Bite-size snapshots of life in Chicago

Chicago Magazine has just published what appears to be the third in a series of vignettes of life in that city, as seen through the eyes of some of those who live and work there.  This one’s from the perspective of emergency room physicians.  Here are a few excerpts.

“Your body is plumbing, electricity, and structure. Bones are the structure, electricity is the nerves in your brain, and plumbing is the blood vessels that supply oxygen to your tissues. Broken plumbing is going to kill you first, unless you get shot in the brain. I’m a glorified plumber at the end of the day.”

“At a hot-dog plant in the city, a guy got his arm shredded through the meat grinder. I love hot dogs. I’m a hot-dog connoisseur. But I didn’t eat hot dogs for a month after that.”

“There was a gentleman who was in custody. I’m not sure what he did. There were four police officers around him. He was cursing out my nurse—a senior nurse who has been here for 30 years. She can connect with anybody. He was egging her on: “Bitch!” Calling her a motherfucker, everything. But she kept her composure. Later I walked in to get my morning report, and she’s sitting at his bedside holding his hand and they’re talking.”

“You don’t want to put a severed limb on ice directly because it can freeze or damage the tissue. You want it in a moist gauze on ice.”

“I tell new residents, “You’re going to see a lot of death here.” And it’s abrupt, which is far from the norm of what you see at most hospitals.”

There’s much more at the link.  Recommended reading.

There are two previous articles in the series:  “What Cops Know” and “What Teachers Know“.  Both are equally illuminating.  I don’t agree with some of the views expressed, but the whole idea is to see life in the Windy City through the eyes of those who have to endure it.  From that perspective, I find all the articles invaluable – and great food for thought as a writer.


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