A visit to the Acute Care Clinic (walk-in)

** Note – this was originally posted on my old blog on 2/26/2005 @ 7:17 PM.  As I am going through the database for the old site, I’ll pull out some of my favorite posts and reprint them here.  They’ll all have the tag “imported
I was in the US Navy for four years.  That was over 20 years ago.  I was a US Navy Combat Medic.  So when I was being “prepped” for my surgical procedure today, I was talking to the Physician’s Assistant that was working on me. Turns out he was an ex-Air Force Medic, and that we had served at the same time (and for a year, in the same place!).   We chatted a bit about our experiences, and finally I was ready for the Doctor to come in.

As the doctor tried to numb me (I am somehow immune to local anesthetics) he chatted with me about my past medical experience, and he mentioned that his father had been a Navy Corpsman as well.  Finally, he started to cut, and it hurt like hell.  He was incredulous that I could still feel ANYTHING, much less pain.  So he stopped, and asked what he should do.  I told him to, “Get me a pretty Nurse to hang onto ” and I would grin and bear it, but he needed to finish.

He wasn’t sure he should proceed since I could still feel so much – he wanted to send me to a Hospital, and a Surgeon.  I told him I didn’t want to delay, and he said, “Just a minute” and he walked out of the room.  He came back in less than a minute, and he did bring a pretty nurse (very pretty, actually).  She pulled a chair up close to me and held my hands as the Doctor proceeded to do what he does.  It was quite painful, but I just kept talking to the nurse, and tried to ignore everything else.

Finally, after 40 minutes of cutting and digging, the Doctor was done.  I was allowed to go to the waiting room to schedule my follow-up visit for the next Monday.

Now this is what amazed me about this visit – as I was hobbling towards the door on my way out, the Doctor came out into the waiting room and said, “Folks, I would like to give you the opportunity to thank a veteran of our Armed Forces, a US Navy Combat Medic, and someone I was honored to treat today”.

By the time I reached the door, it was being held open for me.  People were actually standing up and applauding.  I have never been so proud of my service as I was on this day.

So, for the vocal minority that depicts our country as being against the Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and Marine, I can only say you are wrong.  You need to get out more and understand that Americans do know what sacrifices their Service Members are making for them right now – and they are proud of them, and they respect them.  And, for just a little while today, some of the pride and respect that has been earned by so many wonderful people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and numerous other places on the globe… well, a little bit of that respect and caring overflowed to me today.  And it meant a very great deal. 

And yes, I did get the Nurses phone number