Monday, June 22, 2015

Chapter 84

I had my back to Sawyer making sure all of the jars were covered under towels to keep a stray cold breeze from cracking them until they could cool down when he came back up from the basement.  He walked up behind me and put his hand on my shoulder to gently pull me around.  “You feel up to telling me what that was all about?” 

Not sure how to explain it I simply said, “Temptation.” 

Although Sawyer and I tried to not let our pasts leak into our presents neither one of us was exactly stupid when it came to life and had experienced more than enough.  “Did you have a problem?” he asked. 

“No.  But I almost did.  And I know that doesn’t make sense but I promise that’s how it was.” 

“Linda and Tommy both have told me how … how you were in pain most of the time.  Is that when it happened?” 

Understanding his questions were valid even if they made me uncomfortable I explained rather than make him guess.  “It happened when my foot got infected.  I thought I knew what pain was before that, thought I understood it … but when the infection got into the nerves and bone it became something else completely.  It was like there was acid boiling under my skin day and night.  There was no break, no getting away from it.  Then the fevers got really bad and … and started to affect me … I mean cognitively.  I was hallucinating and losing who I was.  I spent more energy fighting the pain than fighting the infection.  My body was just wearing out and stopped cooperating. The problem was that because I’ve had to be on so many drugs for most of my life some have become ineffective and I’ve developed sensitivities and allergies to others.  Especially narcotics and antibiotics.  They wound up putting me on intravenous Dilaudid that I got through a pic line because my veins were blowing out. My reaction to that was so bad that … anyway about the only ‘safe’ thing left for me that helps with the pain I used to have is straight up morphine.” 

“Morphine?!  You hurt that bad?!  Babe ... do you ... are you ... are you hiding how bad you hurt?” 

I chuckled but it wasn’t a nice sound.  “No, I'm not hiding anything.  We have stipulations and I won't break them.  But I used to hurt every day, sometimes all day.  But its obvious you were never into drugs.” 


“Sawyer, dilaudid is several times stronger than morphine … I just can’t take it because it makes me kinda nuts.  Trust me, I would if I ever hurt that way again.  But it might mean you'd have to lock me away in the basement.” 

“That's completely not funny Kay-Lee.  Just explain it to me so I’ll understand.  And don’t worry that … that I’ll think less of you.  You don’t think less of me for being in prison.” 

“No, I don’t. For one you didn’t deserve to be there.  This is different though.” 

Acknowledging that I had a point he said, “Yes it is but I hope you know what I mean.  The situation was out of your control … like mine was.  Sounds like you didn’t have any choice.” 

“I wouldn’t go that far, we always have a choice of some kind. I was a kid and didn't really have much say over what the doctors were doing but I could have made a stink.  I just hurt too bad and went along with everything hoping that it would stop me from hurting and fix what they said they were fixing.  But what I’m saying is that it is obvious you don’t know about the drugs because you were never into them.  Well, I wasn’t into them either except as a … a survival mechanism is what Dr. Carruthers called it.  But that last time … the infection … me needing the drugs almost got away from me.  I almost got dependent on the morphine and went through various stages of withdrawal when they started weaning me off of it.  Then the staph infection tried to come back on me and I was almost … almost ready for them to just cut it off, amputate the foot and anything else just to make it all go away.  At that point the medical staff medicated me against my will and I got really, really scared that I wouldn’t be able to get away from the drugs … ever … because we didn’t know what kind of damage was going to be left from the effect of the infection.  I was in limbo land for a while.  And then things got … better.  I was still left with drop foot but … but I survived and really Sawyer that’s all I want to talk about it.  I hope I never hurt that bad again but I guess Dr. C is worried that … that something might happen and that I’ll need the narcotics but not be able to get them.  But having someone like Dr. C basically say something that … that huge … I don’t know what that could mean and how that works with what we are trying to prepare for.” 

Sawyer carefully drew me into his arms and suddenly it felt like things were ok again.  He wasn’t judging me.  “Babe, we can’t read the doc’s mind.  For all we know she was just paying you some extra special attention since she seems to think she has some kind of stake in how you turn out.  On the other hand … she seems like a smart person and I guess maybe she thinks of you as part of her legacy and is doing what she can to ensure things go the right way.” 

“Fine, I won't assume anything one way or the other but …”  I sighed.  “But Sawyer I really don’t want people knowing about those drugs.  Some of what is in that box is morphine ampules but there is other stuff in there too … expensive stuff.  If we were in town I know where I could sell those drugs for big bucks.  And I know the people that would do almost anything to get their hands on the kind of high test narcotics I asked you to hide.” 

Sawyer shook his head and blew a breath through his nose.  “Girl you scare me to death talking all casual about that stuff.  It makes me feel bad that you had to go through it.” 

“Well don't.  It was just my life and maybe now … maybe now you get a little bit of idea why I was so scared to believe in what you were offering for so long.” 

He kissed me.  “You gonna be ok?  Ready for bed?” 

“Yes but I wanna show you what else Dr. C sent.  About half of each of the threes boxes is my medical records.  We’ll need to find a place for those.  It’ll take up the whole draw in one of those filing cabinets you moved upstairs.” 

“I’ll carry the boxes upstairs as we go to bed.” 

“No, just leave them down here, it can wait.  I’d rather move this other stuff first; I'm not comfortable leaving it where just anyone could see it and start asking questions I'm not prepared to answer.  For now I want to move the Naproxen to our bedroom closet but at some point we probably need to move it down to the basement and hide it.  If I’m understanding what you said, these little blue pills are worth some money.” 

“That they are Babe."  Staring over my shoulder into one of the boxes he said, "Looks like the doc decided you needed a pharmacy and a walk in clinic combined.” 

“I know.  And look at this.  I think it is a draft of a book one of her partners was working on.  Doctor Foley always kind of creeped me out but was a real genius by all accounts.  I just hated being treated like I was Dr. C’s weird little science experiment slash pet.” 

“He sounds like a jerk.” 

“She," I said correcting him.  "And she had the bedside manner of an overflowing bed pan but that didn’t stop her from being a brilliant researcher.  Her hobby was home remedies and trying to determine which ones were efficacious and why.  I’m going to go through some of these and ask Uncle Ned about them.” 

We went up the stairs with Sawyer carrying the box we'd emptied of my records and filled with the medical supplies.  We slid it into our closet but we both agreed we needed to build a hidden cabinet down in the basement for all the stuff we didn't want a casual investigation to find.  We also needed to finish putting all of our supplies away that were still laying about. 

“Babe, unless something comes up Gramps has told me to focus on what we need for the next couple of days.  He and the uncles are going to try and sort out the mess some of the cousins have made and try and encourage all of them to pay attention and get their work done rather than looking for someone else to fix it for them.  So, first priority is to finish organizing our stuff.  Second order of business is I want a better lock on that basement door, on all the exterior doors too ... I got them from some junk Burt had so I won't have to go to town to get what we need.  I also wanna finish moving some of our wood to the basement and if I’m going to do that I might as well at least start on that dumb waiter since I’ll be able to use the pulley to move the wood down without having to take it down the stairs by hand … or at least send some down with the pulley and carry the small wood.  That sound ok to you?”

“Just having you around sounds good to me.  I’ll try and help, but if I just get in the way … oh stop, we both know it’s true … if it seems like I’m making more work then I’ll see what I can do about using up what little is left in the chest freezer.” 

And with that plan thought out we got ready for bed and though we were both exhausted it was some time before we could relax enough to actually sleep.


  1. Thanks Kathy for the new chapter.

  2. Thanks Kathy for the new chapter.

  3. Thanks Kathy! I love the line about the bedside manner of an over-flowing bedpan. My mother was a nurse - she would have loved it too...

  4. Such a good story! Thanks Kathy