an emergency ward you realize that there are three things a doctor must do before he can attend to your pain. First, he must fill out the paper work, then attach a cute little plastic bracelet to your wrist and thirdly, the doctor must check your prostate gland. The young doctor performed these tasks proficiently before asking THE all important question. No, the question wasn’t, “Where does it hurt?” It was, “What kind of insurance do you have?”
Although the young doctor had never seen anything quite as grotesque as Abe’s mashed thumb he did not want to mask the discomfort by administering pain killers. Instead he ordered the nurses to “clean up the mess and put a bandage on it.” Then Abe went back to the ranch over the same 25 miles of bad road. The only thing missing for a good case of malpractice was a lawyer.
By the next morning Abe’s constant howling was beginning to grate on everyone’s nerves. So Kristi once again loaded her father-in-law in the truck to take him, this time, to a smashed thumb specialist. On their way they stopped by the no-name hospital to pick up the medical report from the night before. So inexperienced was the young doctor that Kristi could actually read his handwriting. In his summary the doctor explained the cause of Abe’s accident as follows; “The patient was out shooting his cows and he shot his thumb off.”