"We're losing her, Dr. Chamberlain!"
I could hear a faint beeping but could not, for the life of me, figure out what I was supposed to do. I knew I needed to do something, at least try to do something. I didn't know why I was here, or even where here was for that matter. Moreover, why was there a woman telling a doctor that they were losing someone. It couldn't be me… could it?
"Shit! Come on, Kendra. You are not dying on my operating table," a male voice said, clearly ignoring the woman. Obviously, the very insistent doctor, who was trying to save my life, had no plans of letting me meet my maker anytime soon.
There wasn't any pain. It was as if I was unconscious but could still hear the noises around me. I couldn't see anything except darkness.
I tried to open my eyes, but it was as if my eyelids had been sewn shut. They were so heavy, and just the thought of prying them apart was too exhausting to consider. What the hell was going on? What had happened to me?
The woman, apparently a nurse or another assisting doctor, spoke again. "I can't get her to stabilize doctor; she has too many injuries. She is bleeding from every appendage of her body, and there is no telling how much blood she lost before the ambulance brought her in. If we don't get the wounds closed soon, she's going to bleed out and we will lose her."
I heard a loud noise as if a heavy object had slammed into a wall. I jumped. Well, I'm sure my body didn't move, but it scared the hell out of me nonetheless. The doctor spoke again in a rather unkind tone of voice. I had a hunch he was the culprit who had thrown the object. "Just do your damn job, Sherri! It isn't your call whether she dies or not. It's mine!" I could just imagine him pointing at his chest with an angry scowl on his face. "Do what you were trained to do, or get the hell out of my O.R.!" I was guessing that it would be God who made the decision if I died on the doctor's table, but if Dr. Chamberlain wanted to play the part, I would let him if it meant I could open my eyes again.
"Yes, doctor," Sherri whispered, then evidently went back to work on fixing my injuries, because she didn't say anything after that, and he didn't tell her to leave again.
I heard soft beeps. I presumed it was coming from the heart monitoring machine. Then the sound suddenly changed from beeps to one continuous drone. From watching a lot of hospital movies on television, I realized exactly what path I was heading down. And it looked as though the determined doctor wasn't going to get a say about it.
I felt strangely calm at the realization that I was dying, and that bothered me a little. I mean, shouldn't I be panicking or something? What confused me the most was that I was still here, still hanging out in my body. Shouldn't I be walking toward a bright, white light right about now? There was nothing. I was stuck in complete darkness, listening to the people around me try to save my life.
"Give me the damn defibrillator! Turn it to one-twenty. Shoot her up with atropine. Mason, get in here and fix these bleeders. Sherri, get the hell out of the way!" He was barking orders at the staff, and from the sound of shuffling, they were doing exactly what he was telling them to do.
"Adam, I was fixing--" Sherri pleaded, but he didn't let her finish the thought, let alone get the words out of her mouth.
"It wasn't a request! Get out of my operating room, and if you ever address me by my first name while we are on the clock, it will be the last time you scrub in with me. Get out!" I heard a door open then close gently, but none of the other nurses had stopped working on me throughout the whole shouting match. It seemed to me that there may be something a little more personal than work going on between Sherri and the doctor.
"Clear," another voice said, and I heard my body jerk on the operating table. Eerie, but true, don't ask me to explain it; I've only been dead once. It was really troubling me that I couldn't see or feel anything. At least one of my senses had not been taken away from me yet. I could hear just fine, but the rest of my senses were… pretty much gone. I couldn't even smell, not that I wanted to. I hadn't ever been in an operating room, but I was sure the room smelled sterile and of iodine, with that faint hint of old and new blood, that metallic coppery smell that you never seem to forget exactly what it is.
I could only imagine what I looked like. And again the question, "What had happened to me?" I couldn't remember what I'd been doing all day, or even last week for that matter.
I heard a single beep, and then another before I flat lined again.
"Damn it! Shit!" I heard Adam take in a deep breath in then let it out slowly. "Again…do it again at one-eighty. I'm not going to lose her. Debbie, call up and get another bag of blood, no…make that two, AB Negative, STAT! And get more fluids."
"Yes, doctor." I could tell by the urgency in Debbie's voice that she was not about to question Dr. Adam.
"Clear…" Again I heard my body jerk then settle back on the table with a thump.
Beep…... ... .Beep…Beep…... ... .Beep... Beep... Beep... Beep... Beep
"You got her back, doc," Mason said.
I could hear more shuffling around, more metal instruments being used on my body, but the most important noise I heard was the sigh of relief from Dr. Adam Chamberlain. I swear I could feel the tension leaving his shoulders as I heard him pull the gloves from his hands. I heard a faint sound of metal squeaking and assumed he was throwing his used gloves in a hazardous material waste container.
"Did you find all the bleeders, Mason?" the doctor asked.
"Sure did, doc." I could hear the smile in his voice from where I was laid out on the table.
"Get her sewed up nice and pretty for me. Put her on I.V. antibiotics. Give her the blood and fluids, and have a nurse, not an aide, a nurse, sit in the room with her. If they have to piss, they better have a relief. She's not to be left alone for even a minute. Do you understand?"
I didn't hear an answer from Mason, so I guess he nodded in agreement with the doctor, because I didn't hear any yelling either.
"Keep her on the ventilator until I say otherwise. I'll check on her in a bit." I heard the door softly open then close. Adam was gone, and for some reason I felt lonely.
I was happy I had survived, I guess, but something still didn't feel right. I still couldn't feel anything, or smell, or open my eyes. I'm sure they had given me some powerful shit to anesthetize me to keep me knocked out, but I was awake... sort of.
The speed of the beeping began to rapidly increase, and I could hear something that sounded like flapping, or loud thumping.
"Shit, she's seizing. Get Dr. Chamberlain back in here. STAT!" I heard the door open then a woman shouted down the hall. I couldn't see or feel what Mason was doing to me, but I knew he was close to my face. I could hear his frantic breathing and whispered curses.
What was so ironic was that I hadn't prayed yet. I guessed I needed to, but I wasn't worried for some reason. I didn't know if I was in shock or if my sanity had flown the coop. Maybe it was because I was somehow sure that Dr. Adam Chamberlain would keep me alive. Or would he? I was almost positive the words seizure and stabilized shouldn't be written side-by-side on my chart. Something was definitely wrong again.
I heard the door quickly open and then fresh gloves being snapped into place on wrists. "What have we got?" the doctor said. His voice was so close that I knew I would be able to smell his aftershave or cologne if my sense of smell hadn't left me completely. I had the strongest urge to inhale the scent of him, but after trying, I realized it wasn't possible.
One thing was for sure, I didn't feel alone with him so near.
"I don't get it…" Mason said, with confusion in his voice. "Five seconds after you walked out, her vitals went crazy, and she started seizing. Then you come back in and speak, and everything goes back to normal, as if nothing ever happened. Hell, her vitals are better than mine right now. You're a god, man."
"You're joking, right? Mason, I have nine hours left of my shift, and I haven't slept in over twenty-two hours. I really don't think God would put himself in my shoes. Besides, he's only a figment of everyone's imagination, something someone made up to explain why we are all here. No one really knows why we're here. And no, I don't think she started seizing because I walked out, then stopped when I came back in and spoke aloud to you." I was a little disappointed to learn this tidbit of information about my doctor, but I wouldn't be the one to judge him come judgment day, so he wasn't my problem. I only needed him to patch me up.
"I swear, Adam…" He lowered his voice a little. "She was seizing when you walked through the door, and she stopped the second you spoke."
Adam sighed. "Does she have a history of epilepsy or seizers?"
"No. She gets annual check-ups, and she is hardly ever sick, sick enough to see a doctor, anyway. She may not have gone to a doctor for the stomach bug or snotty nose, but there's nothing in her medical record about epilepsy or any other conditions."
I was nodding to myself, and to obviously no one else, about everything Mason was saying about my medical history. I was actually getting a little bored with their small talk about me. I'm not epileptic; move on to the next thing. There was no way my body reacted that way just because he had walked out of the room. Mason was crazy to even think that. I am a very independent woman with a strong career and extreme hobbies. I have a friend with benefits but never really let myself get too attached to men. I don't have time for a person in my life with issues, and all men seem to have issues.
"Fine," Adam sighed. "Has anyone been able to locate a friend or relative of hers? I can go down and let them know that she is stable for now and that we will have someone with her the whole time she is in S.I.C.U." It sounded as if he blew air out through puffed out cheeks. "I can't believe she fell to the bottom of Dead Man's Cliff, and is alive with no fractures. I know she was wearing the little helmet that almost no one uses while rappelling, but I never dreamed they would be so effective from such a serious height."
So, that's what I'd been doing. The events of the day slammed into my frontal lobe, but I was still lacking the memory of the accident.
"A few guys and another girl were asking about her earlier. They were covered in blood and looked to be dressed like our famous daredevil here. It hasn't been that long ago, they may still be here."
The door opened again, then something that sounded like a gurney, or a bed on wheels, was placed to the right side of my body. A short moment later I heard Mason, "On three. One…Two…Three"
"You got it this time, Mase?" Adam said with amusement in his voice. He had such a good laugh. I hated that he was leaving me here with the nurses, but if I really had the episode a few minutes earlier because he had left me, then I had to try extra hard to keep my emotions in check.