A man presents to triage at your emergency department at 1 a.m. He’s a tall, lanky middle-aged man wearing rattlesnake boots, jeans, and a belt buckle big enough to eat dinner on.
Explore This IssueACEP News: Vol 30 – No 10 – October 2011
“Yes, sir,” says the pleasantly perky triage nurse. “How can we help you?”
“I need some things removed from my butt.” He shifts from foot to foot.
“Sure. Don’t be embarrassed – we see this all the time.”
“You mean people get nailed in the butt all the time? I guess this stuff never makes the paper.”
He removes his 12-gallon hat and wipes his moist brow in relief.
“Please have a seat.”
“Can’t what?” she says nearly exasperated already.
“Sit down. I told you I got shot in the butt. You’re not a very good listener.”
She scratches her head, scrunches her nose, and makes a quick radio call to the charge nurse.
“Okay … let’s get some vitals on you and get you back to a room. Do the police know about this?”
“I reckoned you’d call.”
“Do you know who did this?”
“Yeah, for 30 years. She’s parking the truck.”
“Okay … and that would be … ?”
“Was that really a good idea to have the person who shot you drive you here?”
“How else would I get here? I knew better than to drive myself.”
“Them ambulances are for sissies. Fancy taxis.”
“Let’s put you right here in room 1. While you take off your pants, there’s just a few questions I have to ask everyone – routine stuff. Now, are you afraid of anyone in your home?”
“Not really. She gets ornery if I stay out late with the boys, but it always blows over by lunch.”
“But she shot you, right?”
“Accidentally,” he says deliberately, as if speaking to a child.
“Okay … have you fallen in the last 3 months?”
“When I was bein’ shot.”
“You were shot and you fell?”
“Really it was more like I dove. I came home late from work and forgot to turn off the stupid alarm. Hate that damn thing. …
“She come ’round the corner with the shotgun cocked. Just as I went to dive down the basement steps – I could tell what she was fixin’ to do – she tripped and the buckshot went a-flyin’. Ripped a hole big as your fist in the icebox. I just got the scatter.”