Heartbeat of Absolute

Chapter 13

Hotch practically jogged his way to the cafeteria. He knew that he was late, but he had no choice. His eyes scanned through the café and spotted Amy and Morgan sitting in the last table.

"Sorry, I'm late." Hotch apologized before he sat down beside Morgan.

"It's okay, Agent Hotcher." Amy said with her usual smile as she pushed the cup of coffee towards Hotch. "Luckily, the coffee is still hot."

"You said you have something to speak to us, Amy?" Morgan asked.

"Is something with Reid, Amy? Hotch questioned.

Amy smiled slightly, she always impressed by the love and care the team has on each other.

"No, but I hope it doesn't turn out bad in the future for him."

Morgan and Hotch exchanged a glance before they looked at Amy.

"I don't get you, Amy." Morgan said.

"He's beating himself up."

Hotch automatically sighed when he heard those words. Morgan on the other hand, took few sips of his coffee.

"What?" Amy asked. "You guys expected this?"

"It's Reid we are talking about, Amy." Hotch answered. "Reid is a very private person, he always has been taking care of himself and now for him to depend on us, is not going to be easy for him even though we are pretty much his family."

Amy thought for a moment if she should ask the question, but she couldn't hold herself. "I don't want to intrude his private space, but don't Spencer have any family member? I mean I didn't see anyone …I am sorry for asking this, but…"

"It's okay, Amy." Hotch smiled sadly. "It's not your fault."

"He has a dad who pretty much doesn't care."

Amy could the sense anger in Morgan's voice.

"Morgan…" Hotch warned.

"What? That man left Reid when he was just ten, don't tell me he cared."

Amy suddenly found herself in an awkward situation, so she decided to change the subject. "How about his mother and maybe someone else?"

"He has a loving mother, though." Morgan finally smiled a little. "But she's in Vegas and a little sick, she wouldn't be able to travel."

Hotch continued. "He doesn't have anyone else, it's just us."

Amy smiled a little. "You guys are very good friends."

"Family, actually." Morgan corrected her.

"So, Amy, what actually you wanted to tell us?"

"I spoke to Dr. Scott and we agreed that it would be better for him to be at home."

"Are we sure about this, Amy? It's just been a week since his surgery."

"Well, the usual length of hospital stay is just four to seven days. The most important thing is he has stable vital signs and a stable heart rhythm. He's been weaned off oxygen support, his blood lab results are within normal range and he's able to tolerate regular food. The only concern is he's not being able fully on his feet yet since his leg is broken."

"I know patient with open heart surgery will be directed to walk or to have small exercise right after they recover from the surgery, but Reid … Will his other injuries cause any trouble for him?" Hotch asked, concerned.

"Usually, patients are directed to exercise in order to prevent complications such as lung congestion like pneumonia or blood clots in legs and it is extremely important to exercise the muscles but don't worry, I have spoken to our physical therapist. Nick will see you guys and explain an exercise routine for Spencer to follow at home."

Amy checked her watch. "Do you guys have time, I might as well explain the things you guys need to watch out when Spencer comes home. Dr. Scott is having major surgery today, he asked me to debrief you guys about Spencer's condition."

"Sure, go ahead."

"Okay, I know it will be a lot to take in but if we stick to this, there are high changes for Spencer to have a steady and full recovery." Amy said as she passed papers to both Hotch and Morgan.

"What is this?" Morgan questioned as his eyes scanned through the wordings in the paper.

"Sometimes, we tend to forget things, so this will be your manual and you also have my number at the end, so call me the moment you think something is not right."

"Noted." Hotch said as he took his phone and saved Amy's number is his speed dial.

"First of all, instructions on sternal precautions, Spencer should not lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for six to eight weeks. He also cannot raise both arms over his head at the same time, and no bending at the waist. Does he have steps at his home?"

"He has to take steps in order to reach his apartment." Morgan answered.

"We don't have to worry about that because he's not going to stay in his apartment, he's going to stay with me."

"Are you sure, Hotch? He can stay with me." Morgan said.

"I think it would be better for him to stay with me right now. Spencer and Jack, they need each other to recover, but you're always welcome to sleep over, my couch is quite comfortable and besides, we will have Jessica to keep an eye on him if we are cough up with a case."

"I guess the issue about steps is resolved then. I also feel that if Spencer stays Jack, would be more healing for him. Okay, moving on to the next one, is the pain and it will hurt until his sternum heals. The chest bone is the slowest part of the healing process. It will hurt with every breath he takes, every sneeze he sneezes, every cough he coughs and every laugh he laughs. It will remain as such for six or so weeks and then it will gradually stop."

"It sounds horrible." Morgan whispers. "Won't he have pain meds for that?"

"He will but it's not good to rely on that. As soon as he gets rid of that, it would be great. I mean the pain meds will put him in a pain cycle. He takes it for the pain, he's going to be okay until it wears off, then it's going to hurt him again. I am not trying to support, nor am I recommending him not take pain medications, but it is crucial to slow down the amount of the pain drugs he take as quickly as possible because sometimes there are other side effects that slow down the healing process."

"I will keep that in mind. Thanks, Amy." Hotch said, gratefully.

"Make sure he rest often during the day, but at the same time, don't let him to have the habit of taking long naps because if so later, he will not be able to sleep the night through."

Both Hotch and Morgan nodded.

"Very important point, make sure he takes his medications as per instructions. Spencer might not have much of an appetite to eat, but it is necessary for you guys to make sure he sticks to the healthy diet as per attached in the manual.

"Will do." Hotch confirmed.

"Since his incision is healing just fine, quick showers, not longer than 10 minutes will do. Make sure the water temperature is warm, not too hot or cold. Wash his incision gently with soap and water, do not rub or scrub. It would be better to gently pat dry during the first week."

Amy inhaled before she continued. "No driving at least four to six weeks."

"Garcia is so going to baby him." Morgan mumbled.

"Lucky for you guys, I will be his visiting nurse, so I will be coming over to check up on him from time to time."

"Oh, that's the best news ever." Morgan smiled, knowing how much Garcia is going to be thrilled about Amy coming over.

"So, I think I have covered most of it, but make sure you guys go through the manual. It has all the details."

"When can we take him back home?" Hotch asked.

"As soon as you guys are ready, he is all yours."

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