Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Syncope

Had a strange experience my last night in PT. I was out at dinner alone, reading a book. There was a table near me of 6-8 coworkers from some kind of political organization. They were celebrating something, and being a little loud and obnoxious. The men in the group were obsessed with Larry Craig, and going on and on about the "Man Laws" he had broken, and telling silly jokes they had seen online (one of them referring to the Tony Orlando song "Knock Three Times" changed to "Tap Three Times"). Some of their comments were becoming a little homophobic; not quite crossing the line, but almost. I was ready to get up and tell them off if they did. Mostly I just tried to mind my own business, and ignored them.

Eventually they finished eating and left, and I finished not much later. As I was leaving the restaurant they were all gathered together on the sidewalk near the alley, it was beginning to get dark, but I could tell it was them. As I walked by I noticed one of them, a man about 45, lying on the ground (at first I thought it was a street person). Apparently he had passed out. I was going to help, but they seemed to have it under control.

As I was walking past he tried to get up, and did a face plant almost immediately. So I stepped in, said I was a doctor, asked them what had happened, did a quick assessment. He looked like he was just very drunk and dehydrated, and had had too much sun during the day. So I raised his legs in the air and held them for a while (this helps get the blood flow back to the heart and head). I asked his friends to get him some water from the restaurant. As the color came back to his face, he started to get a little ornery (he was the main joke instigator). He kept saying, "Are you really a doctor" "You're not really a doctor, are you?" And "Can I have my legs back now?" I suggested they take him to the ER up the street, for an eval, maybe some blood work and an EKG, maybe a head CT (he did not seem to have a head injury, but ya never know).

His friends thanked me profusely, but the guy seemed stuck on "Are you really a doctor?" I think he recognized me from the restaurant, where he and his friends had been going on and on about Larry Craig, and telling their mildly homophobic jokes. I felt like saying, Yes, you **#!&@(^#, I am a doctor. And a fag too.

9 comments:

Radish King said...

Wow. I just never thought of PT as a homophobic community but I guess there is no telling, huh. You are a brave and good man, Peter. And the very best doctor in the world.

RJGibson said...

God Bless You, Peter. You rock.

Collin said...

If I were living in PT, I'd want you to be my doctor.

Pamela said...

You gives me faith in the world, Peter.

Emily Lloyd said...

I think you're wonderful.

Pamela said...

Give, not gives! AARGH. Not enough Wheaties today!

ka said...

I just wrote a post about doing compassionate acts in the world and you are living proof they exist.
Thank you Peter!

Peter said...

Thanks RK, RJG, C, P, EL, KA. You are so sweet.

Pamela: *blush* I was hearing *gives* -- in a wittle birdy voice. I liked it!

Kel: Yes, I saw your post and thought about that. Though in the episode I described, I was perhaps not always feeling as compassionate as I could. It's not easy.

A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz said...

Emily's right. You're wonderful.