The x-ray hurt a little, but I expected that, It appeared that they were twisting some broken bones, when they position my hand. It was over before I wet my panties, but it was close. After the x-ray I went to the bathroom, which had become a chore. It was painful getting up and down without the meds. Without that clumsy, cast it was extremely painful as well.
I sat in a chair outside the the x-ray department while they made sure it was acceptable. I waited ten minutes with the pain grown with every tick of the clock. The transporter or med tech, whatever they called her, came out and walked back with me. My guess was that she wasn’t just being nice, she was there to make sure I didn’t fall, then bring suit against the clinic.
I was getting testy as the drugs wore off and the pain mounted. I was outside the doctors examining room, when another transporter came with a wheel chair. I didn’t object that time. She took me to a different office where I met with the real doctor.
He looked at my x-ray on the computer screen then said, “The emergency surgery at the rural hospital saved your life. Without it you probably would have bled to death in an hour, but it looks like they used a pocket knife to do the surgery. You need to go back to surgery just as soon as you can. The longer you wait the more scar tissue we will have to deal with.”
“Well what about tomorrow at 9AM,” I suggested.
“Make it 6am and you got a deal,” he said. “And young lady, when we operate we have the only knives in the room, understood.”
“So he wimped out,” I said with a laugh. “He was joking about rough sex, so I thought I would show him what rough sex with me would be like.”
“Well he might have needed a little attitude correction, but that was a bit extreme. By the way for future reference, we also tape the conversations in those rooms. He didn’t know it till we played it back to get the truth about what happened.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” I said.
The next hours were a blur of pain, then a drug fog, then a restless night’s sleep. Finally a ride back to the medical complex in the dark and my mind in a twilight state again. I checked in for the additional surgery. I was trusting the doctors to do the right thing.
“Good morning,” the what a presumed was a nurse said.
“Good morning, I see you are all dress up with no place to go.” I said referring to her scrub suit and hat. It struck me as hilarious though I know now that it made no sense.
“Well it’s good to see you cheerful. They are going to roll you into the surgery and we are going to do this thing,” she said.
“Cool beans, if I’m good do I get a balloon after?” I asked.
“No, but I hear you should get a medal for putting the PA in his place yesterday. So I’ll do what I can to get you as much use as possible from that hand.” she said.
I realized two things. One, she was the surgeon not the nurse, and two it was a hell of a lot worse than I had been told. Neither really sunk in, but I knew I would remember them later. I guess I looked at her with a blank stare.
“They didn’t tell you did they?” she asked.
I shook my head.
“That hand is a mess. You got hit with mass of sharp things. You have massive nerve and tissue damage. The bones are out of line but that’s the least of your worries. I’m going to try like hell to get all the wires reconnected correctly, but you never know.” she said. She turned to a young woman standing in the room. “Get her a new consent form.” Then to me she said, “If you are willing to let me try, I’ll do the best damn job I can. Us nasty old broads got to stick together,” she added.
I signed, “It is my left hand, I hold the gun with my right hand.” I never explained the comment and she seemed to understand,
“Do I need to wear a vest, or go into hiding?” she asked with a smile.
“No, we are cool no matter how it comes out.” I said.
Somebody rolled me into a room and had me sit in a chair. They position my hand then shot it up with some local pain killer and went to work. They kept me awake so I could move things while they worked.
I have no idea how long I was in there, but it seemed like a long time. I couldn’t tell what was moving and what wasn’t, since I had no feed back from the hand. In the end they took me to an observation room.
After about an hour the surgeon came in. “Well whoever you are, we did what we could. I got all the big wires either repaired or hopefully rerouted. You are going to have to relearn to do things with that hand, but you should get to 80% at least.”
“That doesn’t sound good at all,” I said.
“The cup is more than half full,” the doctor said. “Call my office if you need anything. We have a good rehab clinic here. I mean it, if you need anything call.”
My sitter got me back to the safe house and I settled in. It seemed as though the day had never existed. Such was the condition of my mind under the heavy drugs. I might have kept drifting along in the medicated fog, if they hadn’t tried to get me to sign more shit. I had no idea what it was, but I also was lucid enough to know that they wouldn’t bring harmless shit to me in the condition I was in. It had to be something important and that made it something I was not about to sign.
“Come on Sylvia, you need to sign these so that we can process your workers compensation claim. The state needs it so that we can pick up your medical bills. Otherwise there will be a deductible you will have to pay.”
“Mission, I’m not signing anything till I get off these heavy duty pain killers. Once I am on the OTC shit, bring it back,” I said sleepily. It was after that I noticed a definite difference in my thinking. The pain level went up, but my thinking got some clearer. It was another day before I felt I could call Hugo on my cell phone.
“Hugo it’s me Terry,” I said.
“How you doing hon?” he asked.
“Hugo, I got no fucking idea how I’m doing. I need you to do me a favor. Pack up all my shit from the camper, and my tool kit from the truck. I will send someone after them, if I can’t come down myself. But I would like them in one of the storage building, so if anyone uses, or comes to take the camper away, my shit is safe.”
“Right, I already got your tool bag from the truck. They came for it already,” he said.
That cloth tool bag was what I wanted most. It had the money and the fake driver’s licenses under the a false bottom. I had fitted the bag with that fake cardboard bottom myself. It had been a temp solution, and I was glad that I had taken the time to do it. I wouldn’t be slipping into camp in the middle of the night for it, but Hugo rescued it from the tow truck, so it should be there when I needed it.
I didn’t give a crap about the household stuff in the camper, but I had to cover myself by making sure it got packed and stored as well. It was over a week before my mind got totally clear. I was fairly clear headed by the time I went in to have my hand evaluated. To do that they had to remove the bandages just as they did to change them, but I had to try to move it while the board was off it.
I almost screamed, the pain was so great when I tried to move the fingers. Without the big time meds, it was a nightmare. I managed to just cry at the pain. When I finished with all the test and the new x-rays it was decided that the rehab on the hand would need to begin immediately. So they bandaged it with a elastic bandage, which they wrapped over a custom splint.
“Now I want you to work your fingers every time you think of it. I know it is going to hurt, but it’s going to make all the difference in your recovery.” I nodded my agreement. “I see you have stopped taking the medication Lois prescribed for you. That’s okay, if you can deal with the pain.”
“I can deal with it better than the fucking fog stuff make of my thinking,” I said.
“Yeah, well if it didn’t do that, it would be useless,” he said in defense of the heavy duty meds.
When we got back to the safe house Mission was waiting. I didn’t know, if it was a coincidence or not. I don’t usually believe in those. “Well Agent Mission what brings you to my humble safe house?” I asked.
“We are going to remove the protection detail at the end of the week,” she said.
“So the Greens made the deal?” I asked.
“Yes they are going to plead and testify against their suppliers. Some of the drugs came directly from drug cartels in Mexico, so it’s international,” she said.
“That is quite a feather in everyone’s cap,’ I said.
“Oh you are going to be a decorated cop for sure,” she said. “Sylvia, you will also be retiring on a full disability pension.”
“What do you mean?” I asked in complete disbelief.
“You are never going to be certified for law enforcement work again. So the state is putting you on the disabled list. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you,” she admitted.
“Can’t I get a waiver or something?” I asked.
“Frankly honey, even if you could nobody wants you. They say you are too much of a cowboy, or cowgirl,” she added.
“Mission you know this is a shock. I mean I’m sitting here with my hand fucked up and now I am out of work on top of that. I think I need to see a lawyer before I make any more decisions.“
“We were hoping you wouldn’t feel like that. It puts me in a difficult situation. If you bring action based on the events of that night on the waterway, we will have to charge you with reckless endangerment,” She said.
“Oh Mission, I wish you hadn’t threatened me. You tell your boss that was the wrong thing to do. So you run on back to capitol city and do what you got to do. And I’ll add malicious prosecution to the things I will file on.”
“You will need to be out of this house day after tomorrow,” She said as she turned to leave.
“Where is my car stored?” I asked.
“The Toyota is in a storage yard outside county seat. Your furniture, such as it is, was put in storage in Dobson. I’ll get you the address and receipts,” Mission said.
“If you don’t have all the information back to me tomorrow, I’ll add that to the suit,” I said.
“You know this isn’t personal,” Mission said.
“Oh honey, I take this very fucking personal. I don’t know about you, but when I get fucked it’s hard not to take it personal.”