| It is six thirty in the morning and Kane is leaving the apartment for work. I honestly wish that he did not have to go in today. I wish Kane could stay home with me just for today. My anxiety is off the charts already, I do not know what to do with myself right now, and if Kane could stay home it would really comfort me.
Kane says he has to go in to work. In other words Kane wants to get away from my negative mood and this upsets me a great deal. I try going out for a walk after Kane leaves but the panic only intensifies the longer I am outside so I have to go back into the apartment in order to relax. I drink a few glasses of water and I begin to calm down slightly. I sit in one of the kitchen chairs with my water and I breathe deeply for a few moments. I never knew anxiety or panic could be this strong. I have heard patients describe panic and anxiety but I never believed that it could be like this. I am so use to being cool, calm, and collected.
Once I am relaxed I go into the living room and I feel so alienated and alone. I sit down on the couch and I am in front of the television. As I flip through all of our channels, nothing seems to interest me at the moment, and this frustrates me. I know some of the movies that are on certain movie stations, I really like some of those movies, but these movies just do not interest me at this moment. I give up on the television and I turn the damn thing off. I then attempt to read a book and this proves to be difficult for me as well. I just cannot concentrate on the words of the book. I would try to eat something but that would only make me feel sick to my stomach and I do not want that to happen. I feel like if I eat something I would only throw it up. I am starving right now but the thought of food makes my stomach turn and I feel my stomach goes sour. I run to the bathroom and I throw up stomach acid. I throw up so hard that I actually have to sit on the bathroom floor to recover. I go back into the kitchen and I drink several glasses of water just to get the bad taste out of my mouth.
I give up trying to find something to hold my interest so I return to the living room. I turn the television on again. I turn on an eighties music station and I lay down on the couch. I have to rest my weary mind. My mind is spinning in a thousand different directions right now and I just cannot stop it. It is starting to make me feel light headed. Somehow I must find the strength to carry on and I do not know how to do this at the current moment. This depression and PTSD thing needs to go away and quickly but I just cannot shake it and it will not let me go. I know there is a way to get out of this funk yet I just do not know how to clear a path.
I know seeing Taylor Zeal will help me get through these nasty feelings. Getting out and about will help too once I can get over the damn panic. Spending time with Kane will help too. Maybe I can go to Java King and people watch. I use to love doing that. These are positive thoughts and I should write them down when I finally get up.
I am tired of fighting the thoughts and the feelings. I am tempted to just give up. I know giving up is not the answer and I fight the thought of giving up. I have to fight these mental issues, I need to hang in there, and I know I can get through this. I just have to have faith in myself. I finally clear my mind and my headache starts to let up. I continue to listen to my favorite era of music as I drift off into nightmares that will haunt me forever.
I am jolted awake by noises that are coming from the kitchen. I glance at my black digital watch and it is six fifteen. I have slept an incredible six hours and yet I do not feel rested or any better. I could actually go back to sleep and I feel like I could sleep the whole night through. I get up off the couch, I stretch my tight athletic body, and I wander into the kitchen. I find Kane making a salad and washing some shrimp. I greet him with a quiet hello. Kane lets me know that he is making shrimp salads for us.
Kane asks, “Did you eat anything today?”
I reply softly, “No.”
This concerns Kane, “Why not?”
I respond, “I was starving but the thought of food made me sick to my stomach. I dry heaved a few times just thinking of food and then I actually threw up nothing but stomach acid.”
Kane looks at me for a moment and he says in a firm tone, “That isn’t very healthy, Jace, and you know it.”
I reply, “I know but every time I eat I always end up getting sick. Eating isn’t worth getting sick over.”
Kane uses a false firm tone of voice, “You have to eat Jace, even if it is something small. You cannot lose any weight, you just can’t afford it, and I am worried about you. Please try to eat something small a few times a day.”
I shake my head but all I say is, “I’ll try to eat a little dinner.”
Kane is on the next topic of conversation, “Did you sleep most of the day?”
I roll my eyes for Kane is nit picking, “Yes, I did. I was also having panic attack after panic attack all morning. I was also having nightmares about the MVA.”
Kane asks for he is very curious, “Were the panic attacks really that bad?”
I reply, “They were like nothing I have ever experienced before. They were really intense and it scared me which only made it worse. It felt like I was having a heart attack. It really sucked big time.”
Kane says, “I can only imagine.”
“I want to get a dog. I would really like to have one around.”
“Do you think you can take care of one? I mean it is a huge responsibility.”
I am offended by Kane’s question, “Of course I can take care of him or her. I have been thinking about this for several months now.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m offended, Kane. Of course, I can take care of a dog.”
Kane says, “I don’t know.”
I say with a little attitude like he gives me from time to time, “Look, Kane, I want to get a dog and I am not going to give you much choice in the matter.”
Kane knows not to fight with me by my tone of voice, “Then let’s get one. What breeds are you interested in?”
I state, “I want to get a Golden Retriever.”
“Let’s look around.”
“Thank you. I also think that having a dog will help me with the depression and the PTSD.”
“I hear it does help.”
“Kane, this means a lot to me.”
“I know it does. Having a dog around would be good for you. I know you love animals.”
Kane and I finish eating. Kane is worried that I did not eat enough but I ate enough so it would not make me sick besides I feel full. Before we go into the living room we call a few dog breeders. I have a few appointments this week to view some Golden Retriever puppies. I feel like I have a little hope now. A puppy will make me smile and make me feel needed. I can care for him or her. Having a dog is similar to having a child. You have to clean up after them, take them to the doctor, bathe them, and just cater to their every need.
By the end of the week I have a handsome Golden Retriever puppy of my very own. I name the puppy Zeus, a strong name, and he looks like a Zeus to me. Little Zeus follows me everywhere I go. I think it is adorable and I pat Zeus often and say that he is a wonderful little boy. I massage his entire little body often which he stretches his body and gives little moans here and there. I also allow Zeus to sleep with Kane and I on this first night and Zeus will sleep with us every night since that first night. Kane is not crazy about this idea, the whole Zeus sleeping with us, but he does not complain about it.
It is three o’clock in the afternoon and I am sitting in Taylor’s office. I am talking about Zeus and how happy he makes me. I feel like he gives me purpose and when I am really down in the dumps he cuddles with me. Zeus gives me these puppy dog eyes that make me smile and do whatever it is that he wants me to do.
Taylor asks me to bring Zeus in for our next session. I am honored that Taylor wants to see him. Then the bad news strikes me. Taylor wants me to take another two more weeks off of work. Five weeks without work? Really? I do not like this idea. This upsets me to no end and I start to argue with Taylor. Taking another two weeks off means that I have to take a week of vacation time and I do not want to do this. I only have three weeks of vacation time a year. Taylor insists that I take the two weeks off for my mental health which is extremely vital in my line of work. I try to argue the fact again but Taylor is serious about this and I leave well enough alone.
I leave Taylor’s office and I am even more depressed than normal. I cannot really afford to keep taking time off from work. I personally think work would be great therapy for the time being and it would be an awesome distraction. Taylor thinks otherwise and I am not sure why. I did not think to ask him why but I should have. Taylor says my mind needs the rest but does it really? I do not know the answer and I am going to do what he asks me to do.
I am frustrated but I do trust Taylor and his decision. I need Taylor’s approval to return to work anyhow so if he says that I need two more weeks than I will take two more weeks. I have had three weeks worth of rest and I really feel fine at the moment. Again, I have given him my word that I will talk to Salim, and I will explain the reason why I need the extra time off. I know Salim will understand too why I need this time.
By the time I get home, I call Salim, and he already knows that I need another couple of weeks off. Taylor has faxed the report over to Salim and Taylor has requested for me having another couple of weeks off. I feel a little unsettled by this and I feel a little betrayed but I am not really offended. Taylor is attempting to look out for me. My time off has been granted and Salim sincerely hopes I get better soon. I hang up the phone and debate calling Kane but I decide against it. I will see Kane when he comes home and I will tell him about having to take more time off.
Zeus is yipping and he is dancing around the kitchen. The poor little dude must have to go to the bathroom. I hook his black leash onto his black collar and together we leave the apartment. We walk to the lush field beside the apartment building. Zeus does several pees but he does not poop. Zeus is smelling every bush and tree and I am wondering what he smells. It must be a doggie bulletin board out here and every dog leaves his or her own message. I laugh at my own thought and I really crack myself up or so I think. I reach down and I pat Zeus on his golden head. I praise him and he wags his little tail. Zeus looks up at me with so much love that my heart swells with pride.
Back in the apartment I feed Zeus and I give him some fresh water. Zeus has this crazy puppy habit. Zeus will put his paw in the water bowl as he drinks. I laugh when he does this and I just shake my head. How can that taste good? I am sure there is some dirt in the water that he is drinking. I think to myself that this is a strange and cute oddity that he has. Puppies will be puppies I think to myself. When Zeus is finished drinking and eating he trots after me as I wander into the living room. I turn on the television and I choose to watch a medical documentary on general psychology. The topic of the show is sexual identity. I adore medical documentaries. I lay down on the couch on my side and I help Zeus up onto the couch with me so he can snuggle beside me.
I wake up just as Kane enters the apartment. Zeus runs to Kane at high speed and he trips a few times, over his own paws, and we laugh at this. Zeus is playfully yipping and he is also growling as Kane rough houses with him. Kane is smiling the whole time he is playing with Zeus. The whole scene is absolutely adorable to watch and I am smiling as I watch.
Finally it is my turn to lovingly greet Kane. Kane kisses me lightly on the lips and he hugs me tightly. As Kane takes a hot shower, I take Zeus to the field again, and there are a couple of other dogs that are already there running around and they bound over the soft grass.
One dog is a friendly, goofy, tan pit bull. The other dog is a yellow lab that has a completely white face. The woman with the lab whose name Osiris says he is thirteen years old. Wow, I can only hope that Zeus lives that long. The pit bull’s name is Prince and he is five years old. Zeus meets the other dogs and his little tail is going a mile a minute. I let Zeus off leash, like the other dogs, for the whole field is completely fenced in. Next thing we know is the dogs all are rolling around and looking like they are having some great fun. Animals just do not realize that they are funny or they just do not care about making fools of themselves.
After about an hour Zeus and I go back to the apartment. Kane has showered and he is brewing a pot of coffee. As we wait for the coffee to be done brewing I tell Kane all about the trip to the field. Kane thinks it is wonderful that I am meeting new people that have the same interests as I do. Plus Zeus is making friends and socializing. Once the coffee is done, Kane and I each make a cup, and we take our coffee into the living room. Zeus sits on the couch with me and he lays his little head on my leg which I love when he does this. Kane sits in his favorite chair which is a plush maroon leather reclining chair. Kane changes the channel to the local news. I am not really thrilled with watching the news for there is always miserable things happening in this world and the good stuff is rarely ever broadcasted. For some reason Kane likes watching the news for he says it keeps him informed so I do not argue with him. I just accept this as a part of Kane and who he is. Kane turns to me during a commercial and he asks how my day was.
I reply, “It was really good. I saw Taylor this morning and he wants to meet Zeus, Taylor wants me to take another two weeks off, then I spent a lot of time playing with Zeus, and I took one small nap.”
Kane is flabbergasted about this, “Another two weeks?”
I explain, “Yes, Taylor says he does not want me to buckle under all the pressure that we are under at work, and Salim agrees with him.”
Kane says, “I can’t wait until you are back.”
I ask, “Why do you say that? What’s going on?”
Kane replies, “I am working with this young girl, Hope Williams, and she just graduated from medic school. This Hope girl thinks she knows it all.”
I nod my head in understanding, “That’s so annoying. I don’t really like working with new medics either. You end up doing too much explaining and not enough patient care.”
Kane agrees, “That’s true.”
I ask, “What else is she doing to screw things up?”
Kane says, “Hope is extremely narrowed minded and she judges people big time. You know I don’t like that shit. Hope is also very spiteful, she doesn’t just hate, and she plans on how to get back at the person.”
I am in awe as I ask, “Really?”
Kane goes on to say, “This girl will screw things up on purpose, she is going to piss the wrong person off, and I doubt she will last very long on the job.”
I say, “Good, she sounds like a real piece of work.”
Kane says, “Salim will not stand for her attitude. He will fire her in a heartbeat if she keeps this up.”
I say, “Talk to Salim about her. Salim will do something about this girl. I know he will.”
Kane says, “I will talk to him.”
I ask out of curiosity, “What else is she doing?”
Kane replies, “Hope keeps asking me out like obsessively asking me out on a date. I told her that I am in a serious relationship but she still asks me out.”
I ask, “What did she say to you being in a solid relationship?”
Kane sighs as he says, “She just doesn’t care.”
I ask, “Did she actually say that?”
Kane answers, “Yes and she just keeps asking me out on a date and I don’t like it. It really makes me feel so uncomfortable and when do I get like that?”
I respond, “I don’t see that side of you often.”
Kane shakes his head, “I just don’t like it Jace.”
I respond with a hint of jealousy, “Now I am really pissed off. That is like crossing the line in so many ways. You have got to talk to Salim about her sooner rather than later.”
“I know but some people just don’t care. They are use to getting what they want when they want it.”
I ask and say, “Have you talked to Salim about this issue? I mean this is just wrong. I don’t like that she is doing this to you.”
Kane says, “Salim says he will talk to her.”
I say, “So you have talked to him a little?”
Kane says, “Just a little and nothing in depth.”
I reply, “I am just so lucky you are so loyal.”
Kane smiles as he says, “Always and forever, honey.”
Kane kisses me on the forehead. Zeus howls with his little puppy voice. I love it when Zeus does his little howls, I think it is so cute, and I usually encourage him to do it often. Kane doesn’t really like it but he tolerates it because he knows it makes me smile. Zeus is just very protective of me and he gets a little jealous from time to time. Kane tells Zeus it is okay and that he is not going to hurt me but I do not think Zeus believes him.
It is my night to cook dinner. I am making pork chops, mashed potatoes, green beans, and gravy. This dinner is one of Kane’s favorite meals. As I cook, Kane takes Zeus out for another walk, and Zeus is really excited to be going out again. Zeus loves his walks with almost anyone. Kane usually takes him for a long walk and Zeus likes that. I just take him to the field and I let him run and we play together. Kane does not like taking Zeus to the field because he does not like taking Zeus off leash.
When Kane and Zeus return from their walk, dinner is almost finished. Zeus is carrying his leash around the house proudly. I smile for this is the newest phase that Zeus is going through. Zeus head butts Kane’s leg, he is trying to tell us that he wants to go out for another walk, and he is looking up at us wagging his tail. I giggle and tell Zeus he cannot go out again for a little while. Of course Zeus knows what I am saying but he chooses to ignore me.
I say that Zeus is such a big boy and he is also as smart as a whip. But he is not going out for another walk just yet. Zeus dances around and I try to take his leash from his mouth and he growls playfully. I rough house with Zeus for about twenty minutes or so. Zeus drops his leash and he races into the living room and he brings me his tennis ball that he has peeled the fuzz completely off of. This is another little oddity that Zeus has. I toss the ball and Zeus slides to get the ball in his little mouth. I crack up and Kane says it is good to hear me laugh again.
I wash my hands and I serve dinner. Kane has missed lunch today which makes him starving. As we eat, Kane tells me about the cases that they had today, and then he begins to laugh. Kane and Hope had this French woman who was a psych patient and she was being sectioned to the hospital to have an evaluation done. This woman had to be restrained to the stretcher because she kept punching everyone that she could and she would scream at the top of her lungs in French. Hope, the insane new medic, had to be in the back of the ambulance with this woman because that is how it works with psych patients. If the patient is a woman then a woman has to be with her in the ambulance and if the patient is a man then there must be a man in the back with him.
As Kane pulls up to the hospital he can hear the French woman call Hope a lesbian. Kane says he smiled and he just rolled his eyes for Hope did not know how to react to this. Then this patient says that she wants to be lesbians together. Kane laughs at Hope and her facial expressions that he can see in the rearview mirror. Hope looks horrified for several moments. Hope then tells the woman to shut the fuck up before she tapes her mouth shut. Kane says this pissed him off. Kane was not pleased how Hope talked to the patient. You can smile or even giggle about it a little at a later time but you never threaten a patient. Threatening a patient is grounds for instant termination and Kane tells dispatch to have Salim come to the hospital for there is an issue going on.
With the psych patient case over with, Hope and Kane are sitting in the ambulance, and Hope is talking trash about the psych patient that they just had. Hope is now judging all psych patients and she is also scared that they are going to infect her somehow. Kane has had enough of her complaining. Kane says for her to shut the fuck up and she should not be pulling this shit. Kane is more than a little angry. Kane gets on the radio with dispatch. Kane asks dispatch what Salim’s estimated time of arrival at Bryant Memorial Hospital. Dispatch says Salim should be at the hospital within fifteen minutes.
When Salim finally arrives about fifteen minutes later Kane climbs out of the ambulance and Hope is curious as to what is going on. Kane reports the new medic, Hope, and what she is pulling. Kane recounts everything that Hope had said to the patient. Salim is just as upset as Kane is and Hope attempts to plead with her eyes for him not to fire her on the spot. Salim pulls Hope aside to discuss all of the inappropriate behaviors that she is displaying.
Salim demands to know, “What the fuck are you doing?”
Hope raises her voice a little as she talks to Salim, “My freaking job is what I am doing.”
Salim is quiet as he speaks, “Don’t you raise your voice to me.”
Hope is defiant, “Don’t you dare tell me what to do.”
Salim is firm as he states, “While you are on shift here, I have every right to tell you what to do, or did you forget that?”
Hope tries to sound sincere, “I was just venting with Kane that’s all. I swear to God.”
Salim says, “You do not disrespect a patient. You never, ever torment a patient either.”
Hope says, “I didn’t do any of that, I swear.”
“That isn’t what staff in the hospital says and Kane has indicated you were disrespectful. You also threatened to tape the patient’s mouth shut if she did not quiet down. Is this true Hope?”
Hope’s blood boils, “Did Kane said something?”
Salim is stern, “Yes and I am glad he did.”
“That isn’t fair.”
Salim asks, “What isn’t fair?”
“That he ratted me out.”
“Kane is a good man. He has been on the job for over twenty something years. You should listen to him. Kane always goes above and beyond the call of duty.”
Hope is disrespectful as she says, “I am not listening to a freaking moron.”
Salim has had enough of Hope and her antics, “You are suspended as of this very second and you are suspended without pay.”
Hope is furious, “You can’t do this to me. Kane has been a trouble maker this whole time we have been working together.”
Kane asks, “What do you mean?”
Hope glares at Salim as she speaks, “He harasses me. He is constantly asking me out on dates. He tells me what he wants to do to me physically and it makes me sick. I am so distressed by all of this bullshit.”
Salim demands, “Why didn’t you report any of this?”
Hope pretends to be scared, “Because I did not want to get him in trouble and I felt violated.”
Salim says, “Hope that does not cut it. Hope, this is what you have been doing to Kane, and it is not going to work. Kane has made multiple reports against you Hope. You also don’t listen, you don’t take no for an answer, and you try to play by your own rules.”
Hope cries out, “You have it all wrong Salim.”
“Kane is twisting all of this to make him look like the victim.”
“He is not. He has been reporting each issue to me and we have been documenting them.”
Salim says, “The suspension starts now and you will be returning to the station with me for you will not subject Kane to anymore of your psychological games.”
“You need prior authorization to suspend me.”
Salim states, “If you actually read the Bryant EMS manual that you were given, you would know that it is in my job description, and you’re a hazard to the patients. Do I need to actually fire you?”
Hope raises her voice again, “Kane is lying to you Salim!”
Salim replies, “I have known Kane for more than twenty years and he has never lied to me before so why would he start now?”
Hope spits, “Because he is a freaking demented loser.”
Salim says, “Shall I will fire you on the spot? I will do it if you keep pushing me.”
Hope growls, “You wouldn’t dare.”
Salim is not putting up with Hope’s bullshit, “Try me. I don’t deal with disrespect.”
Hope gets bold, “I will press charges.”
Salim replies, “You can try if you like but there is documentation on everything or did you forget that fact? Charges will not apply to this situation plus I have multiple witnesses that will testify against you.”
Hope replies hatefully, “You’re a real asshole Salim!”
Salim remains calm, “And you’re starting to lose it. So what is your point?”
Salim turns his back on Hope as Kane climbs into the ambulance without Hope. Salim will be taking Hope back to the station so Hope can get her vehicle. Salim does not want to subject Kane to any more of Hope’s insane antics or her emotional abuse. Hope hates both Kane and Salim at the moment. Hope sits quietly in Salim’s four wheel drive and she is attempting to figure out how to get back at both Kane and Salim.
At the station, Kane is getting out of the ambulance, and Hope comes up behind him. Kane rolls his eyes as he turns around and he faces her. Hope punches Kane in the face and Kane receives a bloody nose and a split lip from this action. Kane is bleeding profusely. Salim runs to Kane’s side. Salim glares at Hope and he fires her right then and there. Hope starts screaming at Salim and she is expressing that nobody is listening to her. Hope is feeling like she is being bullied and she says that this is the last straw. Salim is not going to put up with Hope’s antics any longer.
Hope curses both Kane and Salim. Hope is not happy but she, herself, is solely responsible for this mess and she does not see this fact. Hope yells all kinds of threats that she will never act on and states that they have not heard the last from her. When Hope storms off, Salim rolls his clear blue eyes, and he already knows that Hope is bluffing.
Hope is full of intense steam but she will not push anything further than it has to go. Salim can sense that Hope is nothing more than a lunatic and he sighs. Kane also thinks that Hope is all talk and she will chicken out on her threats. Salim says that Hope has demonstrated the same actions at every job she has ever had. Salim says this to Kane who is baffled by this. Salim and Kane both agree that Hope has no motivation at all and she is extremely lazy. Hope acts like she knows everything that has ever been said and done which is another one of her unstable personality traits.
Kane wonders, “Why the hell did the higher ups hire her if she has done this at other jobs?”
Salim says, “I really have no idea.”
Kane says, “Come on, you can plainly see that something is not right with the girl.”
Salim thinks for a moment and then he says, “Maybe she sweet talked her way out of all her failures. Who the hell knows what she told them.”
Kane replies, “So you don’t think she will press any charges against us, do you?”
Salim laughs slightly, “I highly doubt it. Even if she does try she will not win anything. We have documented everything she has done plus we have plenty of witnesses.”
Kane is relieved by this, “That’s good. I really don’t like that girl. She made me extremely uncomfortable.”