There, But For the Grace of God, Go Eyes

Leahy Medical Center, Nurse training program, April 1635

My dearest aunt,

I am well. I hope this letter finds you well. We are all fed very well here. There are many things I am learning that I am not sure how to tell you. I am looking to the time when I come home to speak to you but that is for later.

Today, I learned the importance of listening.

I find myself drawn to the ER, the Room of Emergency and that is where I was when a German woman brought her son and an up-timer boy who is a friend of her son.

They were, as young boys are wont to do, acting foolishly. It is comforting to see American boys acting in ways that compare well to young German boys for foolishness. The two boys were pretending to be accomplished swordsmen while using long pieces of wood. Luckily no one had given them real swords or this letter would not exist in its current form.

My pathology rotation is two months from now.

The German woman felt that her son should suffer as penance for his foolish swinging of wood sticks. Her boy should have no special treatment so that he will always remember his foolishness by the scar that would result, she demanded. The gash opened just under the boy's left eye and curved about until it cut the transverse facial vein. It would leave an obvious scar, I thought.

One of the wooden sticks had a small piece of wire attached to it. Neither boy noticed it until the damage was done. That was the true culprit, but done is done.

The physician would not listen to the angry mother but he did use a device that he says he saves for special cases. He stapled the edges of the cut together. Staples are metal clips and they pinch the skin closed. The German mother was suitably impressed. The staples appeared very painful and were hideous to look upon but the bleeding stopped and the skin was closed. The boy said the staples did not hurt very much and the mother of the boy seemed upset by this.

I was not as attentive to the crestfallen German boy as I was to the apparently uninjured but visibly upset American boy. I noted a smear of blood on the pants of the boy. When he noticed that I noticed, he turned away as if to hide the stain.

The American mother arrived and there were a great many apologies and much forgiveness on the part of both mothers. My attention was on the American boy and the blood on his pants.

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- The Grantville Gazette Staff