Experiencing Technical Difficulties (resonant) wrote,
Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Photos from my trip to San Francisco - Day 1, Part 3

Jeffery's foot Jeffrey's foot I met a homeless guy, Jeffrey [last name redacted]. He was dripping blood on the street as he walked from trash can to trash can. I stopped him and asked if he was ok; he said that he had dropped some broken glass on his foot a week ago when looking for recyclables. I said we should go to the doctor; he looked at me as if I was crazy. Fortunately, there were two people from the American Red Cross standing on a corner, whose nametags read Spencer and Will. I took Jeffrey over to them and asked if they could help. They said they were too busy raising money for helping people to bother with a bum. I asked them if they knew where I could take him to get help. Spencer called me a dick for wasting his time, and threatened to call the police on me unless I gave him a donation. Jeffrey became quite distraught at this, so we went onto a side street away from the American Red Cross canvassers. I took a closer look at his injury, and immediately freaked out. NOTE: I asked and received Jeffrey's permission to take these photographs.
Jeffery's foot, rinsed Jeffrey's foot, rinsed I always carry medical supplies with me, but my largest gauze pad wasn't big enough to cover this. I went into a pharmacy and picked up supplies, and got some clean footwear since Jeffrey's existing ones weren't anything you would want around a wound. We sat down on a quiet bit of sidewalk, and I tried rinsing out the clots, scabs, and puss. I wanted to run screaming from the blood, and was making whimpering noises. Jeffrey seemed amused. NOTE: I asked and received Jeffrey's permission before taking these photos.
Jeffrey's foot, debriding Jeffery's foot, debriding I couldn't rinse out all the debris, and didn't want to hurt Jeffrey; when I tried wiping it out with gauze, my hand kept jerking back before the fabric actually touched him. He calmly took the gauze from my hand, and carefully cleaned the wound. Bits of dead tissue fell onto the sidewalk. I was later chided by passers-by for that, although they didn't seem to mind the bloody footprints Jeffrey had been leaving before. His big toenail was mostly torn off, but was still holding on; I didn't dare touch it for fear of causing him more pain. NOTE: I asked for and received permission from Jeffrey before taking these photos.
Jeffery's foot,  packing with gauze Jeffrey's foot, packing with gauze Jeffrey's foot had a deep area of missing tissue; we packed it with gauze. I was amazed that he wasn't screaming with pain. A small crowd began gathering to stare. Nobody offered to help. NOTE: Jeffrey gave me permission to take these photos of his foot.
Jeffery's foot, wrapping Jeffrey's foot, wrapping Jeffrey expertly wrapped his own foot. He explained that he had done this before when he was in Vietnam. He wasn't a tourist at the time, but had been there for some government military operation or something. We began receiving complaints about being a biohazard. I collected the dressing packages and puss-saturated gauze pads in a paper bag. NOTE: Jeffrey gave permission for me to take these photos of his foot.
Jeffery's foot, clean footwear Jeffrey's foot, clean footwear I have no idea how he managed to do this, but Jeffrey pulled several pairs of clean socks over the dressing. He had to pause to catch his breath, and was obviously in great pain. There were several pairs of clean socks left; he kept them to give to his son, who was in need of clean clothes for school. Jeffrey then took the bag of bloody gauze, saying he'd drop it off at a clinic for safe disposal. That stopped the complaints from the crowd about biohazards. He left, saying he had to get back to work collecting cans. Someone from the crowd (who had been watching from when I began rinsing the foot) then told me I was a dangerous fool for not going deeper when debriding the wound, and that Jeffrey would probably lose his foot because of my stupidity. He then explained that he was a doctor, and that I should be ashamed for having treated someone without having his medical background. I apologized, and he said he should call the police because I was practising medicine without a license. I apologized again. I should have asked why he hadn't stepped in if he had disapproved of my technique. Someone asked why I hadn't taken him to some place in Oakland with a free clinic. I explained that I had only been in their country for three hours, didn't know where Oakland was, and didn't know about that program. I should have asked why they hadn't suggested that when Jeffery had been there. Spencer and Will, the American Red Cross canvassers, came around the corner and started shouting and pointing at me. I became rather paranoid and left the area as fast as I could without actually running. I was angsty and crying, wanting to go home and leave this beautiful city full of strange people that didn't seem to care about people in pain. NOTE: I asked for and received permission from Jeffrey before taking these photos.

Tags: san francisco
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