Freyja went to the nurse’s station and asked to have the doctor paged. She might as well get the bad news first hand.
“Dr. Harper.” The nurse nudged a young man, neck crinked, dozing sitting up in a collapsible chair next to her.
“I’m Freyja Brynjarrson, Bruno’s sister. Can you update his condition for me?”
Dr. Harper rubbed his eyes and picked up a chart. “We’ve giving your brother antibiotics intravenously, and the mask, it’s oxygen.” He took a sip of something from a Styrofoam cup, grimaced, then took another sip. “The corticosteroids should address the inflammation.”
“Can we cut to the chase, Dr. Harper? Is he going to live?” Freyja recalled her conversation with Marty earlier that afternoon. It was one thing to kill himself, but according to Marty the money BB spent on drugs bought weapons to kill troops in Afghanistan. Talk about a ripple affect.
“For the time being.” Dr. Harper replaced the chart. “How long he lives after he’s released depends on a number of things.”
“Well, assuming he has no complications from the PCP, and has no allergic reactions to the medications he’ll be taking, there’ll need to be an improvement in his diet, care and, most importantly, lifestyle.”
“He quits using drugs.”
Dr. Harper frowned. The public address system was paging him. “Are you going to be the primary caregiver?”
“No.” No. No way. Not a chance in hell.
“Before his release, a social worker and nutritionist will meet with the family to discuss these things.” He sidled his way out of the nurse’s station and walked briskly toward the entrance.
Freyja kept pace. “Will there be extra expenses?”
“The three thousand dollars for the cocktail of anti-viral drugs is picked up the government’s Medical Services Plan.
“Three thousand a year?”
“A month,” Dr. Harper said. “Vitamins, minerals, and other micro-nutrients aren’t covered by the government. People with AIDS need to eat more, the infection and fever increases the need for food, nutritious food.”
“Just a second. My father, through no fault of his own, has MS. He just got his home care services cut. My brother, because of the lifestyle he chooses gets three grand worth of free meds – a month?”
“I don’t make the rules,” the doctor said.
“So there will be additional expenses.”
Dr. Harper stopped outside the swinging doors of a room where other hospital types were converging. “Definitely.” A nurse passed him a clipboard. “What have we got, Irene?” he glanced at the sheet attached.
“Two with multiple gunshots,” the nurse said.
“Drug dealers.” He rubbed his eye with the knuckle of his free hand. “Like I said...”
“Someone will talk to us,” Freyja backed away
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