Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fragment No. 4

Dr. Stephen Rossi loved giving bad news to his patients. Pinpricked lobes on a cranial MRI, unexpected shadows ghosting a pulmonary x-ray, the irregular hops of an ECG -- these were his daily bread, his source of true delight. He exulted in reciting to the afflicted the precise number of silent strokes, the extent of the metastasis, the severity of the atrial fibrillation, every relevant piece of data and quite a few that were not. He left the shock and the denials and the tears for his nurses. He had to attend to important matters.


Unknown said...

"Doctor Rossi?" said the nurse. His door was ajar. He never left his door open. "Doctor, are you in here?" She pushed gently at the knob, but froze when she heard the sobbing.

There was a torn envelope on the floor, and a crumpled piece of paper. She could just make out the heading: "...eterson Labs - Understanding Your Test Resul..."

White-clad shoulders shook in the dim interior as the doctor curled into himself. "Not me," he kept saying. "Not me, not me, not me..."

Loren Eaton said...

Oh, how perfect. Nicely done, sir. Nicely done.

Unknown said...

I wondered if I should premise or postscript or ask first, but then I thought, "Eh, let's just throw out what was inspired."

I'm glad you liked my abrupt about-face on your premise. (Dude reminded me of the main character of "Radiodemonology.")

Loren Eaton said...

No, it was great. As long as folks stay civil and reasonably clean, comments are pretty much a free for all.

Also, this physician ... isn't entirely my own invention. So your addition was pleasantly ironic.