|doc_smith (ex_doc_smith506) wrote in the_colony,|
@ 2010-11-11 22:58:00
|Entry tags:||^ week 22, andrew kirke, louisa may smith, | drew and louisa may|
WEEK 22: TUESDAY
Characters: Drew, Louisa May, and an unresponsive Molly
Location: The farmhouse, Drew’s room.
Summary: The Doc and Drew work to save Molly, who’s unconscious due to her hypothermia.
Louisa May didn’t even wait for the truck to pull to a complete stop before she jumped out, running for the front door. She moved quickly, the black bag of supplies she’d taken to carrying with her swinging from her hand.
“Drew? Drew? I’m here,” she called out loudly as her free hand reached for the door. She took a breath as she went in, eyes adjusting to the slightly dimmer light as she tried to orient herself. She didn’t entirely remember where Drew’s room was, so in the living room she paused, slightly out of breath, her blood ringing in her ears.
“I’m here,” she called out. “Where are you?”
“In here!” came the strained shout around the corner. Drew hadn’t had strength enough after running Molly all the way back from the woods in the snow to get her upstairs, with or without adrenaline. If he’d dropped her and hurt her, he would have never forgiven himself. Panicked and unable to do anything, it had been up to Ana to call up the doctor on the CB; he’d refused to leave Molly’s side as he’d covered her in every available blanket he could get his hands on that was on the first floor. A few of the others had also gathered up the other blankets in the upstairs rooms and the attic.
Louisa May broke into a quick jog in the direction of the voice, and as soon as she saw the open door, she went in.
Molly was on the bed, looking pale and covered by a mountain of blankets. Drew stood beside her, looking like hell. Moving purposefully, she bent over the girl, pushing the blankets aside to feel for a pulse against her neck. It was faint, but there -- thank Jesus. She held up her watch, timing the sluggish beats per minute.
“She responsive at all yet?” Louisa May asked briskly. “Talking, making any noise? Get the flashlight out of my bag, will you? And the thermometer.” Forty-five beats per minute -- far too slow for her tastes, but she’d seen worse.
All the questions seemed too much for him to wrap his head around, but he almost scrambled in an attempt to get the tools she asked for. Just barely resisting the urge to overturn her bag in order to find them faster, Drew finally located both tools, his hands shaking as he held them out for her.
“Her teeth were chattering so much I thought she’d bite her own tongue,” he said meekly.
“Shivering is good. Body temp drops too far, it can’t heat itself back up again. Shivering means she can.” She gently opened Molly’s eyes one at a time, checking for dilation with her flashlight, then setting it aside and popping the thermometer in her mouth, cupping her chin so that it wouldn’t fall out.
“You’ve done just fine so far, Drew. The blankets will heat up her core, which is important. Do you have any good sleeping bags around? They tend to seal in the heat fairly well.”
She barely finished the sentence before he was out the door, rushing toward the stairs at full-tilt.
While Drew was out on his mission, Louisa May felt under the blanket for Molly’s hand. It was ice-cold, but the skin was still elastic and didn’t appear too red or swollen. The thermometer read 89.5 degrees, which was better than she expected.
“Come on, now, Molly, five more degrees,” she muttered, putting the arm back under the blanket and tucking her in to keep the air trapped as much as possible under the blankets. Drew returned, holding the rolled sleeping back and breathing laboriously as he fumbled with the tie and then the zipper. They couldn’t very well shove her into it, but maybe they could cocoon her somehow.
Louisa May began peeling off the mountain of blankets, throwing them to the side. She took the remaining three blankets, and began wrapping her tightly in them, making sure to cover her feet. “Here, I’ll lift her, you put the sleeping bag under.”
Drew did as he was told, his expression gaunt and pained as she did so. He’d never noticed until he’d had to carry her across the field how small and fragile Molly really was, all slender-limbed and thin. What would have happened if he hadn’t looked for her? Would they have ever found her in time?
Between the two of them, Molly was wrapped and enclosed in the sleeping bag, ensuring that she was retaining heat all around her. Louisa May put the back of her hand on Molly’s forehead, and then checked her pulse again. “Good, good,” she said, more for Drew’s benefit than anything. She turned to the man.
“Okay. I’ll keep monitoring her vitals. She doesn’t need anything immediately, but she’s losing some heat through her head, so a nice warm knitted or lined hat will help. And something warm to drink for when she comes too. No alcohol, no caffeine.” She paused. “You did good, Drew. We got this.”
His eyes kept flicking back to her. He didn’t want to be away from her for any longer than he had to, and making a warm drink or finding a hat would mean being out of earshot. He had a hat. He had a few hats, actually, but he wondered if they were small enough to fit her head. Did it matter how big or small they were?
Family and friends of her patients were usually waiting patiently in the waiting room, not being asked to help her do her job. She was used to the extremely competent form of nurses that worked in the ER -- calm, collected, and absolutely unflappable. Drew was not one of these. She bit back her impatience and swallowed it.
“Drew. Go ahead and get a warm hat. I’ll be right here.” Her voice was firm and precise.
“Okay,” he answered automatically, his eyes still on Molly. It took a few false starts to get him out the door, but he made his way through it once he realized how important the had was to warming her up faster. With a shaky sigh, he scrubbed his face with his hands before dragging them through his hair. Jack would know about her clothes, wouldn’t she? He’d go ask her.
Louisa May alternated between taking her pulse and taking her temp, rubbing her hands and blowing on them so that her fingers would be warm against the girl’s neck. This was the hard part -- waiting to see what would happen once her temperature got higher. Would there be brain damage? Would she regain consciousness at all? Louisa May had seen some miracles happen before with cold bodies that barely had any life in them at all that had been brought back to full recovery, and she hoped it would go the same way with Molly. For now, however, the girl was still too pale, the occasional wrack of shivers the only exterior sign that her body was trying to warm itself.
Drew finally returned with at least three different hats bunched up in one hand, a large metal teapot in the other, and a chipped ceramic mug hanging haphazardly through two fingers. As it turned out, Molly liked to knit. He hadn’t been completely aware of that, which had been yet another reminder of how little he seemed to be paying attention. God, he wanted to throw up.
“What else can I do?” he asked the doctor.
Taking one of the knit hats from him, she put it securely on Molly’s head, covering her ears and making sure the back of her neck was covered.
“Now, we wait. You can stay here if you want. After she’s stable, we’ll take her up to her room. Does Tom know what’s happened?” She knew everyone had chores to do, and that people could get quite spread out on the farm, but as glad as she was that there weren’t crowds of people interfering with her ability to do her job, she figured Tom of all people should be kept informed.
Considering how much he’d been shouting and all the noise he’d made, Drew was pretty sure everyone in the house knew, but he wasn’t completely sure.
“I don’t know,” he admitted. “I think so.” All their faces had started blurring together. Even the doctor’s, and she wasn’t even moving.
“Okay,” Louisa May replied. She put a hand on his shoulder. “Okay. That’s fine. We’ll tell everyone once we got something to tell.” She patted his shoulder awkwardly. The thermometer beeped, and when Louisa May turned back to check on it, she smiled. “Ninety. Up half a degree.”
It sounded like such a small number, but it was going up. Drew gave a weak smile, taking the few necessary steps needed to grab the other vacant chair and drag it to Molly’s bedside. He wouldn’t leave her side. Not until she woke up.