Golden Time

Chapter 71

Chapter 71


Sauces stimulating the appetite were sizzling away. The dish was bulgogi, barbequed beef.

Suhyuk sat before them. He was brought to this place from the emergency room by Prof. Kim and Prof. Lee.

Kim, filling Prof. Lee’s glass with soju, spoke, “Strangely enough, you appear whenever I am meeting Suhyuk.”

Prof. Lee made an expression as if he did not understand what he was saying.

“Well, it depends on your wording of the expression. Lee Suhyuk was just at the place where I went, and you were at the same place too.”

The two men’s eyes were strangely entangled in the air. 

It looked like a spark would come out in the middle of them, but fortunately it did not. 

“Please let me refill your glass,” said Kim.

The two swallowed down their soju at once, and Kim spoke first, “These days, we have messy weather. It’s warm sometimes and then cold. On such weather many patients with vascular diseases visit the hospital often, and at that, drunk. They need to drink moderately.”

Prof. Lee’s brows furrowed, but soon disappeared. 

Vascular disease usually came to senior men. Clearly Kim was referring to him.

To him, Kim’s remarks were taken as meaning that he should go back home quickly instead of doing harm to his health with drinking. Yes, Prof. Lee took it like that. 

‘After sending me home, you guys would have a great time.’

With a gentle smile, Prof. Lee filled the glass for Prof. Kim, saying,

“Well, I increased the amount of exercise I do these days, so I feel so good about my health. Thanks to that, I can drink more than before.”

“Hahaha... That’s good. Actually I was thirsty for a drink. As I saw you for the first time in a long while, I think I’d like to drink with you until we get totally drunk.”

Prof. Lee looked at Kim with a suspicious look.

“By the way, is it okay for a professor of the emergency artery team to have a drink like this? As far as I know, you have to live at the hospital 24 hours of the day.”

“Oh, I’ve got two smart fellows, so I don’t worry. I can relax like this for one day, and that day is today.”

Prof. Lee nodded his head.

“Okay. It’s good for us to treat patients, but we’re all doing this for a living, aren’t we? Cheers!”

Prof. Lee offered the glass, and Prof. Kim clinked it with his right away. Did they not realise it?

Suhyuk was already asleep, leaning against the chair. 

When the tension in the emergency room he felt was released, he fell into a sleep that he could not get enough of. It seemed like he slept for two hours when they were drinking. Rather he felt that he just blinked once during that time. In other words, he slept like a log.

After waking from sleep, Suhyuk could not help but sigh.

The two professors fell into a drunken sleep, with their heads down. Besides, each of their hands, with glasses put on the table, were frozen like a stone statue.

“Professor Kim!” Suhyuk shook his shoulder.

Though his body moved from side to side at his shaking, there was no reaction from him.

It was the same for Prof. Lee. Sweeping up his hair, Suhyuk’s head moved to one side.

As many as 10 empty bottles of soju were piled up on the table. 

At that moment the bar owner, cleaning up the tables, spoke to Suhyuk gently, 

“Looks like they’ve had a lot to drink.”

He felt like the owner wanted them to get out. 

Suhyuk took out his cell phone to contact someone, because he could npt carry them both on his own.

“Hi, is this the emergency artery team? Prof. Kim is very drunk at the moment…”

He also contacted the surgery department.


-----


The next day Suhyuk was heading for the doctors-only restaurant with a light gait. After a sound sleep yesterday, he felt good. Walking in the lobby, he checked his cell phone.

<Did you eat yet?> It was a text message from Binna. 

<I’m going to eat now>

<Oh, where are you now? If you don’t mind, can you eat with me?>

Suhyuk did not think over it long. Anyway he was supposed to eat alone, as the other interns were not done yet with their morning assignments.

Suhyuk waited for her on the bench, and at that, briefly.

With a short breath she came to him. She was holding something in her hand.

It was a lunch box with five colored layers of side dishes. 

“Hi.”

Bending her waist for greeting, she swept up her hair, showing a cute dimple.

“Please have this.”

Binna presented the lunch box to him.

“Did you pack it yourself?”

“Yes… I was afraid you could not have lunch well as you’re assigned to the emergency medical team.”

Without meeting her eyes with his, Binna opened her mouth again, “Enjoy it.”

Then she turned back abruptly. When she was about to run away, Suhyuk grabbed her.

“Didn’t you say you want to share it with me?”
“Oh, you’re right…”

She slowly turned her body back to him, and he said with a gentle smile,

“How about eating at the Sky Park?”

Folding her two hands, she nodded.

She just did not care as long as she was with him.

The Sky Park on the rooftop of Daehan Hospital was crowded with people as it happened to be lunch time. Though it was crowded, Suhyuk and Binna could find a spot they could sit down at for lunch. Oh, only one bench was left. Approaching the bench, Suhyuk made an embarrassed expression. Someone poured coffee there, leaving some sticky marks on it. Looking around, he could not find another bench. Suhyuk decidedly covered it with his white gown fluttering in the air, and sat on the bench.

“Have a seat.”

He had some spare gowns in his lodging anyway.

“Oh, thank you.”

With a blush on her face, she sat on it quietly. He was such a fantastic guy for anything.

Maybe she could not find such fine man on this earth, except for only the one man right before her eyes.

“It may not taste good, but…”

Saying so, Binna carefully opened the lunch box.

First came out fruits. Baby tomatoes and chopped banana, kiwi, melon. Besides, there was also bulgogi which he had missed out on at the restaurant yesterday evening with the two professors because he fell into sleep.

The soup she poured from a Thermos bottle was warm miso soy bean soup.

“Thanks for the lunch.”

At his words she also said, “Me too!”

Though she said so, she just pecked at it with chopsticks, even not knowing whether she was putting it in her mouth or nose, and she kept checking his expression.

She got up at 4am to pack the lunch box. She had never done something like this before. For one week she practiced packing the lunch box again and again. 

“I wonder if you like it.”

While she was eating a bit,  Suhyuk’s voice was heard in her ears,

“You make really nice food.”

Binna’s eyes became wide a bit.

“Well, I did my best to make it…”

“It really tastes good.”

Her eyes, not yet meeting with his eyes, began to move cautiously.

“I’m relieved to hear that.”

Binna smiling at him. Suhyuk thought her dimple was really pretty.


***


2am. After a busy day at the emergency room, he was in pensive mood while going back to his lodging. It was because of what the chief said to him.

“Tomorrow the faculty has a conference, and they want you there. It’s at 9am, so don’t be late.”

He did not inform him about the reason. No, he said he did not know it either.

‘Why me?’

He could not find out why, however hard he thought it over.

‘Because I treated patients as an intern? That’s out of the question, because the professors didn’t need to be involved directly. They could tell their residents to stop me.’

When he thought that far, he blew away all the suspicions that came to his mind. 

Anyway he would know the reason tomorrow. 

Back at the lodging he covered the blankets for his fellow intern who was sleeping soundly.

Snoring from such a quiet guy who barely moved in bed suggested how hard his internship was.

Taking off his gown, he lay on the bed, and his eyes closed slowly.


***


At the next day break, wearing a gown, Suhyuk tidied up his attire.

He got on the elevator to head for the conference room. It was 8:50am. 

He opened the locked door and went in.

Then all the professors’ heads turned to him at once.

Suhyuk greeted them calmly.

“Hello, sir. This is intern Lee Suhyuk.”

The faculty nodded slowly.

“Welcome!”

Prof. Lee Mansuk welcomed him with a satisfactory look. So did Prof. Kim.

“Have a seat here.”

Kim beckoned him to take a vacant seat beside him.

When he moved there, Prof. Lee looked at him nastily. 

Suhyuk sat on the seat and looked around.

The conference room was big, but there were many vacant seats.

Including him, there were seven sitting in the room.

Those he knew were Prof. Lee and Prof. Kim, but Prof. Han was not seen.

Suhyuk asked Kim quietly, “Any reason why you called for me…”

Then a professor, wiping his glasses, said, “Looks like everybody is here. Mr Lee Suhyuk?”

Suhyuk, rising from the seat, replied, “Yes, sir”

The faculty fixed their gaze on him.

The professor wiping his glasses opened his mouth again.

“I saw a patient yesterday, and he had compartment syndrome. Do you know about it?”

Suhyuk was embarrassed at the abrupt question.

That professor looked at Prof. Lee and Prof. Kim as if he was asking what’s so special about Suhyuk.

Then Lee and Kim were looking at Suhyuk sharply like a laser, as if they were pressing him to answer quickly as he knew about it.

“Yeah, I thought as much.”

Then, the professor who threw the question rose from the seat to leave.

“As the tissue pressure inside the closed compartment surrounding the fascia increases, the capillary perfusion is reduced and the muscles and other soft tissues are necrotic.”

The professor, who rose from the seat, opened his eyes wider, but his surprise was gone instantly. He could learn a summary of a disease well if he studied it. 

Sitting back on the seat gently, the professor opened his mouth again, “And…”

Suhyuk knitted his brows a bit. He was thinking it over. He replied to his question about the disease. Then what did he want to add?

“Are you talking about compartment syndrome?”

“Yes.”

“How did he get hurt?”

“31-year-old patient. He had his legs laid under a marble while working. While he was hospitalized at another hospital waiting for treatment, he was handed over to us because he had acute edema and pain.”

At his explanation, Suhyuk visualized the patient’s condition at the time, and then said,

“In my opinion, vital signs showed blood pressure was 112/73. The pulse would have risen, of course. Physical examination showed tenderness during passive exercise. The feeling in his feet was depressed. The measured compartment pressure was likely to be about 54mmHg.

Suhyuk’s explanation was over. When their eyes were becoming wider, Suhyuk continued to explain,

“As for treatment, you may consider fasciotomy if the compartment pressure continues to rise from 30 to 50.”

Suhyuk was looking around cautiously. The professors were looking at him quietly.

‘Do I have to add more?’

Actually there was nothing more he could add, because he narrated about the condition, his opinion and treatment methods. Oh, did he miss one thing? 

“As for fasciotomy, I can take care of it.”

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