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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lost On Campus


It was after nine when I left for Long Beach, thirty miles away. Freeway traffic moved swiftly; the patient was a sixteen year-old with a sore throat, usually an easy visit.

Google maps guided me to 1250 Bellflower Boulevard which turned out to be the student union of California State University in Long Beach. 1250 Bellflower Boulevard is the address of the university, not any particular building. The student union was deserted. It was the summer break. I left messages on a cell phone that may or may have been the patient’s.

A couple walking nearby pointed me in the direction of distant residence halls which, when I arrived, did not look like residence halls. I phoned the travel insurer who had sent me. The dispatcher managed to contact the patient and then passed on her directions. She was not familiar with the campus, so I couldn't find her. I told the dispatcher that, since the patient was an adolescent, she was undoubtedly part of a group with a group leader.

The patient agreed that such a person existed and went off to find him. After a considerable delay he came on the line, determined my location, and talked me through a complex warren of street to the proper building. As usual, caring for the patient was the easiest part.

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