2007-05-26: Nosebleeds

Starring:

Jedaiah_icon.gif Darwin_icon.gif

Summary: Darwin trolls the Metro clinic and heals a random bystander. Jedaiah makes a fuss.

Date It Happened: May 26, 2007

Nosebleeds


New York City Metro Clinic

Hospitals: most people hate them. Darwin doesn't, even though he has more reason to than most. He hasn't come to the Metro clinic in months, and its rotation has come around on his schedule of places to visit. The writer has rolled himself in anonymously, complaining of nonexistent throat pain, and is currently seated comfortably in his own wheelchair amidst groups of far more injured or ill people. Most of them aren't in life-threatening conditions, but some are in worse shape than others. As a matter of fact, Darwin has intentionally gravitated towards a man with a badly wrenched ankle, one that might actually have some heavy internal damage. It doesn't take him very long to 'accidentally' drop the pen that he's using to fill out his clipboard-form.

When the writer leans down to pick it up he lets his hand slide down along the other man's leg for just a moment. By the time he's ready to sit up again with the pen in hand his nose is starting to sluggishly seep blood. For that matter, there might be a bit of something trickling down the side of his neck towards his collar.

The man with the wrenched ankle jumps a little when Darwin's hand touches his leg, and the little extra jolt of pain that shoot through him is enough to cause him to shoot the other man a glare. The sight of the wheelchair, though, makes him bite back any snapping that might otherwise occur, and he instead shifts in his seat to attempt to alleviate the pain in his leg. …It seems to work a lot better than it should. The patient blinks, staring at his leg for a moment, just before one of the attendings calls his name. He looks up, and then, stands up. It… doesn't hurt. He stares at his leg again, and then at the attending, who stares right back at him. Curious, he glances toward the cripple who touched his leg. And blanches.

On clinic duty as usual, Jedaiah steps from the room he's using, ushering out a little old woman with a mild case of strep. Her advancing age means he's put her on a fairly heavy antibiotic, and he gives her a reassuring pat on the shoulder as she hobbles off. As it is, he's stepped back into the clinic's main room just in time to hear, "Hey! This guy's bleeding from the ear!" His head snaps up, and his eyes focus first on the shouter — who seems to have very little wrong with him — and then on the one he's staring at. The pathologist stuffs his pen into the pocket of his coat, taking quick strides toward Darwin.

Oh, damn. It usually doesn't go for the ears. Once is condition is stated, Darwin lets his hands fly selfconsciously up towards his ears. Shit. /Shit/. He's very aware that there's trouble when he pulls them away to find them wet with blood that drops down onto his collar and shirt front. The writer then brings his hand up to his nose, swiping some more blood off the area right above his upper lip. "Oh - no, it's fine, this happens all the time. Don't worry about it. I've just got a bit of a scratch in there from the cats."

It's time to leave. It's very obviously time to leave. Snuffling a little, Darwin wipes his hands on the hem of his shirt and lets both hands clamp down onto the wheels of his chair.

A scratch. "A scratch in both ears that spontaneously begins bleeding at the same time as your nose," Jedaiah states blandly, stepping up in front of Darwin and bending to look in one ear with his pen-light. His other hand clamps firmly onto the arm of the wheelchair, making sure to at least hinder any hasty escape. "I don't think so. At the very least you have a perforated ear drum. …/Two/ of them." By this point, there is a wide berth around the wheelchair, just in case the ear-bleeding is somehow contagious. The man with the once-twisted ankle still looks as though he's seen a ghost. "You need to go to the ER."

Well, the doctor /is/ right. The weird buzzing in Darwin's ears is proof enough of that, and Jedaiah has a pretty good grip on the chair. Darwin also isn't really one to refuse medical treatment - he just prefers to get it at places and in times where he hasn't just healed someone. The ears were an unexpected complication. The nose alone could have been overlooked. "I'd rather just make an appointment with my regular doctor. I'd check in here, if you'd like."

Jedaiah scoffs, returning the pen-light to the breast pocket of his jacket and moving his grip to the back of Darwin's chair. "You're bleeding from the nose and both ears. If you've not perforated both eardrums and opened a recent nose injury, you're hemorrhaging. Badly. This is not something for which you make an appointment and come back later. Emergency room. Now." And with that, Jedaiah starts wheeling Darwin's chair toward the interior door to the ER. Resistance is futile.

That's one of the most frustrating aspects of being crippled. It gets somewhat hard to avoid being taken places you don't particularly want to go. Darwin slumps in his chair and lifts his hands to his nose, wiping some more blood free with a soft grumble. "Really, I'll be fine. This has happened before." Futile or not, Darwin will /complain/. He'll still be polite about it, though. "My name's Sam, Doctor…?"

"Anselm," the pathologist replies immediately, never slowing in his movements. "Doctor Jedaiah Anselm. If this /has/ happened before, you can tell me — or one of the ER doctors, whichever you'd prefer — what is actually /causing/ this problem, and I can avoid sending them and half our diagnosticians into a panic." It's not often someone starts spontaneously bleeding from the face without an external cause. But if Jedaiah can avoid sending half the ER into a buzz, he will, and so he pauses just before the door in question. "Preference, Sam?"

Darwin pulls his hands down, then sniffs in an effort to clear his nose. "I've had an.. /ear/ thing since I was little. It happens, and it'll stop soon. Always does. The membranes in my inner ears are naturally thin. I actually came in here for a bit of throat pain." He leans back and turns his head up towards Jed, lifting both eyebrows before helpfully adding "I think I might have strep."

For a moment, Jedaiah just stares, one eyebrow raised. Then he scoffs, turning Darwin's chair and aiming him instead for the clinic room the doctor's been using. "Keep your head leaned forward and don't sniff. Otherwise you'll be spitting blood as well as dripping it. I'll get you cleaned up and then you can tell me all about your spontaneous membrane bleeds." Jed doesn't believe this patient for a moment, but if Sam's not panicked about bleeding from the face, there's no need to bother the ER with him.

Panicked? Darwin is /never/ panicked. He is, in fact, the very picture of levelheadedness. He obediently leans forward and lifts the front tails of his shirt to his face, revealing the white tee he wears underneath instead of his belly. It's a silk shirt, but - hey. He can buy another. "Nice to meet you, Doctor Anselm."

Another soft scoff huffs from the doctor's nostrils. "I hope I'll be able to say the same thing, once I'm sure you haven't brought some horrible disease into my hospital." Jedaiah does, at least, have the sense to close the door to the private room behind them both before that sentence ends. "You're not a bioterrorist, are you, Sam?" It's clear he's joking, however, by the smile on his face and the jovial tone in his voice. Jedaiah brings a box of heavy-duty tissues over from a side shelf, holding them out to the wheelchair-bound man before reaching for the clipboard angled at the side of said chair's seat. "…Samuel Darwin. No relation, I trust?" Quizzical, but still grinning.

"No, I'm no bioterrorist. I also don't believe in any form of Darwinism that doesn't involve a pint of ice cream and a Star Wars marathon." Samuel shoots Jedaiah a thankful smile as he starts pulling tissues from the box, wiping his hands and face clean before progressing to his neck, blood smearing slightly. "I'm sure you see a lot of people here, doctor. You'd be better off tending to them. I'll be fine, really. Just send me home with a few pills for my throat."

An appreciative smile touches Jedaiah's lips in response to the man's Darwinism comment, and he takes another moment to glance at the rest of the partially-filled-out clipboard. "I see plenty of people in here, but I see very few that seem unperturbed by the sudden onset of hemorrhaging in their soft tissues. I suppose I should just be grateful you aren't bleeding from the eyes as well — in that case, I'd be morally obligated to quarantine the whole of the clinic." The doctor sets the clipboard to one side and then approaches Darwin once more, drawing the pen light back out of his pocket and peering into a bloody ear once again. "How often does this happen?"

Though uncomfortable with the inspection, Darwin sits still - mostly patiently - and lets Jedaiah do his doctoring thing. "Every once in a while when I'm stressed. Really, it's no big deal." It hurts like a bitch, but he's also making a very big effort not to show that. The traditional headache is already starting to settle in, though, and the writer reclines in his chair. This is /not/ his normal in-and-out game plan. The man in the waiting room must've been more injured than he suspected.

"Stress from your sore throat," Jedaiah clarifies, coming around the other side of Darwin's chair and examining the other ear. "You seem to be talking fine, though strep /does/ affect everyone differently." Strep. Right. Sure. Jedaiah crosses to one of the various cabinets along one side of the room, returning with a box of things that resemble cotton swabs, though their tips are made of a softer, spongier substance than that of your standard Q-tip. "I'm just going to clean your ears in the hopes of keeping them from becoming infected. I'm also going to put you on some antibiotics. A perforated eardrum is nothing to scoff at, and you've got two. We don't want you going deaf." He uncaps one of the sanitary swabs, holding it up and raising an eyebrow at Sam. "Can I trust you to hold still? I'd rather not damage anything else in there." And Darwin's acting just a little twitchy.

Darwin is /not/ acting twitchy, he's acting /sane/. And cool. And completely natural. He lets out a short sigh and continues cleaning his nose, doing his best to hold still in his chair and /not/ squirm from the pounding in his head. He'd love to be lying in his own bed with a large bottle of Aleve, but apparently that's not to be. "Doctor away, doctor. Ply that craft of yours." It's what clinic guys are supposed to do, right? "I guess I'm just accident prone."

"Accidents don't cause tissue bleeding, unless you fell out of your chair and landed in a box of nails." Still, after a little shake of his head, Jedaiah cleans the majority of the blood from Darwin's ears, first one, and then the other, using his free hand to gently hold the man's head still. "I'll also need to take a throat culture to see if it's strep," he adds once finished, closing the ends back over the swabs and setting them on the shelf next to Sam's clipboard. "How's your nose?"

The writer flares his nostrils slightly and tests his breathing, swallowing once just to make sure. "It seems like it's stopped." It's not as long as it could've been. Just a bit longer than a normal nosebleed would last, and there doesn't seem to be anything else coming out of his ears. "Excessive sinus pressure, maybe?"

"If that's the case, it's not strep, unless you've got that /and/ something else." Jedaiah turns back, bringing a different light with a plastic scope on the end with him. He lifts his chin slightly in indication that Darwin should do the same. "Strep doesn't usually affect the sinuses. Open up, let me see that throat of yours. See what we can rule out. If you're lucky, it's just a cold." If he's not, it's something worse. If he's lying, then there's obviously something else at work altogether.

Alright, enough's enough. No more poking and prodding allowed. Instead of lifting his head the writer turns it aside a little, raising a hand to ask for the doctor to stop. "Alright, alright. I'm looking for a way out of work tomorrow. Lots of folks do it, and I haven't had a day off in an age." Don't ask any more questions! They're uncomfortable. "It's hard not being able to walk about. I wasn't born like this, you know."

Jedaiah raises an eyebrow, not having moved from his position standing over the other man. "Uh-/huh/. So you come in looking for a work excuse and spontaneously begin /bleeding/ from the face. What's more, you look like you've been hit by a truck." The doctor gestures vaguely toward Darwin with the scope, turning and setting it back upon the side counter. "I'm not referring to the wheelchair with that. You dizzy from the blood loss? Migraine? Fever? You need to let me know these things. I'd rather you not die in the middle of my clinic if I can help it."

Poor Darwin. He's such a terrible liar. The writer leans forward a bit, wrapping his hands behind his head. The migraine is definitely there. "The spontaneous bleeding isn't unusual for me, I told you. It just happened to hit at a bad time, that's all. Do you have some Aleve?" It /is/ his painkiller of choice, and this /is/ a hospital. God knows they must have something. He frowns, then looks up at Jedaiah again. "Really, I just want to go home at this point. I'll call my driver and I'll be looked after. You've got no liability here, the man's a private nurse."

"Be that as it may, you're currently checked in under my watch. That, and you're a horrible liar." Jedaiah, who's been scribbling notes onto Darwin's clipboard, sets down his pen and turns, crossing his arms and leaning back against the room's examination cot. "Why did you come in here today, Sam? You gave the nurses and half the clinic's patients quite a start out there." For the moment, the query about painkillers is ignored. Jed knows better than to just /give/ his patients drugs, no matter how mundane. Not without convincing, anyway.

Wh - /Darwin is not a horrible liar/. The man lifts his hand a bit higher, twitching it off towards the side. "I've already told you why I came in, doctor. It was just a burst of coincidence that this happened while I was here, and now I'm gonna go and check myself out and then go home and sleep. It's not fair to withhold the Aleve from a man with a throbbing brain."

Jedaiah sighs, giving his eyes the slightest roll as he straightens from his lean and heads for one of the cabinets above the counter. "Can you at least give me the name of your regular doctor?" he asks, rifling through various bottles before coming up with a bottle of Aleve. "I wouldn't be worth my job if I didn't follow up on my patients, /especially/ ones with unusual chronic problems." After unwrapping and filling a sanitized glass from the sink, the pathologist offers the drink and a dose of Aleve in a small cup out to the author. Take these and stop being difficult.

Darwin leans forward to take the drink and pill, offering a swift smile of thanks. "If you give me a fax number I can reach you at, I'll send his information along for you." At some point. Maybe in a few decades. The crippled man tosses the pill back and then chugs the water, soon putting cup-in-cup and then holding it out to Jedaiah. "As it is right now, though, I don't feel any pressing need to release any further personal information."

…Indeed. Jedaiah offers Darwin a smile, though it's slightly less than sincere. "That's a little rude, Mister Darwin." He relieves his patient of the cups, turning to deposit the larger in the sink and the smaller in the trash. "Who can you trust if not your doctor? I'm merely concerned for you. I'd hate to find out later I could have done something to help you. I /am/ a pathologist. I'd like to treat you, if I can." Well, he'd like, at least, to find out what Darwin /has/. The treatment is just an aftereffect.

"I really don't mean to be rude, but I really must get home. I've been out longer than I should've been to begin with and someone needs to feed my cats." There are three of them, and Darwin loves them all. The writer plucks a few more tissues out of the box and then sets the box itself down. "I'm not sure of the way out. If you don't mind…?"

This time, Jedaiah manages not to roll his eyes. He picks up the box of tissues, setting it aside on a counter, before heading for and opening the door. When he returns to Darwin's chair, he hands the man a business card. "My numbers. I'd appreciate it if you had your doctor contact me in the near future." Like in less than three hundred days. His hands fall to the back of the author's chair, and he guides the man back out to the entrance of the clinic. Some of those in the room eye Darwin warily, either in memory of the episode or simply thanks to the bloodstains on his shirt. One even scoots over a few chairs as he approaches.

Whether or not Darwin has any intention of actually forwarding his doctor's information in a timely manner is completely up in the air. He's been through this before. A good night's rest, along with a visit to his private surgeon, will fix the ear problem right up. The headache should be taken care of by the Aleve. He sits patiently in his wheelchair when Jed starts pushing him out, pulling his loose jacket away from his shirt so he can tuck the business card into an inner pocket. "I'll be in touch, I'm sure. Thank you for your concern, Doctor Anselm."

"You just go home and get some rest. As I said, I don't want any patients dying on me due to a bad case of stubbornness." After making certain that Darwin is indeed headed home, and that he has means of getting in contact with his driver, the doctor returns to the clinic room, shutting the door behind him in order to clean up before taking his next patient. It's not a difficult task, but it is one he prefers to do in private. Especially considering that the swabs he used to clean up Darwin's blood need to be properly taken care of: wrapped, labeled and inserted into a small case in an inner pocket of Jedaiah's coat. Once he gets off clinic duty, he'll be using the lab to determine his next course of action regarding Mister Samuel Darwin.

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