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A Meth Lab, The ER, Judgment And Grace

Last week a trailer less than a mile from our house experienced a small explosion. Trailers, which seldom explode on their own (without undiscovered volcanoes or CIA drones with missiles) was concealing a meth lab.

What can you say? If I weren’t an emergency physician I’d say, “Shocking! Ghastly! Unbelievable!” But I do what I do so I say, “Huh, how about that.”

I’ve lost much of my capacity to be shocked. I have seen meth users, and probably meth dealers. I’ve known and enjoyed the company of alcoholics and Valium addicts. I’ve cared for murderers and the murdered (albeit briefly in the case of the latter). I’ve been involved in the evaluation of sexual assault victims, car thieves, drunk drivers and child abusers. A meth lab is, in its own way, kind of small stuff.

What does it say about me? I don’t know. It may suggest that I’m cynical. Or it may mean that I’m cold. Or it may mean, as I suspect it does, that I’m just realistic. I know the world is full of drugs and brokenness. The ER, where I work, is just the place where all of it arrives in its fermented, fully concentrated, “contents under pressure” form. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at*

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