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ER Doctor Jedidiah Ballard on a hard night in the emergency room



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Fifteen year old male, chief complaint: lacerated wound

I'm getting excited in the space while enjoying the artistic component of recovering injured tissue. Anthony was one of those instantly sympathetic children – very respec tful, contagious smile, intelligent and quick-witted. He had broken off a knife fight between two older girls in his high school and received a fairly long forearm stroke. It was deep and required a multi-level repair, inner and outer seams (totaling about 40). It takes time to do such a repair. So we're talking about sports where we grew up, brothers and sisters, male ties 101.

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I got to know him well given the environment; a good child in the wrong place. I finished the whole thing, made arrangements for him and wished him well. I really hope he can rise above his circumstances.

Three months later, he was handcuffed by two policemen but again respectfully and cooperatively. He was picked up for the use of marijuana and they needed a doctor's license to handle it because he was still a little high. Hey, I said he was a good boy, not perfect. I notice immediately that my seam is still present. "Anthony, Dude, I told you to come out in 10-12 days!" "My bad sir, it looks good, Doc. You have skills, thank you for missing me. "Can not help but I like the boy. I sit down; Take out all outer sutures, healing the wound incredibly well given their depth and size, which makes me happy. We talk a little, I give advice on life about making good decisions and stay away from difficulties. Anthony seems very open-minded, thank me again and release him to the police.

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A year goes by.

"Level 1 Penetration, 7 Minutes ETA" is blaring over the headache carrier. I go into the resuscitation bay and start preparing equipment to wait for more details. There will be a 16-year-old man, GSW (Gunshot Wound) in the face, who comes from a house party, unconscious, but hemodynamically stable (heart rate and blood pressure are in an acceptable range to support life). EMS arrives and our much too experienced orchestra continues.

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Everyone performs their role simultaneously – the nurses get IV access, draw laboratories, and bring the patient to a monitor; the accident surgeons who assess the body, the need for immediate hemostasis, and what imaging is required; Then I went to the head of the bed for respiratory, respiratory, head and facial injuries. I put a breathing tube into his trachea to protect him from suffocating from his own secretions, and from an ER point of view, the patient is stabilized and ready to go to the CT scanner. We are a Level 1 trauma center and are good at what we do. The revival is very smooth, controlled and efficient.

In the time to initial stabilization, our registration team has received demographic information and created patient stickers. The name seemed familiar, but I could not place it. As the adrenaline cooled and my mind began to unify words and images, it hit me. That was Anthony. The good kid with the contagious smile that tended to be in a wrong place was just shot in the face and could only continue his life expression through organ donation (if the family so wishes)).

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I felt flushed, could feel my heart beat, could feel every breath. I went straight to the bathroom, closed the door, leaned over the sink and stared into my own dilated eyes, which looked back from the mirror. Focus Ballard. Bring your shit together. Handle it later. After two deep, deliberate breaths, I left the bathroom and went to the next patient room.

Cheer up, hand out to shake, smile, eye contact: "Hello, madam, I'm Dr. Ballard, I'll take care of you today. What brings you to it? "

It's pretty rare that I cry.

This night was an exception. I sat alone on my balcony and drank a Coors Light to hear my finely tuned Waylon Jennings Pandora Station, with many goodies from Kris Kristofferson, Jonny Cash and Willie Nelson. I stared blankly into the darkness.

I really love my work. I do not love everything about it.