Ah damn it, a story about Doc when he was a child? Who the hell cares? Where's the stupid patient story, Doc?
Hey hey hey, pipe down! There's a stupid patient story later, so just be patient and indulge me for one goddamned second while I reminisce wistfully over here. Now can it.
As I was saying, when I was about 13 years old, I witnessed LittleBroBastard getting picked on by a bully three years older and a full head taller than he. The older boy was teasing him, shoving him, and taunting him mercilessly. Now wait just one damned minute, that is not ok, asshole, I thought as I watched it happen. He's my little brother! Only I am allowed to pick on him! Though I wasn't the fighting or confrontational type, but I walked right up to the boy anyway and slugged him in the gut. Down he went in a heap of unbridled testosterone and over-aggressive obnoxiousness.
And I promptly got called to the principle/headmaster's office. Of course.
I trudged slowly to the office, expecting to get suspended or beaten or defenestrated or something. Rather than punishing me, however, the headmaster leaned in close with a wry smile and almost whispered, "I would have done the same exact thing if that had been my little brother. Go back to class."
My point (finally!) is that while some actions may have good intentions and the act itself remains wrong, it is still somehow defensible. Some actions, on the other hand, may not have bad intentions but are completely indefensible.
Still following me? No? Well then skip the rest and go check out some cat videos on YouTube. For the three of you who are still interested in how this will all play out, please do stay with me. Because Evan (not his real name©) illustrated my point beautifully recently.
The only good thing I can say about Evan as he was wheeled in to my trauma bay was that at least it wasn't 3 AM. His style of screaming is almost tolerable at 5 o'clock in the evening when he rolled in. Almost. Evan, a healthy 24-year old guy, had been riding his motorcycle without a helmet (naturally) when he lost control and crashed into a car. The medics reported that he flipped over the car and landed awkwardly (is there any other way to land after hitting a car?) on his left side. There was a large pad covering his left thigh, and the medics told me that he had an open femur fracture (though this is only accurate about 25% of the time). Well, if he has an open fracture at least he has a good reason to be screaming, I thought somewhat grimly. I removed the pad carefully, and what I saw can best be described as a velociraptor attack wound:
|Evan's left thigh|
Alcohol + motorcycle + no helmet + nighttime + idiot = ?
That's a bad mathematical equation right there. Anyway, over the next 45 minutes, all the king's horses and all the king's men (read: I) managed to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I placed about 80 sutures in his leg and had to remind him at least that many times to stop fucking squirming goddammit and shut the fuck up.
There's a very slight chance that what I actually said was "Please lie quietly so I don't injure one or both of us, sir". But what I was thinking was much more colourful and contained words and phrases more suitable for a Westerosi tavern.
After I was finished, I looked over his labs and was still unsurprised to find his urine drug screen positive for both marijuana and cocaine. Surprisingly, he had no serious injuries other than the dinosaur mauling. By that time his mother had arrived to pick him up, so I took her aside to tell her what I found, as well as that her son had been drunk and high on multiple drugs and was lucky that the only person he injured was himself.
She was shaking her head and frowning while I was telling her the bad news, so I assumed she was on my side. That's when I rediscovered (yet again) how stupid it is to assume.
"But it wasn't his fault," she said. "The car hit him!"
I guess she saw my look of sheer incredulity and was uncomfortable with the silence that ensued, because she filled that awkward silence with even more stupidity.
"He was just in a car accident a few months ago and he broke his elbow and five ribs. He was high then too."
As I stared at her in awed silence she then continued defending his behaviour for some inexplicable reason, explaining that he was just going to the store to pick up a few things, it wasn't a long trip, he wasn't that drunk. You know, all the usual bullshit. I'm sure my eyes conveyed quite clearly what was going through my head, most notably "What the fuck are you talking about, you lunatic?" I finally got tired of listening to her defending his indefensible behaviour, so I told her the same thing I tell the family of every drunk driver - "My wife drives my children on these same roads, and if he had injured or killed one or all of them, I would NOT be ok with that. AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU."
I can't say that either of them understood the gravity of the situation, but neither of them looked particularly abashed as they left a few minutes later. I felt like slapping the shit out of both of them as they walked out just to try to make sure they got the message.
I think that would have been completely defensible.