Saturday, February 15, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 20

Now it is getting dramatic in Jason's and Ariana's life. Jason is facing some tough time ahead and Ariana has no idea yet what he is going through. Will this be a chance for them or will everything just fall apart?

On Wednesday night Jason worked and it was probably around 2 am when he took another phone call and right away realized it was Ariana on the other end, “Jason?”
She sounded low and Jason asked coolly, “Do you want to order a taxi?”
“No, Jason….don’t hang up on me please!”
He sat motionless at his desk, his head set on his ears but he stayed silent.
Ariana started, “Jason, I miss you.”
He could hear Ariana’s voice sounded slurry and she probably had been drinking.
When he didn’t reply she added, “Why are you not talking to me?”
He couldn’t stop his breathing quicken and even falling into a cough attack as he felt his lungs tighten.
Ariana asked, “Jason, are you sick?”
“No.” That is all he brought over his lips as he tried to get his cough under control.
“Jason, I want to be with you and I wish you could do this with me. I give you anything you want.”

Jason collected his thoughts and started, “Ariana, don’t call me anymore, don’t text me anymore or whatever. I can’t do it; the deal was that we can get out whenever we want without any issues. Why are you not keeping your end of the bargain and are making this difficult for me? I need out. I have stuff going on in my life and I don’t want to be an object, I thought I could do it, but I can’t. I cannot be the paraplegic dude you want to fuck whenever you please. Whatever your deal is, I don’t understand it and I know now that I can’t handle it. I am a person and not just a cripple. You have to find someone else to do your thing with; it can’t be me, Ariana. It causes me too much stress and it affects my health and the way I feel about myself. I am not having an easy time with being paralyzed as it is and I guess I was fucking desperate to see if I can still pull it off with a woman. Yeah, your offer sounded awesome and any other guy would probably go for it, take it all in and get a good thing out of it. I am not that guy. I need to know that someone cares for me beyond my disability and my wheelchair or my freaking braces. I am not an object, I am a person and I don’t have time to mess around, I am too old for games and shit. You are super-hot, you are nice and fun and I know you thought we could maybe pull this off, maybe you can but I can’t. I am sure you won’t have a hard time finding another guy in a chair, hell, I can give you websites if you want to meet one, some actually can still please a woman with their dicks….Please leave me be, Ariana! I got too much shit going on in the next couple of months and I don’t want to hurt like this every time we are together. It was good what we had but it causes me too much pain and I need to put a stop to it now.”

Jason felt his heart race inside his chest, he felt another cough attack coming on and he felt his voice tremble.

Ariana was quiet for a moment and then said lowly with tears in her voice, “I am sorry Jason! I am not ready to get more serious, I have issues too, you know. Maybe with time things would have been different, maybe I could have committed and changed my life to be the woman you really need. Until then I wanted you to be in my life, I wanted to be in your life and have fun together and all but I was na├»ve to think that this would work out. I know I was wrong and I know I hurt you. I wish we could still be friends….”

Her voice faded out as she started crying more.
Jason almost couldn’t bear hearing her cry on the other end and so much he longed that everything would be different, he wanted to be there for her and hold her but it was all so wrong.

He cleared his throat, “Ariana, I have to go, I have calls coming in. Thanks for everything you did for me. I won’t forget. Good luck with finding what you need.”

Ariana didn’t say anything and after a moment of only hearing her sob on the other end, Jason hung up. There were no calls coming in. He ripped off his head set, threw it on the desk, cursed loudly into the empty room and put his face in his hands and closed his eyes, fighting his emotions. Ariana didn’t call back and even though deep inside he kind of wished she would have, his head told him it was better that way. He had officially broken up with Ariana, the one person who caused him the most joy he had had in two years but also the most pain at the same time. He couldn’t focus on work too good anymore, his heart was heavy, his chest felt tight and he almost wanted to call Peter to replace him because he didn’t think he could make it through the rest of his shift.

He spent the rest of the week and the weekend working and on his off days hanging out at home. He felt something going on with his body as the cough worsened by the following Monday. He didn’t tell his dad that he had chest pains when breathing and his cough was getting worse and even the cough medicine couldn’t do much anymore.

His dad was occupied with his first Chemo treatment on Tuesday. He got picked up by a shuttle bus for patients without a vehicle going to the Oncology clinic for the Chemo infusion treatments. Darryl used the shuttle because he couldn’t get picked up after the treatment and usually he would be very tired and drained afterwards. There were some days when neighbors or Deb and John could give him a ride but on some days Darryl would use the shuttle service.

When Darryl came home Tuesday evening Jason had cooked a small dinner and spun himself around in his chair as his dad walked into the door, “Hey dad.”

His dad was tired from the long day and didn’t feel like talking and doing too much anymore. They ate dinner together and his dad actually went to bed before Jason. Jason stayed up checking his phone, looking at his emails and Facebook. He was still connected to Ariana and saw she had not posted much during the last couple of days. He never wrote a whole lot either, he had only joined Facebook after some friends kept bugging him about it and he eventually had given in. He didn’t have too many friend connections and right now he really only cared for Ariana. He had also connected with Britt, Chelsea and Micah as well since he had met them. They had sent friend requests and he had accepted.  While he was on his phone he felt his chest tighten and hurt, he pressed his fist onto his chest trying to control an oncoming cough attack.

Over the next week the coughing kept getting worse and even interfered with his work. While he was on Facebook one night Britt came on the chat. After some chatting back and forth they decided to maybe get together on the weekend; Jason was going to be off. They ended their chat with the decision to talk on Friday and plan something for Saturday.

Jason didn’t hear from Ariana anymore and even though he kept checking Facebook he saw she had not posted anything and nothing had changed on her profile. Their pictures were still up, he was still titled as her “friend” and it hurt him so much to see the pictures and remember her and the little time they had shared.

For the rest of the week Jason worked Wednesday and Thursday. His cough had not subsided and even though he had taken medication he couldn’t seem to get rid of it. Darryl was now getting on to him to make an appointment at the doctor’s office and Jason promised to make an appointment on Monday. It was Friday afternoon when he started feeling worse, exhausted and had trouble breathing while he was lying on the couch. A fever also started to come through. Jason had been successfully pushing the warning signs aside for days now and had been keeping himself medicated, not letting his dad know that he really didn’t feel good. He had been hoping that it all would just go away but it had not gone away and now his chest was hurting with every breath he took.

His dad came back from the store and found Jason lying on the couch sleeping. Jason barely managed to greet him and then closed his eyes again. Darryl came over and when he touched Jason’s forehead with his hand he was concerned, “Jay, you are running a fever…”

Jason opened his eyes and right away went into a cough attack, his chest felt like it was ripping apart, it hurt so badly of what he could feel. He pushed his fist onto his chest trying to somehow lessen the pain, which didn’t happen. He was gasping for air.

Darryl said sternly, “I am taking you to the ER!”
Even in his pain Jason shook his head, “No dad, I just need to sleep or something.”
Darryl was almost angry, “Jason, we are going to the ER now. You have been coughing for days now, you are running a fever and this is not going away with a little nap. I will help you get into your chair.”

Jason was wheezing lowly. He fell into a cough attack again and Darryl held him up, trying to lessen the strain on Jason’s chest. His forehead had sweat beads on it. Darryl let him lay back again after the cough attack and went to get a cold wash cloth. When he came back to drape the cloth over Jason’s forehead, he saw Jason’s jeans with a dark wet spot on the inside of his thighs.
Jason hadn’t even realized what had happened and Darryl said, “Son, we have to get you out of these jeans, you peed on yourself.”
Jason opened his eyes and sat up slightly to be able to get a look at his pants, “Fuck!”
With a cough his head fell back onto the pillow.
Darryl stayed calm, “Let’s get you up Jason…”
Jason put his hands on his button and zipper, “I will get them off here on the couch.“

Darryl let Jason unzip and unbutton his jeans and brought a towel. Once they pulled Jason’s jeans off over his legs, he fell back exhausted coughing again. Seemingly he didn’t get enough air into his lungs and it hurt. Darryl let him cough and sat by just watching Jason. He was really concerned. Jason was too weak to pull his underwear off and Darryl assisted him.

He asked with concern, “Jay, have you been having problems with cathing or draining your bladder?”

Jason couldn’t really think too much at the moment but he did know that he had had some slight issues lately with his cathing. On a few occasions he had lost urine when it wasn’t even time to cath but even the frequent urination he had tried to ignore. He didn’t answer his dad’s question. Now he lay there with the towel over him and Darryl threw Jason’s pants and boxers on top of the washing machine. He was determined to get Jason cleaned up and dressed and take him to the ER right away.

About 30 minutes later, Jason was in his wheelchair, his dad hung his back pack on the back rest handles and grabbed his own wallet and keys. Jason was coughing and wheezing constantly. Darryl was worried about him but also angry, because Jason had dragged the cough out too long and now he was apparently sick.

They left the trailer around 3 that afternoon. Jason could barely transfer into the truck. He didn’t have enough strength and Darryl had to assist him by pushing him up into the truck. He stashed the wheelchair into the truck bed. As he got into the driver’s seat he looked over at Jason, he had his head leaning back on the headrest, his face looked moist and he was breathing heavily, his chest rising up and down quickly.

While they were driving Jason’s cell phone played its ring tone and Jason could barely lift the phone up and saw it was Britt.
With a gasp he answered, “Hey Britt.”
His voice was weak and his breathing difficult.
Britt realized Jason sounded a bit off, “Hey Jason…how are you?”
Jason took a wheezing breath and answered gasping, “Actually not….good…I am sick I guess with a…cough and stuff…My dad is taking…me to the ER right…now”
He coughed again and Britt was now worried too, “Oh no, Jason….I am sorry. Is there anything I can do?”
“No….I just can’t go out this….weekend.”
“Gosh no….of course not. Which hospital are you going to?”
Jason looked over at his dad who had his eyes on the road ahead, “Dad, which hospital are you….taking me?”
Darryl said earnestly, “Providence”
Jason repeated the name to Britt, and she said, “O.K., I will check back with you later. Please keep me updated Jason. I hope you will feel better and they can help you.”
Jason barely managed, “I hope so too…”

He finished up with Britt on the phone. Britt knew enough that it was not to be taken lightly when a paraplegic was getting seriously sick with a cold or any other infection. She was concerned about him now.

At the hospital Darryl helped Jason into his wheelchair and even though Jason tried to somewhat keep his composure he was still plagued by cough attacks and felt very weak. At the house Darryl had helped him into some incontinence briefs under his sweat pants so he wouldn’t have to worry about losing urine while coughing. They went into the Emergency department entrance and up to the reception. Darryl gave them all the insurance information they needed to check Jason in. Jason sat by in his chair wheezing and feeling bad. They didn’t have to wait very long as Jason was obviously struggling with his breathing and with that was on the top of the list to be seen in the ER.

Eventually they were led by a nurse named Logan to a room.
Logan pulled the curtain for privacy and asked, “Jason, do you think you can get on the bed for me?”
Jason nodded. Logan let the bed down enough so it would be easy for Jason to transfer. It was still difficult, Jason didn’t have a lot of strength at the moment. Darryl stood by ready to help but Logan took over and helped Jason the rest of the way onto the bed, adjusting his legs for him as Jason let his head fall onto the pillow. A moment later they were joined by a respiratory technician who placed an Oxygen mask on Jason’s face.

Jason felt an instant relief with the Oxygen flowing into his lungs but he still felt the pain as well. He just laid there, his face was moist from sweat but at the same time he felt chills travelling over his arms and he kept glancing at his dad with fearful eyes. Logan informed Jason that he would take his vitals and the respiratory technician left again once the Oxygen levels were adjusted and Jason could breathe a bit better. Logan placed the blood pressure cuff around Jason’s upper arm and he felt the pressure of the inflated device. At the same time he swiped a thermometer over Jason’s forehead and his temperature showed at 104 F. The blood pressure machine announced the result with a beep, high at 140/92.

Logan took the cuff off, “O.k. Jason, you are not really doing so good right now. I will get the doctor in here. I will be right back!”
With that Logan turned to Darryl, “Mr. Flanagan, I will be right back and if there is anything, please push the call button.”
He showed Darryl the button and walked out of the room, the curtain still drawn behind him.

Darryl moved over to the bed and stood by Jason’s head, “Jay, what the hell is going on with you? Why didn’t you tell me you weren’t feeling well? How long has this been going on?”
His worry showed in angry questioning and Jason looked over at his dad, the mask on his face making a soft buzzing sound as the Oxygen went into him.
Darryl added, “Did you realize you were getting sick?”
Jason’s eyes were shiny and he said lowly, his voice muffled through the mask, “I didn’t think it….would be this bad.”

He couldn’t really talk, breathing was still difficult for him and with the words his chest pain worsened and he pressed his eyes shut in pain.

Darryl knew it didn’t help if he would be angry with Jason now and he also knew Jason wasn’t capable for saying a whole lot at the moment so he didn’t ask anything else but just watched Jason and waited by his bedside.

A moment later the curtain moved and a tall skinny man with a ponytail walked into the room, glancing from Darryl to Jason, “Hi Jason and Mr. Flanagan, I am Dr. Branson.”

He had on a white lab coat over a white T-Shirt and dark green scrub pants. A stethoscope was dangling around his neck and after a nod toward Darryl, who greeted him lowly, he walked right up to the bed and Jason looked over at him.
Dr. Branson asked, “Hey Jason, what is going on with you? I don’t like what I am seeing with your blood pressure and temperature.”

While he was talking he put his stethoscope buds into his ears and started listening to Jason’s heart and lungs. Jason didn’t say a word, he was wheezing and trying to breathe somewhat calmly, which was difficult. For a moment Dr. Branson just listened with his stethoscope, told Jason to take some deep breaths, which ended in coughing and once Dr. Branson was done he took the stethoscope buds out of his ears and let it dangle from his neck again, “Jason, what is all of this? I hear lots of rattling in your lungs…have you been feeling o.k.?”

Jason wanted to talk but a cough attack took his words away. All he managed was a shaking of his head and Dr. Branson looked at him concerned, “You knew you were getting sick?”

Jason nodded weakly and Dr. Branson smiled a little, “Well, you should have come in a bit sooner but it’s all right, we will get you up to speed again. I am going to order a Chest X-Ray right now, we need some labs done on you and we will see what is going on with you, o.k.”
He turned to Logan who stood by behind him and talked briefly about the order he was going to enter into the computer and then turned to Jason again, “Logan will help you get undressed and we will get it all done.”
Dr. Branson turned to Darryl, “Mr. Flanagan, has Jason had any bouts of Autonomic Dysreflexia in the past?”
Darryl looked from Jason to Dr. Branson, “He had a bout about eight months ago. He was here in the hospital for it. A Urinary Tract Infection was the cause back then.”
Dr. Branson nodded, “O.k. good, I can look all that up in our system then. We quickly need to get his blood pressure down. I will get him on an IV.” Darryl just nodded.

Dr. Branson stepped outside with Logan for a moment and once Logan came back in he got busy, “Jason, we will have to take your clothes off now.”
Jason wanted to say things but could barely breathe and felt sweaty and his heart seemed to be racing inside his chest.
With Darryl’s help Logan got Jason’s sneakers, sweat pants and T-Shirt off. Jason laid there in his incontinence briefs and socks. Logan covered him up and continued, “I will set up an IV line for you now. Lab should be here in a moment to take some blood and we also need to get a urine sample. Then we will get you into X-Ray.”

Jason knew with an IV line he wouldn’t be going home anytime soon and realized that apparently he was sick more seriously than he thought. He had known for weeks that he wasn’t all the way right but he had been in denial and with everything going on with Ariana he didn’t want to be sick so he had been medicating himself and kept everything from Darryl. The problems with his cathing and seeing his urine appear milky in the toilet bowl the last few days hadn’t escaped his eyes but he didn’t want to face that he was most likely getting a UTI once again.

Now he lay there as they prepped him for X-Ray and an IV as Logan sat on the edge of the bed, holding Jason’s hand and getting ready to poke the entrance port needle into his veins on the top of his hand. He felt the needle and he saw Logan quickly tape the port onto his hand and then got up, “O.k. we got an IV line set up, now we will wait for the medication to get your blood pressure down.”

The respiratory technician came in again as well and monitored the Oxygen for a little while.

After about 5 minutes Logan came back with an IV bag, which he hooked up to Jason’s IV port, the bag hanging on the IV pole next to the bed and the tubing running into Jason’s hand. Logan then told Jason that he needed to get the urine sample, “Jason, do you want to try to cath yourself or do you want me to do it?”
Darryl was surprised when Jason nodded and mumbled under the mask, “I’ll do it.”
Logan added, “O.k. I will get you the supplies.”

Jason was exhausted and weak but he didn’t want another person to cath him. If anything he could get his dad to help him. Logan walked out and for a moment they were by themselves again.

Darryl came up to the bed and looked down on Jason warily, “Son, why did you wait so long to get checked out….”
Jason only managed a low, “I am sorry dad.”
Darryl was worried about Jason’s condition.

Logan brought a small cup with a lid, a wrapped catheter and a urinal container for him to use. He explained to Jason how to best cath himself to get a good sample and let the head rest of the bed up for Jason, “You’re sure you want to do this yourself Jason?”
Jason nodded. Logan didn’t seem too happy about Jason’s stubbornness but said, “O.k. please call me if you need my help. I will be back in five minutes.”

Logan walked out and drew the curtain again. Jason had his privacy. Darryl knew that Jason wasn’t going to be able to cath himself, he was too weak, kept coughing and his fever was high, his hands were shaking as he unwrapped the catheter, carefully not to tangle up the IV tubing with the liquid medication flowing into him.

Darryl looked at him, “You want me to do it?”

Jason nodded and let his dad take control of the catheter as he leaned his head back on the pillow again, the oxygen flowing into his mouth and nose. He wore a hospital gown now and Darryl easily accessed Jason’s privates. He had plenty of experience helping Jason with cathing and the only thing Jason did was hold the urinal container. Darryl had slipped his hands into some Latex gloves as he let the one end of the catheter hang into the urinal and then carefully slid the other end into Jason’s urethra. Jason had his eyes closed. He trusted his dad and even though it was still a big deal for him, it was easier for him to let his dad take care of the cathing and not a stranger. Darryl watched the milky yellow liquid drain into the urinal and he was very concerned about the obvious problem with Jason’s urine. He shook his head in suspicion at the situation. It was not a good sign at all and he was expecting some not so good news. Jason was now at the point of just lying there, trying to breathe.

Darryl prepared the urine sample, poured the rest into the toilet in the adjacent small bathroom and shortly after a lab technician came in to collect the urine sample and also took three vials of blood from Jason’s arm. After the lab technician nurse Logan came back with another young man from X-Ray. With the IV bag attached to a post on the bed they pushed Jason to the X-Ray department. Darryl looked after Jason when they pushed him out of the room.  

Jason tried to stay alert while they were wheeling him into the X-Ray room, he was coughing still. His chest hurt with every cough. The two men hoisted him onto the X-Ray table and got everything ready for the exam. Jason kept his eyes open but felt very exhausted and also felt the pain in his chest. He knew he was sick and he also felt bad because he had been feeling somewhat off for a couple of weeks now. He had been pushing the knowledge of getting sick away as long as possible. Ariana had come into his life and he didn’t want to miss it. He didn’t want to be sick as soon as they started seeing each other. He tried to be strong and healthy for her but he had been taking more Baclofen than usual because spasms had been plaguing him almost every night, not severe enough where he couldn’t function but they were there on a regular basis. The night at the Venetian he had been feverish but he had taken Tylenol to bring down the fever and hiding it from Ariana. He had been worried about getting sick and messing everything up, which in the end didn’t make a difference anymore. Now he was really sick and could barely function and he knew he would get admitted into the hospital and he wished he would have maybe came to ER sooner or at least get seen by a doctor.

Darryl sat in the ER room just waiting next to Jason’s wheelchair which was abandoned with just the backpack sitting on it. It was about 45 minutes later when Dr. Branson came back into the room and with the doctor’s entry Darryl shifted expectantly awaiting the news on Jason. Dr. Branson pulled the small stool on wheels over, “Mr. Flanagan….so we got all Jason’s labs back, X-Ray is done and I also checked his history in our system. I see he has been seen here with all his health needs?”
Darryl nodded, “Yes sir.”
Dr. Branson started, “So Jason is pretty sick right now. I am not sure how he was able to manage for this long.”
Darryl sighed partly in anger and partly in worry, “I didn’t know he was getting sick.”

“Well, I can see he had a bout of Autonomic Dysreflexia back in October of last year when he was here for two weeks. He does have a UTI again and it looks like it is his fourth one since the accident. There is no blood in the urine so I think we have dodged a kidney infection so far. As for his cough, he must have had a cold and didn’t recover all the way, now we have a full blown pneumonia to deal with. There is lots of mucus built up in his lungs. Does he smoke?”
Darryl shook his head quickly, “No, he used to before his accident….over two years ago and not since then.”
Dr. Branson asked, “How about medical Marihuana or Alcohol consumption?”
“No Pot but yes, he does drink sometimes and I have been getting on to him.”

All the sudden Darryl felt guilty for not having been stricter with Jason when he drank too much on many occasions.

“We also have him on IV medication for his high blood pressure which could be an indicator of Autonomic Dysreflexia.”
Darryl just nodded and Dr. Branson added, “Well, we will have to keep him here and he is on his way to the ICU right now. As soon as he is settled in I will have someone walk you over there and you can see him then.”
Darryl shook his head, “He will be o.k. doctor?”
Dr. Branson smiled, “Yes, he will be o.k. but he should have not waited so long with this.”
“He is tired of being sick all the time.”
“I understand….he has been paraplegic for two years?”
Darryl nodded again, “Yes, a little over two years.”

Dr. Branson nodded now, “That is not too long yet and he is probably still adjusting to it all I assume. All the health issues that come with a Spinal Cord Injury can be very upsetting and are a constant battle between the body and the brain. Unfortunately Jason has to take care of himself better and be more aware when he is not feeling well and when his body is giving him signs he shouldn’t ignore those signs.”

Darryl didn’t know what to say, he felt somewhat guilty of not knowing that Jason had been getting sick but then again he had been occupied with his own illness and Jason had never been one to let his dad in on health issues since his accident. He always said he didn’t want to worry Darryl.

Darryl sighed and Dr. Branson added lowly, “He will be all right Mr. Flanagan but we have to just let his body recover right now, especially his lungs are of concern.”
Darryl nodded in defeat and asked, “How long do you think he will have to stay in the hospital?”
“I am not sure yet. He may need to be put on the ventilator because I am not sure if the oxygen flow is sufficiently reaching this lungs. We have to get him stable right now, his blood pressure was sky rocketing earlier, which is definitely of concern.”

All Darryl could do was nod.  Dr. Branson eventually left with the confirmation to get him as soon as Jason was settled in the ICU. Until then he showed Darryl a waiting area outside the ER department where he could sit until someone would get him.
Darryl pushed Jason’s wheelchair out to his truck and stashed it into the passenger seat for now. Jason wouldn’t need it while in the ICU.
He then took a seat in the appointed area and waited and worried.

After the X-Rays were taken instead of wheeling Jason back to the ER, Logan got the order to wheel Jason into the ICU to be admitted. As Jason lay on the bed and watched where they were going another cough attack overcame him and he could barely breathe anymore. He was getting scared and realized, Logan got some help from another nurse and they rushed him to the ICU.

The respiratory technician joined them and administered higher levels of oxygen. Jason didn’t feel like he got any air into his lungs and he wanted to say something but he couldn’t talk. In the ICU he was assigned to a room and the ICU nurse came in.

Nurse Logan leaned over Jason and said in a calm voice, “Jason, you are in the ICU now, they are going to take care of you from here on. I will get your dad in here in just a bit. Dr. Branson and Dr. Shumar will be here in a few minutes. Dr. Shumar is the ICU physician for today.”

Jason looked at him terrified, but he couldn’t express his worries and concerns but just had to let the staff do what they needed to do.

Dr. Branson and Dr. Shumar came in a moment later and both came up to the head end of the bed towering over Jason. Dr. Branson started, “Jason, can you hear me?”
Jason nodded and Dr. Branson continued, “This here is Dr. Shumar, he will take care of you here in the ICU.”
Dr. Shumar stepped up and smiled at Jason, “Hi Jason, I am glad to meet you. We admitted you because you are not doing very well, you are really sick actually. You have pneumonia for one and after review of the X-Rays there is lots of mucus built up in your lungs. You are not breathing very well right now so I am considering placing you on the ventilator. The oxygen is not reaching your lungs appropriately. In addition your lab on your urine sample came back and you have a progressed UTI. We will administer IV fluids and IV antibiotics for your infections. I want to get you back up to speed very quickly but you are not very stable at the moment. I am afraid we are dealing with a bout of Autonomic Dysreflexia probably caused by the UTI and the pneumonia. Your blood pressure is very high. Do you have any concerns, Jason? Do you know about Autonomic Dysreflexia?”

Jason knew exactly what it meant, people have died during a bout of Autonomic Dysreflexia and he knew the doctor had to do what he had to do, but he was scared and he thought about his dad’s health at the moment and how his dad would be by himself at home.

Jason nodded and was gasping for air trying to stop from coughing as he barely whispered, “My dad, where is he?”
“He will be here shortly, as soon as you are all hooked up to your IV lines and everything.”
“I don’t want to be on the ventilator.  Please don’t….” Jason couldn’t keep talking as he couldn’t breathe right.
Dr. Shumar replied, “I know you don’t like the idea very much but I think it would be better right now.  You are not breathing very good at all. Just for a few days until your lungs have recovered somewhat and you can breathe better again.”
Jason coughed and gasped for air again, his chest moving very quickly as he tried to speak, “I can try….it…with more Oxygen.”

Looking at Dr. Shumar and Dr. Branson, he knew the doctors had made up their minds already and Jason felt his vision get blurry at the thought of what was going to be done to him. He wanted to say more but he couldn’t talk.

Now Dr. Branson put his hand on Jason’s shoulder, “I am sorry Jason, but this is serious… we are going to help you get well again. Don’t worry, just try to relax now while we are getting you all hooked up.”

Dr. Shumar ordered at the same time for Jason to be put on a sedative because he saw Jason was scared, confused and worried. It was protocol to put him to sleep through the ordeal of inserting the ventilator tube into his throat. They were also going to insert an indwelling Foley catheter and set up another IV line. Jason’s body was reacting very much to the infections and it had to be taken serious. Dr. Branson was concerned about the UTI and a possible kidney infection. He would have to get some more testing done right away to see if there was any issue with the kidneys, which would be a serious situation.

Jason saw Dr. Shumar and Dr. Branson talk for a moment and then Dr. Branson came up to the bed again, “Jason, I am going to let Dr. Shumar take control of everything now, he is our ICU physician and he will take good care of you. I will keep checking in on you the next few days though and see how you are doing. You will be o.k. Hang in there and don’t worry. I will see you later.”

Jason nodded and under the mask he managed a low, “Thank you.” He couldn’t get much more out and Dr. Branson smiled and left out the room.

Jason was adjusted in the bed and he watched the nurses set up everything around him. Dr. Shumar was giving orders on the IV meds that would be administered and the respiratory technician was setting up the ventilator. Jason couldn’t really believe what was happening to him at the moment and how his health had declined so rapidly. The high blood pressure was a serious issue, he knew that and he possibly had a kidney infection as well. With a non-paraplegic person this would have most likely not went that far but Jason hadn’t felt any pain, just a bit off the last couple of weeks. When he did see his urine he was concerned somewhat but kept pushing it off for a few more days.

Jason saw the nurse adjust his arm and before she poked him again he stopped her and with a low voice he said, “I want to talk to my dad before you put me out.”
The nurse looked at him warmly, “Of course we will get your dad. I will be right back.”
She walked out and a little while later she came back in and he heard her tell the other staff in the room, “His dad is coming in for a moment, we will wait on the intubation for a moment.”
Everyone left the room and she leaned over to Jason, “He is coming.”

A moment later, Darryl stood next to Jason’s bed and he looked tired and worried, “Hey son.”
Jason could barely talk, “Dad…I am so sorry. They are…” he gasped for air, “…they want to put me on a….ventilator...I don’t want to be on the ventilator…I don’t want that...”
Darryl sat on the edge of the bed, “I know…but your lungs are not very well right now…you have pneumonia, Jay. You also have a UTI again and Dr. Shumar and Dr. Branson are concerned about a possible kidney infection and your blood pressure…”
Jason’s eyes filled with tears, “I didn’t want….to be sick…with Ariana and everything…”
He had a very hard time talking and Darryl put his hand on his arm, “Son, I am going to be here every day. Right now we need you to get well again. Don’t worry about anything, it will work itself out.”
Jason made a pain stricken face and said lowly, “Dad, I am just so fucking tired of all of this.”
Darryl nodded, “I know. Unfortunately it seems to be part of your life now but I am here for you, Jay and you know that.”
A tear escaped out of the corner of Jason’s eye, “Dad, what about your Chemo….treatments and stuff?”
Darryl said, “Don’t worry about me, I will be o.k. Jay. I love you! It will be o.k.”
Jason nodded, barely able to talk, “Dad, promise me…that you won’t leave me hanging…I love you dad…I don’t want….to lose you.”
He coughed and couldn’t get it under control anymore.
Darryl patted Jason’s arm warmly and then said, “I will let them do their job now, and I will be waiting outside and be back as soon as they got you all hooked up, o.k.”

Jason nodded, but he had not missed that his dad had not given him a promise.

Two ICU nurses, Dr. Shumar, two respiratory techs and a Certified Nurse Assistant came back into the room.

Jason saw them get everything ready, he saw an IV bottle with some white milky looking fluid was hung on the post next to the bed, the tubing attached to his IV port and he felt his body get very tired and without a fight he let everything happen. Slowly though one tear after another ran out of his eyes down the side of his face to his ears and he thought about Ariana. He was truly scared now and didn’t know what was going to happen to him. He missed her so much and he wondered what she would think seeing him in this situation. More than ever he wished he wouldn’t have to go through this alone as they got busy with hooking him up to everything. The sedative quickly set in and he didn’t even feel his body shut down and his eyes close wet with tears.


  1. Great description and writing. I hope Jason gets better soon!

  2. Wow this was extraordinary! I have so many questions. Is Ariana going to find out that Jason is sick, is Britt going to go see him in the hospital? Fantastic writing! Cn't wait to see what happens!

  3. Poor Jason! I hope he gets better soon.
    Britt is so nice. Jason should forget about Ariana.

  4. Love this story!

  5. This is one of your best chapters yet. I don't like Ariana and I'm glad she doesn't feature too much in this chapter, which is why I enjoyed it so much - I felt we got much more inside Jason's character and his issues with coping or not coping with his disability. So who is going to visit Jason in hospital I wonder - hopefully Britt rather than Ariana. Ariana visiting him is the last thing he needs!

  6. What an instructive chapter. Lots of medical informations and very enlightning about Dysreflexia· Jason should know better. Poor thing. All this because of Ariana! Hope she will realize paraplegia has to be taken more seriously than a simple fantasy. For now I wish only Brit at Jay's bedside or Ariana really has to change her behavior.