Balloon Man

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Chapter 46

When Alma woke up, she hurried to the bathroom, cleaned up a bit, and headed to Cye’s room. When she stepped inside, she smiled. He was awake and had some color back. “Well you look much better today! How’re you feeling?” she asked cheerfully.

“I’ve had better days,” Cye said, wiping his forehead with a tissue. He leaned back in the bed. “I don’t know how long I will be stuck here. Doctor said my infection’s pretty bad. Said it took them a bit to narrow down the type of bacteria in me. They had to call in a specialist to figure it out—some weird name I couldn’t pronounce.”

Alma stepped over and picked up Cye’s chart. “May I?”

“If you can say it, I’ll give you a hundred bucks.”

Alma read down the chart until she found it. “Aeromona hydrophilia. Yikes! I don’t know what that means but it certainly sounds rather nasty. Says here you’re on a high dosage of an antibiotic called chloramphenicol.”

“Yeah, that’s what the doctor said. Apparently, I’m lucky, at least according to the doc. He said if an alligator doesn’t kill you right away, the infection from its bite usually does. I’m not quite out of the woods yet.”

“Well, at least they isolated the bacteria and are treating it with the correct antibiotics.”

Cye tried to smile, but the pain was so intense it came out more like a grimace. He pulled his lips back a little and closed his eyes. “I’m so tired, Alma. So very tired.”

Alma wanted to tell Cye so many things, but decided on only one. “You rest now, Cye. They arrested Cooter yesterday so it’s all over. Concentrate on getting better.”

Cye didn’t answer. He was fast asleep.

Alma left the room and headed back to her own.

“There you are, Ms. Emmett. I’ve been looking for you,” a nurse about Alma’s age chirped from behind her. “Good news! You’re being released today. You’ll need to sign some papers then you get to go home.”

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