What's A Dedicated Captain Like You Doing..
Note: Music soundtrack is high quality and slow loading in some cases.
"Good! Then go away cause I'm telling you, I'm perfectly--"|
Dixie sneezed and immediately, she gasped,
"Oh, really?" Gage moved in for the kill. "That was normal,
Come on, Dix. Let me see your stomach!" Johnny said,
reaching out for palpating check.
whipped up the blanket to her chin, deflecting
Johnny's hands as she resumed her angry stare.
me, and I swear I'll bite your hand off!
Today is gonna be all MINE!" she yelled, barely
it below a quiet roar.
a problem here?" came an authoritative
Both the battling Dixie and Gage looked up, kinda
startled for a moment. They had forgotten about
the cop being there. And his report.
"Nope. Not at all." they both stuttered.
"We're through.." said Dixie firmly. Johnny said
same words, meekly obedient. "We're through,
officer.. uh,...I guess.."
"Okay, then you wouldn't
mind if I go over a few
details with Miss McCall here about the Miller boy.
That's if.. you found
that she's still medically ABLE to.."
the police officer hinted.
"I AM." Dixie punctuated,
dismissing Johnny with
Johnny cleared his throat uncomfortably. "Go right
officer." Gage postured, backing away and
wrapping up his stethoscope.
He fired off one last
glare at her when the cop wasn't looking.
"You call us back if ANY of those symptoms return. Understood?!"
he hissed, stabbing down a finger at the air. That gesture
immediately turned into a farewell wave
when the police man
glanced up at Johnny with a disapproving raised eyebrow.
"Mother's keeper.." And then she stuck out
her tongue at him. "In...your....dreams..."
So, having chalked up one save and another one as unresolved,
Station 51 tucked their tails back
between their legs and
left the neighborhood. The engine returned to base as unavailable
squad remained 10-7 to Rampart until everyone was
freed up from their mutual responsibilities.
Gage continued to pore over Dixie's symptoms.
"Maybe I should let one of the docs know about her."
to Chet on the way back.
"I wouldn't if I were you. You still have to WORK with
Dixie later on,
man. Do you really want to face her once she's over that cold
It was an hour later, not long after the Miller boy had been
stabilized cardiac wise from respiratory
acidosis. He had gone
on to Broncoscopy for a thorough check on the extent of the
that he sustained from his aspiration of
chlorinated pool water into both his lungs.
very happy with the teenager's labwork, C spine
and chest x-ray films. He was being kept under the
agent to thwart another surprise occurance of intubation
laryngospasm. The boy had been
reunited with his family
and things looked good on the EEG. Dr. Brackett was almost
no brain damage took place while he had been
arrested. ::Helps that someone was there to work on his
so quickly.:: he theorized. ::My gut feeling on his neurological status
be confirmed when he wakes up tomorrow morning.::
That line of thinking reminded Kel yet again
of his short,
revealing conversation with Roy DeSoto about Dixie McCall.
The four firemen from
51's had gone back to the station as soon
as they were freed from the Miller kid's care and paperwork,
jammed together in the rescue squad. He had wished that
he could've talked to Johnny Gage directly
about his head nurse's
symptomatic findings, but he had been too tied up with his
surgical intubation procedure.
Kelly Brackett excused himself from the Emergency Department
letting Carol know that he'd be in his office for a few minutes.
His simple nod and gesture toward
its ornately polished dark oaken
door guaranteed that Carol would indeed notify him the moment
patient case announced itself either by paramedic biophone
or via the waiting room.
of hospital activity was mercifully muffled when he
shut the door behind himself. Kel Brackett immediately
to the olive green phone on the desk.
His fingers danced over a familar sequence of numbers
the rotary dial and he impatiently sat through four telephone
rings before he finally heard
a sleepy voice pick up. "Dix?
It's Kel." he began. "Talk to me."
He heard a tired groan on
the other end of the line followed by
a tight cough and a rustling of blankets when McCall's gravelly
voice finally addressed him. "...hmm. Kel? For Pete's sake, what
time is it?"
"Time for your
attending physician to get some answers pronto."
he said firmly. "Just what were you thinking when
you sent the
paramedics away following your little stunt nose diving into
your apartment complex's
In a point assuredly in her favor in Dr. Brackett's book, Dixie
got angry. "Give me one good reason why
I shouldn't hang up on you right now, Kel Brackett. I was
soundly for the first time in..."
"Roy DeSoto. He was worried enough about you to
let me know
what had happened to you in the Treatment Room after your neighbor
was brought in."
Brackett fired back.
"That b*st*rd!" and there was a silence on the other end of the phone.
Whatever happened to patient/paramedic confidentiality?! I didn't know
Johnny Gage was such an irritating
example of a gossiping SOB!"
"Pipe down! He only did his job like any paramedic worth his salt
should've done. He notified his attending medical director of a potential
medical problem. The fact
that he did it through his partner's a moot point
and you know it."
Dixie quieted down, thinking
of her unexpected rescue victim. "How's
Ger doing?" she asked, sitting up in bed, smothering up a
it wouldn't be apparent vocally.
The lamp turning on in her darkened bedroom did more
than just stab into her
It brought on the mother of all headaches and a wave of unexpected
deep nausea which the nurse fought down by putting a hand to her mouth.
She bore through Kel's
"I'll get to Gerald Miller as soon as I know that YOU'RE all right. If you
symptomatic enough to red flag Roy and Johnny, you automatically
red flag me. So again, I say, talk
to me.." he said no nonsense.
Dixie sighed, pulling a waste can full of used tissue and half eaten
drops into her lap. "There isn't much to say, Kel. What's so unusual about
having a stomach
"When did that come on?"
"Yesterday morning at work."
"What are your symptoms
and vital signs?"
"Oh come off it, Kel. Quit being a mother hen. I'm not a hypochondriac
take notes on every little incidence of the sniffles."
"Kel....no." she spat
tightly. "This is my day off, and it's gonna stay that
We're not going to be getting together
over dinner tonight. No police officer's
gonna stop by for more details on Ger's drowning. And no
pesky off duty
paramedic is gonna come calling to my front door. Nada. End of story.
I know my
rights as an ex-emergency medical patient."
"What about my rights as your closest friend? Does
that matter any?
Forget about my white coat, Dix. That and my stethoscope are still
on the hat rack across the room!" he boomed.
McCall sighed, resting her head onto her bare knees.
"I'm sorry, Kel.
I get cranky with colds. When I get them.." she bemoaned.
"Oh, so now you're
telling me that you've got a cold and not a stomach
bug. Which is it?"
"I don't know.. and
I don't care. All I want is twenty four hours uninterrupted
down time as is due me on my off day.
Is that such an unreasonable request?
The fact that Ger Miller's accident interceded has absolutely
no bearing on
"You're right, Dix. It doesn't." Kel agreed rapidly, toning down
in his voice. "And thank you for being there. He's gonna make it with flying
"None. His films are clear."
"There're no signs. You guys
were absolutely amazing with keeping him
one hundred percent oxygenated. Just be grateful to Brantigan
and Grow for
Roy's military needle cric technique that he so kindly shared with me during
paramedics meeting. Miller's already been decannulated and
there's no indication of any subglottic
stenosis at all. Now enough about him."
"Kel, read my lips, or at least listen to them. Go away. I'm fine. I'll call|
you after sundown in
an update. Just keep Johnny and Roy outta my hair
tonight and I'll think about staying your best friend.
Good night or good
afternoon and good riddance!" and she slammed her elegant white and
phone receiver down and cut off the connection.
Kel Brackett winced at the vigorous slam of noise
into his ear. He
held the phone in his palm for a few seconds, half considering calling
again. :: Do I have the right to bother her any more? She
sounds like she knows what she's doing.
And I'll get my second phone
call in five hours.:: he thought, looking at his watch.
barely made it to the bathroom in time before vomiting and
suffering a bout of miserable diarrhea.
"Oh, god I hate the flu bug.."
she groaned. Long minutes later, wet from the shower and naked,
crawled back into bed and pulled the covers over her head.
Making a decision, Dr. Brackett decided
candor was the better part of
valor and he dialed the number out to Station 51.
"Los Angeles County Fire Department, this is Fireman Mike Stoker.
Can I help you?" Mike glanced
up, "Gage. It's for you. It's Brackett."
"It is?" he said, his mouth full of burger. "It's about
time I heard from
him. Roy, did I ever tell you I love you for spilling the beans about Dix's
fainting stunt to him?"
"No. But I think you can refrain from expressing yourself. Joanne
get a little jealous." DeSoto quipped.
Johnny jogged to the phone, dodging around all the gangs'
in his hurry to cut physical corners to reach the doctor. "Dr. Brackett?
"Gage. I talked with her."
"And...there's nothing more I can do at the moment.
She's adamant about
refusing to see me or any other doctor for her illness."
craziness, doc." Johnny said, spitting out his mouthful of
burger into a napkin. "She's gotta be seen
sometime. You weren't there.
I was. She was paler than anything once I rolled her face out of the
"Did she breathe any of that in?"
"No. She woke up too fast for that."
her BP stay bottomed out?"
"No. It got back up into the low hundreds."
"And that was sitting
"Yeah, doc. Look. Now you know as much as I do. So
bottom line. Are ya gonna do
anything about her?"
"I can't. Not by law."
"I'm going over there."
"No you aren't.
You'll only get hauled off for
trespassing. Dixie mentioned something to that effect."
threw up his hands. "Wonderful. Now how are we gonna
have any guarantees that she's all right?"
"I sort of got one."
"How...?" Gage asked sarcastically.|
"She's gonna call me at sundown with an update."
enough. I'll call off Roy, too, from going over there only so
long as we hear from you as soon as
you hear from her."
"Consider that a promise."
"No problem. I'll
hear from you next rescue call. I got
the floor from lunch time through the rest of the night."
"Bye, Doctor Brackett. Talk to you then."
Johnny hung up the phone.
He wandered back over
to his chair and sat down,
ignoring the bowl of potato salad that Chet pushed over
to his end of
the table to cheer him up.
Cap inquired finally. "So, how's she doing? Is she gonna
Roy looked up from his lunch. "You're kidding."
"Wish I was, pally.
Kel just made me promise that
you and I won't stop by over there in between calls."
strength of what guarantee?!" Chet whined.
"On the fact that Dixie's promised to keep phone tabs
him every couple of hours."
"And Kel Brackett bought that line of malarkey?" Cap
"Yep." Johnny said, balling up his napkin and tossing
it onto his plate in irritation.
Roy had some input. "You know, fellas, this could be a case of
personal feelings getting in the
way. Those two did date once
you know. Maybe they're dating again. It could explain the doc's
of medical bulldog tenacity because it concerns someone
he truly cares about. He doesn't want to offend
"That's just stupid, Roy. If you were Dixie right now, being sick
and all, stepping on
eggshells is the last thing I'd be doing
about you. I'd be busting down your door with a full med
Johnny interjected loudly.
"I don't think it'll come to that." DeSoto grinned reasonably.
"After all, Dixie's a veteran registered nurse of twenty years.
She'd never let an illness go on untreated
if it were truly serious."
"I'm still not comfortable." Gage said, narrowing his eyes.
am I." said Chet, fully in agreement. "I think we should
go around the both of them and let Joe Early
in on this. No one
will be held accountable if he's the one who suddenly shows up
on Dixie's doorstep.
He's gotta go over there tonight anyway."
"How so, Kelly?" Marco asked.
"To deliver a box
of tickets for the Fireman's Annual Picnic
Event. Dixie's one of the primary sellers this year since
didn't come forward and volunteer himself for it like he did
for last year's."
should I have? I'm a rotten seller." Johnny defended.
"Ummm hmm, but you're too good a paramedic
meddle with a friend who might be in trouble and I'm too
good a fireman to let someone burn
I'm gonna go call Joe right now." he said, getting up. "Look, you
have done your job, and so has Dr. Brackett. It's now my
turn to go to bat. Calling Joe'll only take
a minute. Excuse me.
And Gage, if you touch my burger, you're dead meat.."
Chet warned as he dialed
the phone without turning around.
The others laughed when Johnny snatched his creeping hand
into his lap.
Roy leaned over the table. "This sorta compromises the patient
thing. You feel good about Chet
getting Dr. Early involved, Cap?"
"You bet your *ss I do. Somebody's
gotta take a stand. Cause who's
gonna watch out for Dixie's, if we don't?" Hank replied, biting into
Dixie McCall awoke
to a full darkness, broken
only by the pale moonlight streaming in through
the lacy curtains of
her bedroom window. Her bleary
fever dry eyes, made out the time on her nightstand
She tried to move, in a reach for a
half full, luke warm water glass, when the sharp belly pain
her up making her grab around both knees,
in a surge of choking nausea.
"Owww..." she moaned.
"Ok, enough's enough.." she
grunted, half sobbing. She hugged herself under the
blankets in suffering,
burning agony. "I give up. I give in.
I'm going to see a doctor. I promise....Just...just
up and let me dress." she said to her stomach.
Her belly pain, had moved. It was now pinpointed,
spot between her right hip bone and her navel.
She frowned, unable to make the significant
with that new finding. Her mind was too muddled.
Dixie had pulled on pants over
her pajama shorts and had
snatched up her car keys from the dresser,
when the pain toppled her
onto the rug.
She lay there, curled in a ball, soundless, as wave after
wave of pure agony
swept over her. Her bedroom
furniture and the moonlit ceiling blurred. "No, not gonna
Oh, boy. Kel's never gonna forgive me for
trying to wait it out." she cried, leaking tears of misery.
Dixie crawled trembling fingers across the rug until they
reached the phone cord trailing from
the Victorian receiver on
her nightstand. With a jerk, she pulled the phone down
from the table.
It clattered in a tangle of cord around
her head. "...ohhh..hhh..." McCall moaned, dragging
phone and its hand held receiver to her face.
She dialed seven numbers, leaving the phone tipped
over sideways, out to the only number she could remember
A male voice came on the
other end of the line, questioning,
and concerned, when Dixie didn't answer.
Dixie passed out
close to the receiver, where her strained
breathing could be heard clearly, in fevered distress.
The time was 00:51.
Date: Wed Oct 27, 2004 1:40 pm
Subject: The Call out
The number Dixie remembered
and dialed was Station 51 and
she had been really lucky as the whole station was just returning
a vacant house fire with no injuries to be transported that had
occupied all of them for the last
hour or so.
Mike Stoker had just pulled the engine in place and raced to pick up
beating Captain Stanley to it.
He heard the distressed breathing on the other end and when he
to get the person to talk, he received no answer from the other
end. "Can you please tell
me who you are? " he said into the phone.
Suddenly, Johnny realized that they hadn't heard anything
since being called out for the coaster incident. "Do you think it is
her?" he said
aloud. "Ask the person if it is Dixie." he said.
Mike called into the phone, "Dixie, Miss McCall
is that you?" He
heard a quiet groan on the other end.
Roy, who was right beside the receiver
heard the groan, too, and grew
concerned that it might be Dixie.
Roy called over to the Captain,
"Cap, can you call us in a silent
alarm for Dixie's place? We should go check it out to be sure. Could
you also call over to the hospital? Doctors Brackett and Early will
want to know what's going on,
we promised to keep them in the loop as
they promised us."
Cap reassured them that the docs
would be called as he hurried to
call the alarm into dispatch. "Dispatch this is Station 51, calling
in a silent alarm for squad 51 to 213 Elm Street, Apartment 6."
Dispatch answered, ##10-4…. Squad
51, time out, 00:51.##
Captain answered, "10-4, KMG 365." He went over to the squad with
call slip as the guys were waiting in it. Marco ran over to open the
bay door for the squad to exit.
Cap told the guys, "Be careful, but get there quickly. We'll make the
call. If you need to take
her in, you can stay available from the
hospital. Call us once you find out anything though, OK?"
Both Johnny and Roy echoed, "We will, Cap, and thanks." They
then sped out of the bay on a speed
trip to Dixie's apartment.
From: "Patti Keiper"
On the way, with lights and siren running, Roy DeSoto
had a thought. "Johnny,
do you think we'll need PD for
this call? We might freak out a lot of Dixie's neighbors
if we force
our way into her place without alerting em
ahead of time."
Johnny let out a big sigh, crumpling
up the address slip.
"It is the middle of the night, and you know how we need
the police for most
of our other calls like this. I'll raise em
on the horn." said Gage with a nod. He lifted the mic,
"L.A., this is Squad 51."
##Go ahead, 51.##|
"Send out a squad car to our silent alarm's location. We may
authorization for a break in." he said and then he
hung up the microphone head onto its spigot.
##10-4, 51. LAPD says their ETA is fifteen minutes.##
"What?!" Johnny said in exclamation. "That's
What if Dixie's condition's serious? We can't wait that long just
outside her patio...." he empathized out loud
as he listened to L.A. notifiy a police patrol car about
medical emergency private home entry request.
Roy said. "If we can't see her in the window,
we're gonna haveta do, junior. A phone line with a history
of heavy breathing doesn't
mean a life or death situation."
"But it doesn't negate it either." Gage said, very unhappy,
he clunked a jacketted elbow down on the open edge
of his passenger window. "You told me you and Stoker
definitely heard a groan on that line."
"It IS near Halloween, Johnny."
"Yeah, but why
would kids prank call a firehouse? Usually
kids think we're really cool and...leave us alone." Gage
"I can think of half a dozen crank calls B shift's had over the
last two months that
started up just like this one."
Roy just shrugged. "We'll have at least some answers
looked at his watch in the glow of the bar lights
reflecting off the squad's hood. "....four minutes....."
"I got a better idea....." Johnny said with a finger snap.
"What?" Roy asked, glancing away
from the road.
Johnny picked up the radio mic again.
Engine 51 roared off the freeway ramp and pulled up behind
the squad in front of Dixie's apartment
complex. The noise
of her arriving Code Three woke up everyone within ear shot
to a distance of
two hundred yards.
"Is this your idea of a brilliant idea?" DeSoto asked Gage
while they wound
through the night clothed crowd of people,
now milling about the pool area, fully loaded with gear.
"Yeah..." Johnny grinned. "Now we have witnesses..."
"And Cap's just as concerned about that phone
as we are. He's not gonna yell. Not in the slightest."
"You're right about that." Roy
considered. "It's not like
it's a busy night for firehouse calls. Being available here
or at the
station's pretty much the same thing I guess."
"Exactly.." Johnny said.
As they neared
apartment six, the gang piled out
and went immediately to the front entryway to ring
while Roy and Johnny covered the back
patio facing the moonlit pool to see what they could see.
Johnny upped his ante. "Would someone turn on the lights
out here? We gotta see what we're doing!"
he shouted to
the babbling, gossiping crowd of residents around them.
The off hours overhead
suddenly kicked on over the
party hut at the far end of the pool, lighting their way
thick palms and bushes surrounding Dixie's
"Thank you!" shouted Roy. Then he mumbled.
talk about an abundance of bystander help."
Johnny's HT came to life in his jacket
pulled it out. It was Cap. ##No answer at the front door
at the bell or with the knocker.
And we've no windows
to look inside. How about on your end?##
"Still getting there. I wouldn't say Dixie's a premier..."|
he grunted as he forced O2 tank and com
the hedges.." gardening type. It's a sheer jungle over
here, but we're getting there."
Johnny told Hank.
"She does like her privacy.." Roy grinned.
Gage sighed and finally his
shoes reached the concrete
slab of her patio. "You know, there's another reason
why I used the
engine to wake everybody up."
"Why's that?" Roy asked as he, too, fought through
to join his grinning partner on Dixie's
back yard landing.
A commotion on the sidewalk of fast
stepping slippers got
their attention and a thick, hidden ivy covered gate
that neither Roy nor
Johnny knew was there, suddenly swung
open onto the patio where they were, revealing a woman in a
robe of quilted pastels with a thick ring of keys in her hand.
"That's why.." Gage pointed at
her. "I figured one of these
crowd folks just had to be the land lady.." Johnny said, tilting
head. "Dragging out the Ward, too, just bettered our
chances in finding her.."
never cease.." Roy sighed with a half smile,
pulling off his helmet. He quickly explained the situation
the land lady about Dixie McCall.
"Oh, sure.. Here, let me let you in. The poor dear. We
thought she was just tired from saving Gerald Miller. The
kids saw her go back inside right
after you fellas left."
Johnny was still peeking through the windows, shining his
He couldn't see anything. "Thanks, Ma'am, for
coming. You see, the cops are delayed a bit. And this
"No, of course it can't.." said the landlady. "Here you go boys.
Can I come
in? I'll be your entry witness.." she volunteered.
"That's what we had in mind, Ma'am.." Johnny
the landlady opened the glass patio door with a flick of
a long skeleton key.
and Johnny immediately went inside, shouting Dixie's
name. The landlady trailed behind and turned
on the lights
"She's not in here.." said Roy, leaving the bathroom.
she's been vomiting." he said about an
unflushed toilet. "Some diarrhea, too." He flushed it
after Johnny had a look at it.
Johnny let in Cap and the others through the front door
quickly, the gang cased the living room, den,
the closest bedroom....
Finally, they found her
on the carpetting, face down with a
phone receiver in her hand, in the farther one.
need an ambulance.." Roy said.
"You got it, pal. I'll be right back."
the phone cord from around Dixie's
body and hung up the phone into its cradle, setting the whole
back on the nightstand while DeSoto knelt down, feeling
for a carotid. "Dixie? Can you hear me?"
Together, he and Johnny gently rolled her over onto her left
side from off of her stomach, supporting
her head and neck in
a line, carefully, leaving her legs bent up to her stomach as they
to see if she was breathing. She was, shallowly.
Dixie just moaned at an arm pinch. "Altered level,
Marco," he asked looking up. "..can you get her on some O2?"
Hank returned after his HT call outside and
crouched down, "Can we move her to
the bed? It
might make it easier for you two to work."
Johnny got done sweeping Dixie's head,
neck and back
for any blood or misalignment. "Yeah, I'm not finding anything
here. She didn't hurt
herself falling at least. Her c-spine's clear."
The gang lifted her to the bed with a sheet, leaving
the others pulled down. She was placed onto her back and
Roy and Johnny piled the gear around her
after the O2 was
set over her face.
Stoker thought ahead and placed pillows under
knees to keep them bent, remembering her
unexpressed pain from earlier in the afternoon.
Cap began a hail out to Rampart while Johnny loosened|
Dixie's clothes and pants for breathing's sake
and got an initial
set of vital signs. "Chet, see if you can wake her past groaning.
I don't know
why she's not conscious yet. The oxygen should've
helped her regain more awareness a full minute ago."
"That's if this is just another syncopal episode." DeSoto said
as he got a blood pressure off
of her. His expression changed
into a more serious frown. "78/52. She's real warm, too."
"Maybe. Check her abdomen. You remember what happened
to her this afternoon
better than I do." DeSoto admitted.
"Not really. She wasn't very revealing." But Johnny checked.
He found mild rigidity in the lower right quadrant and
he heard noisy bowel sounds through his stethoscope.
"Ok." Kelly began talking to McCall loudly. "Come on. Dixie,
can you open your eyes for me? It's
Chet Kelly from Station
51. We got your call ok. Everyone's here. Hey, open those
of yours and say hello to your house guests.
Millie the land lady's here, too. Johnny, hand me your
I'll check out her pupils for you."
Gage tossed Chet his light. "What'dya got?"
Kelly reported a finding after a few seconds. "P.e.a.r.l."
"Figures." Johnny huffed in frustration.
"Keep at it.
We'll need her talkin to learn anything more."
"And... she's starting to flinch."
"That's a little better. Just don't kiss her. She may get
mad at ya." Johnny
said with volume, trying a bad
joke to get any kind of a cognitive reaction out of
the sick nurse.
"Why not? She's pretty enough.." Kelly quipped,
going along, equally loud.
and then she coughed. And then the
pain returned, full blown. "Oh, guys. I ..thu you'd nev ...here.."
she moaned, drawing her knees up even higher than
the pillows. "Oh ..gaa ..make it sto-- p p.." she
with the emotions hardly reaching her features as much as
it did in her voice.
Johnny asked, "Open your eyes.." he said,
shaking her. "Tell us what's happening.." he
She just made a non-sensical noise and shuddered
in a fever chill.
a reply on the biophone. It was Dr. Morton.
"Stand by, Rampart. I'll pass you off to one of
paramedics now. We've got a thirty two year old
female with an acute abdomen, non traumatic." he
Then he mouthed the word "Morton" at
his men when they looked up from getting a Normal
Roy took the phone. "Rampart. Our victim's semi-conscious.
Non responsive to verbal
commands. B/P's 78/52, Pulse's 90.
Her respirations are 20 and shallow and both pupils are equal
reactive. There's no signs of falling injury but there is evidence
of gastric and intestinal upset
with a fever. We found mild guarding
in her lower right quadrant. She's on fifteen liters of O2."
Morton nodded his head and then he pressed the talk button
in the base station. ##Maintain her
O2. Start an I.V., 51. Normal
Saline. Administer a 250 to 500 cc's bolus and titrate until her
at least 90 or better systolic. Then turn it TKO.
Conduct a head to toe survey and get a better neurological
assessment. Look for any abdominal distension or signs
of pulsatile masses. Palpate her flank on the
effected side for
any CVA tenderness. Also, draw a red top for analysis. She's
been vomiting and
losing digestive material intestinally, so I'm
gonna assume it's been a while since she's eaten anything.
her some Dextrose at 50%. 25 gms in an I.V. push. Let's hope her
stuporous state's due to
hypoglycemia and that it isn't septic
involvement. 100 mgs Thiamine won't hurt either. In fact, give
some. And get an oral temperature for me if you can, 51. Monitor
her on EKG for any altered
rhythm. Report back to me in two
minutes with any new details. If not, transport her as soon as
"10-4, I.V. Normal Saline titrated to the hemodynamic status
margin minimum. A red top followed
by 25 gms Dex50 I.V.,
and 100 mgs Thiamine. EKG check followed by a condition
update and immediate
Millie wanted to know. "What's all that stuff?"|
Cap answered, "Salt water and sugar, with one
of the B vitamins,
a heartbeat reading, and then a fast ticket outta here."
happened to the good ol smelling salts and
patting the wrists routine? That worked fine in reviving
awake in my day.." Millie interjected.
Johnny and Roy just smiled.
They got down
to business re-examining Dixie for problems
visually and by feel and found only a few bruises on her
from the CPR she had given Ger and a few minor scrapes
on her hips from when she dragged
the boy out of the pool.
No masses or pulsations were found anywhere in her abdomen
the rigidity that was just starting to become apparent.
After they had given her a good once over
and had connected
Dixie to the heart monitor, they covered her up with a sheet
A minute later, following the energizing Thiamine,
all the sugar and the actively pushed fluid bolus,
Dixie finally showed
some mental life. Her eyes fluttered open. For good measure,
she jerked her
hand out of Kelly's concerned one." I heard that
joke, you two nutcases. I just couldn't answer.."
"Not yet, anyway. Just how much is all this attention gonna cost
me? I've never needed
an ambulance before.."
"Hardly anything and ...we're glad you liked it.." Johnny said.
everybody ELSE'S glad that you're conscious. Now you
know the routine. Quit griping and answer my
Dixie sighed under her O2 mask and lifted her knees a little
a particularly viscious pain stab. "Go.."
"What are your symptoms? We already know about
fever, diarrhea and the vomiting."
"Abdominal pain. Surprise!"
Roy and Johnny made a face.
Chet just laughed.
"Do you have any allergies?"
"Are you on any medications
or have you taken anything
"None and no."
"What kind of abdominal history
do you have? Anything like a
past incarcerated hernia, intussuception, cholecystitis, cystitis,
ulcers, diverticulitis, abdominal aortic aneurysm,
kidney infections, kidney stones, pancreatitis,
pelvic inflammatory disease...."
Dixie just rolled her eyes at the last one.
I know you haven't had any kids recently.."
She glared at Gage indignantly.
he amended self consciously, clearing his throat.
Dixie let him off the look-that-could-kill hook.
"None on all counts, Johnny. All I know is that I hurt.
Horribly. And I'm so hot I feel like I'm gonna
"No you're not. Your pressure's sitting at an even 100
Up twenty millibars." Roy grinned.
"Speak for yourself. You aren't hurting." she snivelled.
"He could be if you punch him one.." Chet suggested.
"Don't tempt me.." she spat.
then, Johnny tested for rebound tenderness over
her stomach and found a definite positive finding
when she shoved his hand away with a sharp intake of
breath and suddenly grew five shades paler. "
And right over McBurney's point, Roy.."
Dixie met both the paramedics' eyes with a
"You've got to be kidding. Appendicitis?" she pegged.
"We don't know that and
none of us will. Not until after a
battery of testing.." Roy admitted.
"Cap, how long on that
ambulance? She's.. VERY..
stabilized now." Gage asked, putting a bored chin into a
hand on an elbow
"Let ME find out for ya, Cap." and Kelly neatly exited the|
apartment to avoid the storm to come.
"I'll....just.. show them
the way through darkest Africa out here..." he said.
not THAT bad! Oww.." Dixie fired back,
doubling over when her shouting irritated her side again.
Gage returned to his questioning. "Last oral intake?"
"Uhh,, I don't remember.." she sighed weakily
from the pillows.
Roy rubbed his nose. "Morton called her diminished
LOC right on the nose.
"Not him, too...?! Ughh!" Dixie denied. "It's bad enough having Kel
snooping around and finding out about this.." she winced.
"But to have that bedside mannerless automaton
"Shall I relay that message?" Johnny quirked, holding out
receiver. "He's listening.."
Dixie paled even further.
"No, he's not. I covered the phone
when you started up
about him. Aren't I nice?" Gage sniffed. "Events leading
to your illness?"
he continued, scribbling into his note pad.
Dixie sputtered, recovering on all tracks but the
"Let's see, over work, under pay.." she ticked off on her
fingers.. " a tiny head cold
and now I've got a big problem
with a certain bunch of real pesky firemen.." she blathered.
ignored her. "When was the onset of your pain?"
Dixie finally got intimated by the proceedings
answering without bristling. "Started mid line bilaterally
around 11 am, right after
"What provoked it?"
"Moving." she snapped.
"What does it feel
Now it was Roy's turn to roll his eyes.
Now Gage poured on the purest
kind of paramedic mule headed
cussedness. "Does it radiate anywhere?" he asked through gritted
staying outwardly professional beyond that one anomaly.
"Not anymore. You found the X that marks
Johnny bit his lip. "How severe is it?"
Cap started chuckling
and had to amble away.
"Does anything make it better?" Roy tried when
Johnny began boiling.
"Unconsciousness did, Roy, and I got you two to
thank for dragging me kicking and screaming out
Dixie said quite honestly, ripping off her oxygen mask.
"Excuse me, I'm going to go puke.."
and she started
to get up.
Both Johnny and Roy.... and Cap... stopped her by
laying across her chest, knees and
legs. "You're not going anywhere, Dixie! You've lost
to make a judgement call." Hank thundered.
"We all do!" Gage shouted. Then
he narrowed his eyes
in a challenge. "Let her go, Cap. Roy, you too."
Reaching over, he shut down
Dixie's running I.V. to TKO.
"Ok. Prove it."
Dixie eyed Johnny suspiciously. "Prove what?"
"Prove that you're fully medically competent to handle
this health matter..." he said firmly stabbing
down on the bed sheets in between them. "If you can
stand up on your own two feet, without
he said waggling a finger in her face."...all of us will just
pack up.....and we'll
The silence in the room was palpable.
Dixie's hand snaked over and dialed up
the I.V. to a fast
gush in the drip chamber.
"Ah, ah ah.." Johnny said, jerking the tubing
out of her hand
and he redialed it back down to TKO. "Without any outside help
or adjunct." he
Then he pulled her sheets down and invited her to swing her legs
over the side of
Dixie froze like a deer in the headlights.
Then her jaw clamped shut and the insult
she was about to
hurl died aborning. She yanked the covers back up to her chin
and her teeth started
to chatter. "You boys make sure neither Kel
nor Joe does my surgery.."
Johnny relaxed his finger
pointing stare and he planted the
abandoned O2 mask that was hissing around her neck to back
She didn't protest. "Promise me..." she asked of her two hands on|
hips posturing paramedics.
"Ok.." Roy shrugged and he turned up her I.V. to a shock fighting
Feeling a bit
like the devil, Johnny added, "We'll let Morton do it."
Dixie nearly levitated off the bed.
Right then the elegant Victorian phone on Dixie's nightstand
"Uh oh." trickled Cap.
Johnny picked it up, reluctantly, after it rang six times. "Oh, hiya doc.
Uh, what do you mean what
am I still doing over here? Uh, that's kind
of a long story. You see..uh.. Gotta go, doc. There in
minutes!" and he slammed the receiver down.
Just as Johnny hung up the phone, Dixie's eyes rolled back and she|
blacked out dissolving into unconsciousness
Johnny Gage moved. "Dixie? Hey--" and he reached
out to touch her chin when Roy
DeSoto stopped him.
"Why don't we let her be, Johnny?" he smiled. "Looks
like she's finally
given in to that long rest her body's been
demanding that she'd better have. She's comfortable
and breathing fine on her side just as she is without
us messing around with an oral airway. We'd
her if we did any further monkeying."
"But--" he bit his lip, considering, and
checking a sudden retort.
"Ok, convince me. What's her pressure now?" checking McCall's
again in a search for how far down she'd gone.
"116/72.." he said pointedly amused. "The I.V.'s
HAS done its work.
And see? On the monitor...." Roy invited with an eye glance.
Dixie's tracing EKG reading on the scope and his
critical analyzing frown slowly turned into a light
smile. "Sinus rhythm...
finally." he sighed.
"Yeah, her rate's about 58." Roy agreed. "Not
stressed any longer
"Now that's what I call sleeping.." Kelly remarked.
how would you know?" Gage commented. "You're not a paramedic
like us." The irritation on giving into
his partner's low impact patient care
plan was still festering a bit under the skin. He liked his
and talking when they didn't have vitals that disfavored maintaining that
"No, but I know good vital signs notes when I hear them." he said, unoffended.
"I got the smarts
when I need em, Don't you worry yourself about that, pally."
said, winking at Roy to let him
know he was in a needle Johnny Gage
mode again now that all the excitement was over.
starting cleaning up and tidying while Roy readied
Dixie's apparatus for gurney loading. "No, you're
definitely pumpkin positive,
Chet..." he mumbled.
"What? I didn't quite hear ya, Johnny? What
the heck's pumpkin positive
mean?" he grinned, giving motions of a gimme more gesture behind Gage's
back where the dark haired paramedic couldn't see it.
The gang just folded arms together to watch
the verbal tennis match with
the same grins on their faces.
And Johnny walked right into the
baiting, hook, line and sinker. "If a doctor
writes 'Pumpkin Positive' on your notes, Chet, they mean
if they shine a
into your mouth, they would encounter a brain so small that your whole
would light up."
"Oh, uh huh." Kelly said, mildly, completely unruffled. "Gee, that's
Gage. But what IQ scale fits your place at the shallow end of the gene pool...?
You didn't even see that Dixie's just snoozing right now until Roy here, pointed
it out to you."
"Ok, enough's enough." Cap intervened, chuckling. "If you two carry on in here
longer, you just might DO what Roy says not to do and you'll wake her up.
You guys can go play debate
team after the call's over. Come on, Kelly. Back
to the engine. Stoker and Marco are already waiting
for ya. "
"But nothin, I'm only lagging behind because I wanna make sure that Dixie's
place get's locked up again once the PD gets here. You know my signature's
needed on the house entry
"That's all right, sir. I can take care of that.." said Millie the land lady..
blinked and her comment didn't register under the hard thinking and
disciplining he was still embarking
upon. " I'll take the squad in so Roy and
John can fuss over her at much as they'd like on the way
in. Now, shoo.."
Hank said, jerking up his chin in a firm, I'm the captain look.
Chet whined. "Are you gonna let Johnny keep
picking on me?" he said in jest.
"No, I'm gonna
let YOU take a time out on HIM. That wasn't
a request, Kelly.."
"No, it was an order, I know..
I know." and he trudged out the door,
putting on his helmet again over his smoky curls. "Why spoil
my fun? I was
just trying to lighten the tense mood radiating out from a certain someone
leaning over the bed. And Dixie hasn't been disturbed. She
hasn't moved since Roy tipped her head
"Go.." Cap pointed, his stenorous baritone cracking out.
"Yes, sir.." Kelly said
automatically at the undeniable
tone of command. He snapped his fingers in self chiding
when he realized that he was still so well
conditioned, that he actually jumped to attention at it.
"Weellll, maybe there's a few seeds in the jack o lantern
after all." Gage shot back after him.
All the firemen raised their heads when the sound of
responding to their rescue call appeared
and finally pulled up just outside.
"Gage, zip it."
Cap coughed, trying to hide a smile.
"You're falling behind. DeSoto's got the I.V. box
put back together and the attendants are
only seconds away."
Millie rubbed her chin. "I guess
all the acid banter means
that Dixie's really ok?" she asked with a knowing smile.
does.." Roy said, standing up from one last
check on Dixie's respirations. "I'll leave a note with
her about your involvement in resecuring the apartment.
The policeman coming is just a formality.
got a few lines to fill out on the officer's report."
"All right. Thank you, gentlemen,
for helping Dixie like
you have. It really was sitting in the back of my mind, that
right. I was just too timid to inquire and
intrude, you know?"
"Yeah, we know." Johnny said.
"It's a trait of being
American, that respect for any individual's home privacy.
No harm's done,
Dixie.. Can you hear me? Look what I brought..." said a firm
but quiet male voice.
her eyes and peered around a flowing oxygen
And saw a grotesque swollen pink and purple
in a jar of preserving fluid..
"GahHH!" she jerked, throwing her hands up. "Get
away from me." and she immediately winced when stitches,
external and internal, snagged
on her innards. "Ooo.."
"What? It's not a prop from the little shop of horrors, Dixie."
Joe Early with a chuckle. "This was part of you fifteen
"I know what it is, Joe.
It's just so... yyuck.." she shuddered, coughing
up a plume of anesthetic gas from her chest as she
got a radar
on how truly awake she was becoming. Her nursing side finally
got the better of her.
"Ok, so what did ya find?" she gave in.
Kel Brackett, to Joe's left, also seated on the bed, answered
"Well, your appendicitis was uncomplicated. We found no fecaliths, lymph
or any signs of appendiceal perforation. You just had
some moderate suprefaction of the mesentery
that didn't effect the
peritoneum. We did a WBC and a flat plate, which was negative
a UA for blood which came completely clear of red cells.
Your kidneys,..are fine."
still very groggy. "Would you explain that in plain
english? I think I'm still a little hollow in
the head right now."
"Rest, Dix." Kel said, getting up. "We'll just leave your souvenir
the bedstand for you to analyze later."
"Don't forget to use a pillow on your abdomen when|
you have to cough up some of that phlegm. And
made sure the incision was made below the bikini line." Joe added.
"You're all heart."
she grumbled, rolling over to sleep some
more. "And if I hear one crack about the mickey mouse shaped
beauty mark I know you saw down there coming from the nursing staff,
I'll personally feed you both
halves of my appendix floating around
in that specimen jar."
"She's awake, Kel. I think we
can leave now. No one who's too
sleepy to breathe ever musters up a threat."
Joe. Sweet dreams, Dix, and get better fast.."
The only reply was a blissful mumble followed by
a rub of
a few fingers on her nose.
The two Rampart doctors left the recovery room on scrub
covered shoes, gingerly.
Captains DeSoto and Gage looked at each other as their shared
conversation about Dixie's crazy day
off rescue finished in their mind's eye.
Then Johnny changed the subject...
Subject: Running Hot?
From: Erin James (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sent: Wed 3/19/08 7:54 AM
Roy and Johnny downed the last of their sodas and rose
feet. Gage wasn't through playing yet. "I don't want
to go back to my station just yet. Do you?"
"Not really. It's kinda fun reminiscing like this. But, what can
we do? The awards luncheon's over."
Gage suddenly had a light bulb go off over his head.
"Think outside the bubble, Roy. Let's use
our rank and run
with it. Literally."
"How do you mean?"
"I really want to see our
old haunts. You know, like the hospital?
So let's grab a Resus Randy out of store and throw him behind
a firetruck somewhere for the cadets to find and run it in like a full code.
The chief'll love that
kind of shakedown on a training day, and we'll
get our wish of an extended vacation together.. Whatdiya
"I like it."
"Okay.. Race ya for the store shed. There's a code Randy in there
the last cadet class that needs another go according to my
status report last week. One, Two Three..
And the two were off again, full tilt, stopping only long enough to
snatch up their wind
tossed hats and abandoned jackets as they
made for the fire tower near Headquarters.
reached for the open padlock, to go inside to pick the thing up,
Gage grinned. "I wonder how many
paramedic cadets are about
to need new shorts."
"The first two who are unfortunate enough
to find our dummy."
DeSoto replied, smiling hugely, hefting up the shockable manikin
over one shoulder.
Johnny got the door. Gage grinned, "Now let's go have some real |
A half hour after Dixie McCall hung up the phone with Sharon, she
thought, ::Sometimes I really miss
being downstairs. Other times
I'm glad I'm up here.::
Behind her, an L.A. County scanner
burbled softly as she
sorted through the day's paperwork. A new pair of voices caught
It was preceded by a disregard call sign in code
that was really a firefighter paramedic mock medical
with a training manikin. The voices initiating the call over HT
were Roy DeSoto and
Johnny Gage, who was manning
communications for the exercise.
::Man. I haven't seen those
two in years. I wonder how they're doing?
Maybe I could sneak down there into Treatment Five Isolation
they arrived with their trainees to just say hello or something.::
Dixie glanced over at her
desk. There was a picture of her and
her on-again-off-again boyfriend of nearly ten years, Kel Brackett.
::We must be on again because the picture frame isn't broken
and the current picture isn't damaged.::
she mused. ::I count
eleven luncheons to date with him since--::
The office door suddenly swung
open and broke Dixie from her
train of thoughts. She looked up and said, "Can I help y--?..."
The sight that met her stopped her mid-sentence, a very tired
and flushed Kel Brackett stood unmoving
in the doorway.
Dixie struggled on the reason why. Kel was now the head of
worked closely with a lot of the hospital interns.
He routinely checked in with Dixie hashing out
details when they
were both on duty the same shift, but now, somehow this was
Kel looked like he had been in the wrong place and at the
wrong time extremely.
Dixie sprinted for the door where he clung,
the former nurse in her suddenly in full gear. "Kel,
what's the matter?"
Kel groaned, "Not much really. Well, maybe something ...bad.
I really been working three days straight?"
Click the gang watching
Adam-12 to go to Page Three
What's A Dedicated Captain Like You Doing..