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A Sickle Situation

Written by:
Cousin Whitney

Part Two

Just then Larry came back into the room with a cup of coffee in his hand.  “Can you believe what this place charge for a cup of coffee??  They already charge you an arm and a leg to come in here and get treated, then they got the nerve to charge for a cup of coffee?  And look at the size.  I can go to the corner market in Chicago and get a bigger size cheaper than this.  When they say stuff is expensive in California they meant it.  The ‘C’ in California certainly don’t stand for ‘cheap’.”  Larry scoffed.

Balki just looked at Larry then turned back to Kelsey.

“So has Kelsey woke up any yet?”  Larry asked as he took a sip of his coffee.

“No Cousin.”  Balki said not taking his eyes off of her.

“Has anything happened while I was gone?”  Larry asked.

“This machine started beeping loud.”  Balki said pointing to the IV.  “But a nurse came in and put a new bag of water up and then gave her some more medicine that was in a shape of a needle.”  Balki explained.

“But she hasn’t woken up any yet huh?”  Larry asked.

Balki shook his head no.  “She will eventually.  The medicine is very strong and they are mostly trying to do is get her pain level down as much as possible.”  Larry explained.

Balki didn’t say anything.

“Balki are you okay?”  Larry asked already knowing he wasn’t.

“No Cousin.”  Balki muttered.

“Balki I know you are worried about her, so am I, but she is going to be okay.”  Larry said gently.

Balki just shook his head in understanding.

“Balki it also looks like since this happened, our trip is not going to go as planned anymore.”  Larry said.

“I know Cousin.”  Balki muttered.  “I just want Kelsey well.”

Just then Dr. Culver walked in.  “Ahh Mr. Appleton, I see you made it back.”  Dr. Culver said.

“Yes Dr. Culver, I had to go get my cousin.  Balki meet Kelsey’s doctor, Dr. Culver, Dr. Culver meet my cousin Balki Bartokomous.”  Larry said.

Balki got up from the chair and gave Dr. Culver a rather sad hug and then sat back down.

“You have to excuse him, he’s from another country.”  Larry said uneasy.

“I see.”  Dr. Culver said still rather shocked on what just happened.  “Well I just came in to give you an update on Kelsey.”  Dr. Culver said.

Balki looked up and Larry got in closer and they both focused their eyes on him.

“I just looked at her blood counts and they are not low, but they are not high as I would like them.”  Dr. Culver said.

“So…what does that mean?”  Larry asked.

“She’s going to get a transfusion.  She’s only going to get one unit of blood.”

“Is that going to make her well?”  Larry asked.

“Well it’s going to bring her blood counts up to where I want them, and it may make her feel some better.”  Dr. Culver said.

Balki was listening very closely but having a difficult time understanding what was being said.  It didn’t sound bad but it didn’t sound good.

“We going to continue giving her round the clock fluids as well as the pain medication intravenously, until we are able to get her pain level down and controlled.  We’ll be in touch Mr. Appleton.”  Dr. Culver said.

“Thank you Dr. Culver.”  Larry said as he shook Dr. Culver’s hand.  He then left the room.  Larry just shook his head.

“Cousin, what - what did the doctor say?”  Balki asked.

Larry snapped back into reality.

“Hmm?  Well Kelsey’s blood level is not high enough.”  Larry said.

“What that means?”  Balki asked.

“She’s going to have to get a blood transfusion.”  Larry said.

“What that is?”  Balki asked.

Larry didn’t want to explain what a blood transfusion was but he knew he had too.  “It’s where you get blood put in you.”  Larry said uneasily.

“Kelsey is going to get someone else’s blood?!  Could that person be a v-vampire?”  Balki asked worried.

“No Balki!  How many times do I have to tell you vampires don’t exist!  That’s only in the movies, but don’t worry the blood that she is going to get has been tested and looked at and re-tested again plenty of times to make sure it’s okay to be used.  Okay?”  Larry said gently.

Larry could tell Balki wasn’t really liking or understanding what he was saying to him.  “Balki I know this is hard on you and you are probably not understanding all that is said and going on, but it is important we be strong for Kelsey.  She needs us more than ever and we need to be there for her.”  Larry said.

“Okay Cousin.”  Balki uttered out.

Larry couldn’t believe it.  He was actually giving BALKI advice.  Normally it was the other way around.  He would be all in panicky mode and Balki would be the one having to calm him down, but for some reason he didn’t feel like that now.  At least not at the moment.

All of a sudden there groaning sound coming from the bed.  Both Balki and Larry’s eyes shot over to where the sound was coming from.  They both rushed over.

“Larry?”  Kelsey said hoarsely.

“Kelsey, you’re awake.”  Larry said looking at her.

“Ice water please?”  She barely got out.

Larry helped her take a sip with a bendy straw.  “Look who’s here.”  Larry said as he sat the cup down on the table.

Kelsey’s vision was blurry but she was able to make out the tall dark hair person standing on the other side of the bed.  “Balki?”  She whispered.

“Yes, Kelsey it is me.”  Balki said gently.

Even though she was in pain a soft smile came across her face when she heard Balki’s voice.  “Guys I am so sorry about your vacation.  I wanted it to be the best and look what has happened.  I had it all planned out too.”  Kelsey embarrassed.

“Kelsey it’s okay.  We are more concerned about you getting well and getting out of here.  Although I was planning on seeing the Hollywood Sign though.”  Larry joked.

Kelsey started laughing along but it caused her to start coughing.

“Cousin she needs another sip of water!”  Balki said urgently.

Larry helped Kelsey take another sip.

“Thanks Larry, I think I’m fine now.”  Kelsey said.

All of a sudden Kelsey threw up.

“Oh my Lord!”  Larry said in shock.

“Cousin quickly go get the nurse!  I’m going to stay here with Kelsey.”  Balki said.

Larry quickly went to the nurses’ station.  While he went Balki went into the bathroom and grabbed some paper towels.  Larry then came back with a couple of nurses.  He saw Balki trying help Kelsey get cleaned up.

“We going to need you guys step out for a minute while we get her cleaned up?”  One of the nurse said.

Balki and Larry reluctantly walked out into the hallway.  “Cousin what happened to Kelsey?”  Balki said.

“I don’t know Balki.  I just know that was not a pretty sight.  I hate seeing vomit.”  Larry said shuddering the thought away.

Balki and Larry continued to wait in the hallway.  “What is taking them so long?!”  Larry said getting impatient.  He began pacing back and forth.  “This whole day has been out of sorts.”  Larry said continually to pace back and forth.

“How can a day have 'shorts' Cousin?”  Balki confused.

“Not shorts, Balki.  Sorts.  It means things have not being going right.  They haven’t been going like they should be going.”  Larry frustratedly explain.

“Ohh okay.”  Balki said.

Larry sighed.  “Maybe we shouldn’t have come on this vacation to California.  Kelsey wouldn’t probably be here in the hospital.”  Larry said.

“Cousin what are you saying?”  Balki asked in a shocked tone.

“Balki look around.  Instead of seeing the Walk of Fame, I’m seeing doctors walk down the hall.  Not my ideal place for sightseeing for a vacation.”  Larry sighed.  “Appleton’s Law strikes again.”  He cried.

Balki ears couldn’t believe on what they were hearing.  “Cousin I can’t believe what I am hearing.  Just a few minutes ago you were cool, calm collective Larry Appleton, now you are over the edge, freaking out Larry Appleton.”  Balki said.

“Balki there is only so much calmness I can take and Kelsey throwing up took the last bit of what was left of it.”  Larry said.

“Cousin didn’t you just say a few minutes ago that we need to be strong and be there for Kelsey?  Well how can we do that when you are talking and acting like this?”  Balki said.

Just when Larry was about to answer the nurse came to the door and informed them they could come back in the room.  Balki and Larry went back into Kelsey’s room.  She had a clean hospital gown on and her bed sheets were changed.  She was sitting up in the bed.

“Kelsey are you okay?”  Balki asked concerned.

“I can’t believe that happened in front of you guys.”  Kelsey said embarrassed.  “Talk about embarrassing.”  She said.

Just then Dr. Culver walked.  He saw her awake and sitting up.  “Well, look who’s up!”  Dr. Culver said.  “How you feeling?”  He asked.

“Ehh, okay.  I think okay enough to go home?”  Kelsey said hopefully.

“I wouldn’t go that far young lady.  I think we need to keep you here just a little bit longer.”  Dr. Culver said as he let out a laugh.

“It was worth a try.”  Kelsey mumbled.

“Well it’s good to know your sense of humor hasn’t got sick and gone away.”  Dr. Culver said.

“Kelsey just had a throw up spell.”  Balki said.

“Balki!”  Kelsey said as she gritted her teeth together not wanting the doctor to know.

“I know, the nurse just told me.”  Dr. Culver said.

“Well what could’ve made her throw up like that?”  Larry asked.

“Well most of the time it’s from the pain medicine, one of the side effects is nausea.  When taking it patients don’t want to eat or have much of an appetite, so she gets so sick to the stomach that leads to her throwing up and the more throwing up the more dehydration can occur.”  Dr. Culver explained.  “That’s why it’s important she eats something, even it’s just some chicken noodle soup with some saltine crackers.”  Dr. Culver said.

“Got it doctor.”  Balki said.

“Oh Lord.”  Kelsey mumbled and rolled her eyes and shook her head.

“So that’s another thing we going to make sure too.”  Dr. Culver said.

Kelsey let out a deep sigh.

“How is your pain level Kelsey?”  Dr. Culver asked.  “Better than before.”  She said.

“On a level from 1 to 10?”  He asked.

“It’s about a 7.”  She answered.

“That’s still pretty high.”  He said.

“But it’s dropped since I came in doc.  On a scale to 1 to 10 it was about a 100 and that scale doesn’t even exist but it sure felt like it.”  Kelsey said.

“Well that is why we need to get that pain level down to where it is bearable and you have little to no pain.”  Dr. Culver said.  “So this is what we are going to do: we are going to continue what we have been doing which is giving you the pain medicine, around the clock fluids, and I was looking at your blood counts and they are not low but they are not as high as I would like them, so we are give you a blood transfusion of a unit of blood, and we are also going to make sure you eat something too, it’s very, very important you eat something because we need to get you out of here so you can spend some time with your friends who are here visiting from out of town, isn’t that right?”  Dr. Culver asked.

“That’s right doctor.”  Kelsey said.

“So that’s what we going to do, okay?”  Dr. Culver.

“Okay.”  Kelsey said.

“Do you have any questions?”  He asked.

Kelsey shook he head no.

“We’ll be in touch.”  Dr. Culver said to Larry.

“Thank you Dr. Culver.”  Larry said shaking Dr. Culver’s hand.

“Nice meeting you to son.”  Dr. Culver said turning to Balki.  “Where did you say you were from again?”  He asked.

“I’m from Mypos. A Mediterranean island where the Sheep is our national animal and the island is run by King Ferdinand.”  Balki said.  “But now I live here in America with my Cousin Larry and where I had the opportunity to meet my good friend Kelsey who I love and deeply care about.”  He said.

“Well we’re going to make sure we get Kelsey well so you can spend some time with her.”  Dr. Culver said.

“Thank you doctor, and may I add you have done a wonderful job so far with helping her get well.”  Balki said.

“Well we have just begun.”  Dr. Culver said.  He then walked out the room.

“I don’t want to stay in here that long!”  Kelsey whined.

“But Kelsey it’s for a good reason, it’s to help you get well.”  Balki said.

“But your vacation is getting ruined with me being in here.”  She continued to whine.

“Vacations come and goes like sheep hair, your health is always top shelf priority.  I would rather for the vacation to be ruined than you being sick.  We can always take another vacation.  Right Cousin?”  Balki said.

“Hmm?  Oh, right yeah.”  Larry said not really paying attention.

“See?”  Balki said.

“I just only have to work my butt off to earn more vacation hours.”  Larry mumbled.

“Thanks guys.”  Kelsey said as a small smile came across her face.

“Now do you need anything?”  Balki asked.

“No, not right now…oh!  The dogs!  Can you guys go home and feed them and take them out?  They have an electric feeder and water fountain.  It’s under the sink in the kitchen.  Just put the food and water in it and plug it in.”  Kelsey explained.

“Sure, we can do that, can we Cousin?”  Balki said.

“Oh, yeah I guess we can.”  Larry said.

“A-and while you’re there can you get a couple things for me?”  She asked.

“Sure Kelsey, like what?”  Balki asked.

“Umm, a set of pajamas, they going to be in my drawer on the top right, I hate wearing these hospital gowns, my stuffed Mickey Mouse, he is always comes with me when I am in the hospital, my hairbrush, toothbrush, my scented lotion on the dresser, some socks, and if it’s not too much trouble some underwear.”  Kelsey said.

“Anything else?”  Larry asked.

“Uhh no that’s all I can think of right now.”  Kelsey said.

“Oh!  Can Dimitri come too, maybe he can help Mickey get you well faster.”  Balki said.

Kelsey giggled.  “Sure Balki, I think it will be great for Mickey to have some reinforcements.  Anything to help me get out of here faster.  And what about Kristi?  Is she going to come?”  She asked.

“Kristi didn’t want to come, she said she wanted to stay and watch the apartment while we were gone.”  Balki said.

“So instead of a watchdog, you have a watchsheep?”  She asked.

“You got it!”  Balki said.

“Anything else Kelsey?”  Larry asked trying to break up the weird conversation.

“Umm no that’s all I can think of.”  Kelsey said.

“What about something to eat?”  Balki asked.

“Uh, something to eat?”  Kelsey said not really wanting to answer the question.

“Yeah, remember the doctor said you have to eat something too.”  Balki said reminding her.

“Oh, uh, yeah.”  Kelsey said flatly.

“So what do you want to eat?”  Balki asked.

“Umm…”  Kelsey said as she bit her lower lip looking around.

“Okay Kelsey, time for some vitals.”  The nurse said as she walked.

“Safe.”  Kelsey whispered to herself.

“Okay Kelsey, we’re going to get that stuff for you and we’ll be right back.”  Larry said.

“Don’t go anywhere.”  Balki joked.  “Where do I come up with them!?”  Balki hollered.

Kelsey just smiled as the guys went out the door.  Just then another nurse came in with a bag of blood ready to start her transfusion.

*************************

“I can’t believe this California traffic!”  Larry said angrily.  “This will cause anybody’s blood pressure to go up, get stressed out, and hair loss!  Come on!”  Larry said as he honked the horn.

“Cousin calm down.”  Balki stressed.

“Well Balki look at this traffic!”  Larry cursed.  “It’s like they are not bothered by it all.”  He said.

“Cousin, can you believe Kelsey?”  Balki asked.

“What about her?”  Larry asked.

“How she didn’t want to answer the question of what she wanted to eat.”  Balki said.  “She’s never going to get out the hospital if she doesn’t eat anything.”  He said concerned.

“I know Balki.”  Larry said.

“Cousin she has to eat something if she wants to get well.”  Balki said.

“I know Balki, it’s the medicine makes her so sick to the stomach.”  Larry said.

“But Cousin she has to eat something.  I know!  I’ll make her some Myposian soup.”  Balki said.

“Balki if you make her that she is never going to get well, sickle cell or not.  Finally made it to her place.”  Larry said as he pulled into the condominium complex.

“Oh Cousin.”  Balki scoffed.

“Look Balki, let’s just take care of this and when we go back to the hospital we’ll go to the cafeteria and get her something light to eat, okay?”  Larry said.

“Okay Cousin.”  Balki said.

Balki and Larry were doing the favors that Kelsey asked.  Larry had his clipboard out.  “Okay, the dogs have been fed and watered.”  Larry said as he checked off the list.

“And done their duties outside.”  Balki added.

“Right, we got her a pair of pajamas, her toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, a few pairs of socks…”

“Dimitri and Mickey.”  Balki reminded.

“Yes.”  Larry confirms flatly.

“Oh Cousin, can I bring my Myposian blanket with the sheep on it?”  Balki said.

“Sure Balki I think she will like that.”  Larry said.  “Well I think we got everything.”  He said.

Balki gasped.  “Cousin we forgot to get Kelsey’s you-know-what.”  Balki reminded him.

“Ohh you’re right.”  Larry said as he remembered.  “Balki I feel funny getting her unmentionables.”  He whined.

“Cousin they just underwear, everybody wears them.”  Balki said.

“Yes but it still feels funny getting them, I use to hate when it was time to go school shopping my mom would take us and we all had to go that section to get them for my sisters. It always made me feel uncomfortable.”  Larry said as he squirmed.

“Ohh Cousin, look I’ll tell you what, since Kelsey told us where they are, we close our eyes, pick a few up and toss them in the bag.  That way we won’t see them and you won’t feel less of a man.”  Balki said.

“Fine.”  Larry said as he gritted his teeth together not liking the last part that Balki said.

“Okay Cousin, come on.”  Balki said.  Balki opened the drawer and both him and Larry covered their eyes and reached in, grabbed a few and tossed them in a bag.  Larry didn’t know Balki grabbed his handful already and was in the process of still getting his and Balki shut the drawer on his hand.

“Oww!!” Larry screamed in pain.

“Oh Cousin sorry!”  Balki said as he quickly opened the drawer back.

Larry pulled his hand out and what was attached to it was one of Kelsey’s bras.  “Ahh!  Balki get it off!”  Larry shrieked as he was trying to flick it off.

“What Cousin?”  Balki said.

“Get…get it off!!!!!”  Larry screamed still trying to flick it off.

Balki pulled the bra off Larry’s hand.  Larry gave Balki an angry stare.

“Cousin what the big deal is?  You act like it was a bug.”  Balki said.

“Let’s just go!”  Larry said as he gritted his teeth.

“Okay Cousin.”  Balki said as he picked up the bag.  “Oh Cousin since we going to be staying at the hospital I also packed us a bag of clothes too.”  He said.

“Oh great.”  Larry said as he let out deep sigh.

Balki and Larry headed back to the hospital.  “Cousin, do you think we can stop by the gift shop and get Kelsey some flowers and ba-lloons for her?”  Balki asked.

“Sure Balki, we can do that.  She will like that.”  Larry said.

“Do you think they have a ba-lloon that says ‘Get well soon Kelsey from you buddies Balki and Cousin Larry who loves you dearly’?”  Balki asked.

“Uh I think that one will already be taken.”  Larry said flippantly.

“Oh okay, what about one that just says ‘Get well soon’?”  Balki asked.

“I think they may have something like that one.”  Larry said.

“Yay!”  Balki cheered.

*************************

“I can’t believe $80 spent in the gift shop?!”  Larry complained as him and Balki walked out the gift shop.

“Oh Cousin but Kelsey is going to love these gifts we got her.”  Balki said holding the balloons.

“But $40 for a plant?!”  Larry whined as he held the plant up.

“But Cousin it’s so pretty and the gift shop person said it will last a lifetime channel.”  Balki said.

“Well for $40 it better water and put itself in the sun by itself.”  Larry said sternly and shook his head.

“Cousin don’t be ridiculous, plants can’t take care of themselves.”  Balki said as he took off walking toward the elevators.  Larry just twisted his face up to a confused look and followed behind.

They got off the elevators and were walking to Kelsey’s room when they saw an unpleasant sight.  There were nurses frantically running in and out of Kelsey’s room.  Balki and Larry stopped in their tracks.

“Cousin what is going on?  There are nurses swarming in and out of Kelsey’s room!  That doesn’t look good!”  Balki said worried.

“I don’t know Balki, I hope it’s nothing serious.”  Larry said.

They both rushed over and were about to go in when they were stopped.  “I’m sorry you gentleman can’t go in there, immediate family only.”  The nurse said standing in front of the door.

“Well we aren’t immediate family, but we are on the list of being friends in case of an emergency contacts, I’m Larry Appleton and this is my cousin Balki Bartokomous.  What’s going on?  Is everything okay?”  Larry asked in a worried tone leading up to a panic one.

“You all not any relation to Miss Brighton at all?”  The nurse asked them while looking at her chart.

“No!  We’re her friends that’s been in care of her.”  Larry stressed.

Just then Dr. Culver walked up.  “Ah!  Mr. Appleton, I’ve been trying to contact you.”  He said.   He then turned to the nurse.  “It’s okay, they are fine.”  He said as the nurse put the chart back and heading back to the nurses’ station.  Dr. Culver then turned back to Larry and Balki.

“Doctor what is going on?!”  Larry stressed.

“Let’s step over into the waiting room please.”  Dr. Culver said.

Balki and Larry followed Dr. Culver to the waiting room.

“Like I said I’ve been trying to contact you.”  Dr. Culver said.

“We went to go get Kelsey some things she asked for from her house and some gifts from the gift shop.”  Larry explained.  “What has happened?”  He asked.

“Well while you guys were gone Kelsey’s heart rate dropped and her pulse got weak too.”  Dr. Culver explained.

“Is - is that common for that to happen?”  Larry asked.

“Uh yes and no.  Apparently this crisis is worse than expected.  It turns out her BPM deceased to 38, her PR became weak and somewhat thready and her pulse ox was unstable.”  Dr. Culver said.

“But right before we left she seemed to be doing…well okay.”  Larry said.

“Well that’s what so crazy about this disease, it’s so unpredictable.  It has you thinking you are coming when you are actually going.”  Dr. Culver said.

Larry just let out a sigh.   Balki had a terrified look on his face.  "H-how is she now?”  Larry asked.

“Well once again we have her stable, but we are keeping a close eye on her.”  Dr. Culver said.

Larry let out a small sigh of relief.

“Kelsey was also complaining of some itching and was scratching and that is common when on the pain medicine, so we also gave her some Benadryl to help out with that, but as you know with that it knocks you out as well, so she may be sleeping quite a lot.”  Dr. Culver explained.

“More medicine.”  Larry mumbled.

“Is she sleeping now?”  Balki asked.

“Yes she is.”  Dr. Culver said.

Balki and Larry just hung their heads.

“But we did start her blood transfusion and it’s getting close to being done."  Dr. Culver’s beeper went off.  “Excuse me, I’m being paged, I’ll be back around to check on her.”  Dr. Culver said.  He then walked off.

Larry let out a sigh.  “This is getting ridiculous!  They are steadily giving her medicine and it doesn’t seem like it’s helping her or getting her well.”  Larry said.

“Cousin…”  Balki said trying to stop Larry from going off the deep end which he knew was coming.

“We leave for a few minutes and we come back and she seems is worse off than she was before.”  Larry said.

“Cousin, the doctors and nurses seem to be doing all they can for her.”  Balki said.

“Well it doesn’t seem like it.”  Larry fumed.  “Balki our vacation will be over in a few days and look what we have done so far, except go to the beach.”  Larry said.

“I know Cousin but we also came here to spend time with Kelsey.”  Balki said.

“Well this is not how I planned on spending it.”  Larry grumbled.

“Cousin, can we please just go in there and be there for Kelsey?”  Balki whined.

Larry just sighed.  Balki went into the room.  Larry waited out in the hall for a few minutes.  He finally walked in.  He saw the blood bag hanging from her IV and shuddered a little.  He then heard Balki talking to Kelsey.

“Hi Kelsey, I know you can’t see these yet, but Cousin Larry and I brought you some wonderful get well gifts.”  He said as he started pulling the gifts out the bag, “We got you some ba-lloons that says ‘Get well soon’.”  He tied the balloons to her bed.  “This pretty plant, and this musical box that plays pretty soft music.”  Balki opened the musical box to let the soft music play for a minute.  He closed it back up.  “And look who I brought?”  Balki pulled out Dimitri and Mickey.  “They are here ready for duty.”  Balki said he gently placed the stuffed mouse and stuffed sheep on each side of Kelsey.  "I also brought you my Myposian blanket with the sheep on them."  He placed the blanket on top of the other blankets.  He then sat down in the chair and held Kelsey’s hand and rubbed it gingerly as he watched her sleep.

Larry was still upset and tired about the situation that he decided to go to sleep in the fold-out chair that was in Kelsey’s room.

*************************

After about two more hours the blood transfusion was finally finished and the IV machine started to beep.  Larry was too sound asleep to hear it and Balki knew the nurse would be coming in real soon which a nurse did.  She paused the machine and flushed Kelsey’s IV line with some saline.  She then took her vitals.

“She’s still asleep?”  The nurse asked quietly.

Balki shook his head.

“Okay, I’ll get her temperature later.”  The nurse said quietly.  Balki nodded.

“You need anything?”  She asked.  Balki shook his head no.  She threw the bag of blood away and the lines and then walked out.

*************************

          “Balki?  You still up?”  Larry said as he got up from the fold-out chair and turned the light on.  It was wee hours of the morning.  Balki was still sitting in the chair by Kelsey’s bed holding her hand.

“Yes Cousin.”  He said quietly.

Larry walked over to Balki.  “Balki, come on you need to get some sleep.”  Larry said.

“Cousin I can’t. I don’t want to leave Kelsey’s side again.”  Balki said still sitting in the chair not letting go of her hand.

“Balki I know that but you have been up for over 12 hours.  You need some rest.”  Larry urged him.

"Cousin I will rest when Kelsey gets well and feels better.”  Balki protested.

Larry rubbed his fingers through his hair to figure out what to say next.  “Uhh well you haven’t had anything to eat in the last 12 hours either.  Why don’t I go down and get you something to eat?”  Larry suggested.

“Cousin I’ll eat when Kelsey eats.”  Balki said.

“But Balki with all this medicine she’s on, who knows when she will eat.”  Larry said.

“Well then I’ll wait.  Cousin on Mypos when a person is sick you treat yourself as if you are that person who is sick.  If they not eating, you don’t eat, if they have a fever, you have a fever, if they body aches, your body aches. If -- .”  Balki said.

“Balki I get the picture.”  Larry said as he stopped him.  “But this is America and here in America if you are well you treat yourself as continue to be well so you don’t get sick.  Now I’m going to get you something to eat.”  Larry demanded.

“Cousin you can go get it but I am not going to eat it.”  Balki protested.

Larry threw his hands up in defeat and walked out the room.

Balki got up and gently fluffed Kelsey’s pillows, he then adjusted her sheets and made sure Dimitri and Mickey were properly covered up like Kelsey was.  He took his vest off and laid it on top of the blanket across her.  “There.  I hope you are comfortable and not feeling any pain while you’re sleeping.”  Balki whispered as he sat back down.  He held her hand again and resume to rubbing it gingerly.  “Oh Kelsey, I wish you would you were awake and feeling better.  I miss seeing your smile and you making me and Cousin Larry laugh or putting Cousin Larry in his place when he acts up.  I miss you just being your wonderful, pretty, simply loving life and having fun self.”  Balki said softly as he talked to her.  “Maybe the Myposian Gods of Health can help you get well quicker.”  Balki whispered.  He then held her hand a little tighter and held his head up.  “Myposian Gods of Health, please help my friend Kelsey get well quicker.  Please stop her sickle cells from being the shape of a banana and causing her to be in pain, please help her get taken off these machines and not have to take all this medicine that upsets her stomach and to where she can eat something, please help her to wake up being pain free to where she can spend some time with Cousin Larry and I, but also to where she can come home and not be in any pain for a long time. Please … ”  Balki’s voice trailed off.

Larry came back to the room with a handful of food.  He opened the door and was about to walk in when he heard Balki speaking softly.  Larry listened for a minute.  “…Please Myposian Gods of Health, simply just watch over her and help her get well so she can go home soon.”  He ended it saying something in Myposian.  Larry let out a little sigh that was followed with a little smile and went quietly back out in the hall.  He then to held his head up.

*************************

Kelsey fluttered her eyes and looked around the room.  There she saw a curly haired fellow soundly asleep in the fold out chair and brown haired fellow with his head on the bed soundly asleep still holding her hand.  She smiled when she saw this lovely sight.

It was now early morning.  She also saw the lovely balloons that were tied to her bed and the flowers and gifts on her table.  She continued to enjoy the adorable sight.  Her throat was dry which made her to start coughing lightly.  It caused Balki and Larry to wake up.  They quickly jumped up and focused their attention to her.

There was a cup of juice on the table.  Balki grabbed it and helped her take a sip with the bendy straw.  “Thanks Balki.”  Kelsey said.  “I’m sorry I woke you guys up.  You guys looked so peaceful sleeping a well-deserved sleep.”  She said.

“Ohh Kelsey it’s okay.  How are you feeling?”  Balki asked.

Kelsey let out a content sigh.  “Still in some pain but much better than before.”  She said.

"Are you sure?  You gave us quite a scare when we came back.”  Balki said.

“Yes I’m quite sure.”  Kelsey said as she giggled.

“What are your pain levels?”  Balki asked.

“It’s about a five.”  Kelsey replied.

“That’s still pretty high.”  Larry said concerned.

“Yes but it’s not as bad as-...”  Kelsey then stopped and grabbed her stomach.

“What?  What’s wrong?”  Balki asked a little scared.

“Mother nature is calling.”  Kelsey said.

“She is?  I didn’t hear the phone ring.”  Balki said looking at the phone.

“Balki, that’s not what that means, it means that Kelsey has to go to the bathroom … Oh my Lord!”  Larry said as his eyes grew wide.

“Cousin should we go get the nurses!?”  Balki said concerned.

“Guys, I can go to the bathroom, I just need you guys’ help.”  Kelsey said.

"Help?  You - you want our help?  I - I don’t know.  What if we hurt you?  What if pull something out?  You have so many wires coming out of you.  What if we…”  Larry babbled going into panic mode.

“Guys!”  Kelsey hollered.  “It’s okay.  I trust you.”  Kelsey said gently followed by a soft smile.

“You do?”  Larry said with hope in his eyes.

“Yes, you got me here didn’t you?”

“Yes.”  Larry said.

“And you guys haven’t left my side haven’t you?”

“No we haven’t.  Only when you asked for us too.”  Larry said.

“So what’s so different about this?”  Kelsey said as a twinkle sparked in her eyes.

Larry saw the twinkle and let out a little smile.  “Okay.”  He said.

“Okay, Balki unplug the IV from the wall and wrap the cord around the top.”  Kelsey said as she took the nasal cannula off.  Balki did that.

“Kelsey, please be careful.”  Larry said concerned.

“Okay.”  She said as she took off the pulse ox meter and threw the covers back and carefully swung her legs around.  She winced a little at the pain.  “Okay, this is where I need you guys.”  She said as she extended her arms out.  Balki and Larry came on each side of her.  “Okay, gently and slowly pull me up.”  She said.

Larry said unsure, “Uh Kelsey, don’t you think we should get the professionals?”

“Larry come on, don’t chicken out on me now.  I said I trust you.  I’d rather have you guys do it than them.  Now come on.”  She said as she extended her arms back out.

“Okay, come on Balki.”  Larry said as he let out a deep sigh.

Balki and Larry each took one of Kelsey’s arms and gently pulled her up and were careful of the IV lines.  She winced again at the pain.  She was up on her feet.

“Okay, let’s head for the bathroom.  Balki you follow closely behind with the IV pole.”  Kelsey said as she began to carefully walk leaning on Larry using him for balance.

“Wait Kelsey, I don’t think he’s capable of doing that.  Maybe I should do it.”  Larry said holding on to Kelsey and walking slowly at her pace.

“Larry…ow…let him…ow…try.  If he’s not…able…ow… to…ow… do it…ow...you can…ow take…ow… over.”  Kelsey said as she carefully walked and winced at each step she took.

“Okay, but Balki make sure you are careful of those IV lines.”  Larry said sternly and still helping Kelsey.

The guys continued to help Kelsey as she slowly made her way to the bathroom.  They were real patient and gentle with her.  The short trip to the bathroom seemed like a long journey and she was still in a good amount of pain.  They finally made it.  Larry placed his hand on the knob while Kelsey still leaned on him.

“Okay, Balki if you can bring the IV pole around so I can lean on it.”  She said.

Balki did exactly that.   She then let go of Larry and used the IV pole as balance.

“I think I can manage from here.”  She said. 

“You sure going to be okay in there?”  Larry asked.

“I’ll be okay.”  Kelsey said as she pulled the door open.

“Okay, well Balki and I going to be waiting right here by the door until you come out.”  Larry said.

“Okay.”  Kelsey said as she grunted and slowly walked in closing the door behind her.

“Cousin, you think we doing a good job so far?”  Balki asked.

“I think we are doing a great job.”  Larry said proudly.

“I was really careful with the IV and the cords.”  Balki said.

“You certainly were.”  Larry said praising him.  “And you were good walking with Kelsey while she leaned on you.”  Balki acknowledged.

“I was, was I?”  Larry said as he smiled with pride.

“I’m glad we are able to help her, but hate she can’t walk like she normally can.”  Balki sadly said.

“I know Balki, me too.”  Larry sympathized.

They then heard the toilet flush and the sound of water coming from the sink.  “Well that sound sounds good, that means she was able to manage in there.”  Larry said relieved.  Then the door opened up.

“Wow, it’s nothing like being hooked up to an IV and having an IV pole and IV cords along with you while you taking care of your business.”  Kelsey said as she slowly walked out pushing the IV pole.

Balki and Larry both reassumed their positions.  “Ready to head back to bed?”  Larry asked.

Kelsey sighed.  “I suppose.”  She gave Balki the IV pole back and grabbed on to Larry.  She carefully and slowly walked back to the bed while Balki followed closely behind with the IV pole.  She finally made it to the bed.  She slowly climbed in and winced at every movement she made.

“Take it easy Kelsey.”  Balki whispered.  Balki helped maneuver the lines as she climbed in.

“There, I think I’m all the way in.”  Kelsey said.  Larry covered her back up.  Balki plugged the IV back into the wall.

“Kelsey don’t you need to put you’re oxygen back on?”  Balki asked.

“Ugh!  Yeah.”  Kelsey groaned at the idea of having to put the oxygen back on.  She then put it back on as well as the pulse ox meter.  “Whew!  That was like a workout.”  Kelsey joked.  “But thank you for helping me.  You guys were awesome!  Told ya we didn’t need the professionals, I’ve got my professionals right here.”  She said followed by a smile.

Larry blushed a little.  “Well I’m glad we were able to help.”  He said.

“Kelsey are you ready to eat something?”  Balki asked.

Kelsey got nervous and again tried to dodge the question.  “Uhh…”

Just then Dr. Culver walked in.  Kelsey let out a small sigh of relief.

“Well look who’s up.  And how are we feeling?”  Dr. Culver asked.

“Better.”  Kelsey said.

“And what level of pain are you having?”  He asked.

“It’s now down to a five.”

“Well that’s great to hear and to know we are making progress.”  He said.

“So that means I can go home right?”  Kelsey asked.

Dr. Culver laughed.  “You are a funny girl.  No not just yet.  Let me examine you at least.”  He said as he put the stethoscope in his ear.

“Do you want my friends to step out?”  She asked.

“No they can stay.”  He said.  He then began to examine her.

“I hope Kelsey gets a good progress report.”  Balki whispered to Larry.

“Me too.”  Larry responded.

“Well everything looks good, so I think we are going to take you off the IV pain meds and give you pain meds by mouth and see how you manage.  We are going to continue to give you fluids and your oxygen level has gone up so I bet you want get taken off that oxygen, so we also going to take you off that too.  I want you to however get out the bed for a minute even if it’s just sitting in the chair.  I bet you would like to get a bath, huh?”

“Yes.”  She replied.

“Well we'll get you washed up and get your bed sheets changed.  Sounds good?”  Dr. Culver asked.

“Sounds great.”  Kelsey responded.

“Have you had anything to eat yet?”

“Um, no.”  Kelsey responded in a low tone.

“We need you to eat something too.”

Kelsey took in a deep sigh.  “Okay.”  She pouted.

Dr. Culver chuckled.  “I have to say you are one of my funny patients that I have had.”

Kelsey cracked a forceful smile.

“Okay, so that’s the game plan, I will give the nurse the orders and I will check on you tomorrow.  Do you need any pain medicine intravenously to take off any edge before we start you on the medicine by mouth?”  He asked.

“Um yes but not at the moment, can you just put the order in and when I do need it I can ask for it?”  She asked.

“Okay, I’ll do that.  Do you have any more questions?”  He asked.

Kelsey shook her head no.

“Okay and make sure you eat something too, okay?”

Kelsey just made a face.

“Nice seeing you gentleman again.”  Dr. Culver said shaking Larry’s hands.

“Likewise.”  Larry said shaking his hand back.  Dr. Culver then went to Balki to shake his hand, but Balki gave him a hug.  Dr. Culver then walked out.

“Well that sounded good and hopeful.”  Larry said.

“Yeah.”  Kelsey said unenthusiastically.

“Kelsey what’s wrong?  You may be going home soon.”  Larry said.

“No I’m happy about that, it’s they always want me to eat something and I don’t want to eat anything.  I’ll eat when I’m ready.”  Kelsey protested.

“But Kelsey you haven’t had anything to eat since we went to the beach.  That’s been a few days ago.”  Balki said.

“But you guys haven’t had anything either.”

“That’s because we haven’t had a chance to because we have been worried about you.  Not saying it’s your fault.”  Larry said.

“Well you guys should go get something to eat then.”  Kelsey suggested.

“What about you?” Balki asked.

“I don’t want anything.”

“But Kelsey you should-.”

“Balki I said I didn’t want anything to eat!”  Kelsey said as she raised her voice.

A sad and hurt look formed on Balki’s face.  “Okay Kelsey, I’m sorry.”  He said sadly.

Kelsey sighed regretting what she just did.  “Balki, I’m-.”

Just then the nurse walked in.  “Well hello Miss Brighton.  I’m here to check your vitals.”  The nurse said.

“Okay.”  Kelsey mumbled.

The nurse began to check Kelsey’s vitals.  Balki and Larry were off in the distance while the nurse did this.  She then wrote on her pad.  “Well everything looks good.  Did Dr. Culver come in here and explain to you what he wants you do from now on?”  The nurse asked.

“Yes he did.”  Kelsey said.

“Good.  So since I was thinking you can wash up and get your sheets changed and that way would be up for a minute.”  The nurse suggested.

“That sounds good.”  Kelsey said.

“Well Kelsey while you’re getting washed up Balki and I are going to go get something to eat.”  Larry said.

“Are you Miss Brighton’s friends who are on vacation visiting her from out of town?”  The nurse asked.

“Yeah we are, but it really haven’t been much of a vacation since…well…”  Larry said then stopped.

“I have an idea, after Miss Brighton gets washed, while she is getting her bed changed you guys can go to the hospital’s tranquility garden.”

“The tranquility garden?”  Larry repeated.

“Yes, it’s a garden with plenty of colorful flowers with information about each flower, relaxing fountains, a pond with a mini waterfall and a mini bridge that you can go over, with fish and flowers in it, and decorations of handprints and notes donated by children around Los Angeles.  It’s located on the 9th floor and it was built for the hospital through donations and the help of volunteers and it’s just a place where patients and their loved ones can go through and enjoy and just forget about being sick and being stuck in the hospital.  It gives them an opportunity to spend time with their loved ones without nurses and doctors being around talking about medicine and all that, and it gets them get to get out of the hospital for a minute too.  Plus it provides a lovely, wonderful aerial view of Los Angeles and I think today is a non-smoggy day and it would be getting her out the bed like the doctor ordered.”  The nurse said.  “What do you say Miss Brighton?”  She asked.

“I guess I don’t have much of a choice, do I?”  Kelsey said dryly.

The nurse chuckled.  “No I guess you don’t.  So how about we get you washed up while your friends go get something to eat?”  The nurse suggested.

“Okay, well we’ll be back.”  Larry said as he walked out.  Balki followed sadly behind.

“You have some really sweet friends.”  The nurse said.

“Yeah, I do.”  Kelsey said as she let out a sigh still feeling bad what she did to Balki.

*************************

Balki and Larry were walking down the hall to the cafeteria.  “I still can’t believe Kelsey yelled at me like she did.”  Balki said sadly.

“Balki I’m sure and know she didn’t mean too.”  Larry said.

“But Cousin I just want her to eat something so she can come home.  You heard what Dr. Culver said.  I’m just worried and concerned about her.  She’s already been through so much.”  Balki said.

“I know Balki but we can’t make her eat even though she needs too.”  Larry said.

“I know Cousin, I just want her well and back to the Kelsey that we know.”  Balki said sadly.

Larry put a comforting hand on Balki's shoulder.  “I know you do buddy; I know you do, as do I.”  Larry said.

They finally reached the cafeteria.  “Come on let’s get a bite to eat.”  Larry said as they walked in the cafeteria.

*************************

“How you feeling Miss Brighton?”  The nurse asked.

“Oh, better.  Clean.”  Kelsey said as she sat in a chair with her pajamas on that Balki and Larry bought her from home and some socks and footies on her feet.

“Well I want you to have a wonderful time in the garden with your friends.”  The nurse said.

Kelsey shook her head in agreement.

Balki and Larry walked in the room and saw Kelsey sitting in the chair.  “Well who is this lovely lady sitting in the chair?”  Larry said as he bowed down to Kelsey.

“Oh Larry stop it!”  Kelsey said as she blushed.

Larry smiled as he got up and Balki walked up behind him.  He didn’t say anything.  “Hi Balki.”  Kelsey said awkwardly.

“Hi Kelsey.”  Balki replied in a low tone.

“Balki I’m sorry I didn’t mean to raise my voice at you, it’s just…well…”  Kelsey said as she stopped.

Balki knelt down in front of her.  “I know Kelsey, it’s just that I love you and want you get well so you can come home.”  Balki said.

“I know Balki.”  Kelsey said as she let out a meek smile.

The nurse walked in with a wheelchair.  “Well how about we get this lovely lady out to the garden and get a little sun while we put some clean sheets on her bed?”  The nurse said.

“Okay.”  Kelsey said.

Balki and Larry gently helped her out the chair and slowly walked her over to the wheelchair.  The nurse pushed the IV over as the guys helped her.  She sat down.  The nurse put a blanket over her legs.  “There are we all comfy?”

Kelsey shook her head yes.

“Okay, have fun!”  The nurse said as she walked out the room.

“Cousin, can I push Kelsey in the wheelchair?”  Balki asked.

“No, I’m going to push her and you follow with IV.”  Larry said sternly.

“Oh Cousin please?”  Balki begged.

“No.”

“Please?”

“No.”

Kelsey just sat with her head resting on the palm of her cheek and shook her head from side to side as their bickering went on.

“Please?”

“No.”

“Please?”

“No.”

“Oh please!”  Balki said as dropped his head and began to cry.

“All right.”  Larry said as he finally gave in.

“Okay!”  Balki said as he raised his head happily.  Balki got behind the wheelchair and grabbed the bars.  Larry took ahold to the IV.

“Are we ready now?”  Kelsey asked slightly annoyed.

“Yep I think so.  The secret garden awaits.”  Balki said.  He began to push off the wheelchair but it didn’t budge.  He tried again, still nothing.  “I think that nurse brought us a broken wheelchair.”  Balki said.

“Balki the wheelchair is not broken.  The brakes are on.”  Kelsey said.  She then lifted up the brakes for him.

“Ohhh!”  Balki realized.  The wheelchair then pushed off with ease.  Larry followed behind with the IV as the three of them went in tow out the room.

*************************

"Mmmm, aahh.  Isn’t this nice?  A wonderful way for us to get away from all that hospital activity.”  Larry said as he looked around at the scenery and took in a deep breath and absorb the fresh air.

“It is nice up here.”  Kelsey said.

“You can see all of LA up here.”  Balki said amazed.  “Cousin, look there’s the Hollywood Sign!”  Balki pointed to the sign that was in the distance.

“I see Balki.”  Larry said as he smiled.

“I want to see Disneyland.”  Balki said as he tried to spot Disneyland.

“Balki I don’t think we will be able to see Disneyland from here.  Disneyland is kind of on the outskirts of LA.  We’re like 45 minutes from Disneyland.”  Kelsey explained.

“Oh.”  Balki said.

They continued to look out.  “Kelsey I think I see your condo!”  Balki said.

Kelsey giggled.  “Maybe you can Balki.”  She said.

“Come on, let’s see more of the garden.”  Larry said.

Balki slowly pushed her in the wheelchair around as Larry followed behind with the IV.

“I love fountains.”  Kelsey said as they went past a fountain.

“I like fountains too Kelsey.”  Balki said.

They continued to walk around.  They came upon the pond.  “Cousin look at the pond!”  Balki said excitedly.  “Can we go up close to it?”  He asked.

“Balki be careful rolling Kelsey across the bridge."  Larry ordered.

“Cousin I know!”  Balki said.  Balki gently rolled her over the bridge and stopped.  “Cousin look!  Look at the fish swimming in the pond!”  Balki said excitedly as he pointed toward the fish in the pond.

“I see Balki.”  Larry said as he looked in the pond.

“They look so happy, so free.”  Kelsey said as she looked as well and let out a little sigh.

“Look there is a shaded spot for us to sit in.”  Larry said as he pointed toward the spot.  They all walked over to the shaded spot.  Balki parked the wheelchair next to the bench and Larry put the brakes on it.  They both took a seat on the bench.

“Kelsey you doing okay?”  Balki asked.

Kelsey shook her head.  “Yeah, I’m fine right now.”

“Good, let us know if you start to feel bad.  We will take you back inside.”  Balki said.

“Okay Balki.”  Kelsey said.

All three of them look out at the view.

“I’m sorry you’re vacation got ruined guys.”  Kelsey said disappointedly.

“Oh, it didn’t get ruined.”  Balki said sympathetically.

“Yeah it didn’t ruined, (mumbles) much.”  Larry said.

“It did get ruined because I ended up in here.”  Kelsey said.  “I had everything planned out.  I wanted to show you guys all around LA.”  She said upsettingly.

“But Kelsey if you did think about it we did see all of LA.”  Balki said.

“Really?  How?”  Kelsey asked.

“From right here.  Balki said.

“Yep and with you?”  Larry said.

“I-I don’t understand.”  Kelsey said confused.

Balki got up and walked over toward the view with his arms wide open.  “We saw LA from right here and we saw it with you.”  Balki said.

Kelsey still had a confused look on her face.

Balki went back over to the wheelchair and took her hand.  “Kelsey, we didn’t get to LA like you had planned out, we did see most of LA right here.  Cousin Larry got to see the Hollywood Sign and a few days ago I got to go to beach and play in the water and ride a jet ski boat.  So just because we didn’t get to go to those places physically, we got to see them right here and with our good friend who is on her way of getting well and being free from her pain of sickle cells.”  Balki said.

Kelsey forced out a smile.

“Balki’s right Kelsey, and we didn’t waste of drop of gas either.”  Larry joked.

Kelsey laughed.  “Well out of all that I guess that was the best part on our end.”

“So our vacation didn’t get ruined, it just got switched around a little and we saw LA in just a different way.”  Balki said.

“You guys are wonderful and I’m lucky to have you in my life.”  Kelsey said as she cracked a smile.

“We love you Kelsey.”  They said as they both gave her a hug on each side.

She then sighed contently.  “You know what guys?  I think I have a taste for a chicken tenders and fries.”  Kelsey said.

“Oh Kelsey, I’m so happy to hear that!  You have made me the happiest Mypiot in the world!”  Balki said excitedly.

“I thought that would make you happy Balki.”  Kelsey said as she giggled.

“What do you say we head to the cafeteria?”  Larry said.

All of a sudden Kelsey’s IV started beeping.  “Well with that sound I guess we should head back to your room.”  Larry said.

When the gang arrived back at Kelsey’s room, her bed was made and Dimitri and Mickey were sitting promptly in it.   Balki and Larry rolled her close to her bed, put the brakes on and gently helped her climbed back in bed.  Kelsey winced a little at the pain.

The IV was still beeping.  Larry plugged the IV back into the wall while Balki covered her up.

“Well Kelsey it looks like you are out fluids.”  Larry said looking at the IV while it was still beeping.

“Kelsey how you feeling?”  Balki asked.

“Oh, a little exhausted.”  Kelsey said.

“I thought I heard someone’s IV beeping.”  The nurse said walking in a with a new bag fluids.  She hung the new bag of fluids then took some vitals on her.  “So how was the garden?”  The nurse asked.

“It was nice, it felt good to have the sun shine on me.”  Kelsey said.

“Well I’m glad you made an effort and went.  How’s your pain?”  She asked.

“I’m in a little bit of amount of pain, could I possibly get some IV pain medicine?”  Kelsey asked.

“Sure, but you know this the last dose of IV pain medicine.  After this we going to NPO and put you on oral pain medication and see how that goes.  Hopefully it goes well and you can home.”  The nurse said.

“Okay, that sounds good.”  Kelsey said.  The nurse left out the room.

“Kelsey you still want your chicken tenders and fries?”  Balki asked.

“Yes Balki, but I don’t feel up to going down to the cafeteria now.”  Kelsey said as she groaned a little in pain.

“Well that’s okay, we will go get it and bring it up here.”  Balki said.

“Thank you Balki.”  Kelsey said.

“What type of sauce you want for your chicken tenders?”  Balki asked.

“Um Bar-B-Que sounds fine.”  Kelsey said.

“Okay, coming right up.”  Balki said.

“Thanks Balki.”  Kelsey said.  The guys walked out the room.

Continue to Part Three . . . .