How to Fall Head over Heels
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Derek Venturi was on his back on the ice and people were undressing him. He had been on his knees just a second before, it felt like, and he'd been about to get up, but what seemed like fifty hands pushed and held him down.
And his throat hurt, but it wasn't as bad as all this. They had him flat on the ice and they were sliding a backboard under him. They put a cervical collar around his neck. He wondered if this is what dogs felt like on the way home from the vet. As they strapped him to the gurney, he'd had nothing else to do but stare at the paramedic that was currently hovering over him. He had random long hairs curling from his eyebrows. He was talking to him in a steady stream that was almost soothing. Almost. Until he'd heard the word "intubate."
Oh hell no, Derek thought.
"Hold him," the guy said. Then, "Derek. Derek is it?" He got confirmation from somebody or other, Derek couldn't move his head to look.
"Listen to me, Derek. We need to put this tube down your throat to help you breathe. And you need to be calm so we can do it quickly, Derek. You with me?"
"Yeah," Derek squeaked. He wished he hadn't done that.
Meanwhile the paramedic's training had obviously emphasized the use of the patient's name.
"Okay then. So, Derek, I'm not gonna lie to you; this is not gonna be pleasant, but we wanna make it quick, okay, Derek?"
He didn't wait for an answer. He picked up a walkie-talkie.
"We got a 16-year-old Caucasian male, hockey puck to the throat. BP 170/90, Pulse rapid and strong, brief LOC. Sending you a copy of the EKG strip. Okay, starting an IV normal saline."
"You're doing great." The paramedic—T. Ramos, his name tag read. "You're the man, Derek, okay?"
The tube went in and the world went fuzzy for a minute. Until the guy began to poke him. And Derek opened his eyes to see that they were outside and he was rolling down the parking lot.
"You gotta stay with me, Derek. No one ever fell asleep on Tony Ramos before, and I will not let you ruin my rep, boy. People gonna think I'm boring or something."
Whatever, Tony, he thought.
To say that the ride to the hospital was endless would be an understatement. First there were the sirens. Then there was more pinching and poking, sticking things into him, and a rousing game of "Follow the finger, Derek."
"So Derek," Tony chirped. "I'm gonna teach you a little ASL here to make things easy, so you could answer some questions."
"This," Tony said making a nodding puppet motion with his right hand, "is 'yes.' Easy to remember."
"And this," Tony made the puppet open and close its mouth, "is 'no.' You still with me Derek?"
"Good deal," Tony said. "Now...you feelin a lot of pain?"
Yes. Derek signed. You idiot, he thought.
"Scale of 1 to 5."
Derek held up all five fingers. It didn't hurt this much at first, but the pain was starting to kick in in earnest.
"We're almost there, Derek. The doctors'll give you something as soon as they can. And you will love them like they were your family. Your happy drug-providing, blissful family, okay, Derek?"
I'm getting really sick of the sound of my name, Derek thought.
Then the ambulance came to a stop, and there was light streaming and gurney bouncing and Derek was wondering just how strong the drugs would be, because there didn't seem to be enough morphine in the world right then.
There was more rolling and Derek finally got a look at who'd been driving. Red hair. Blue eyes. But when she got closer and looked down at him, he saw that she was about Nora's age. Damn.
When the automatic doors of the ER swished open, and they rolled in, He caught a flash of his Dad getting up from an ugly orange chair. He called Derek's name. Derek waved as well as he could, having been strapped down so tightly, as he swished through another set of doors.
More to come. Let me know what you think.