Mercedes spent several hours with Andy and Su Lin at the hospital. The staff had cautioned her that it might be premature to bring them home. EZ had spoken to her dad, who said he wanted his own bed. This request had been stated with a high level of insistence in a call they’d just concluded.
Andy’s eyes had been covered for days from the flash burns he suffered during the attack. The doctors were taking a wait-and-see attitude to his recovery. Since the human eye is remarkably adept at healing from these type of wounds, they wanted to keep the bandages in place for at least two more days. Andy was terrified at the prospect of being permanently blind, and this fear made his behavior and his mood swings erratic. When the nurse was showing Mercedes how to change the bandages as well as clean and dress the wounds, he became combative, regardless of her coddling.
Su Lin’s trauma was no less difficult with her unexpected reactions to the medications. Her IV drip of fluids was critical for nourishment. When she tried to help sooth Andy during the dressing changes, his hands would get caught in Su Lin’s lines, raising her anxiety and resulting in her crying out. This naturally caused Andy to overreact because he could see he was the cause. It took Mercedes and two of the staff to normalize the situation enough to complete the treatment.
After the struggle, Mercedes valiantly attempted to secure their discharge, but she faced repeated temper tantrums, by one or both of them, amounting to a total refusal to cooperate. Mercedes threw up her hands and proclaimed, “No, we are not doing this, children! You two will stay here where there are trained professionals to deal with your aberrant behavior! You should both be ashamed of yourself when all any of us want to do is help. I will go by myself, since you have both ticked me off for the last time, and scope out the farm alone!
“I’ll keep in contact with the staff here and be here for the bandage removal, Andy. I will call with any important status changes! I will make certain your foreman is aware and taking care of the animals, but you two need to clean up your act! If you behave for the staff, I will give good reports back to EZ and keep this between us.”
The room fell silent while Mercedes seethed, then the head nurse quietly offered, “She’s right, you two are not ready for unassisted care at this time. I’m going to put you back into your beds while you heal a bit more under supervised care.
“I know you’re anxious to resume your regular lives, but in my professional opinion, you’re not ready to leave here yet. And since we don’t have someone to discharge you to …well, we all need to work a little longer.”
Andy bristled slightly, then contritely replied, “Y’all are probably right. Nurse, discharging us to Miss ‘Grumpy Britches' here is probably a poor idea. Let’s try it your way for a while.
“Su Lin, you get settled first, honey, while I sit here.”
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