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John, Susie, and Roy walked out to the nurses’ station in emergency. The three of them had only been on duty a few hours, but the morning had been nothing but patients. Some days it was like that. It was like they ganged up to see who would crack first. Susie had a seat in Dixie’s chair, and placed her head in her hands.
“I so need a vacation.”
“I haven’t seen a day like this in a long time.” Roy told them.
Susie looked at the two of them. “You want a cup of coffee?”
They walked across the hall to the lounge. Several nurses were sitting on the couches filing charts. Roy filled the cups and sat down. Susie looked at the nurses. They were quietly chatting, passing a letter. The handie talkie went off, John and Roy ran out to the squad. After drinking her coffee she walked back to the desk.
Dr. Morton walked up and grabbed a chart. Glancing up he noticed the nurses. “I see that the nurses have gathered again.”
“Yeah, they were in the lounge too, passing around some paper.”
Susie grabbed a chart, and walked into a treatment room. She looked at a man. “Mr. Willis, I see that you have a nasty cut on your arm there.” She looked at his arm. “How did this happen?”
The man pulled a bandage off. “I was working on the house when the saw fell back and cut me.”
“Well it’s going to need some stitches and you’re going to need a tetanus booster.” She walked over to the phone, and made a call. “This is Dr. Stewart; I need a nurse in treatment room 5 please.”
She began getting the supplies ready. After a few minutes she began the stitches herself.
“Just keep that dry until the end of the week. Come back Saturday and I’ll take them out.” She gave the man a shot, and walked out to the desk again.
She looked at Dixie. “Dix, where’s all the nurses?”
“Is there a problem, again?”
“No, nothing I can’t handle.”
One of the nurses came walking up to the desk. “A little birdie told me that Mr. O’Brien got the letter this morning.”
“What letter?” Dixie asked.
“All of the nurses want pay raises and day shift.”
Dixie looked at her. “Well you won’t have a pay raise or any shift if you don’t get back to work.”
The nurse walked off. Susie looked at Dixie. “I’d love to have day shift, but a 3 am fire tells me not.”
She grabbed a chart, and walked into a treatment room. She looked at Dr. Brackett.
“What’ eve got?”
He looked at a heart monitor. “Sinus tachycardia with multiple PVC’s.”
“What’s the vitals?”
“BP 100/90, pulse 60, respirations 16.” A paramedic told Dr. Brackett.
“Start IV 100mg Lidocane, followed by a Lidocane drip.”
Susie began starting the IV as Dixie walked into the room.
Kal looked at her. “Dix, will you see if CCU has a bed?”
She looked at Dr. Brackett. “We’ll have to handle him down here.”
The three of them looked at each other and knew what was going on.
Kal looked at Susie. “Susie, will you get Joe for me?”
Susie walked out into the hallway. The nurses had gathered around the hospital administrator, Mr. O’Brien.
“Look, I can’t offer you anymore pay raises or day shift.”
One of the nurses spoke up. “Then we’ll strike.”
“Then fine. All of you will lose your jobs.”
Another nurse spoke up. “You can’t fire us, it’s in our contract.”
“We’ll just see about that!” He walked off, leaving the nurses in the group.
Susie paged Dr. Early, and Dixie walked to the desk. Susie looked at her. “I guess you’ll be out too, huh?”
Dixie looked at her. “You can count me out.”
Dr. Brackett walked through the crowd as the base station lit up. Susie walked into the base station room.
“This is Rampart, squad calling in will you please repeat.”
“Rampart, this is Squad 51. We have a female approx. age 25 possible OD. Stand by for vitals.”
“51, do you have any information on what she took?”
“Rampart, informant states that she took several pills, and then jumped from a first story window. The vitals are BP 80/50, pulse 40, and the respirations are 12.”
“51 start IV Ringers 1000CC’s, make sure her head and neck are secure. Apply anti-shock trousers. Check for signs of head injury. Does the patient need an airway at this time?”
“10-4 IV Ringers, we’ve got her on a backboard. Affirmative on the head injury. She has bump on the forehead. Negative on the airway. BP is now 100/60, pulse 50.”
“10-4, 51. Transport as soon as possible, and keep an eye on that airway.”
Susie stepped out to the desk, and looked at Dr. Brackett. “We’ve got a bad one coming in. Head injury, internal injuries, and OD.”
“We’ll set up treatment room 3. Better get another nurse.”
They stepped over into the hallway. The nurses had gathered into a group again. She whistled loud enough that everyone could hear.
“Listen up people. I’m sorry that you are going to go on strike. Right now we have critical patients coming in. Dr. Brackett and Dixie are still in charge. I suggest that if you want to strike, you better have a job to strike. If you have a problem with that you can take it up with me. Got it? Now get back to work!”
Susie and Dr. Brackett walked into the treatment room. A few minutes later the squad arrived.
“How’s the BP?” She asked John.
She began looking the woman over.
“Possible spleen rupture, broken ribs. Lungs sound clear. Pupil’s sluggish and reactive to light.”
Kal looked at John. “Deflate the suit.”
As the suit began deflating he checked the BP again.
“She’s went out on us. No pulse.”
John climbed onto the gurney, and began CPR.
Susie grabbed the paddles and handed them to him.
John hit the button and counted off. “1,2,3,4.”
Dr. Brackett shocked the woman with the paddles. They all looked at the monitor. John went back to doing CPR.
“2 amps Sodium Bicarb.”
Susie handed him the drug, and he added it to the IV.
“Hit her again.”
John hit the button and counted off again. Dr. Brackett shocked the woman once more. A faint heartbeat came across the screen. Susie began taking the BP.
“BP is 50.” She told him.
“Start another IV of Ringers.”
John grabbed the supplies and started another IV. Susie glanced up at the monitor.
“V-phib again.” She grabbed the paddles. She shocked the woman. She looked at the monitor. “Flatline.”
Susie began CPR this time. Dr. Brackett grabbed some medication. “Stop CPR, I’m going directly into the heart.”
He stabbed the woman with the cardiac needle, and Susie began CPR again.
He hit the button one more time, and grabbed the paddles. He shocked her, and looked at the monitor.
Susie glanced at all of them. Dr. Brackett folded the sheet across her, and they walked out into the hallway. It was deserted. Susie looked at the clock.
“Well they went through with it.”
Dixie walked up to them. “Looks like it is the 6 of us down here.”
“The 6 of us?” John asked puzzled.
“Us and Joe Early.” She told him.
“Where’s Mike Morton?” Susie asked.
Dixie pointed outside. Susie chucked. “That figures. How’s the heart patient brought in earlier?”
“He was transferred to Saint Francis.”
As all of them stood there the administrator came off the elevator.
“I’m sorry about the strike. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to close the hospital until the strike is over. The nurses have agreed for one hour to transfer all of the patients to different hospitals.”
The nurses and ambulance attendants started walking into the emergency room. They began splitting up, and going to the different patient floors. Susie, a couple of the nurses, and John took the higher floors. She got off on the OB floor. Walking down the hallway she sensed something was right. It was quiet for moving patients, too quiet. She began walking to the nurses’ station when the wall beside her exploded.
She didn’t know how long it had been since the explosion, but she had woken up. At the end of the hallway she heard a baby crying. Removing a board from her view she thought that she saw Dr. Morton standing over her.
“Mike.” She said out loud.
As her vision began getting fuzzy again he disappeared. Her head fell back into the debris. A short time later she awoke again. This time she heard a saw cutting into the debris field. She moved some of the debris from her chest. It must have caught the attention of Roy, who came running into the room.
“Don’t try and move.” He told her.
“Roy, what happened?”
“There was an explosion. Just relax were working on gettin’ you out.”
She looked around, then at Roy. “Mike, did he get out?”
Roy looked at her. “Mike?”
She looked around. Her vision and thoughts were all jumbled. She must have had a head injury. “Mike Morton. Roy I saw him, he’s the one who did this.”
“Hey, just relax. He’s the one that found you.”
“No, Roy. I know what I saw.” He looked at him. “If you’re here, where’s Johnny?”
“I’m workin’ on getting’ him out too. He’s behind the wall.”
Susie tried to get up. “I have to go help him.”
“We will get him out.”
She tied to get up once more. Roy yelled for Dr. Brackett.
The room went silent. The next time she awoke she was in a treatment room in emergency. She tried to get up from the bed, but she was tied to it. She tried to piece together the events that had happened. She must have been so hysterical that they had to put her into restraints. She also knew that her instincts could be right about Morton, but she wasn’t sure about John. Maybe that was the reason that she was here? She lay back on the bed, and looked at the celling. Laying there the room began to shake. There must be another explosion. This time trying to get free she pulled her arm out of the restraint, and then began working on the other one. Sitting up she yanked the IV out and ran out into the hallway. Ceiling tiles were falling into the floor. Running past people she ran out the ambulance entrance to the parking lot.
There were several people being treated, and several with the white sheets covering them. Noticing someone in a turnout coat, she put her hand on their shoulder.
“Have you seen Johnny?” She asked the man.
“Johnny Gage, 51.”
He pointed in the direction of several white sheets. She almost started crying. Walking over someone grabbed her. She looked at them startled. It was Johnny. She fell into him crying. He started crying too.
Both John and Susie had been home a few days. John wasn’t sure what happened to her. They both had been rescued separately. She had been acting strangely. He also wasn’t sure if it was the explosion or a head injury, but he was going to find out.
He woke up and got dressed. He walked into the living room, and saw Susie sitting on the front porch. He stood there for a moment thinking to himself. He noticed that she seemed to be staring off into space, and her breathing was rapid. The more he noticed the more involved in the state she became.
He put his hand on her shoulder, and she jumped up. She looked at John. “Get away from me.”
He walked over to her, and looked at her. “Hey, it’s just me.”
She began running through the house. He tried to grab her, but she slipped through his grasp. He ran through the house, and found her in the backyard. She was pacing the fence line trying to find a way out. She noticed John watching her. She faced him, and braced herself against the fence. The look in her eyes said it all. She had no idea who John was or where she was.
“Get away from me. Don’t touch me.”
He tried approaching her. “It’s me Johnny, Johnny your husband.”
She ran down the fence line to the edge and fell into the corner. She began rocking herself. He watched helpless. It might just make things worse if he tried to help her right now. He walked back into the house. A few minutes later he walked back onto the porch with Roy.
Roy and John looked at her. “Roy, I can’t seem to get through to her.”
Roy walked slowly over to where she was.
She looked at him confused and scared.
“Johnny asked to me to come over.”
She kept looking at him. He slowly had a seat beside her.
“Can you tell me what’s bothering you?”
She continued looking at him.
“Maybe we should go inside.”
She looked at him. “Don’t touch me.”
“Now see you’re talking to me. That’s a start.”
“Don’t touch me.”
“Maybe you’d like to go somewhere, the park?”
“Don’t touch me.” She was trying to piece together what had happened. “Where’s Johnny?”
Roy looked at John, and motioned him to come over. Susie began rocking again. Roy got up and walked half way to John. “I can’t get through to her. She wants you. Maybe I should call a squad and ambulance.”
John agreed him, almost crying. As Roy walked into the house, he walked over to her. He had a seat next to her. She fell into him crying. He sat holding her until the squad and ambulance arrived. Roy, the other paramedics, and the ambulance attendants appeared on his porch. The paramedics handed Roy something. He walked over to John and Susie.
“Here” He handed John a syringe. “Dr. Brackett said give her this.”
John gave her the shot in the arm. After a couple of minutes she was calm. John carried her to the ambulance, and got in. Roy followed them to St. Francis.
On the way to the hospital Susie woke up.
John looked down at her. “You’re ok. I’m taking you to Dr. Brackett.”
“What happened?” She asked.
John kissed her hand, and she fell back asleep. He helped wheel her into a treatment room.
Dr. Brackett began checking her out. “Just relax.”
“What happened?” she asked again.
“You had psychosis again.”
“You’ve been having episodes since the explosion.”
“So, there was an explosion?”
“I’m afraid so. I’m going to run some tests to check for a head injury.”
John stepped up to the bed. “Doc, I don’t think that she fully checked out after the explosion.”
Close to an hour later all of the test results came back.
“Well the blood analysis didn’t show anything. The X-ray shows a small skull fracture on the frontal lobe. It’s not serious enough for surgery. You also have a concussion.”
“Would that explain the irrational behavior?” john asked puzzled.”
“It might explain some of it but not all of it. I’m going to keep you overnight for observation.”
A little while later John went up with Susie to her room.
Susie looked at him. “I think I’m crazy don’t you?”
He looked at her. “No. I don’t think you are crazy.”
“My head is so jumbled.” She looked at him again. “Did you see Dr. Morton after the explosion?”
“I don’t remember much.”
“I keep having this vision in my head of him standing over me just looking at me.”
“I’m sure it’s just the concussion.”
After dinner Susie fell asleep. John walked out into the hallway and Roy and Joanne cam walking up the hallway.
“How’s Susie?” Joanne asked.
“She’s asleep.” He looked at Roy. “Roy, can I talk to you a minute?”
He pulled Roy aside. “Did you see Dr. Morton, after the explosion I mean?”
He looked at John. “Not that I remember, but everything happened so fast.”
“Hey listen all of this will be over. Why don’t we go grab a cup of coffee?”
The three of them walked to the elevator and got on. Walking past the nurse’s station a man appeared. No one thought anything of the man. He was dressed in black, and walking very fast around all of the patients and staff. He glanced at the charts at the nurse’s station, and kept walking.
He turned the corner, and made sure that no one was watching him. He walked into Susie’s room. He noticed she was asleep. He grabbed the chart at the end of the bed, and slammed the metal case closed. Susie woke up and looked at him.
“Morton.” She tried to grab for the nurse’s call button. He grabbed it away.
“What are you doing here?” She asked.
“Trying to find you.”
“So you were at the explosion.”
“Maybe but you can’t prove it. See everyone thinks you’re crazy.”
“Johnny don’t know what’s good for him. He never has.” He looked at her. “Like you. I’m surprised you haven’t gone to the cops yet.”
“So what if I did?”
“They won’t believe you either.”
He stuck a needle into her IV.
“What is that?”
“Something to keep you from turning me in.”
Susie fell back asleep. Dr. Morton snuck off the floor, and out of the hospital. Shortly after leaving she woke up suddenly, and jumped out of bed. She pulled her IV out. She walked to the door, and ran into the stairwell. Getting to one of the bottom floors she saw someone coming up the stairs. She ran into the emergency room. Avoiding more people she ducked into one of the open treatment rooms. There she found the surgical attire, and quickly changed. She blended in with a group of people walking out.
In the parking lot she saw an ambulance. It had been marked for the coroner’s office. Everyone was still working on getting the missing from the debris of Rampart.
She looked at one of the attendants. “You going past Rampart?”
She got into the back of the ambulance, and they began their way to Rampart. Turning the corner of the block Susie could not believe her eyes. One side of the building was gone. The other side looked like no one had touched it. The ambulance parked as close as they could. Susie got out and walked into the emergency entrance.
Workers had made makeshift lighting and were investigating the damage, and gurneys were lined up against the hall. The farther she walked in the more gurney’s she saw. A worker came around the corner and she ducked into one again. She had her back to the door and noticed that she was sweating and shaking.
“What did he give me?” She said outloud.
She noticed little noises coming from the room next door. She looked through the crack and found Dr. Morton trying to do something. She stood there for a moment trying to figure out what he was doing. She turned back around, trying to leave the room, when she tripped over something. He busted through the door.
“How did you get out?”
She threw up her hands. “I walked out.”
“Not this time you won’t.”
He hit her with one of the metal instrument trays, knocking her unconscious. He ran out of the room.
Meanwhile at St. Francis, John, Roy, Joanne, and Dr. Brackett had went to check on her.
Kal opened the door and yelled for a nurse.
“I want a page of the hospital. We have a missing patient.”
“I’ll check the floor.” Roy told him.
“I’ll check the stairwell.” John told him.
Joanne walked past Dr. Brackett and found a syringe lying on the floor.
“Dr. Brackett I think you should take a look at this.”
He walked back into the room. Joanne handed him the needle. The nurse walked back into the room.
“I want a complete analysis of this.”
A police officer walked into the room.
“Find Dr. Morton!” Kal yelled at him.
A few minutes later they all met back up.
John looked at Kal. “Doc, I think I know where she went.”
The three of them walked out to Roy’s truck, and got in. A few minutes later they were at Rampart. The three of them ran into the emergency entrance, and began checking the treatment rooms.
“She’s in here!” Roy yelled.
The other two walked into the room. “She’s got a strong pulse.”
The three of them put her up onto a table. Dr. Brackett shined a light into her eyes. She woke up startled.
“Where’d he go?” She asked looking around.
“Dr. Morton was here?” Kal asked.
John ran out of the room to the hallway. He looked around, and heard a crash from one of the other treatment rooms. He ran in and found Dr. Morton lying on the floor. Roy ran into the room.
John flipped him face up, and saw the needle sticking out of his arm. He checked his pulse, and then looked up at Roy.
John and Roy walked back into the hallway where Susie stood with Dr. Brackett.
He looked at the both of them. “He’s gone.”
Susie ran into his arms.
Continued in Part 3
Posted to Site 10/21/13
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