Hi folks, this one is a shorter one. As usual I'd like to thank everyone who read and commented on last week's story whether you understood what I was trying to do or not. Always remember, writing is like a conversation. I throw an idea out there and you may see it completely differently than I do. There are sometimes aspects of stories that I never knew were there that you guys point out to me. A great example of that is Chrissie. Which I've recently touched up for another project involving myself and a couple of your favorite writers. I had ti include in the new version an idea that I learned from reading your comments. When I wrote the story I just figured that the car loved him. (we all know that Mustangs are far more than mere vehicles, right?) Anyway some of you had the idea that it was his dead girlfriend's spirit inhabiting the car. I truly never saw that when I wrote the story, but I have included that idea in the subsequent version. See you guys are far smarter than I am. Anyway as always feel free to comment on anything I do and nplease don't hesitate to tell me when I'm wrong or I miss something, especially when you can do it in a constructive way. Before I forget, I need to thank Mikothebaby for her brilliant work editing this one, she really is the reason these things come out as well as they do. SS06
My first conscious thought was about how annoying the beeping sound was. Then I panicked as I realized that there was a tube down my throat. In fear and confusion, my arms began to flail as I tried to breathe on my own and that was when the pain in my chest took over again.
The mere action of trying to move my arms had lit my chest on fire. The pain was so bad that I thought I was dead. I wanted to be dead just to end the pain. As the beeping increased, the steady drip of medication must have increased as well because I was suddenly barely able to keep my eyes open.
I was aware though at the edge of my consciousness of people coming into the room. They all seemed to be really concerned about me. I didn't recognize a single one of them. A very pretty black woman, who was probably some kind of doctor seemed to be really concerned and in charge.
"Oh fuck!" she yelled. "He tore open the stitches in his chest. I told you we needed to restrain his arms. The frontal Deltoids connect to the pectoral muscles, damn it. If he moves his arms, he's going to tear open the God damned wounds."
"Why the fuck is he even awake?" asked another doctor. This one was male. "He's getting enough sedatives to keep a God damned elephant under. Three more days and we could have taken the stitches out. Everything would have been fine."
"It's the God damned breathing tube," said the pretty doctor again. "He's getting better and you should have taken the fucking tube out and started him to breathing on his own as soon as his lungs were cleared and strong enough."
"Okay, I fucked up," said the male doctor. "It was a judgment call. I'd rather have him alive and uncomfortable, than end up like some of the others who just died in the middle of the night because they stopped breathing. This guy is a fucking hero. I'm not letting him die on my watch. If we had a big enough staff, I'd have someone monitoring him around the clock. But thanks to Obama care we can't even afford a CNA for that." The voices got quieter and more fuzzy and I realized in the back of my mind that they weren't actually getting quieter, I was just going back to sleep.
The next time I woke up, I didn't want to. I was dreaming that some blond woman was crying and she was so pretty, I wanted to stay asleep and watch her cry. I had the feeling that somehow she was crying over me. I believe that I was actually conscious for almost two full minutes that time. And I do remember trying to breathe and noticing that the tube was gone from my mouth. There was a smaller tube, in my nose this time, and it seemed to be pushing air into me but I was breathing without the tube down my throat. I didn't bother trying to open my eyes, because I was just too tired to. I fell back asleep exhausted.
I woke up again shortly after that, I thought, but it might not have been so shortly. I have no idea of time during that period. My blankets were pulled back and I was freezing. My eyes opened and the pretty doctor was cooing over my chest and talking to me.
"You had such nice muscle development," she said. "It's going to be a long time before you can go back to the gym though. Over the next few weeks I'd be happy just to see you sit up. I'd be ecstatic to see you stand up. But you're a fighter. You're going to come through this just fine."
"Arrrrgghhh!" I managed to get out. That one sound that wasn't even a word, exhausted me. Just drawing in enough oxygen to try to force sound out of my raw throat to speak had tired me out. I'd barely opened my eyes enough to assure myself that it was her and then I was out again.
She grasped my hand and I managed through great effort to weakly squeeze her fingers before I fell back into dreams about the blond woman that I was beginning to remember. Remembering her took a great deal of effort and the funny thing was that other than an innate sense of self, I actually didn't know who I was yet. I knew that I was a person and I knew that I was me. But I hadn't quite gone about the process of remembering who "ME," was.
I was beginning to become cognizant of the passing of time though. The last time I'd awakened and tried to speak, it had been dark outside of the windows. This time I was strong enough to open my eyes fully and look around. I looked around the room for my angelic doctor and found that I was alone. I remembered snatches of moments from the other times that I'd been semiconscious. I learned from them. I remembered the searing pain from trying to move my arms, so I remained as still as possible.
I opened my eyes fully and barely moved my head a bit. Except for a wave of dizziness there was no pain or discomfort associated with it.
I drew in a deeper breath and felt pain in both the inside of my chest and the muscles connected to it. I wiggled my fingers both individually and in groups. For some reason, I kept making sure that my index fingers worked. I didn't think of them as index finger though. I thought of them as trigger fingers.
I flexed my wrists and there was still no pain in my chest. I very gently raised my arms at least as far as the restrains would allow and felt barely a tingle. I believe that the tingle was probably more related to breathing harder due to the effort than it was from pain.
I moved on. I wiggled my toes. They seemed to work fine. I almost smiled at that. If there was still feeling in my toes it meant that I'd probably still be able to walk. I tentatively tried to lift my legs and was able to lift each leg in turn off of the bed. After that I was sweating and so exhausted that I fell back asleep.
"So Jim, did you have a good workout this morning," she asked. My eyes fluttered and opened. There she was standing over me. Her smile and the contrast between those very white teeth and her smooth caramel brown skin was almost too much for me. I smiled back at her.
"Okay, we're making big time progress here," she laughed. "Let's try something," she said.
She held a cup with a bent straw in it up to my lips. "Suck on this very slowly just a little bit at a time." she said. That was when I knew that I was going to be fine. I was already reading things into what she said. The things I wanted more than anything else to suck on were her succulent lips. But I took a sip of the water in the cup. It burned as it went down my raw throat at first and then as my throat lubricated itself from the fluids, I tried to drink more and more of it.
She quickly snatched the cup away.
"Jim, you have to take this slowly," she cautioned. "All we'd need is for a sip of water to go down the wrong pipe. If you start coughing, you'll pop your stitches and have to go back into surgery ... And you're too weak to start testing out your muscles..." I tilted my head to look at her.
"I figured out what you did the other day," she smirked. "You don't have to worry about it. You have no nerve damage and no spinal damage. Your brain function appears undamaged. You'll be able to walk and talk and do everything you were always able to very soon. The problem is that it's going take time because everything we do involves breathing, Honey. And right now that's where you're weak. You lost about 10 to 15% of your lung capacity due to necrosis of the tissue. I'd imagine that your brain is fuzzy and you're having trouble remembering things too." I nodded my head.
"I know that you probably have gaps in your memory and you want to know all of it but the key thing for you to do right now is just to rest and get your strength back. Until you've been cleared by your therapist, I can't even discuss what I know of what happened to you, or even your injuries, so just sit back, relax and get better," she said.
I was still focusing on the fact that she'd called me, Honey. I closed my eyes and took another nap. Over the next few days I grew stronger. I got to the point where they took the restraints off of my arms and shortly after that I was strong enough to sit up in bed. At the end of the week, I was allowed to push myself up and let my legs dangle over the side of the bed. I never thought that sitting down could be so exhausting.
.... There is more of this story ...