He was the first patient of the day, dropped off at the emergency room by the police or a family member a man in his 50s, unshaved, stumbling, engulfed in the pungent aroma of alcohol.
When he blew into the breathalyzers strawlike tube, the readout was 0.18, more than twice the legal limit.
I get seizures, he said, referring to the dangerous reaction some people experience when they abruptly stop drinking. Then, as if to prove it, he held out trembling hands. Each bore the nicks and scars of a hard-lived life.
I looked at the beads of sweat on his brow, then down at his vital signs. Heart rate 120;blood pressure pushing…