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Voices…they are out there again…Who is talking…where am I? What is that loud roar? Now it feels like I am drifting away again.
Voices again, seem closer this time…
Gill; are you awake, can you hear me? Open your eyes. His eyes flutter open and there are people all around him. The voice sees him looking at her. She smiles and said hello, I am Dr. Armstrong. I am an orthopedic surgeon and the doctor in charge of your care. The other people here have been helping take care of you. You have a tube in your throat and are on a respirator so you can’t talk. I will try and tell you some things so you know what is going on, OK? Gill barley nods his head. First you were in an explosion in Iraq. Do you remember anything at all? Gill shakes his head no. The doctor continues but he can barely make her out.
Ok she says…you were badly hurt. You had a closed head injury and we have kept you in a coma for almost two months. You also have multiple broken ribs mostly on the right side. That is also another reason to keep you knocked out. There is a lot of pain associated with broken ribs. We have you on a respirator to help you breath. We took over your breathing so you would not try to take a breath and suck your ribs in so they would heal.
Are you with me so far? Gill nods his head. Now for the bad stuff. Your right arm is gone at the shoulder. Your right leg is gone along with the hip. Your left leg is very badly broken in several places and in traction. Your left arm is gone above your elbow. There is also some muscle damage in the upper arm. You have some other stuff going on but it will heal.
You are in intensive care in the naval hospital here on the east coast. You will be here for some time and then we will all plan what happens from there. Now, a couple of questions; are you in a lot of pain right now from any where? Gill thought for a minute and then shook his head no. Dr. Armstrong said good because we could put you back to sleep if necessary. But if you think you want to now, we can hold off and see how you do. Gill nodded his head. The doctor said ok, it is late afternoon, I am going to let you process things for now and I will see you in the morning. The nurse is going to help you learn to communicate with us. Anything major for now you want to know she asked? He shook his head no.
They all left except for one tall girl. She was dressed in scrubs and her light brown skin looked good with the green scrubs. She came up to the bed and said her name was Dominique but everyone called her Dom. She said she was from the Carrabin and had an obvious accent. She asked him if he knew his name and he nodded yes. She asked him to try and tell her what it is and he did a good job of spelling it with his lips. She said great and do you remember what rank you are. He mouthed Captain then army. Dom said fantastic; I am a registered nurse and navy 1st lieutenant but rank does not come into play in here.
Are you having any pain right now? He rocked his head meaning a little. She told him she would get something and for him to rest a while. You have been through a lot in a short period of time. Gill’s mind was in a whirl wondering what had happened. He remembered nothing, at least for now. Dom came back in a while and smiled at him. He was having trouble seeing her but she seemed very nice. She put some medicine in his IV line and ran some fluid out of the bag so it got in his system faster.
Next she showed him what looked like a small computer. It had a flat screen and when she showed it to him, he saw what looked like a keyboard on the screen. She had a flat pointer that looked like one end of it went into his mouth. She told him the idea was for him to type words and the computer would speak them when he hit the send key. He could string a whole sentence or paragraph together if he wanted. She hit a few keys making words and it talked to them. He mouthed later and closed his eyes as the shot took effect.
Gill awakened and could just make out the clock on the wall at the foot of the bed. It was dark and said 19:30 (7:30 pm). Dom was working on her computer catching up on her nursing notes for his chart. She saw his head move and came over to the bed. He clicked his teeth and she asked if he wanted to say something. He nodded and she brought the pad and pen to him. She put the pen in his mouth and held the pad up.
She got it in the right place and he typed “wa” and the pad automatically put the word water up. He hit “ic” and ice came up. He hit send and water and ice were heard. She asked if he wanted some and he nodded. She said he could have some ice chips now and maybe some fluids tomorrow. Dom brought some ice chips in and gave him some and he clicked his teeth again. She put the pen in his mouth and held the pad up again.
Gill typed “cant see…glasses?” and hit send. She looked at him and asked if he wore glasses, he nodded and she said she had never seen any. casino siteleri She would dig up his service record and see if she could get some for him. Gill tried to lift his left arm for the first time and it came up into his view. There was not much left and it was wrapped in an ace bandage. He moved it around and did not seem to have a lot of trouble doing so.
Dom was watching and asked if that hurt. He shook his head. He could not lift his head much because of the trach tube in his throat but could just make out the large traction devise on his leg. He managed a questioning look on his face and looked at his leg again. Dom asked if he wanted to know about his leg and he nodded. She said it was broken is several places and had suffered a lot of damage. He would need several operations yet to fix it. He shook his head no. Dom asked if he did not want the surgery and he nodded. She said you need to talk with the doctor in the morning about it.
Gill mouthed thank you and Dom put her hand out and touched him smiling. He clicked his teeth and she got the pad. He typed what else is wrong with me? She told him the explosion was on his right side and that was what took the most damage. Ear drum damage, head injury is on that side, arm, leg, hip, right testicule and his eyes got big with that one. She tried not to laugh and said it was blown off but no other damage there that they knew of. There would probably be no effect from it.
She told him he had a catheter in and there had been some blood for a while. The right kidney was injured but seemed to be ok now. He also had a feeding tube in his stomach. That could come out when he could eat. He would be on the respirator for about another week then they would start to wean him off. She told him to let the machine breath for him and for him to not take any breaths if he could. When he took a breath the negative pressure pulled his ribs inward and they were trying to get them to heal and the less movement the better.
He then typed how long have you been taking care of me? She answered since you got here. You were in Germany for a couple of weeks after you were injured and then flown here and I have taken care of you on my shift since. There are three of us that work 8 or 12 hour shifts and we try and keep the same nurses with the same patients. She got a serious look on her face and reached out and took hold of his arm stump and said in the beginning you were very difficult to take care of, very sick.
Lots going on but you are much better now she said smiling. She asked if he had any pain and he wrinkled his face up and mouthed a little. Dom told him to let her know when he had any pain for now so she could give him some med. If you don’t, you get anxious, your respiratory rate goes up and it can do harm to your ribs. The sooner we get them healed the faster you are off the respirator and the tube comes out. Gill nodded his understanding and she went to get his shot.
After she gave him the shot she told him she needed to change his catheter and as soon as the shot took affect she would do it. The last thing he remembered was her hand on his penis. He woke up several hours later and thought the clock said 0115. Another nurse was on duty and came to the bedside. She was young, attractive and he noticed she had wedding rings on. The nurse said her name was Trudy and she asked if he was in pain. He shook his head no and clicked his teeth.
Trudy said that Dom had told her that meant he wanted to use the voice pad. Gill smiled and she brought it over and put the pen in his mouth. He told her it was important that he talked with Dr. Armstrong in the morning and would they please wake him up if he was asleep. Trudy said she would be sure and pass that along to the day nurse.
He asked if she was busy and if not could she write down some things he wanted to talk to the doctor about. She said sure and got a pad and pen. Gill typed the words pain, can I ever walk, body wasting energy to get leg to heal, amputate. Trudy wrote all this down and seemed concerned with the tone of the conversation. She asked if he wanted to have his leg removed and he nodded his head. She asked if that was where all of the pain came from. Head nod. He typed that he felt he would never be able to walk so why go through so much with the leg. Trudy could not take sides but nodded her head she understood. Gill was pleased that he could get his thoughts across and went to sleep.
He was awakened in the morning by Trudy giving report to the next nurse. They did not notice that he was awake and were talking about his leg. Neither of them seemed to have strong opinions one way or the other. He could not tell which one, but one said she sure would not want to go through all that surgery and still have a leg that was useless. They were done and Trudy left.
The new nurse came over to the bed to check things and was surprised to find Gill awake. She asked if everything was ok and he smiled and nodded. canlı casino She said her name was Linda and asked if he needed anything. She also mentioned she understood his teeth clicking was a signal he wanted to talk. Gill smiled at her again. And, she added, I will be sure you are awake when the doctor comes. He mouthed thank you.
She asked if he was ready to get the day started and he nodded yes. She put her hand on his shoulder and said I want to respect your privacy as much as I can but we can get things out of the way faster if I just get rid of the covers and do what has to be done. Gill laughed for the first time, silently, and mouthed go for it. She got a basin and filled it with warm water, got the rest of what she needed and locked the door.
She carefully removed the sheets and threw them in a pile. Gill was able to see his body fully for the first time as the head of the bed was up some. He was a little shocked at what he saw or rather what he did not see. There were not a lot of dressings as things had healed a lot. He saw the tube going into his stomach and lastly just how much of his right side was missing with the arm gone and the whole hip area gone. He could not see any of his penis or ball.
Linda saw him looking at things and asked if he was ok. He slowly nodded his head and she gave him a big smile. It did not take her long to wash him. She did his leg through the metal bars and noticed she was hurting him. She stopped and used the intercom to ask the desk if they could find a couple of people to help her with changing the bed. A voice said they were on the way.
She put the bath towel over his middle and unlocked the door. Two men came in and she introduced them to Gill. They seemed to know just where to go and what to do. Gill remembered he had been there for sometime before he woke up. The two of them were able to lift him with some pain in his leg and Linda quickly changed the sheets. They were cheerful and said good bye on their way out. Linda relocked the door.
Linda then told him she had one dressing to change as it was the most recent surgery. She said it was in the area of his testicle. She undid the tape in the area; they had shaved his hair thank goodness, and removed the 4X4’s. He could see a little bit of drainage. Linda put some gloves on and applied new dressings and tape. She told him things were healing very nicely there. She asked him if he needed a pain shot and he shook his head no. He clicked his teeth and she brought the voice pad over. He typed that he wanted to be awake and not doped up when the doctor came. He would take a shot as soon as she was gone. Linda said she understood.
Just as Linda got everything done and cleaned up Dr. Armstrong came in. She saw that he was awake and asked how things were. He clicked his teeth and Linda put the pad up for him. He typed good morning; I am doing good but need to talk to you. He hit the send and she heard the message and said how good he was doing with it. He typed and asked Linda to give her his list which she did. The doctor read it and asked him if his leg was where all the pain was. He nodded yes. She asked about his ribs. He typed very little.
She said are you asking if you will every walk. He nodded. She said well, that is a good question. To be sure your leg is a mess. With the loss of the other leg all of the weight would be on the left leg. I hope you can walk but make no guarantee. She read the next one and said yes, you are right, your body is spending a lot of energy trying to mend the leg. Lastly she asked if he was asking her to amputate it.
Without hesitation he typed yes, please, and nodded his head yes as he hit send. Dr. Armstrong thought for a minute and said she agreed with him and would do it if he is sure that was what he wanted. He typed yes again and nodded his head. The doctor asked the nurse to make a note in his chart of the request and who was in the room and heard the exchange. She asked when he had his last pain shot and it had been over 8 hours. She asked that to be noted also.
The doctor said that she had just canceled a surgery for this afternoon and she would put him in that place. He typed thank you so much. She said you’re welcome and added you’re sharp. She asked if he had anything else and he shook his head; I’ll see you later she said as she left.
Linda said she was surprised as how it went but she thought he was making the right decision and she was behind him all the way. He thanked her and said he was ready for the pain shot if he could have it. She said let me see what time you are scheduled for and left to catch the doctor. She came back a short time later with a syringe and said it was ok and put the med in his IV. He asked what time was surgery and she said 1430 (2:30 pm). Gill said great and drifted off to sleep with a smile on his face.
Gill was awakened by a gentle shake of his shoulder. He opened his eyes to both Linda and Dom. He asked what time it kaçak casino was and Linda said it was 12:30 and she had some questions and paperwork to fill out. He looked at Dom who was not in scrubs and she said Linda had called her about the surgery and she wanted to be here for him. She would take care of him when he came back from surgery. Gill thought she looked worried but did not say anything.
Linda asked questions about his previous medical stuff since this was the first time anyone had gotten a history. She then told him he had to sign the operative consent/information sheet. She read it to him and asked if he had any questions. He shook his head and she told him she was going to put a ball point pen in his mouth and laughed, yes she said it is clean. He was to make an X where she showed him and they would sign as witnesses. That was done and Linda went to her computer to do some charting.
Dom moved up and took hold of his arm stump with both hands and looked at him for a while. Gill noticed she looked good out of her scrubs. She had a white blouse on and her brown skin showed through letting him see she was braless. Dom could see what he was looking at and turned so she was facing him fully. Gill mouthed thanks and grinned.
He lifted his arm stump as if to touch her nipple and she moved closer but stopped just out of reach. She quietly asked if he was ok and if he really wanted this. He nodded his head enthusiastically and she finally smiled and said good. I agree with it also, not that it matters. Gill smiled up at her and mouthed thanks. Dom moved closer and let him touch her nipple through the material for just a brief time.
She asked if there was anyone he wanted her to get in contact with and he shook his head. She told him she would see him after and that they would be here any time for him, as it will take a while for them to get you ready in the OR. She saw he looked a little worried and she added don’t worry, you will be asleep. That make him smile again. Sure enough, a couple of corpsmen came and got his bed. The anesthetist was with them to breath for Gill off the respirator. Linda and Dom said see you after while.
Several hours later Gill was back in his room and starting to wake up. The first thing he saw was Dom. She said hi stranger and grinned. He smiled back and clicked his teeth. She held it up and he typed is it over. She said yes and pulled the sheet back. She held his head up a little and he could see his stump. It appeared to be that more than half of his thigh was gone. She asked if he was having any pain and he said no. She told him medicine injected during surgery made the stump numb for now but to be sure and say when he started having pain. He nodded. She told him they made a stop in X-ray on the way back to get a good picture of his ribs since they could move him better. The doctor would have the report later and let him know.
Dom then surprised him by slipping a pair of glasses on him. He could see much better now. She told him she found his service record and it had a note about an eye exam he had had. The optician owed her a favor and he made the glasses fast. Gill was able to see for the first time what a beautiful woman Dom was. She was tall, 5’10” he guessed, and the top of her scrubs showed what were probably very nice breasts.
She had light brown skin that looked soft and warm. She said she was very glad he was back and it looked like she had tears in her eyes as she turned away. She checked his catheter and the dressing on his leg stump. She made sure the IV was running ok and the settings on the respirator were right. She sat down to do her charting and saw that Gill was watching her. She gave him a big smile and he lifted his arm stump to her and drifted off to sleep.
Gill woke up a few hours later and still had his glasses on. He saw it was 2030 on the clock and was feeling pain in the stump. Dom came to his bed and asked if he hurt. He nodded his head and she gave him the shot she had ready. She told him it was not as strong as the others and to let her know if it did not work on the pain. He nodded his understanding. Linda came in about that time in civilian clothes. She said hi how are you and he mouthed fine. She looked at Dom and she nodded her head also. She put her hand on his chest and said we were worried about you. Gill was not sure what to say about that and just grinned.
Dr. Armstrong came in also and said I see you have the whole crew here taking care of you. They all laughed and she asked Dom how he was. She said fine and told her his vitals and how much pain med he had. The doctor walked over to the bed and asked how he was feeling. Dom held the pad up and he typed very good, thank you for your help. I feel so much better now. Can I turn on my side, my back is tired. She listened to the voice and said she was glad he was feeling better and he was welcome.
She was glad she could help. She thought for a moment and said if Linda did not mind helping, he could turn slightly on his right side for 10 minutes. She said the X-ray looked very good but they needed to be very careful. She added they might be able to start to wean him from the respirator in 3 days. That made everyone happy.
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