Friday, March 23, 2018

Book Nook: Path of the Wind (1 of 2)


Excerpt from CHAPTER Fifteen of THE PATH OF THE WIND by James A. Misko, © 2017. Square One Publishers, Inc. (www.squareonepublishers.com). Used by permission. 

It was still dark when Miles was awakened to Ele’s moaning. Her arms lay across her forehead and she was moving her legs in slow motion like riding a bicycle. He reached over and shook her. She startled, then turned to look at him, eyes wide.
“Honey, I think you’re having a bad dream,” Miles said. 
Ele held her stare, her face unchanged.
“You okay?”
She blinked twice. “Something’s wrong. Get me to the doctor.”
“Now?”
“My legs hurt like crazy.”
Miles pulled the blanket off her legs and gasped. They were swollen like an elephant all the way to her knees, with beet red skin. Miles was taken back. He massaged them and noticed the tips of his fingers indented her flesh.
“Does that help?” Miles asked.
Ele shook her head. “No. I’m dying . . . I know it.”
“You’re not dying. You’re a strong, young woman.”
“Miles . . . get a bucket or pot . . . I’m gonna throw up.”
“Let me help you to the bathroom.”
“No, I’m gonna throw up now.”
Miles ran into the utility room, grabbed a bucket and was almost to the doorway into the bedroom when she lost control. He stopped, went back and got water in the bucket and some rags.
“I’m so sorry,” she muttered, wiping her chin.
“No problem, honey. You couldn’t help it.”
“The baby made me do it.”
“I know.”
“Please take me to the doctor?”
Miles nodded. He helped her dress. She was limp, her arms cool and moist as he guided her into the car.
“Can you drive any faster?” she asked.
“I can but there are a lot of deer in the fields. I don’t want one to slip onto the highway and into the windshield.”
“I don’t care. Go faster, Miles,” she said in a whisper before her head lolled to the side and her eyes closed.
Forty-five minutes later, they checked in at Prineville Memorial Hospital. The nurses took Ele on a gurney into the prep room, an IV already streaming into her arm delivering vital fluids drip by drip. Twenty minutes later a doctor arrived, hair mussed as he slipped a white gown over his pajama tops. When he emerged he walked toward Miles, removing his gloves. “Mr. Foster?”
“Yes, I’m Miles Foster.”
“I’ve examined your wife. She has toxemia of pregnancy. Thankfully, it’s in the early stages, but it can be quite serious if not recognized promptly and treated. With proper management she’ll recover with no harm to herself or the baby, but she must rest and keep her legs elevated until the swelling lessens and her blood pressure comes down.”
“Her blood pressure?”
“Very elevated. One of the first things we see in developing toxemia.”
Miles paused, letting it sink in.
“What do we do?”
“She could develop kidney problems and even go into seizures if the condition worsens, so you don’t want to neglect these symptoms. In addition to the bed rest with elevated legs at home, you must keep her away from salt and keep her well hydrated. Do you have a good water source at your home?”
“Yes, of course.”
The doctor smiled and tilted his head. “Not always the case around here.”
“How much should she drink?”
“Make sure she drinks at least eight glasses of water a day. And no alcohol.”
“She hasn’t been drinking any alcohol.”
“Good . . . good. Well—” he reached out his hand. “I want to keep her here in the hospital overnight so I can reassess in the morning. If the blood pressure is improved and the leg swelling down, you can take her home.”
Miles nodded. “Whatever you say, Doc.”
The doctor turned as he walked away. “Oh, and I’ll want to see her in a week.  Please call my office and schedule an appointment. And should your wife begin to feel ill again, or you notice her legs swelling up, call immediately.”
“We’ll do that. Thanks, and sorry for disturbing your sleep.”
The doctor smiled. “We learned this in residency. We did so much with so little sleep that we can now do anything with no sleep at all.”
Miles snorted. “Good night, Doc.”

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