“Please stop screaming, Mr Preda,” directed the Emergency Room doctor on duty.
“I’m screaming, doctor, because you are spending too much time filling out paperwork,” the patient complained adamantly. “What are you waiting for? Where are the medicine and painkillers to treat my burn?”
“Mr. Preda, please understand, I need to find out your other medical history, and also whether you have been vaccinated,” the ER doctor explained. “That’s a serious burn on your foot. Just a few more details. How did it happen?”
“I was boiling water and milk. As I was taking the pot from the stove, my daughter opened the kitchen door and it struck my hands. Next thing I knew, hot liquid poured all over my feet, scalding them. It was horrible!” recounted Mr. Preda. “As for vaccination, I’ve never had any vaccinations. I think they are all bullshit and probably toxic. Now, I am in a lot of pain here. Forget vaccination nonsense. You should be giving me some ointment to put on the scald. And some strong painkillers. Will it take much longer? I need to go out for a smoke.”
The doctor remained steady with his questions. “Did you apply anything to your feet before coming there?”
“Once it cooled down a bit and I could bear it, I just put a bandage on it to come here, but that’s all,” Mr. Preda supplied.
“Fine. Let me examine your feet.” The doctor carefully considered Mr. Preda’s scalded foot from all sides. Then he announced his verdict. “I will apply an ointment, yes. And you can apply it at home one more time before you go to sleep tonight.”
“What about the strong painkillers?” Mr. Preda reminded the doctor anxiously. “Can I get an injection now and some tablets in case the pain gets worse again?”
“If you use the ointment, the pain should not get worse again. In fact, it should continue to feel better and better. Just keep the dressing over it and you should be fine.”
“You say “should, should, should”. That means there’s no guarantee the pain will come not back. I want the painkillers, just to be sure. Strong ones.”
The doctor sighed. “Ok. I will give you an injection now and write a prescription for pain tablets.” The doctor made his notes then did as he promised.
“Now,” he went on again, “I understand you work in the Centre downtown. Everyone working at that Centre has to be vaccinated against COVID-19. It’s the new rule. Also, your foot wound puts you at risk for a serious infection called tetanus. You should be vaccinated against that, as well. In fact, you should keep up on your tetanus immunization every 10 years.”
“No, I object. I will not be getting any vaccinations. I have never had any in my life, and I’m now 49 and have no health issues. No, I am not starting now with any vaccination nonsense.”
“Then I am afraid that, according to the new rules, I have to call the Centre and let them know that you are against vaccination and will not get the COVID vaccine,” the doctor warned Mr. Preda, making more notes in the patient’s record. “The vaccine does not just protect you from getting the vaccine,” the doctor went on. “It also decreases the chances of you spreading it to others at the Centre.”
“Say whatever you want, doctor. I won’t have some unknown substance or toxin that someone cooked up somewhere used in my body,” objected Mr Preda.
At this, the doctor paused writing and looked up at Mr. Preda.
“Sir, I just put an ointment on your foot.”
“And you got the strong painkillers you asked for, as well.”
The doctor coughed delicately. “And, Mr. Preda, you smoke.”
The doctor’s head tilted to one side. “Well, what’s in all those substances?”
Mr. Preda’s mouth opened and closed. “They… “. His mouth closed again. “You…”
He left the room without saying goodbye.
QUIZ – VOCABULARY BUILDING
Which adjectives describe best the main characters of the story above:
Patient, negligent, committed, impatient, well-behaving, pressing, intelligent, unpolished, caring, careless.