Monday, August 8, 2011
Tim slowly opened his eyes when he heard the door close. His pretend snores must have convinced the nurses to leave him be. He heard one nurse remind the other not to tie his wrist restraints to the bed side rails but to the metal support under the stretcher. This time, they left his boxers and socks on, and his feet unrestrained. Since he is an ER regular who loves his beer too much, he finally caught on to why the nurses always dressed him up with the "green gown". It was meant as a signal to all that he is an escape risk.
I need to leave. I need to escape, Tim muttered this to himself like a mantra.
Earlier, his cute nurse fiddled with the EKG leads on his chest and the heart monitor beeped with the now-familiar rhythm. She looked young and naive; her look of concentration as she applied the restraints belied her nervousness as she tried to imitate the confident efficiency of her preceptor.
"You must be new here, aren't you?" . Tim loved it when the newbies flinched as he growled and trashed in his bed. They quivered in fear, probably debating how long they would stay in the profession. Sometimes, when he is in the mood, Tim would put on a tantrum, his language as colorful as befitted the occasion (and most especially when the hospital police are nowhere to be seen). But there's another nurse named Josette who looks so sweet but could really shock you with her colorful string of curses.
Of course, he needs to maintain his reputation as the Obnoxious Drunk. The louder he is, the more the newbies scramble to give him extra helping of sandwiches and apple juice. On a really good day, he gets a hot meal during dinner time, then gets another one after a shift change.
Hahaha. This ER is so much fun. That's why he did not mind when the EMS used to bypass another private hospital to drop him off to his favorite city hospital. Here, everybody knows his name.
The senior nurses already know his modus operandi. While a junior nurse would try to cajole him into submission by giving him food, the senior nurses just raise their eyebrows at him, and quietly display the cloth restraints out. Those tough girls would not hesitate to slap a four-point restraints on him at a moment's notice. These nurses mean business, especially that night nurse named Tina. One look from her and he shuts up. They've come to an understanding: if he calms down and just sleep off his intoxication, she would leave him alone and she might even give him a cup of Colombian coffee that her Juan Valdez- look alike boyfriend brings her.
The "Banana bag" was infusing through his left arm vein. For some inexplicable reason, nurse Jackie (no, not that one on TV) had taken a liking on him. One night, while she was cleaning off a laceration on his hand, she started to educate him about the multivitamins in his intravenous. Now, he knows that the "banana bag" means he's well-nourished.
I got to go. My friend Dolly is waiting for me in the park with the Chivas Regal that she claimed that her boyfriend Frank gave her.
Tim looked up and found his salvation.
A hole in the ceiling. Yes!!! All that he had to do is get out of his restraints, retrieve the clothes bag under his stretcher and run for his freedom. But he needed to go up the ceiling because his jailor Tina would surely catch him if he tries to sneak out from the waiting room.
Tim flexed his hands. How smart of him to rub petroleum jelly on his hands just before the police picked him up from the street. He's not known as Houdini for nothing. Just a couple of tugs and he got out of his restraints. Next, he pulled out the intravenous on his arm just like how the nurses did.
Uh-oh, no time to dress up. He saw one of the doctors coming to his room, but thankfully, she was sidetracked in deep conversation with another nurse.
It's now or never. Tim stood up on the stretcher and started to climb up through the hole in the ceiling. Darkness awaited him but Freedom was within reach. He lifted himself up on shaky legs but he felt the green gown rip on a nail stud. Unbelievable, he was stuck! His legs were dangling in the air and his much-maligned derriere was in full display when Dr. S came through the door.
* The names had been changed to protect the innocents (wink).