Download e-book for iPad: American Boy by Larry Watson

By Larry Watson

ISBN-10: 1571318461

ISBN-13: 9781571318466

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Sample text

Dunbar let us look through the otoscope, and pointed out the swollen red membrane that indicated an ear infection. And he once summoned us to the clinic to witness him taking a swab of Betty Schaeffer’s niece’s throat, in order to determine if she had strep throat. Harold Schmitke gave us permission to watch while Dr. Dunbar put four stitches in Mr. Schmitke’s forehead, repairing the damage done by a storm window that had slipped from his hands. We listened to many heartbeats and breaths both deep and shallow; we tapped knees with rubber hammers and attached blood-pressure cuffs; we took pulses and temperatures and watched blood be drawn; we looked at x-rays and learned to see broken bones and lungs with pneumonia.

22 can do plenty of damage. But in this case her assailant could not have injured her any less severely if he had been trying. Look here—” Slowly, as if his main concern was not to wake the patient, Dr. Dunbar pulled the blanket down to her knees. Only a sheet covered her now, and beneath it the contours of her naked body were apparent. Dr. Dunbar next took hold of the top of the sheet, but then he left it in place. “Matt, there’s another sheet in that cabinet behind you. ” I tugged open a drawer, and was greeted by the smell of bleached linens.

Or had I impressed him with my question about the spleen, suggesting a curiosity that could not be quelled even in the darkest moment? Whenever our “education” began, Johnny and I were well embarked on our unofficial course of study by the time we were teenagers. In fact, if patients consented, we were occasionally allowed to be present during a treatment or examination. When June Dunbar complained of an earache, for example, Dr. Dunbar let us look through the otoscope, and pointed out the swollen red membrane that indicated an ear infection.

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American Boy by Larry Watson

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