Blair stormed into her office. Throwing her purse down on the couch she walked to the desk and hit the call button. “Get Briggs up here!” After calling for her editor, she slumped down in her chair and tried to start working. Her mind was still on the last conversation with Todd.
Frustrated, she pushed away from the desk and began pacing.
Frustrated, she pushed away from the desk and began pacing.
“Damn him! Why does he have to be such a stubborn mule? That pride of his is the whole problem. Sure he was willing to come home with us but now that he’s here, he thinks he can just take his sweet time. He’s got another think coming if he expects me to keep making the effort to get him to remember us. All I wanted to do was support him at the hospital. But no! He’s got to do it all on his own.”
Briggs arrived and heard Blair talking. He knocked.
“Come in!” Blair shouted the words. She turned to see Briggs enter. “Oh sorry, didn’t mean to yell.”
“Blair, are you alright? I thought you had someone in here when I heard you talking. Is everything okay?”
Blair pushed her hair behind her ear and took a deep breath. “It’s fine. You said on the phone that you had information about the possible mob story we talked about.. Were you able to get anything else on this O’Brien character?”
“You bet. It seems he’s more than just the head guy here in Llanview. Blair, he’s the head of a whole syndicate. I think we definitely have a story. The public needs to know a mob syndicate is setting up shop in Llanview. The fact that O’Brien is here in town means he’s got something big planned. If we stir up enough dust, he might rethink his plans.”
“Good, that’s what I want to do. See what else you can find on the man. We’ll start with him. I’m sure he’s determined to stay behind the scenes here but we’re going to turn the spotlight on him.” Blair went back to her desk. “I want our best reporter on this. Let’s start stirring that dust.”
“Will do, but we need to be careful. Blair, you’re talking about getting up into a mob boss’ face. It could be dangerous.”
“Good, I need something to take my mind off this situation with Todd. Danger and controversy never stopped him and it won’t stop me either.” She turned to her computer. “Send me everything we’ve got so far and I want to see what Bo and the LPD are doing, too.”
Briggs looked at Blair. He wanted to ask about Todd but it was clear Blair didn’t want to talk about him. “On it. I’ll send it to you shortly.”
Once Briggs left, Blair reached for her phone. She started to ring the hospital then paused. “Don’t do it. You know he’s fine. Just breathe. You know you can’t make him do anything he doesn’t want to do, he’s the one who has to make the next move.” She put down the phone and turned on her computer and began to work.
Larry was thorough, he pulled up Todd’s x-rays during the examination so he could get a clear picture of everything that had been done. The extent of his back injuries and subsequent surgeries showed everything had healed properly, but when he ran his probe down Todd’s left leg there was still little if no response. He could tell by Todd’s expression of disgust that he was disappointed the leg was not cooperating. “Todd, I’m going to help you roll over. I want to take a look at your lower spine.”
Todd laid his head on his arms. “I’m not sure what you’re looking for Doc. Dr. Sanchez said everything was healed and she should know since she was the one who put me back together.”
“She did an excellent job but when I looked at all your X-rays and I noticed something from an earlier injury. I want to see if I’m right.” Larry pressed down just below the nerve bundle at the base of Todd’s spine.
Todd jerked as excruciating pain went through his back and continued down both of his legs. “Gahhhhhhhhhhh What the hell Doc?”
As soon as Todd jerked, Larry stopped pressing. He had found what he was looking for. “Easy, Todd. Obviously you felt that. The pain will lessen in a couple of seconds. I need you to just stay still, we don’t want it to move.” Larry reached for a marker and put a mark on Todd’s back so he could find the spot again.
“Don’t worry Doc, I have no intention of moving. Talk to me, what did you do and just what don’t you want to move?”
“I’ll explain shortly but first?” Larry ran the probe down the back of Todd’s left leg which remained quiet and he got no reaction from Todd until he hit the sole of his foot. He smiled as the foot reacted. “Did you feel that?’
Todd was stunned. “What just happened?”
“I’m guessing that’s a yes. Good news, Todd, I think we’re going to have you back up on both feet sooner rather than later. I know you’re probably tired of cat scans and MRIs but if you’ll bear with me, I’d like take another scan of your back. When that’s done, I’ll tell you what I found. What do you say?”
“If another scan gets me on my feet, go for it. Hell, it’s not like I can just walk out of here as I am.” Todd laid still on the table absorbing everything that had just taken place.
An hour later, Todd was back in Larry’s office looking at the latest scan of his back. His older scans were up on the light board next to the new ones. “Okay, well that doesn’t tell me anything. They both look the same to me. But something you did has given me feeling in my left foot. What’s going on?”
Larry reached up with a marker and circled a small white spot on the new scan. “That right there is what made the difference. Todd, you had extensive injuries to your back that occurred when you went off the cliff in Ireland.”
Todd only had a vague memory of that fall so he just shook his head yes. “If you say so, but what does that have to do with now?”
“That white object has been putting pressure on the nerves leading down your left leg. It’s my guess that that bit of calcium scarring from your earlier injury broke free and it’s been moving around ever so slightly since your surgery in Guam?’
“I don’t understand. Wouldn’t it have shown up in previous MRIs or scans?”
“I guessing at first it was well hidden in the nerve bundle and as you healed and began therapy it began to move. Not enough to be seen but enough to stop you from feeling anything below your waist. Dr. Sanchez had removed all the bone fragments and everything appeared normal. You have other scarring on those lower bones and there was no sign anything had changed where it was concerned.” Larry turned around and faced Todd. “What it boils down to is you need more surgery to remove it. If we wait it could move again and possibly make you lose all feeling again or worse, it could damage the nerve bundle and that would lead to even more problems.”
Todd laughed. “You’re kidding right? I’ve been doing therapy and working for months without it moving. Surely you don’t think it’s going to happen the minute I leave the hospital. I just got out of a hospital. I just want some normal time.”
“I’m serious, Todd. It’s going to move again and I’d rather it moved because I was taking it out. Answer me something. What were you doing right before you felt your right leg for the first time?”
“Something I shouldn’t have according to my therapist. I was getting ready to leave the hospital and decided to try and get in a little therapy by myself. I loaded the weights on the bar and then lifted myself to the bench. I overdid it a little bit and my therapist told me I had put more weight on the bar than we were actually working on. It was getting a little hard on me when he showed up and he insisted I stop. As I was getting back into my wheelchair, my right leg slipped off the bench and landed on the floor with a jar. I felt it from the heel all the way up to my back.”
“So let me get this straight. You were weightlifting?”
“Well yes. I’m in a wheelchair. I needed to strengthen my arms and back.”
Larry looked back at the scans. “That’s it, it moved because of the different pressure you put on your back that morning. You felt your left foot because I manipulated that fragment, which is good but the fact that I was able to move it means nothing will stop it from moving again. We need to do this today. What do you say?”
Todd looked down at his legs. If Dr. Wolek was right he might end up losing all feeling again. He rubbed his right leg. Everyday he was getting more and more sensations from it and even though he hated the brace, the few times he had been up and actually standing on the one leg had been monumental. Now his left foot was tingling. Something he hadn’t felt in months. There was no way he wanted to go back to feeling nothing at all. “One night, huh? Let’s do it. It’s not like I have anything going on right now. Can you guarantee I’ll get full usage of both legs?”
“It’s my belief that if we get rid of that fragment you will get feeling back. Full mobility will depend on you and your commitment to therapy. Let’s get you settled and comfortable and I’ll arrange an operating room. Do you want to give Blair a call? You have some time to let her know what’s happening.”
“I think not. It will only worry her and she’s been trying to appear strong since finding me. Things are still a little awkward between us. You know, it’s the whole memory thing. Since it looks like getting me on my feet might be possible, let’s do one thing at a time. Fix my legs and then I can fix my memory.”
Larry had moved to his desk and was getting ready to make some calls and he paused at Todd’s last words. “Todd, you know we have no medical way to fix your memory, right?”
“Yeah, Doc. I know. Like you said earlier, maybe things will start coming to me now that I’m here. It’s hard not being able to give Blair what she wants. She knows me so well and although I like her a lot and I’m enjoying being around her, there’s still something missing and she’s hurting . I don’t want to hurt her and lately that’s exactly what I’m doing. This morning she wanted to come with me and told her no. I don’t want to keep doing that. I need to get back on my feet. If I can do that, then I can concentrate on getting to know her all over again, memory or not.”
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