Wires and a Witness
I Needed to Eat
A thirty-year-old man came into our emergency department saying he had been treated for a broken jaw at an out-of-state hospital. This was done by placing two “arch bars” along his upper and lower teeth then wiring them to each other so his jaw could not move. In the three months since then, he had not had any follow-up care. When he got tired of not being able to eat because his jaws were wired shut, he cut out the wires but the arch bars were still in place. He was now in our emergency department for some unrelated reason and had no plans to have the wires removed. We also discovered a 1 by 2 inch piece of glass that was under the skin of his buttocks and had been there for the same time.
Very Nice Cops
My patient was a twenty-seven-year-old lady who had been stabbed by her pimp in Oakland a few days before. After being treated at a hospital up there and released, she made her way to our fair city where she was staying with her auntie. Three days later, the pimp found her and stabbed her again. She came to our hospital by ambulance.
Fortunately, her injuries were not serious. We sewed her back together but the most interesting thing to me was how the police dealt with her. My impression is that police are usually not all that nice to drunken black hookers who have been stabbed. In this case, however, the guy who stabbed her is a well-known crook in Oakland and the police were extra-nice to her with the hopes she would testify against him so he would go to jail. Their whole demeanor in dealing with her was unusually calm, patient and understanding. They even came back after her treatment was over and took her back to her auntie’s. I have never had police come back to give anyone a ride home so this was clearly out of the ordinary.
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