Posted on 6:52 PM | By Biki Honko | In
"...............beeping?................I wanna sleep.....so sleepy........."
"Soah? I need you to wake up. Time to wake up." The nurse was gently patting her hand, bringing Soah to wakefulness. Soah's eyes fluttered open, closed again. Opening her eyes again, she looked up at the nurse. Confusion was plainly written on her face.
"Where am I? Sam?? Where is Sam?" Soah looked around trying to figure out where she was. Nothing looked familiar, no one around that she knew.
"Soah, you are in the recovery room. You had surgery on your burns." The nurse kept her voice calm, and tried to exude calmness.
"Where is Sam? He said he would stay with me." Tears started rolling down her face. "I wanna see Sam! Please, please, please???" Soah had no idea what was going on, but she knew Sam would make it ok.
"Hey, hey, it's ok. He couldn't be here while you were sleeping. Is he in the waiting room? I will have someone go and get him, now that you are awake. Let me send someone to look for him, ok? I'll be right back."
Sarah walked over the the nurse's desk, and looked at her paperwork, to see who her Sam was. Oh, she was logged in as a child protection patient. Flagging down one of the aides, she said, "Go to the waiting room and see who is waiting for Soah Helms. Whoever is there, tell them she is looking for 'Sam'."
Walking into the waiting room, Anne walked to the desk and asked who was waiting for Soah Helms. She was directed to a conference room. Anne tapped on the door, hearing a 'come in', she opened the door, and was met with a room full of people. "I am looking for Soah Helms family, especially, Sam. Do I have the right room?"
"Yes!" Morgan leapt to his feet and ran over to Anne. "How is she? Can we see her?" Anne got lost in Morgan's beautiful smile, and for a brief moment completely forgot why she was even there.
"Huh? Oh, yeah, is there a Sam here? Soah is wanting to see Sam." Anne was finding it hard to look at anyone else but that one guy. She would have to take a swing by this Soah's bedside to see what this gorgeous hunk was fixated on. She must really be beautiful for him to be that into her. As she dragged her eyes off Morgan, she was surprised to see not one, but two doctors standing in the doorway.
"Please excuse me, we need to get in. Could you please direct Sam Jenkins to recovery? There is a little girl who I am sure is wanting to see him." Bob thought he would be having a word with later on with this aide. "Just a moment, what is your name?"
Anne's heart just sank thru the souls of her feet, she knew that she had just screwed the pooch dropping her professionalism like that. "Anne Pritchard, sir. Mr. Jenkins, could you follow me please."
"Well? Tell us something!" Morgan was just about to burst with worry, impatience, and feeling like he should be doing something to help, he just didn't know what that would be. Morgan was not used to feeling so attached to a girl and one that he really hardly knew.
"Sit down everyone." Bettia smiled at everyone allaying their fears. "Soah came through the procedure wonderfully. I abraded her burns, cleaned the infection from the lacerations. Skin infections can be tricky to clear up, and it sometimes takes quite a few courses of antibiotics of different drug families to clear the skin of all traces of infection. She will need to have her burns abraded every day to keep scar tissue from forming, and to keep the risk of infection low. Several of her ribs are cracked, time will have to heal those. Normally, we tape the ribs to make it more comfortable, but it is not feasible with her condition. We also did a more comprehensive exam that Dr. Pressler and I thought she needed. Now, on to the bad news. We x-rayed her arms, hands, feet and ribs. We counted 15 different old healed breaks. The pattern of bruising shows long term beatings. Her body will heal, we can see to that. What is worrying us is healing her spirit. She is not a wounded bird, she is a broken bird. This poor child has never known a "normal" life."
George cleared his throat, looked around the table quickly, checking faces for agreement and said, " As a group we have sat here and talked over what we feel should be done for Soah. There is no doubt about the emotional bond that has formed between Sam and Soah. Her ability to form a strong bond so quickly with a complete stranger bodes well. We all understand about stress causing people to create an emotional bond that they would not normally form. What impressed us was that she was able to bond at all. We all realize that this is going to take a great deal of work on our part to give her what she needs to become happy. At one point we were willing to wait until she was better and choose which family she wanted to live with, until we understood how much stress that would cause her. This is what we have come up with. Unless something changes in the near future, Soah will live with Sam and Cecilia, as her "mom" and "dad". Kevin, Dave and Morgan will be her "cousins" and I will be her "uncle". If she forms an attachment with Cami, she will be her "aunt". Dave's family wants to be involved in her healing and they will be "uncle and aunt" Li. She will not have to use those tags when talking to us. But, that is the way we will interact with her. Of course Morgan is hoping to morph his being a cousin into being a boyfriend." Everyone laughed at Morgan's bright red face.
"Hey! When did I use the words boyfriend? I just didn't want her thinking of me as family. Well, shi-oot. Well, you all got me on that one, huh?" Morgan grinned back at the laughing faces. He was taking the good natured ribbing well.
"Will she begin therapy in the hospital? If she does does that mean a new therapist when she leaves the hospital? And how long of a hospital stay are we looking at?"
"Cecile, we have put in the request for the therapist to see her tomorrow. Her pain meds are not strong and she should be able to focus by then. There are two ways that her mental health needs can be met. After she is physically healthy, we can move her up to the mental health ward. She will see her therapist everyday, and stay in a calm and controlled environment, where visitors are encouraged, but only during set times. The other option is for her to go home with your and your husband, and be taken to therapy each day. Before you ask, both Dr. Pressler and I are of one mind here. We would rather see her spend some time on the mental health ward. Soah is going to need some transition time, and very intensive work with her therapist. As to your question about continuing with the same therapist, changing doctors is hard on all patients, but for Soah we feel it would be injurious to her mental health. Continuity and consistency is going to be key to helping her heal. There are two doctors we feel would be a good fit, and we are waiting for a call to see if either of them have time for a new case. She should be ready to be released in about 3 days, possibly longer. Soah is very weak physically, her condition prior to this last beating, we believe was not strong, and this infection could have been deadly. Did you find her in this condition at home?"
"Oh, I am so sorry we assumed that you had been more completely briefed. Dr. Noel, you will not believe this but that child got on a bus, and went to the park! We think she was looking for the boys." George gestured at Kevin, Dave and Morgan.
"She went to the park? On a bus? With only a hope that your three boys would be there?" To say that Bettia was shocked would be putting it much to mildly. "That child has an inner core of hope, and belief of a better tomorrow. I feel better about her chances for her future."
"There will need to be a decision soon about if you want her at home or to stay here." Bob looked at the table, trying to gauge which way they were going to go on this issue.
"If both of you believe that the best place for her is here in the hospital, who are we to say otherwise? Does anyone disagree?" Cecile checked each face to see if they agreed with her, and they all did.
"That is wonderful, this is really the best place for her. We will be setting everything up for her eventual transfer to the mental health floor. Are there any questions at this time?" Bob needed to attend to his other patients, glancing at his watch he saw just how far behind the power curve he was.
"Yes! When will she be allowed visitors?" Morgan began to blush, but he powered thru his embarrassment, "Will I be able to see her?"
Morgan's blush and eager questions sent everyone into gales of laughter. After wiping tears from his eyes, Bob answered, "Yes, you can see her during visitor hours. I want you to visit her as often as you can. Try to keep it light and happy, tell her funny stories, bring in comedies, animated movies, anything funny, sweet and kind. Play board games with her, attempt to keep her mood light. However, having said that, if Soah wants to talk to you about serious matters, let her. Do not try to draw those feelings out of her, that will be for her therapist to do. Make her feel connected with all of you, try to give her a sense of community in your friendship. Ladies, you will all need to tread very carefully. Soah has been hurt mostly by her mother, and I feel she will have issues trying to bond with any of you. Cecile, you will want to love on her, hugs, pats, kisses, but you will have to let her come to you first. We have to demonstrate that she is safe. That she has nothing to fear from any one of you. It will take time and there is no way to hurry that process along. I am very sorry, but I really do need to leave." A quick wave, and Dr. Pressler was gone.
"I also need to be going. While I will be attending to Soah's burns, Dr. Pressler will be her physician. Please address any concerns through him. And like Bob, I have got to be going." Dr. Noel practically flew out the door.
"We should be able to finish up the rest of the paperwork fairly quickly, a day or two at the most. I need to head back to the office and get to work." Kim gathered her paperwork, and bidding everyone farewell, left.
"George, I will be in touch, all of the necessary paperwork will be done by me as soon as possible." Tom shook hands with George and left.
"I have a question for everyone here. Soah has nothing of her own here. Do you think she would have anything at home that she wants? I can not image that she has much at home, and am not really sure if she would want to drag her past to her into her new present. How about if we give her gifts. To show her that we care for her, small things, stuffed animals to hug, books to read, a comfy blanket to cuddle up in, new soft comfortable pjs, cookies, candies, flowers. What is usually given to someone who is sick in bed." Cami finished up with, "I can find out what size she is. Cecile, would you like to go shopping for her with me?"
"Yes, since we are going to try to help this child, it would be much better for us to be friends. How about if I call Talia, and have her go shopping with us? She should get involved in this as soon as possible. Soah will take up a good bit of Sam's and my attention, Talia needs to feel that she is a big part of helping Soah get better. Not just something that is sucking our time away from her. Let's see if we can find one of the nurses that undressed her and find out her size." Cecile and Cami said their goodbyes to everyone at the table, and started to leave the room. Cami turned back and quickly crossed to George, leaned down and kissed him, and was out the door in the blink of an eye.
"Well dad, are you sure that a trip to the jewelry store is not on your list of things to do today?" Kevin smiled, and lightly punched his dad's arm. "Close the deal dad. How someone else hasn't already snapped her up is totally beyond me. What says you Dave?"
"Get her a ring, soon, like yesterday, and ask her to marry you! If it is a deal breaker, tell her Kevin and I will be living on our own soon. The apartment should be done in just a couple of weeks."
"She would not mind you living with us one little bit. We talked about it the other night. Kevin, are you really sure that want her in our family?"
"Dad! You told me whoever I loved, if they loved me back was good enough for you. If they loved me, you would love them. Give me some credit here! I am NOT twelve! She makes you happy, and I saw how you leaned on her today, for advice and support. Mom is gone, we will always love and miss her, but she would not want you to live the rest of your life alone." Dave could tell how worked up Kev was, he really didn't want his dad to mess this up.
"How about us men go shopping for Soah? And afterwards, Kevin, Dave, I want you two with me when I pick out her ring. I want to do this as a family, to show her that we all love and want her as a member."
"Well then, y'all can drop me off at the park after shopping for Soah." Morgan grabbed George's hand in a firm grip, and shook his hand, saying "I want to be the first to congratulate you. I think Cami is a wonderful person, and will make you a terrific wife! "