“What did you say?”
Im, not believing his ears, asked again because he felt Suhyuk became too arrogant just overnight.
“I told you that it’s thoracic outlet syndrome.”
“Are you sure? Are you confident?”
“Isn’t it too obvious? The patient has no particular wounds. It’s because his brachial plexus was pressed hard. He didn’t have this symptom without any reason.”
Im clenched his molar, but could not say anything.
Hearing him explain it, Im thought he was right.
The blood vessels and nerve bundles that descend down from the neck to the base of the neck meet the first rib and divide into two parts. At that point, the proximal part can be narrowed down by various causes, so that the thoracic outlet syndrome comes into contact with the bundle of the brachial nerve and the clavicle and blood vessels.
Why did he not think of such a disease?
His annoyance was surging in his mind. For he felt as if he had been humiliated in front of the first-year resident. He even felt Suhyuk was slighting him, though he continued to give him favor.
And Suhyuk could be wrong unless the actual results of the patient’s image shots were verified.
“Follow me!” With that order, Im walked to the imaging room.
The shots will clearly give the correct answer.
If this arrogant guy was wrong, Im was determined to give him a good scolding to the point of him feeling the urge to resign.
However, not only the X-ray but also the electromyography tests showed Suhyuk was right.
As Suhyuk said, it was thoracic outlet syndrome.
When Im could not take his eyes off the monitor, with a frown, Suhyuk said to the patient who just finished taking the shots,
“Looks like the pain is not so severe, and I don’t think you have to undergo the surgery.”
The patient looked in his early 30s.
“Can I get discharged, then?”
Suhyuk shook his head, replying,
“You had better get some exercise or physical therapy and see how your condition goes from there.”
Turning his head, Suhyuk looked at Im who was still looking at the monitor.
“What are you doing, sir?”
With a frozen face, he came up to Suhyuk and said, “you’re right.”
“Don’t you think you should be aware of this as a doctor?”
The patient cast his eyes at Suhyuk.
Though he was using honorific language with him, it was as if a supervisor was talking down to his men. On the contrary, Im looked like he was being taught a lesson, though he was Suhyuk’s senior.
Did he feel offended?
His face was frozen like a stone, and with an unnatural smile, Im told the patient,
“Please follow me.”
Then he talked to Suhyuk, “Make the rounds of the patients’ rooms and check their condition.”
Nodding his head, Suhyuk left the place.
Suhyuk continued to make the rounds, and every patient and their guardians asked him,
“What’s the matter with you today?”
His tone and expression today were not what they were used to seeing.
The soft smile and gentle face was gone, and he looked like a stone statue to them.
At their asking, Suhyuk just replied, “Nothing in particular. I’m feeling very good.”
And he talked more than before about their upcoming treatment and cautions.
Though he explained in simple language, both the patients and their guardians had difficulties understanding what he said. On such occasions he kept explaining until they understood.
The lunch time was fast approaching.
“Go and have some lunch.”
Suhyuk nodded when Im said that out of duty.
Though he replied like that, Suhyuk was acting in the opposite.
He constantly took care of the patients without any break.
So a day passed like that, but Suhyuk did not get a wink of sleep.
Unaware of this, Im Gyungsu assigned him more work as if he was determined to correct his arrogant attitude.
However, Suhyuk handled his work quickly as if he was sneering at Im.
And he went so far as to do what Im had not instructed him to do.
Thinking of it, Im called for Suhyuk.
“What’s the matter, sir?”
Im made a frown, asking, “Why did you do those things when I didn’t instruct you to?”
“The patient’s abdomen was full of fluid, and had difficulty breathing, too. And as a result of the pressure inside his abdomen, there was some sign of rupture. By the way, you’re the chief physician in charge of the patient, right? What did you do when the patient’s condition was getting worse like that?”
At his sharp retort, Im could not say anything.
Why did he not call for the nurse when he knew the patient’s abdomen was full of fluid?
After all, it was his fault.
“You should have informed me on it quickly. Why did you do it on your own?” asked Im.
“So, was there anything wrong with the patient?”
Suhyuk walked up to Im slowly, and opened up his mouth,
“Why should I inform you? I should have taken urgent action because of the high pressure of the patient’s’ abdomen. Don’t you think you have to thank me?”
Im’s eyelids wiggled. Then Suhyuk’s cell phone buzzed.
Watching Im quietly, he answered the phone.
“It’s me, your brother. Let’s have lunch together.”
“I’m busy now.”
He hung up the phone with those words.
His phone kept buzzing, but he did not answer it.
“I think I’m mistaken, though I’ve kept a favorable view of you,” said Im.
Suhyuk showed a bitter smile.
With a smiling face, though, he quietly murmured into Ims’ ears,
“Your damned sense of authority. You certainly would be counting your money even if a patient was dying before you.”
After saying that, Suhyuk left the place.
Im was watching Suhyuk blankly, but soon hardened his face, shining his eyes.
“How are you, sir?” Binna said, with a dimple on her face.
It was Suhyuk she said hello to, not Im.
Suhyuk was just passing by with a curt answer.
At her voice, he turned his head slantly,
“What’s the matter?” asked he.
Her face, already in a blush, became more reddish.
“I’m on call today. Shall we have dinner if you are available this evening.
“Do you think I’m free enough to eat with you? If you think you are free, please go and check the patient’s wards one more time.”
Suhyuk disappeared, while Binna hugged the chart tightly to her heart.
Did she make any mistake at all?
‘I think I have to apologize at his leisure.’
Then Suhyuk’s cell phone buzzed.
Walking down the hall, he took out his phone and checked who called.
“What a happy-go-lucky guy…”
Checking the name Dongsu on the cell phone display, Suhyuk turned it off.
At that very moment Dongsu called him, “Hey, Lee Suhyuk!”
Waving his cell phone in the front, Dongsu was walking toward him.
As he did not answer the phone, Dongsu went to the trouble of meeting him like that.
Suhyuk said annoyingly, “I told you I’m busy, man.”
“Aren’t you glad to see me after such a long time?”
Dongsu smiled, patting him on the shoulder.
“Put away your hand, man. I’m busy.”
“We finally met after such a long time. Don’t be mean to me like that. You didn’t eat lunch yet, right? Let me treat you this time.”
It was certain that if he did not accept his favor, Dongsu would continue to harass him.
“Okay, let’s go to a nearby restaurant.”
‘Anyway I was done with the assignment Im gave me, and it’s lunch time now.’
“You should have acted nice like this from the beginning!” said Dongsu.
It was a solungtang (ox bone soup) house that the both visited for lunch.
Seated and arms folded, Dongsu looked at Suhyuk, asking, “What’s up?”
“Nothing in particular except for seeing patients.”
Dongsu scratched his cheek at his reply.
Given his weird attitude, it’s certain that something wrong had been going on...
Soon solungtang soup was put on their table. They ate it quietly.
Dongsu said something in the middle of eating, but Suhyuk just focused on eating.
As he had been hungry for the past few days, he rammed the food into his mouth.
Even though Dongsu did not realize it, Suhyuk ate only one meal since yesterday.
“Don’t they serve you food at the hospital? Eat slowly, man. You might have an upset stomach if you eat like that.”
After all, Dongsu, not eating half of it, put down his spoon.
“You don’t look good, man. Are you taking care of yourself while on duty?”
As he was so attentive to his patients, it’s possible he just skipped meals or did not sleep for several days. Suhyuk did not answer this time.
Dongsu then opened his mouth again, “Hey…”
Wiping his lips, Suhyuk rose from the seat, “Did you have it all? Let’s go out then.”
Fixing his eyes on him, Dongsu, now in some sort of pensive mode, nodded his head.
“Okay, let me foot the bill.”
Both of them went out of the solungtang house.
“Let’s have some coffee.”
At his words, Suhyuk looked at Dongsu as if he felt him pitiful.
“Even now when you’re free like this, there are crimes being committed at the moment, right?”
Suhyuk made a frown, saying, “Our people can’t live in safety because of a prosecutor like you.”
Dongsu made a bitter smile, watching Suhyuk walking ahead, and murmured,
“What a guy… he’s changed a lot…”
Dongsu caught up with him in no time, and said, “Looks like someone fell down over there.”
Suhyuk turned his head suddenly, asking, “Where is he?”
“See over there is the alley. Looks like he fell from the left stairs.”
Suhyuk rushed to the alley, but found nobody there.
Letting out a short breath, he turned back. Then, Dongsu was walking toward him.
“I don’t see him here!”
“Of course not, man. I lied!” said Dongsu.
When Suhyuk was about to say something, with a frown, Dongsu cut in right away,
“Do you remember it? When I made a big fuss by saying I would not take the SAT, you came up to me and said, ‘a crazy guy must be beaten by a rod to make him come to senses.’”
The smile on Dongsu’s face disappeared instantly.
Suhyuk was out of his mind or he was no more the kind Suhyuk that he used to know.
“Bring back my friend, bastard!”
Dongsu was touching his own fist.
LionStrong: Dongsu the guardian angel, always appearing when needed the most...