Image By: new 1lluminati
Bringing Home Bram
“We’ve got Dr. Terry and her team prepping in the O.R.,” the emergency room doctor said as they raced down the corridor.
“What are we looking at here?” the other doctor asked, running to keep up with the stretcher.
“C3 and C4 fractures through the vertebral bodies displaced, C2 dens fracture and possible tear of the transvers ligament. We have compressions of the spinal cord in three areas, without tears and positive neurological findings,” the ER doctor summarized.
“Ok,” the other doctor said, still running alongside the stretcher and looking at the patient who was braced and clearly disoriented. “Your wife is going to meet us at the elevator. We are taking you up to surgery. Our team is ready. We’ve gotten to you early so the prognosis is good. Just stay calm.”
“I need to know something. . .” the patient trailed off.
“Just stay calm and focused,” the doctor said and ran ahead.
A woman in her early thirties stood at the elevators, a tissue over her nose and mouth and tears streaming down her face. The doctor ran up to her, caught his breath and said, “Your husband has sustained multiple compression injuries to his spinal cord in the cervical region. There may be some bruising of the cord. But we believe we can stabilize the region and reduce the compression.”
“Will he be able to . . . feel? To. . . walk?” she asked, not crying, but clearly she was teetering.
“It is too early to tell how extensive his injuries are. The sooner we stabilize his spine and take the pressure off the cord the better his chances,” the doctor said, then hit the button for the elevator as the cart arrived.
“Can I come with him?” she asked.
“Up to pre-op, yes. But be careful to focus on positive things when you talk to him. His expectations will have a major impact on his outcome,” the doctor said and held the door.
The cart, the two doctors, a nurse and a clerk boarded the elevator as did the patient’s wife.
“Oh, God,” the patient moaned.
“I’m here,” his wife said, taking his hand and squeezing it.
He didn’t squeeze back. The limb seemed flaccid and unresponsive. She remembered what the doctor had said and squeezed his hand again, “It’s going to be alright. They are the best.”
“Shit,” the patient muttered, eyes squeezed shut, tears starting to running down his face.
“It’s going to be okay,” his wife repeated.
“Damn, I need to know something,” he managed to stammer, the tears now flowing freely.
“Yes, what is it?”
“Aw, fuck. I would say this hurts but I can’t feel anything,” he moaned.
“You may not be feeling it, but your body is processing it,” the doctor said. “We will be there in just a few more seconds.”
“It’s going to be alright,” his wife said, but her tears betrayed her real feelings.
“I. . .”he trailed off.
The elevator came to a halt, the doors opened and the stretcher was wheeled out down the hall.
“Ok,” the ER doctor said, as the others started passing paperwork over to the surgical team, “we are going into pre-op.”
“I’ll be waiting for you when you come out,” his wife said.
“I. . .” he stammered, “I need to know. . .”
“Did we. . .did you. . .”
“Did I what?”
“You know. . .”
“Um. . . adopt the cat?”
“Bram,” his wife announced.
“What?” David said, coming back to himself.
“We will call him Bram,” she said, nuzzling the kitten that had launched itself at her when she’d entered the adoption visitor’s area.
“Sir,” one of the clerks said.
David stepped out of the adoption area. “Yes?”
“Is she adopting the pit bull puppy as well?” the clerk asked.
David looked out at the traffic that went racing past the pet rescue adoption facility.
“Sir?” the clerk repeated.
“Hmm, no. It was either the puppy or the kitten or. . .” David trailed off.
“She really seemed taken with the puppy,” the clerk said. “She had a name for it and-“
“It’s the puppy, the kitten or. . .” David interrupted.
“I step out in front of an oncoming vehicle,” David said, measuring the distance to the front of the building.
“Sir?” the clerk wasn’t certain that he understood.
“I’m still trying to decide which option would be the least expensive.
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