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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Hard and Soft (04/23/09)

TITLE: Kari's Midnight Nightmare
By Judy Meyers


The vacation started out splendidly. Kari and Roger had planned this vacation for many months and they were well into the northeast, when Kari’s back started hurting. She made her way to the back of the motor home and went to bed. Two weeks later, she was still in bed and couldn’t move.

Every muscle and nerve in her hips felt as if they were pinched with a pair of pliers. She laid flat on her back. She couldn’t turn to one side or the other. Kari didn’t know what had caused the problem; she just wanted the pain to go away.

“You need to get to a hospital,” her daughter told her by phone. “They can tell you what is wrong. Two weeks in bed should alarm you, Mom!”

“How can I get to a hospital?” Kari asked her daughter. “I can’t even get out of bed. It’s late here, and I’m in a motor home!”

“Mom, you can have the Emergency Medical Team come and get you. They will sedate you and get you to the hospital.”

Kari agreed and Roger called the emergency team. The two men strapped Kari to a hard board and, as gently as they could, got her into the ambulance. She yelled a few times, as they moved her from the board to a gurney. Sedation was not offered.

At the ER, Kari was moved from the EMT gurney to a bed, by four nurses. Each nurse pulled and tugged at her, until she was securely on the sheet.

“Front, give orders,” they called.

“One, two, three, lift,” the front nurse called, and the group of nurses picked Kari up and placed her on a hard ER bed. Sedation was not offered.

“I want to set up a time for x-rays,” the doctor announced, when he had finally checked in on her.

A group of nurses arrived after the doctor left Kari’s room. “We’re going to take you to get x-rays, Kari,” one of the nurses said. They rolled her bed through the halls. When they got to the x-ray room, the nurses again, took the sheet that Kari was laying on and scooted her to the side of the bed.

“Front, give orders,” they called.

“One-two-three lift,” the front nurse called. The group swung Kari onto the cold, hard
X-ray table.

“Ooooh!” Kari yelled! Sedation was not offered.

For the next fifteen minutes, Kari was scooted, pulled, tugged and filmed. After the pictures were taken, the group of nurses came back to get her. The procedure was the same as it had been a half hour earlier, only in reverse. Still, sedation was not offered.

“We are going to keep you overnight,” the doctor told Kari. “In the morning, we will do an ultrasound so we can see if you have any blood clots.” He left her room.

A few moments later, the group of nurses came for Kari. “We’re going to take you to a different room for the night,” one nurse told her. They rolled her bed down the hall to another room and again, gathered around her bed. They placed their hands on the sheet and smiled at Kari.

“Front, give orders,” they called.

The new, empty, hospital bed was on Kari’s left side. She tried not to panic. From the beginning of Kari’s emergency care, she had been tugged, lifted, scooted, placed, filmed, and poked. She wondered how in the world anyone could survive an emergency room visit, if this is what they had to expect. Still, no sedation had been offered.

One nurse leaned across the empty bed. One nurse held the sheet above Kari’s head and two nurses stood near Kari’s right side.

“One-two-three pull,” were the orders. Kari was lifted and planted in one swift move.
As Kari’s body hit the bed, a sigh of relief came out of her mouth. “Ahhhh,” she sighed, “that was nice. This bed is so soft!” In her short span of hospital care, Kari had experienced the extreme of hard and soft places to lay her body.

After she was finally released, Kari rode her wheelchair to a friend’s waiting car. It took twenty torturous, agonizing minutes just to get from the wheelchair to the passenger seat. Three thousand dollars and twelve hours later, Kari was sure of several things. She didn’t have a fracture; she didn’t have blood clots, and sedation had never been offered.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Mary McLeary04/30/09
This is interesting in a quirky kind of way. It absolutely describes many hospital visits. The cure hurts worse than the illness. Liked your use of repetition.
Beckie Stewart04/30/09
Poor Kari. Sounds like she didn't find a solution to her extreme back pain either. This was well written and I sure wanted Kari to get her sedation!