It's more than just a cold. She has a fever of 103, shes been vomiting and dry heaving all day. There is a hard, painful knot in her stomach. Kathy thinks its her appendix. We are still in Osceola. I am writing this while I am waiting for Katherine to give me the go ahead to move out. She wants to make sure that Dee is secured.
My laptop has a Google Earth on it and Katherine tried to find a nearby hospital on it. It kept wanting to update and then crashing when it could not get a connection. Finally Kathy just gave up and told me to head for the highway and we would drive till we saw a sign for a hospital. But we never made it to the highway. Just as I was about to turn onto highway 82 from Route WW she told me to stop, shouted for me to really. I hit the brakes too hard and Dee cried out from the back. She pointed to a sign for an animal hospital and said "That'll do, I hope." I don't really think the intended for me to hear that last part though. It's a fairly new building. I pulled into the parking lot in front, three feet out from the door. The high roof of the Uni taking out the awning in the process. Part of me dreaded going in there, knowing what we would find inside. But they would have medical equipment inside. And Kathy said that I would have an easier time hooking up a generator here than I would at a regular hospital.
Getting the generator going was the first order of business. I quickly investigated the building and found a propane fired generator in the south end of the building. It gave me no problem getting started. On the way there I had to go through the kennels. I was surprised to find that all the cages and stalls were empty and the doors standing open. There had been someone here after the disappearance, and they had been more on the ball than I had been. Back in the lobby I found the thermostat and set the AC down as far as it would go. It took only a few minutes for cool air to start blowing through the vents. Kathy insisted that we not take time to cool things down before taking Dee inside. She's the doctor so I heeded her advice. The AC was powerful so it did not take long for the temperature inside to drop from 98 to 79. I asked Kathy on the walkie talkie I picked up after losing Dee if that was cool enough. She reluctantly agreed so I carried her gently inside, very careful not to jostle her.
She would not let me set her down until she had sterilized the exam table and lay out fresh tissue. This was a rural community so they were equipped for larger animals. Dee looked so small on that large steel table. There was a laptop computer on a little roll about stand with what appeared to be a large clumsy mouse attached to it. Prior to Lisa's pregnancy I would not have recognized it as an ultra-sound machine. She had me strip off Dee's shirt while she got the machine ready. She squeezed a generous glob of KY jelly on Dee's belly and started running the ultra-sound over her. After a few moments she let out a gasp and I looked up at the screen.
Not being a doctor, I really had no idea what to expect. But I did not expect that. It was a high resolution machine and where her intestines, appendix and kidneys were supposed to be were six spherical objects, inside these spheres could be seen what looked like embryos. Embryos with teeth and long claws. As we stared one of them squirmed and we both jumped. We both knew instantly that they would be emerging soon, and we both also knew what that would mean for Dee.
Kathy wasted no time prepping her for surgery. She had me scrub up too. She had me assist as best as I could. Really just handing her instruments and providing suction as needed. It was much the same as when I used to help my dad work on his old Rambler when I was a kid. But instead of grease and gasoline, it was blood that was staining my hands and clothes.
The eggs were a milky blue color and were easy to spot as not belonging there. Purple veins radiated out from the eggs, taking root in her abdomen. The largest of these Kathy cauterized with a surgical laser to prevent bleeding. One by one she pulled them out. I collected each one in separate specimen containers, as per her instructions. The fifth one split open as she pulled it out. The occupant, a tiny grey pink fetus squirmed about slowly and then suddenly started slashing about with its claws. At this point in it's development they were only about 4 millimeters long, but still sharp enough to do some damage had it landed inside Dee. But it had fallen on the table. I jumped back when it started thrashing about. I did not realize that the paper cover had caught on my belt and my jumping back pulled it off the table and the little monster fell to the floor. I followed my gut instinct and stomped the little bastard. Katherine did not protest, but she did give me a dirty look.
The surgery appears to have been a success, but we are going to be staying here for a few days till Dee recovers. Kathy wants to be sure that we have everything we need in case Dee gets a post operative infection. I really think Dee will be ok. Her fever broke thirty minutes after Kathy closed her up.
Kathy has been criticizing her "sloppy surgical technique" ever since. She is also mad at herself for missing the tiny puncture on Dee's back that she says was probably where the eggs were implanted. I told her to shut up dammit. If it weren't for her Dee would probably be dead in a couple of days. But I think she's afraid that's still a possibility. We weren't exactly operating under the best of circumstances.
I've been looking around here and I think we could stay for a while. The building is sturdy and easily secured. There is only one glass door and there is a steel gate that can be pulled down from the inside. Like most veterinary hospitals and clinics there is a lot of dog and cat food on hand so Emily will not starve. I have seen evidence of abundant game in this area. Plus in rural areas like this people tend to stockpile food for when times are tough.
There is someone else living here. I don't want to leave till I get a chance to introduce myself.
© 2009 R. Keith McBride