Chapter Twenty Five

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Chapter Twenty Five

Doug woke slowly, eyes blinking furiously as his brain caught up with his body and he realised where he was.

"Thank god for that! I never thought you were going to wake up" an amused voice commented from beside him, and Doug grinned in relief to hear his friend sounding like his old self.

"Well someone's snoring kept me awake for half of the night" Doug replied, his face alight with the grin that reached his eyes. Tom snorted in response, he knew that his friend was joking, but he didn't mind it was just good to be having a normal conversation and even better to be having it with his best friend at long last. Sure he knew that they would still have issues to iron out, but they were there and talking, which was a vast improvement on the previous few days. Just as the two friends were about to engage in conversation the nurse came into the room carrying a tray full of hospital food for breakfast. He still did not even remotely feel hungry so the hospital food was even less attraction to him than it would ever be. The previous day had been his first day back onto solid food and he had gagged within the first mouthful. Doug looked at his friend questioningly; Tom had been pale before- now he looked positively green.

"Hello Officer Hanson" the nurse greeted the patient cheerfully, Tom managed to send a quick smile her way, although it in no way lit up his face. "Here's your breakfast, and I brought you some juice this morning" she told him, her tone far too happy for the time of day.

"Can't I just have a coffee?" Tom asked, his tone slightly whinier than he would have liked.

"Now Mr Hanson I explained to you that you cannot have any coffee, your stomach simply would not accept it" she replied, her tone scolding as if talking to a child. With a deep sigh Tom conceded defeat and turned to look at what delights were on offer for today. Doug wrinkled his nose in unison with his partner as they looked at the plate of scrambled egg in front of them- it looked congealed and the least appetising thing that either of the men had ever seen.

"They expect ya to get better eating that?" Doug asked, his disgust clearly evident. Tom nodded in reply trying to keep his nausea at bay. "Ya want me to go and see if I can get ya a bacon muffin or something?" Doug asked his friend, keen to make sure that he ate something as he desperately needed to put on some of the weight that had dropped off of him. Tom shook his head.

"No thanks man, I am not very hungry anyway" Tom replied, reaching for the small glass of orange juice from the tray and sipping it lightly. He leant back against the pillows and sighed, he wanted to go home, he knew it wasn't going to happen but he just wanted his own bed and his own TV. The two friends sat in a comfortable silence each lost in their own thoughts. They were interrupted by a person walking into the small room.

"Mr Hanson?" the male asked quietly.

"Yeah" Tom replied, his tone showing his uncertainty as to who this person was.

"Hi I am Elliot your physiotherapist, are you ready for your first session?" the young man asked chirpily. Tom groaned to himself, there was nothing that he wanted to do less than go through physio with this ridiculously happy sounding man. Elliot appeared to be about the same age as Tom, but at least six inches taller and built like a house with rippling muscles and a golden tan.

"Yeah I guess" he eventually replied, unable to disguise his true feelings in his tone.

"That's dandy" Elliot replied as he pushed an empty wheelchair into the room. Tom sighed, even getting into the chair looked like it was going to take far more energy than he had at the moment. Luckily Doug was there to help him and the bigger man, upon seeing his friend's predicament, reached forward and scooped his partner into his arms effortlessly placing him gently into the awaiting wheelchair. Tom sighed in relief, embarrassed by the way in which he had got there but relieved that that was one hurdle out of the way. Elliot shot Doug an unreadable look which the police officer chose to ignore, then he pushed the wheelchair out of the room.

"If you wait here we won't be too long, go and get yourself a coffee or something" Elliot told Doug over his shoulder, and continued on his way without waiting for a response, leaving a puzzled Doug in his wake.

"Now then Tom, you know that it is going to take a long time to get you back to full strength, not least because of the injury to your leg" Elliot began speaking to Tom when they arrived at the physio wing of the hospital.

"Yeah don't I know it" Tom muttered in reply, already frustrated about how much he was going to miss from work and he hadn't even really started the long hard road to recover yet.

"Don't take it too hard and don't get frustrated, yeah I know easier said than done right? At the moment all we need to do is establish a routine, with a lot of hard work and a little bit of patience you will speed up your recovery by a lot" Elliot told his silent patient. "Okay all we are going to do today are a few upper body exercises to try and build up a little bit of strength to make you a bit more independent. The level of work will obviously increase as time goes on- obviously depending on how your body is coping with the work and responding to your treatment here. When it comes to a stage that you are discharged from the hospital you will have a number of exercises to do at home with assistance and an appointment to come here for checkups on your progress once or twice a week. Are you ready to go?" Elliot asked, hardly pausing for breath during his speech.

"Er, yeah" Tom replied eventually his mind still trying to catch up with exactly what the other man had said. Elliot grinned in acknowledgement before moving the chair over to a set of weights.

"Okay, first we will start on some stretches" the male stated, before leading Tom into a series of exercises.

Some time later Tom was dripping with sweat and felt more exhausted than he ever remembered feeling in his life before.

"Okay I think that that will do us for today" Elliot stated seeing the state of the young man. "We will go through it again tomorrow. Now just to try and sooth out some of your aches, how about a dip in the Jacuzzi?" he asked, and Tom raised his eyebrows in response.

"Er how?" he asked, gesturing to his strapped up leg.

"Ah leave that to me!" Elliot replied, before reaching behind his back and pulling out a sheet of plastic that he promptly wrapped tightly around the strapping on the officer's leg. "Now all set!" he continued before wheeling his patient through to the wet rooms. After a short while, when Tom was dried and back in his bed clothes Elliot wheeled him through to his room, and helped to get him settled back in bed.

"Thank you" Tom told the other man, and he honestly meant it. He was exhausted, but for the first time it was a good kind of exhausted it was the tiredness that came with physical exertion and actually doing something and it had left him tired, but relaxed enough for a peaceful sleep.

End Chapter Twenty Five

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