A ticking time bomb…


I kissed Himself and my son goodbye and then scurried into the girls’ room.

“Hey girls! I have to take a camper into the hospital tonight. He’s really sick. Make sure you help Dad with camp cuz he doesn’t know what he is doing. OK?”

“OK Mummy. Bye.” Daughter Two looked up briefly as she and her sister were busy getting their pajamas on. They were obviously pretty focused on getting ready for the rave. I gave them both a quick kiss on the head and hurried towards the stairs.

I found Ted in the infirmary resting on the bottom bunk with a backpack sitting at his feet. He plainly looked miserable. He was pasty and had fine beads of sweat across his forehead. He made me nervous. Very nervous.

“Let’s go Ted!” I said with false confidence as I grabbed his backpack and slung it on my other shoulder. Ted slowly and painfully sat up and started to gingerly walk out the door. I followed behind and stopped in the doorway, turned around, and grabbed the garbage can just in case. Ted’s progress down the stairs was slow.

“You hurting badly?” I asked as he took a brief rest at the landing. The music from the dining hall was getting louder as we headed down there. 

Time is of the essence!

“With every step.” Ted responded. Oh geez! I was now more convinced of the gravity of the situation. 

“I wish I could give you some IV morphine right now…but unfortunately…there is none in the infirmary and…I don’t really want to give you anything by mouth in case they have to take you to the operating room.” Ted stopped in his tracks.

“They are gonna take me to the operating room?” He looked at me with a grimace.

“If it turns out to be appendicitis, Ted, that is what they would do. But let’s not get all crazy cuz I’m not 100% sure that is what it is.” Just 98% sure.

“Whatever it takes.” He said as he slowly shook his head. “I guess I don’t care. I just know that I can’t handle this pain much longer.” Yikes. Now I was 99% sure.  

I ran ahead of Ted to pull open the door to the dining hall and as I did so the music practically blasted us in the faces. Several counselors and LITs were busy putting the finishing touches on lights, hanging a disco ball, and clearing away the dining tables and chairs. Two counselors were setting up the music in the DJ station. This was a party that we would not be attending. It sure looked like it was going to be a lot of fun though. Lots more that visiting an ER.

I pulled open the far doors of the dining hall for Ted. We stepped out onto the back deck and into the cool evening air. Ted immediately broke out into goosebumps. I indicated to Ted to sit on the picnic bench. Ted sat and immediately put his head down on the picnic table top.

“Got a sweatshirt in here?” I asked. Ted weakly nodded as he began to shiver. I plopped the two backpacks and the garbage can on the picnic table, unzipped his backpack and pulled out his Camp Acorn sweatshirt. I helped him slip it on over his head and very carefully maneuvered his arms into the sleeves. Once we had wrestled it on Ted put his head down again and softly whimpered. My pulse quickened. 

“So! I hear we are making an unscheduled emergency run into town tonight!” Angus shouted over the music as he burst out of the dining hall. 

“Are you our escort Angus?”

“Indeed I am AND your driver to boot!”

“Excellent. Just one request Angus.”

“What would that be?” Angus asked as he pulled the car keys out of his pocket and swung them on his index finger.

“You must avoid every bump and pot hole as you drive.”

“Oh! Well! That should not be a problem at all on all these dirt roads!” Angus began to laugh and then abruptly stopped as Ted let out a long agonizing moan.


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