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Chapter 16: The Road To Recovery

Dana poured herself a cup of coffee and sat down at her desk, opening Lu's file as she did so. Lu had been a patient at RWHC for nearly three weeks now, and had finally begun to show some improvement.

Several days earlier Dana had increased the dosage of the antibiotic that she was getting through the IV, and she had also started her on a high dose of another medication.

Two days earlier she had removed the breathing tube. So far, Lu's lungs had not filled up again to the point of needing to insert another tube. And luckily, she had not had any more seizures.

Dana quickly finished her coffee, then headed down to Lu's room.

"Hi Lu." She said as she entered the room. "How are you feeling?"

"Fine, now that I don't have that stupid tube down my throat." Lu answered with a smile.

"That's great, Lu. Where's Marc?" Dana asked.

"I finally convinced my kid that I am going to be okay, and he needed to get back to school. So he agreed to stay with his dad. He wasn't thrilled about it, but he knew that's what I wanted." Lu said. "So Dana, when am I going to get out of here?"

"Well, Lu. I'll tell ya." Dana replied. "You have shown some improvement, but you still have a long way to go. I will consider releasing you in a few days, but only if you agree to my conditions." Lu raised her eyebrows and folded her arms across her chest. "And what might those conditions be, Dr. Stowe?" Dana counted off the conditions on her fingers. "One, you will take at least two weeks off. You will come to see me at the end of those two weeks. If, and only if, I find that you have shown great improvement, you will be allowed to return to work. Two, when you do return to work, you will only work half days. Whether it be morning or afternoon, that's up to you. And three, you will not work in the ER for at least a week or two, until I decide that you are well enough to handle the fast pace. Do I make myself clear, Dr. Delgado?"

"Yes, Dana. I promise to follow your orders. I don't want to end up here again." Lu answered.

"And I don't want you here either, Lu. I'm only giving you these orders for your own good."

"I know, Dana. And I appreciate it…and the way you've stuck by me. I'm grateful to you for that." Dana smiled.

"That's what friends are for, Lu."

"Dana, all of you here at RWHC are more than just friends to Marc and I. You're like family…the only family we really have. I mean, not only have you been taking care of me during this ordeal, but also my son. And That means so much to me…to both of us."

"I'm just glad you're okay now." Dana said. "You really had me scared for awhile, Lu." Dana glanced at her watch. "Hey, I've got some other patients to check on. I'll be back later, okay?"

"Sure, Dana." Lu answered.

After Dana had gone, Lu lay back and closed her eyes, suddenly feeling very tired. As she lay there in the quietness of her room, she thought about the events of the past couple of weeks.

She knew that if Dana hadn't been concerned about her the day she hadn't shown up for work, she could have died in her apartment.

Her struggle to survive while in the hospital had been a difficult one, but because of Dana and her other friends and co-workers, she had pulled through. And during this ordeal, she had come to realize that her son was no longer a child, but a young man.

Lu knew her road to recovery would be a long one. But she also knew that with the help of her many friends and her son, she would make it. She would be okay again. And with those thoughts on her mind, she drifted into a restful sleep.