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Friday, October 11, 2013

Seriously Burned

I awoke at my usual time, wrote for a few hours, ate breakfast, and went back to bed. I had answered a wee-hour request from a distant hotel, and I was sleepy.

When business is slow, I take actions that encourage calls such as going to a movie or trying to take a nap. Unfortunately, this works when I don’t want it to, so the phone rang as I drifted off. It was a lady at the Custom hotel whom I’d seen the day before for vomiting and diarrhea. She was better and desperate to return home, but her insurance insisted on another exam before allowing her to travel. Visiting guests who aren’t sick is a perk of hotel doctoring, and I was happy to comply.

Returning home I headed straight for bed, but the phone rang as my head touched the pillow. A lady at Le Parc explained that had undergone eyebrow waxing, and a clumsy cosmetologist had inflicted serious burns. I suggested that serious burns around the eye require more care than I could deliver on a housecall, but she demanded a visit.

I consoled myself with the knowledge that guests often exaggerate their problems. This proved to be the case when she showed me several pink spots over her eyelids and forehead. These were mild, first-degree burns, I explained, similar to sunburn. I handed over a tube of soothing cream and assured her that they would heal completely in a week.

I was wrong, she said bluntly. Because of her extremely delicate skin, she would be scarred for life.

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