Ermilio and Esteves Gonzales, both in their late 60s, waited nervously in the waiting room of the Northview Hospital Cardiology Clinic. Esteves anxiously held her husband’s hand. He stared ahead without expression. After twenty minutes Samantha Jenkins, a nurse in her early 30s, walked out into the waiting room.
“Mr. Gonzales?” she asked.
“Yes, that is us,” Esteves said.
Holding Ermilio’s arm they slowly walked toward the nurse who held the door open for them that led to the interior of the cardiology clinic. She opened a door to one of the examining rooms.
“The doctor will be with you shortly,” Samantha said.
They entered the room and sat down. Esteves sat there holding Ermilio’s arm. After 15 minutes Charlie walked in.
“Dr. Bishop, we’re so grateful to you for what you did for my husband,” Esteves said.
“How are you feeling today, Mr. Gonzales?”
“This pain came in my chest and went into my arm,” Ermilio said. He made motions with his arms to demonstrate.
“He couldn’t breathe well,” Esteves said.
“You had a small blockage in one of the arteries of your heart,” Charlie said. “We put something in the artery to open it up again. It’s called a stent. It’s like a small tube—“
“You saved his life,” Esteves said.
Samantha re-entered the room.
“We’re so grateful to you, Doctor,” Esteves said.
“He’s a brilliant surgeon,” the nurse said. “The best.”
“You shouldn’t say that, Samantha,” Charlie said.
“Sit up here on the examination table, Mr. Gonzales, and let me listen to your hear and lungs.”
Mr Gonzales obediently lay on the examination table. His wife anxiously watched from her chair. Charlie carefully ascoltated his heart and lungs. He couldn’t hear any murmor that would indicate a failure of one of the valves that connected one of the four chambers of the heart to each other, or tell-tale signs of fluid in the lungs that would indicate a failure of the heart. Of course there could be all kinds of things going on in his heart tissue or blood vessels that he would have no knowledge of. He was focused on finding out out if there was anything obviously life threatening that could be prevented right away.
“Everything looks fine, Mr. Gonzales,” Charlie said.
“Thank you, Dr. Bishop,” Mrs. Gonzales blurted out. Mr. Gonzales said nothing.
“You can get dressed.”
Charlie left the room. Samantha followed him.
“They seemed happy,” she said.
“They think I saved his life,” he said
“They’re probably right.”
“They’re good people. They deserve it.”