Do You Know Where The Wild Things Go?
Here we go, guys! Another chapter! This time it's a little longer ;) When I'm back home, it'll be more regular, I promise :) Until then, friends and fangirls! (Hope you like the plot twist!)
PS: And yes, I did name this chapter after a line in Breezeblocks by Alt-J, for any Alt-J fans out there :)
Oh Sam. Sam, Sam, why? Why did you have to do it? Everything was so perfect...
I wandered around the ED, trying to locate Harrows but he was nowhere to be found. But I couldn't wait with the diagnosis, I'd have to do it myself. So I stopped Jamie and asked him kindly if he would do some blood tests on Sam to check the bilirubin, albumin and total serum protein levels in order to find out how well her liver was functioning. I also ordered a blood alcohol test. I needed to know how bad it was. He nodded mutely and left without asking any questions, probably due to my stone expression. There wasn't much more I could do. I could only wait. I made my way outside and sat down on the bench on which so many people had lost their minds before me. Waiting, contemplating, hoping.
How could she have done it? Had she been depressed? She hadn't seemed it. And she didn't seem the person that drinks a lot, but that would explain her extreme hangover after the party two weeks earlier. And why she had defended herself so fiercely when I had enquired about her health... Quite a few things were obvious to me now. But she had been in the army just two years ago, how could two years of drinking (if she had even been drinking for that long) have caused this much damage?
It didn't make any sense. But a lot of things didn't make sense about Sam. She wasn't an ordinary girl.
She never would be.
"Tom?" I looked up. I saw the friendly face framed by shoulder-length dark hair that could only belong to Zoe.
Her expression was one I had never encountered before. She was smiling in an effort to seem consoling. It wasn't working.
My girlfriend was an alcoholic who had almost drunken herself to death.
My fiancée was an alcoholic who had drunken herself almost to death.
And I hated myself for it. How could I not have noticed?
"Tom, I'm here for you if you need me." she sat down next to me and together we sat in silence for a few minutes.
"Have you got a diagnosis yet?" she asked cautiously.
"No, not a concrete one. Sam confessed to drinking. We're checking for cirrhosis."
"But she had shortness of breath and angina. And didn't you bring her in because she fainted in the shower?"
"Yes, she had pulmonary hypertension due to the cirrhosis."
"Oh! I actually just read an article about the connection between the two."
"Yeah, I read it a couple of weeks ago."
"Very interesting read...are you absolutely sure it's the alcohol?" she looked at me, testing my judgement.
"Yes, what else could it be?"
"She just doesn't seem like the type to drink-"
"She confessed to it, Zoe."
"I know, all I'm saying is keep your options open."
"Well thank you, Zoe, but I think I've got it covered." I spoke through gritted teeth.
"Alright, I'll leave her in your capable hands." she got up and made her way back to the ED.
I sat for another two minutes, alone, shivering in the cold of midday, before going back inside.
Harrows could go to hell, I'd do it all myself.
As I walked through the ED, I thought about what I'd do about Sam. Things couldn't just go back to normal, surely. Something had to change. But it wouldn't be me. Not yet. She needed me now. and I wasn't prepared to leave her, vulnerable, sick and frail as she was now.
I swung the curtains aside and saw Sam sitting up in bed with Harrows shining a light in across her eyes.
"Oh, how nice of you to join us." he smiled smugly.
"While you were gone, I got the blood alcohol levels back. It's not the alcohol."
"How did you know about the cirrhosis?"
"The chart, my dear Tom. And your little fiancée." he said it in such a belittling voice that I snarled, lunging for the chart that was on the trolley next to him but he snatched it away from me.
"This is still my case, Dr Kent. You are only assisting me. Now, when I got back the results, I thought a physical exam was in order and took the liberty to examine the patient. Have a look at her irises." he handed me the light and I shone it across Sam's irises. They were grey as ever.
"I don't know what I'm supposed to see." I admitted and Harrows smiled.
"See here," he indicated the outside of her iris "the brown ring around her iris?"
And sure enough, I saw it then.
"Kayser-Fleischer rings." I stated and he nodded.
She had Wilson's Disease...