Many people don't remember exactly how they arrived at my trauma bay. I believe amnesia from a concussion is the brain's way of protecting you from the memory of a traumatic experience. Let's face it - do you really want to remember exactly what it looked like when your car hit a truck head on? If you can't remember the trauma, you can't relive the trauma.
Because of this, a lot of my patients have asked me about the exact nature of their accidents. I just look at them blankly and tell them that I wasn't there, so I have no idea.
On the other hand, some people remember everything vividly and in great detail. And for some incomprehensible reason, they feel an overwhelming desire to share these details with me or the staff. And for an equally incomprehensible reason, I'm going to share them with you.
Don't you feel lucky?
A 35-year old man was brought to me recently accompanied by a police officer. This usually means that the person is under arrest, and I often get good stories from the arresting officers. The man was bleeding from his lip, so I guessed that he had gotten in a scuffle with the police and lost.
Nope. He immediately launched into his story about how he was kidnapped, held hostage, and beaten unconscious by his kidnapper.
During his workup, several police officers kept interviewing him and taking pictures and generally making everyone in the room feel uncomfortable. Other than a small lip laceration, his workup was negative, he got a few stitches, and he went home. A few bit later while working up the next patient, one of the nurses said with a smile, "Oh by the way, did you hear the real story behind that last patient?"
Whenever anyone says that, I know something REALLY good is about to come out.
It turns out that he was living with his boyfriend and his boyfriend's brother, but since he had no job, he paid his share of the rent in beer and marijuana. How he came by this beer and weed with no money and no job, I have no idea. Apparently the boyfriend's brother thought the boyfriend was getting more beer and pot than he was, so he confronted him about it. I suppose he didn't get the answer he wanted to hear, so he punched him.
THAT'S IT? I hear you asking. Well no, he also wouldn't let him leave the house, hence the "kidnapping" accusation.
Sometimes I wish I could erase MY memory of these things.