Disclaimer: The characters from Rampart and Emergency! do not belong to me. But writing about them brings me a great amount of joy.
A Certain Doctor’s Discomfiture
By: Vanessa Sgroi
Kelly Brackett rubbed his aching eyes as he waited for the elevator to arrive. The hour long meeting in Administration had turned into two, and the rampant bickering had left him with the beginnings of a headache. The elevator doors slid open, and he stepped in pushing the button for the ground floor.
Reaching the emergency department, the doctor decided to check in with Dixie before going back to his office to catch up on some paperwork. Approaching the desk, he saw Dixie sitting there with her head bent over some order sheets. The tip of a black pen rested delicately between her pursed lips. The dark-haired doctor paused for a moment to admire his head nurse and one-time girlfriend. She was a helluva sexy woman. Shaking off his thoughts, Brackett stepped forward.
“Hey, Dix, what have I missed?”
Nurse McCall looked up from her forms and smiled.
“Kel, how’d the meeting go?”
“The usual bureaucratic crap. I swear those meetings get longer every month.”
“Think they do it to torture us?”
“I wouldn’t doubt it.”
“Need something for that headache?”
Kelly’s eyes widened in surprise, “How’d you know I have a headache?”
“Well, for one, you’re squinting. Two, you always have a headache the second Monday of the month, right after this meeting.”
The corner of Brackett’s mouth lifted in a smile. “Dix, I think you know me entirely too well.”
“Of course I do,” the head nurse winked at him and then produced two aspirin in the palm of her hand.
He quickly dry-swallowed the analgesic and grimaced at the lingering bitter aftertaste. Glancing around at the relatively quiet emergency room, he said, “So what’ve we got?”
“A Mrs. Timmerman in Treatment Three with abdominal pain.”
“Has anyone seen her yet?”
“Mike’s busy with an epileptic in One. Joe is finishing a scalp lac in Four and then he was going to see her.”
“I’ll go in and see her. Where’s her chart?”
Dixie handed him the requested chart and stood up to follow him into the treatment room.
Pausing a moment outside the door, he straightened his white lab coat before entering the room. A frail, elderly lady sat delicately on the edge of the exam table. Standing next to her was a young boy who was 15 or 16 years old.
“Mrs. Timmerman? I’m Dr. Brackett.”
“WHAT?” the elderly lady yelled.
“I’m Dr. Brackett. Can you tell me how you feel?”
“WHAT? SPEAK UP, YOUNG MAN! YOU SHOULDN’T MUMBLE.”
“Dr. Brackett, I’m Derek. Derek Timmerman. Grandma’s deaf. But if I yell, she’ll answer me.”
For lack of a better idea, Brackett nodded his head in agreement. “I have a few questions for her.”
The doctor asked several questions which Derek, in turn, yelled to his grandmother. She yelled back the answers just as loudly.
Brackett looked up from the chart. Hoping to determine if there could be a possible bowel obstruction, he asked one more question.
“Mrs. Timmerman, are you passing any gas?”
Derek leaned down close to the elderly woman’s ear and shouted, “GRANDMA? HAVE YOU BEEN FARTING?”
Drawing herself up straight, her chin quivering with indignation, she yelled at the top of her lungs, “ME? WHY I DID NO SUCH THING! IT MUST HAVE BEEN THE DOCTOR!”
A quiet snort came from the corner of the room where Dixie stood preparing to draw some blood.
Kelly Brackett felt his cheeks turning a tad red in response to the old woman’s words. Biting the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing outright, he decided to skip the question and go straight to the physical exam. He asked the ever-helpful Derek to step out of the room. Nurse McCall quickly drew the needed blood samples and followed the boy out of the room.
Fifteen minutes later, Brackett stepped out of the treatment room to let the x-ray technician get some films. Shaking his head, he approached the base station where Dixie as taking a call from a squad.
“Squad 51, this is Rampart. Standby,” turning toward the handsome, dark-haired doctor the head nurse grinned. “Kel, it’s Squad 51. You’re not going to believe this one.”
Brackett glanced back at the closed door to Treatment Room Three. “The way today’s going, I’ll believe just about anything.”
His finger descended on the transmission button, “Squad 51, go ahead . . .”
* * * The End * * *
Many thanks to Mark Brown, M.D. who wrote the book “Emergency! True Stories from the Nation’s ERs”. One of the tidbits shared there inspired this story.