by Bargis Tryhol on 24/08/11 at 8:44 amLife At Moorview Institute
‘Doc How’s About A Re-charge’
The one o’clock was right on time. Inmate Carl Strong lived up to his name. Six foot six and about 295lbs of pure muscle! His meat hook hands shook hers with all the gusto a 36 year old ex-railroad worker could muster. She took his vital signs and had him fill out a form.
“Need’s me ticker battery recharged I do!” A lopsided grin showing a few missing teeth gave the man an innocence of a child. “Dr. Ward will be right with you Carl.” Eloise set out a prep tray and wheeled a cart into the room.
Ward heard the banter and made a few ‘fine adjustments’ at the recharging station. The Zento-7000 machine that recharged pace-makers hummed as it warmed up. With a simple screwdriver and a switch of the connection outlet instruction labels, Ward was ready for his next patient.
“Altoids, please wheel inmate Strong in now. We’re just about ready.”
Strong smiled his famous grin of thanks as Altoids wheeled him into the darkened room. A single fluorescent bulb illuminated the workstation, leaving most of the small room dim and gloomy.
“OK Ms. Altoids, remove the inmates gown and you’ll see a charging portal just under the skin. It’s sort of like a pale yellow lump.”
Altoids could see the two raised bumps, and ran her fingers over it to make sure. She then wiped the spot with alcohol and turned toward Ward, “Ready doctor.”
“Use a local anesthesia, and then you’ll have to cut through the skin to expose the two probe ends. That’s what you’ll connect the charging leads to.” Altoids took a disposable syringe and filled it with the numbing solution. Her hands trembled as she injected the clear solution just under the inmate’s skin.
“You’se gots da hans of a real surgeon Missy.” Strong relaxed and smiled up at Eloise. His skin numbed quickly. Eloise took the disposable scalpel and made two small incisions, immediately, the two probe ends slid from beneath the skin.
“Altoids, now take the blue wire to the blue probe, then the red wire to the red probe.” She did as instructed and checked to make sure the connection was tight, “OK doctor.”
“Now, plug the two ends into the ports on the Zento-7000 and set the auto timer to the warm-up setting. The rest will be automatic.” Altoids did as she was instructed and the machine vibrated some before it began to power up. “Take it easy there Carl, it will take some time.” She patted him on his arm and followed the doctor to the lab.
Once in the lab, Dr. Ward asked her to begin arranging all the necessary items for their last patient who was scheduled to arrive soon for the routine heart valve replacement. Ward excused himself and went back to the morgue to finish the Potter’s Field paperwork for the burial crew that would arrive before dusk. The clatter of the now double loaded gurney being wheeled to the refrigerated morgue section trailed off. Soon she was in her own thoughts.
Eloise was amazed at the array of what seemed antique surgical tools. Each seemed to be hand made and bore an inscription that read… Montgomery Ward-USA. She guessed Dr. Ward’s relative was named ‘Montgomery’ and served in the United States Army at one time. As she set a fresh can of chloroform on the side table, the lights in the room dimmed very low. She heard a popping sound coming from the recharging area. Fearing the worse, she yelled for the doctor and grabbed a flashlight.
It was even more desperate than she could ever imagine.
Carl Strong was now a human strobe light. His jiggling eye balls rested on his chest, bouncing and quivering. His skin sparked vivid blue from waves of current washing over his body. The nearby Zento-7000 was now a melted glob of smoking plastic and burned-bare wires.
The sight being just too much to bear, Altoids did what any other first year medical student would do and simply started to pass out. As she hit the floor she could hear a far away voice reaching into her head…the all too familiar request…”the time Altoids?”
Go to chapter 8 (magazine section)