In a handbasket


“Hang on Lydia!” I leaned out the door. Lydia and Hannah came to a stop. “Two things. First, maybe you need to look at the dock to see if it needs repairs to prevent this from happening again, and the second is that Bill says he placed the order for the life jackets already.”

“Oh OK. Thanks Anne.” Lydia waved over her shoulder.

“Bye ladies!” I waved. Hannah came running back to me. 

“Thank you so much for saving my butt, Anne! You are the bestest nurse ever!” Hannah embraced me in a tight hug.

“Awh! You are so welcome. Saving lives daily.” I laughed. “Maybe just wash it with some soap and water a few times today. And let me know if it gives you any problems with pain or drainage.”

“Will do!” Hannah sung as she jogged down the hall.

Buh bye!

I turned back into the office. I had meds to set out for lunch. I tidied up the debris from the sliver removal, wiped down the exam table and the counter top. I quietly set out the medications on the counter and then sat down at my desk to document the sliver removal in my book. My thoughts drifted back to my two charges at the hospital. I glanced at the clock. Ted should be out of surgery and in recovery room by now and possibly minus an appendix. Bill…well, I didn’t know what they would find on him. I sat back in my chair and looked out the window. I had a view of the tree tops and the lake in the distance. A motor boat drove past pulling a slaloming water skier, slicing into the water and sending a spray of silver behind him. God what a beautiful place. My reverie was interrupted by the lunch bell. I put down my pen and closed the book. I left my backpack in the office, locked it up and headed down the stairs to the dining hall. 

Father Brian was at the directors’ table, head bent over, writing some notes on a clip board. His head popped up when he heard me open the door. 

“Well…how does he look?” Father looked concerned. I sat down beside him at the table.

“Not good actually. But he is in good hands now. Thanks so much for backing me up. I was very nervous that he would not be convinced to go in to be seen. There is no way I would have had a moments peace knowing a dude is walking all over this camp with undiagnosed chest pain. I would have worried and fretted constantly.”

“No problem.” Father Brian shook his head. “I agreed with you 100% and he made me nervous too. I did half of his evaluations this morning.” Father indicated his clipboard. “I will try my best to cover for him.”

“It’s so easy to try to attribute those symptoms to something benign. Denial is common. Everyone thinks ‘It can’t happen to me’ and I think he was afraid of being a nuisance and messing up the schedule.”

“Agreed. But, when I saw him this morning I thought he looked like hell in a hand basket!” 

“Whoa! It’s really bad when a priest says that!”


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