Chapter 9: Chapter 9
The emergency room was very busy. Many nurses and some doctors were busy checking the patient’s’ condition working like hell.
“Where did they go?”
Wherever Suhyuk looked around, he could not find the ambulance paramedics that came with him. It’s possible that the victim was sent straight to the operating room.
‘Where did they go? Did they leave already? What about me without any bus fare?’
He might be forced to walk back in return for helping out an accident victim. It would take him about 2 hours to walk back on foot. In that case, late arrival was a sure thing.
Suhyuk, with a sigh, started to search for the paramedics but could not find them. Instead, only those patients who complaining about their pain, groaning here and there in the emergency room caught his eyes.
There are so many sick people packed in this place. Who is now worried about whom?
‘Do I really have to walk back?’
He could contact his mother still staying at home, but he did not feel up to it because it might make her worry.
‘Let me walk as far as I can. If I am really late, I can contact then.’ Suhyuk headed to the gate of the emergency room again.
At that moment a sudden voice stopped Suhyuk’s footstep.
The voice came from behind the curtain. It was a tone that apparently belonged to a quite old person. Looking at the curtain for a moment, Suhyuk moved again.
‘I’m afraid will be really late.’
Suhyuk was forced to stop again. Her trembling voice surely showed she was in a lot of pain. ‘Why?’ He had questions about her. Other patients were being taken care of by doctors or nurses, but nobody cared about her.
Suhyuk opened the curtain softly. The woman patient, in her late 50s, lay down on a temporary bed. Noticing Suhyuk, she opened her mouth.
“Doctor, I think I’m very sick.”
He was obviously reflected in her pupils, and still she called him a doctor?
“I’m not a doctor.”
“Please give me a candy! I’ll be okay if I have a candy. I am in a lot of pain right now.” Her tone resembled a child’s.
‘Cognitive impairment (dementia)? If you narrow down the causes of this syndrome there are about 70.’
Suhyuk’s pupils looked across her whole body quickly. She seemed to have no external injury. Certainly she had none. ‘Is it feigned illness?’
“If you wait a bit, the doctor will come in.”
The moment Suhyuk turned away, her hand grabbed Suhyuk’s arms.
“Sir, I’m sick. Give me a candy. Candy!”
Suhyuk tried to let go of her hand gently, but could not because she gripped his hand very tight.
Touching her hand, he could directly feel the kind of pain that a woman suffered when giving birth to her baby. After all, he approached the woman. Even if she lay in bed with feigned illness, she was still a patient in the emergency room. Nonetheless, there was not a single medical device attached to her body.
“Are you very sick?”
“Yes I am.”
“Which area of your body hurts a lot?”
“My head aches, my stomach hurts, my legs are sore,” she said.
“Do not worry. You’ll be alright quite soon.”
Suhyuk smiled, as if to comfort a child, and clasped her hands gently with both hands. He could feel it then.
“It’s so hot,” he said.
Her body temperature rose so much that he could feel it right away. Also, he could see the sweat hidden in her curly permed hair. The temperature in the emergency room is appropriate, neither cold nor hot.
“Are you feeling hot?”
She shook her head from left to right.
“Sir, I’m sick. Give me a candy. Candy. Candy is a medicine to me!”
Suhyuk unconsciously grabbed her wrist to check her pulse. Because there was no pulse device, he had to check her body himself. Not even a minute passed by and his eyes narrowed. ‘Her pulse is quite high…’
Blergh! Suddenly she dry retched.
“Are you okay?”
“Please quickly give me candy! Candy!”
He raised up the curtain widely, looking at the doctors and nurses.
“Here! This patient is weird!”
Did they not hear his words? They were busy taking care of other patients. Some nurses laughed at him with a glance.
“She’s got feigned illness. Feigned. Illness.”
“Mrs. Jung Malsuk, I will give you a shot if you continue to complain about your feigned illness.”
It was not just once or twice that they confronted her with that kind of threat before.
‘Had she been to this place before several times? And habitually without any pain?’ It was possible, if dementia had come to her.
By the way, her pain was real this time in Suhyuk’s eyes. The nurses who showed a quick interest in her started getting busy again. Suhyuk gave up calling for them and soothed her into the bed. Dry retch, high body temperature, and fast pulse. What does this hint tell?
Suhyuk took her hand to her belly and then, speaking softly, pushed down her solar plexus gently.
“What did you eat before?”
She did not cry of pain this time. Suhyuk pressed and tapped on her body here and there to check her reaction. She showed no reaction. Nonetheless, she was breaking out in cold sweat and knitted her brows.
“Where did you eat this delicious candy?”
“At the street cleaners’ place.”
Where could it be? Suhyuk’s hand moved down her belly and then under her right navel. He slowly pressed it.
A sharp scream came out of her mouth. At that moment, Suhyuk’s face stiffened. ‘It’s chronic…’ Some sort of muttering came out of his lips,