Saturday, August 10, 2013

The patient

I hate hospitals. Don’t get me wrong, they can do good things, but to me they’re Death’s waiting room.

Adams was in the burn centre’s ICU. I took the elevator up there. There was a big desk and terminal station just a few steps from where the elevator dropped me off. Luckily for me visiting hours weren’t over. The nurse at the desk was friendly and helpful.

“I’d like to see Zachariah Adams,” I asked her.

The nurse looked around her desk and reached for a yellow clipboard. She flipped a few pages and read for a moment. “That’ll be fine. He’s in bed three.” She glanced to where he was resting. “He’ll be glad to see you. You’re the first.” She glanced at the clipboard again and read aloud. “His daughter is coming down from Ottawa in the morning. He’s leaving ICU tomorrow and transferring to the neurology centre. He’s to spend the day there, and if all goes well, he’ll be released the next day to a home care program for a few weeks.” She looked up from her clipboard, “Take your time.”

“Thanks, I won’t be long.”

“A visitor will be good for him, but he still might be a little groggy.”

I thanked her again and walked over to Adams’ bedside. His eyes were closed and I wasn’t sure if he was asleep. “Zachariah, it’s Ed, Ed Bryce.”

After a moment he stirred and his eyes opened.

“Hi sir, it’s me, Ed Bryce.”

“Yes, you’ve said. Thanks for coming.” His voice was distant.

“How are you doing?”

“Not so good, but they say I’ll live. I can’t move my right hand.” Adams, struggled a bit and sat up,”Doctors say I’ll need a lot of therapy to see if it’ll come back.”

I’m sorry to hear that.”

Adams closed his eyes for a few seconds and then reopened them, they were more focused

“Thanks for coming to see me,” he repeated.

“Is there anything I can do?”

After a brief silence, “Arrest Constable Williams.”


“He was taking minutes at the meeting.”

“Right. Will do, but why?”

“He might have set it up when he left for coffee,” was Adams’ weak reply.

“Ok. Dr. Warden and I are going to the jail tomorrow to see if Mary Smith is Donna Martin. Anything you’d like us to ask if it’s her?”

Apparently there wasn’t. Adams nodded absently, slowly closed his eyes, and soon started to snore. 

Whatever they had pumped into him, I could use a shot.

I walked away, headed back to the nurse and asked where I could find a phone. She pointed me to the visitors lounge just outside the ICU. There were a few wall mounted phones in there. I called our police liaison to inform them that Constable Williams was a person of particular concern, and then called a couple of contacts to set up an interview with Mary Smith in the morning. Finally, I called Leslie to tell her it was on. She wasn’t at her friend’s, but was to be back in a few minutes, so I left the lounge number and plopped down on a couch to wait for her call. 

Well, my intentions were good, but ‘lev lag was more powerful, and I fell dead asleep.

The next instalment can be found here.

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