Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Easiest Part of Medical Care

The phone rang at midnight for a housecall in Long Beach, 35 miles away. So far, so good. Freeways were clear, and the caller was a reliable travel insurer who agreed to my fee. Good.

The patient was young and suffering a fever. That sounded easy. The patient was a student at California State University, Long Beach. Uh oh.

Navigating a college campus is a nightmare. The address of a university is the administration building where no one lives. College buildings have names or numbers, but they follow their own logic.

The patients are foreign, unfamiliar with the geography, and unhelpful. Finally, campus police may be slow responding to rape and burglary, but they pounce fiercely on an illegally parked car. You don’t want to park inside a college campus without a permit.

Taking no chances, I parked on Bellflower Boulevard outside the entrance and walked far across the campus to the dormitories and International House where I assumed he was staying. As I approached, I saw that the barrier to the lot next to the building was raised, and I could have parked. C’est la vie. As usual, delivering medical care was the easiest part.

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