Of Insects and Illness Ch. 12
Disclaimer: See chapter one
Previously: "That's fantastic. I'll go make some calls right now to see about getting the mosquito netting put up before Alan's released." Jeff said as he pulled out his vid-phone. He wanted everything in place for when they got Alan back home.
Sitting around Alan's hospital bed early the next day, the Tracy's found themselves in a rather jovial mood. Dr. Singer had come in and removed Alan from the oxygen cannula a few hours earlier and their youngest had been able to maintain a normal oxygen saturation level of ninety seven percent. Now, they just had to hope and pray that Alan would be able to keep his food down for the next twenty four hours or so.
"So Alan, whatcha think we ought to do when we get home in a couple of days?" Gordon asked as he sat in the middle of Alan's bed and helped his baby brother to color in the coloring book the nurses had given Alan to relieve the boredom of being in the hospital. "I was thinking maybe we ought to catch one of those tropical tree frogs that Scotty hates so much and put it in his bed."
"Wha', what did you just say fishface?" Scott asked with astonishment as he looked up from the magazine he had been reading upon hearing his brother's comment. Gordon knew just how much he loathed those little tree critters.
"What? I didn't say anything." Gordon stated innocently as he looked over at Scott with a gleam in his eye.
"Gordon, if you even try it, I swear I'll dye that red hair of yours green so you look like one of those dam..dang tree frogs." Scott threatened as he crossed his arms in front of his chest and glared at Gordon.
"What's the matter Scooter, you scared of an innocent little frog that's tiny enough to sit in the palm of your hand?" John queried with a snicker, seeing the enjoyment Allie was getting from watching Scott squirm.
"What? No! I just don't want the thing peeing on my bed is all." Scott refuted as he looked at the sibling closest to him in age.
"Un huh, whatever you say Scotty." Virgil retorted with a laugh getting in on the fun as he watched his brother's cheeks tinge a deep pink with embarrassment. They all, well…except for Sprout, knew Scott had a phobia about frogs even though he had tried to keep it a secret.
"Okay boys, leave your brother alone." Jefferson Tracy admonished with a smile as he glanced from child to child. It wasn't Scott's fault that he had a fear of frogs since he was a young tyke.
"Yes Sir" chorused the three middle siblings, each looking contrite after the reprimand from their father for taunting their big brother the way they had.
"Don't worry Allie, we'll still put the frog in Scotty's bed and make him scream like a girl." Gordon whispered as he leaned in close to his baby brother's ear.
"Oops, sorry Dad." Gordon apologized, realizing that he hadn't whispered as softly as he thought he had.
"You will be if you follow through on that prank." Scott grumbled at his prankster brother. Gordon alone was bad enough, but him and Alan together, Lord help them all.
Finally, the time arrived for Alan to be dismissed from the hospital and the family couldn't have been happier. Kyrano and Onaha had flew home ahead of time to prepare for the family's arrival back on the island and to make sure that mosquito netting had been placed around Alan's bed as well as other areas where the boys would be spending a lot of their time playing.
As they sat in Alan's room waiting for the discharge papers, Jeff watched his baby boy intently as he sat in Scott's lap while listening to the story Guess How Much I Love you? Seeing his child's amazing smile as Alan talked about one of the animals in the book, Jeff knew just how lucky they had been this time. They had nearly lost Alan to what should have been an innocuous mosquito bite. Shivering at the thought, Jefferson closed his eyes and whispered a prayer of thanks that Alan hadn't been taken away from them at such a young age. He knew his family never would have survived another loss so soon after Lucille's passing. Hearing the sound of feet squeaking on the floor, Jeff opened his eyes to see Robert walking into the room with the discharge papers in his hands.
"Okay Jeff, I have everything in order and Alan can leave anytime now. I want you to follow the instructions on his discharge papers very carefully. You'll need to be more vigilant of his health now, especially when he starts running a fever or comes down with diarrhea as they could both be signs that he is relapsing. I know they're signs of most regular childhood illnesses, but you can't take any chances where Alan's health is concerned. In order to lower the chances of Alan relapsing, I have written a prescription for a preventative regiment of medications and you need to make sure he takes them exactly as prescribed." Dr. Singer informed his friend.
"I can promise you that I'll follow your instructions to the letter." Jefferson voiced strongly as he looked the papers over. "When it comes to my children's well being, I'll do whatever it takes to make sure they stay as healthy as possible."
"I know that my friend. And you can bet that I will be coming to the island more often to check up on Alan now as well as the other boys. I don't want to ever have to go through the stress of having a critically ill Tracy on my hands ever again." Bobby stated as he clasped Jefferson on the shoulder.
"Believe me, that's something I never want to see happen again in my life either." Jeff voiced with a lump in his throat. The thought of any of his children sick or being hurt and in pain caused bile to form in his stomach.
"Ah, Alan's chariot has arrived." Robert stated as his attention was drawn from Jeff to the nurse pushing a wheelchair into the room. "Scott, would you please help your brother into the chair." Dr. Singer requested as he focused his attention on the two Tracy siblings.
"Scotty, I don't wanna ride in that thing." Alan immediately pleaded of his brother as he turned around and latched his arms around Scott's neck.
"It's okay Sprout, what if I ride with you? Will that be okay?" Scott queried anxiously as he felt his baby brother tremble slightly in his arms. He knew hospital policy required that all patients being dismissed ride in the dreaded chair and he was more than ready to get his baby brother out of the establishment.
"That's a wonderful idea Scott, Alan can ride in your lap." Robert stated giving his permission so the nurse knew it would be okay for the brothers to do so.
"Okay Scotty." Alan agreed as he released his death grip from around his big brother's neck. Turning around and settling himself into Scott's lap, Alan pulled his big brother's arms firmly around his waist and then held onto him with a fierce grip.
Scott couldn't help but chuckle at his baby brother's antics and bent down to kiss him on the top of the head. "I love you Sprout." He whispered as he gave his baby brother a light squeeze.
"Love you too Scotty." Alan replied as he leaned his head back and finally relaxed into his brother's hold, secure in the knowledge that Scotty wouldn't let anything happen to him."
Arriving back at Tracy Island later that evening, Jeff breathed a huge sigh of relief at finally being home again. It had been way too long since he was in familiar surroundings and slept in his own bed. At least here, he felt he could be the father his children needed and to provide for their everyday needs.
Carrying Alan into the house, he deposited his child on the couch for a much needed nap. Alan had been cranky on the plane ride home, but refused to settle enough to go to sleep. He couldn't blame the child for being cranky since his brothers had been a bit overbearing, smothering him every time he made a sound, worried whether or not he was okay.
Grabbing the old afghan that had been in the family for as long as he could remember from the back of the sofa, he placed it over Alan's small body to keep him warm. "Sleep well Sprout." He whispered as he bent down and gently carded his fingers through Alan's soft blond locks.
Ushering the others to their rooms, or out the door to play so they wouldn't wake Alan, Jeff poured himself a cup of coffee and then sat down to watch over his baby boy as he slept. "Our baby's going to be fine Lucy." He whispered as he thought about his wife who had given her life in the avalanche to save Alan's.
Once Alan had awoken a little over an hour later, the family sat down to the first meal they had eaten as a family since before Alan had gotten sick. Everyone relished in the savoring the scrumptious meal of pot roast, surrounded by different types of vegetables that Onaha had prepared and ate to their hearts delight. The mood around the table remained happy as everyone talked about their plans for the upcoming week and how they planned to include Alan in them. Of course, Jeff had to remind the boys that Alan was still convalescing and that it would take some time for the baby of the family to regain his strength, so they would have to be content to do things around the house.
After the evening meal was finished, the boys all sat down to watch a movie and then were sent off to bed once it had ended. Jeff looked forward to what was sure to be a peaceful quiet night since there was no nurses around to come barging into the room every time he closed his eyes. Placing a baby monitor in Alan's room so he could hear if his son awoke, he strode down the hallway to his own room carrying the receiver and changed into his nightclothes. Placing the receiver on the bedside stand and grabbing the book that he had been reading before the whole mess began, he settled into read when the silence of the night was shattered by an angry scream.
Shaking his head, Jeff could only laugh knowing his prankster was up to no good once again.
THE END I hope you enjoyed my first attempt at writing the Tracy's. I have been challenged to write another. So look for WORDS SPOKEN IN ANGER coming soon.