Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sex, Lies, and Gunshot Wounds

Theresa was carried into our ER in the arms of a big giant teddy bear. He was a few inches over 6 feet, a few pounds over 300, and one of the hairest men I've ever seen. His chest hair morphed into his beard like the joining of 2 great nations. He set Theresa down on the stretcher like she was a precious and fragile sculpture. She smiled up at him and he faded into the corner of the room.

I asked Theresa why she had come to the ER today. She pointed at her left leg, which had a red bandana tied tightly around the thigh. "I shot myself," she replied.


"I shot myself. It was an accident. I was being careless."

I initiated my assessment while cutting away her jeans. Vitals - stable. Pulses - intact. Swelling - minimal. Skin - one small open hole in the anterior portion of the thigh just above the knee. Cap Refil - brisk.

"How did you do this?" I asked

"Well, I had my pistol in my hand and I was switching it from one hand to another. All of a sudden - snap! I shot myself in the leg."

I looked at her a little strange.

"What position where you in when you did this?" I inquired.

"I was standing up."

"Hmmm......" I said.

Her wound had an abrasion ring on the lower half and had an upward trajectory. No powder burns were present on her jeans or her skin. This wound did not match her story at all.

She looked at me sheepishly and ducked her head. I completed my assessment and looked at the Teddy Bear in the corner. He was staring at her leg and becoming paler with each passing second. I saw sweat beaded on his forehead.

"Do you need to sit down, sir?"

"Yeah, I think I better," he replied. I noticed tears in his eyes.

I went out to speak with Dr. Q. I gave him a quick history on the patient and my current assessment.

"You think she's lying?" he said.

"I think she's not telling us the whole story," I replied.

Dr. Q went in to see Theresa. I followed closely behind and heard Teddy Bear repeatedly telling Theresa he was sorry. He was crying by this time. He furiously wiped the tears from his face as we walked in the room.

Dr. Q examined her, then ordered an radiology studies of the area. The results came back that the bullet was in many pieces in her leg and did not appear to be near any major vessels. Teddy Bear made a sound like he was gasping underwater when the results came back. I looked over my shoulder at him and his head was in his hands.

"Your husband seems pretty relieved," I told Theresa.

Her head snapped up and she gave me a nervous smile. "Umm..he's not my husband," she replied.

AH-HAAA! I knew something wasn't right.

"Did he do this to you?" I asked

"Not really - it was a joint effort. I was sitting in a chair by the campfire when he walked by. I lifted my foot to kick him in the butt, but I hit the pistol in his holster instead. The gun went off and hit me in the leg."

"Well, why didn't you just tell me that in the first place?" I asked her.

"Because I'm not supposed to be here," she replied. "My husband thinks I'm at the beach with my girlfriends. Instead I'm in the mountains with my boyfriend. I don't know how I'm going to explain this one."

I didn't know how she was going to explain it either. She left on crutches as she had a difficult time bearing weight related to the pain. It was not an injury she was going to be able to hide. I wonder if she ever came up with a plausible excuse.


The T-Dude said...

Oh man...that's tough. But you know, you step out on the huibby and these are the kinds of things that can happen. Admittedly, a motel reciept or a condom wrapper would have been a less painful give away.

Carolyn said...

That's hilarious. I hope her husband isn't a cop!