Rampart General Hospital was a hive of activity. Doctors and nurses were rushing back and forth, trying to get people into some kind of order. Not to mention it was the day for collecting blood from donors and the blood banks. Needless to say, it was hectic. The student nurses were running back and forth, trying to keep order.
"Boy, it's really busy here today," Carole said as she walked behind the desk.
"Tell me about it," Dixie replied. "Dr. Smith and Dr. West are handling everything at the blood bank but Kel might go over to the bank and get some blood. But we'll be okay if Dan and T.J. don't show up."
"Rampart, this is fifty-one, do you read me?" Dan's voice said over the loudspeaker.
"Hmm, speak of the devil," Carole said. She picked up the phone. "Rampart, go ahead, fifty-one."
"Rampart, we have a car accident victim, male, about thirty-five-years-old, conscious but he's in a lot of pain. BP, ninety over one sixty, pulse, seventy over ninety, respiration, twenty."
"Transport immediately, and treat however best, fifty-one. Better tell Dr. Brackett to get ready. Car accident victim coming on."
"Yeah," Dixie said. "And speaking of victims, here comes one of a divorce."
Carole turned around and saw her stepson, Mike Nesmith, walk toward the next.
"Hi, Carole," he said.
"What are you doing here, Mike?" Carole asked.
"Just visitin', I guess. It looks like you're busy today."
"Are we ever."
"Maybe I can help out or somethin'."
"Well, I guess so. Not with an operation or anything, but maybe as a nurse for a day."
Carole nodded. She left the desk to find Dr. Brackett. Things began to settle down shortly after that. Dr. Brackett was able to get the car accident victim into some kind of order. Then he went down to the blood bank to see how things were going. Carole and Dixie manned (or should I say womanned?) the front desk. After a little way, a short man with a pasty complection and drooping mustache came to the front desk.
"May I help you?" Carole asked.
"My name is Casper J. Fragile," the man said. "I just came from the blood bank. I wanted to make a withdrawal, but they told me to come here for it."
"Dix, it's for you," Carole said.
"How come you always give me the weird ones?" Dixie asked.
"Because you're more experienced than I am."
Dixie couldn't argue with logic there. Carole walked over to the blood supply room. A candy striper, Steffie, was sorting out blood. Mike was also in the room, helping out.
"Steffie," Carole said. "You have other work to do."
"Oh rats!" Steffie shouted. "Oh well. See you later, hot stuff."
Before she walked out of the room, Steffie smacked Mike on the behind. Carole groaned. Mike was totally shocked.
"What'd she do that for?" Mike asked.
"She's completely boy crazy," Carole said. "The main qualities of a man to her are eyes, face, and butt. Stay away from her. She smacks patients butts right and left."
Mike nodded and continued stacking the blood on the cart.
"What do you need all this blood for?" he asked.
"Blood transfusions," Carole explained. "And maybe Dr. Red can handle Mr. Fragile."
Mike nodded and continued stacking. Carole helped a little. She also had to pick up some anesthesia that was in the storage room. She was looking for it when she heard something break. She whirled around and saw a small pool of blood on the floor with glass around it.
"What happened?" she asked.
"I dropped it," Mike said. "It was an accident, Carole. I just lost my grip."
"How did you lose your grip, Mike?"
"I don't know. My palms are kinda sweaty."
"I'd better get this cleaned up before Dr. Brackett sees it."
Of course, Dr. Brackett saw it, and he wasn't too pleased.
"Carole," he said. "What happened?"
"My stepson accidently dropped a tube of blood," Carole explained. "I'll clean it up! Honest!"
"What is your stepson doing here?"
"He came to visit, and volunteered to help out since we're busy today. Oh by the way, Mr. Casper J. Fragile is here and he wants that withdrawal at the blood bank."
"All right. I'll get a transfusion ready. As for you Carole, clean up the mess, and as for you Mike, if you're going to hang around, fine, just don't get in the way."
Carole nodded and Mike saluted. Carole found a sponge and got to work.
"I don't think he likes you," Mike answered, finding another sponge and proceeded to help his stepmother.
"Well," Carole said. "He's just getting over the shock of me getting promoted to full nurse instead of student nurse recently."
"Exactly one week before your father and I were married, Mike."
Mike nodded. He bent down and began to scrub as fast as he could, just in case the spilled blood would leave a stain. However, he slipped and he and Carole ended up hitting their heads together.
"Ow!" they shouted.
"Mike, are you all right?" Carole asked.
"Yeah," Mike said. "Are you?"
"I've had worse, to tell you the truth."
"Boy, isn't this ironic? You're a nurse, and you get hurt."
"Eh, this isn't too bad. Dixie broke her ankle once. It can't be helped, you know."
Mike shrugged and continued cleaning up the mess. When they were done, they went back to the front desk. Dixie was getting information about a collapsed victim from Dan and T.J. When she was finished she turned to the others.
"Kel was really ticked off a minute ago," she said.
"He got mad because Mike dropped a tube of blood by accident," Carole said. "We had to clean it up and we ended up hitting our heads together."
"How did that happen?"
"Mike, somehow or another, slipped."
"You've gotten a bit clumsy lately, Mike."
Mike shrugged and stretched his arms out.
"Well, I've been on tour for an entire month," he explained. "And I'm sure Carole shows you the videos she takes whenever she's around to see a concert."
"That I have," Dixie said. "Now what I want to know is why do you do it?"
"Well, I kind of like dancin'. It's different. Except sometimes we'll do instruments. That happens when Reg, or Camille, or any one of us can't come up with some clever choreography."
Dixie nodded. A few hours went by. Mike came close to dropping things, but the other doctors and nurses caught the stuff before they hit the floor. Dr. Brackett came from the blood transfusion and he was a mess. He walked into the nurses lounge and found Carole sitting with her best friend, Sharon, and Mike. The three of them were talking about the Mallards' latest tour over a cup of coffee.
"Carole," Dr. Brackett said.
"What happened to you?!" Mike shouted. "You're a mess!"
"Mr. Fragile hit a gusher," Dr. Brackett explained. "Carole, I need you with a patient in maternity. It seems her baby is coming early."
"Oh, I'll handle it," Mike said.
"Mike, no," Carole said, sternly. "I know you want to help out with this, but I think I better handle it."
Carole started out of the lounge. Dr. Brackett followed.
"You'd better get up to the maternity ward before that baby comes without Mrs. Johnson being ready."
"Yes, Dr. Brackett."
Carole darted to the elevator. After that, Carole "womanned" the front desk for awhile. Mike joined her.
"Where have you been, Mike?" Carole asked.
"In the nurses lounge," Mike explained. "I closed my eyes for just two seconds and an hour passed by."
"You're more tired than I thought," Carole said.
Mike nodded. Suddenly, Lynn and Beth ran into the lobby, in a panic.
"What's wrong, guys?" Carole asked.
"Sandy's on the rampage!" Beth shouted.
"Sandy?" Mike asked. Carole didn't take time to explain. She just needed Dr. Brackett now when Sandy reached her Rampage at Rampart.
"Paging Dr. Brackett," Carole said. "Emergency in the lobby. Sandy again."
Dr. Brackett groaned and took the elevator to the lobby. Suddenly, a nurse with a crazed look in her eyes and Medusa like hair ran into the lobby, revving up a chain saw.
"SURGERY!" she screamed.
Somebody in the lobby almost had a heart attack. Everybody was in total panic. Dan walked into the room, cool as a cucumber. He walked up to the front desk.
"Carole," he said. "T.J. and I need to sign something out. By the way what's all the panic?"
"MWA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAAA!" Sandy screamed with laughter, revving her chain saw.
"Oh, that's the panic," Dan said. Then he realized what was happening. "Wait a minute! Let me outta here!"
Finally, Dr. Brackett appeared on the scene with an oxygen tank.
"Sandy," he said calmly. "Take this and breathe deep."
"YES DR. BRACKETT!" Sandy shouted. She took the oxygen mask from the tank and breathed deeply. Then . . .
Sandy fell to the floor snoring away. A couple of other paramedics came and took Sandy to her private nurse's lounge.
"It's all right, everyone," Dr. Brackett said. "Sandy just had one of her moments."
"Why do you keep her around, Dr. Brackett?" Dr. Lee's daughter, Gi (who was a candy striper), asked.
"Her chain saw comes in handy when we're out of anesthesia," Dr. Brackett answered.
"It's very effective," Carole said. "Mike looks scared half to death."
That happened to be sure. He was frozen in place, white as a sheet, eyes bugged out. Sandy practically scared the you-know-what right out of him.
"Mike? You okay?" Carole asked. She took his shoulder and shook it. Mike slowly came to his senses.
"Whoa," Mike said. "That woman is a complete mental case."
"Tell us about it!" Lynn shouted.
Everybody got back to work. Mike manned the front desk with Sharon for awhile. However, he was becoming a bit preoccupied.
"Mike?" Sharon asked. "Are you all right?"
"Huh?" Mike asked. "Oh. Yeah. Yeah, I'm completely groovy."
"Well, maybe it's time for a lunch break. Come with me to the cafeteria. I'll get Beth to watch the desk."
Beth came over a few minutes later, and Mike and Sharon were off to the cafeteria. They got some lunch and then sat down at one of tables. Mike basically picked at his food.
"It's not that bad, Mike," Sharon said. "It's a heck of a lot better than the food we give the patients."
"Got any mayo?" Mike asked, looked at his completely bone dry burger.
"Over on the counter."
Mike stood up slowly. He walked over to the condiment table and looked for the mayonnaise.
"Let's face it," he said. "All cafeteria food is disgustin'."
"True," Sharon replied. "But never get stuck in a hospital, Mike. The food we give the patients is terrible!"
Mike had to laugh at that one. He was still looking around for the mayo when T.J. and Carole entered the cafeteria.
"What's T.J. doing here?" Sharon asked.
"He felt like hanging around," Carole said. "But it's okay with the captain at the station."
"Good," Sharon said. "Mike! Haven't you found the mayonnaise yet?"
"No," Mike said. "I'm lookin', I'm lookin'!"
"You're looking a little sick if you ask me," Carole said, walking over to him. "Are you all right?"
Mike just shrugged. He finally spotted the packets of mayonnaise and reached for a handful. When he did, he knocked the bottles of ketchup and mustard off the condiment stand, lost his balance, and fell into the condiment stand. And this particular stand had wheels on it and it slid when Mike fell into it. Mike fell to the floor with a thud, and the condiment stand sailed into the wall with a loud crash.
"Mike!" Carole shouted. She leaned down to him. Mike groaned and grabbed his stepmother's arm. He looked up at her and started to say something, but all that came out were short pants and he was sweating.
"I'm gonna go find a stretcher," T.J. said. "This man needs some medical help."
T.J. ran out of the cafeteria as fast as he could. Carole lifted Mike's torso and did her best to keep him in an upright position until T.J. got back. He returned with Dan and they were wheeling the stretcher inside.
"Okay, up we go," Dan said, taking Mike's arms. T.J. took his legs and they lifted Mike onto the stretcher. Then they wheeled him out of the cafeteria. Sharon and Carole followed. They passed the front desk on the way to the elevator. Dixie was handling everything.
"Sharon, go with Dan and T.J.," Carole said. She ran to the desk. "Dixie, is Dr. Brackett available?"
"He's in the maternity ward," Dixie said.
"How about Lynn?"
"She's in surgery."
"It's his day off."
"What about Dr. Johansson?"
"She's got a tonsillectomy today."
"And I suppose Dr. Smith is playing golf today?"
"You got it."
"Ahhh! How can all the doctors be busy at once?!"
"Carole, relax! By the way, was that Mike on that stretcher?"
"Where are you going?"
"The examining room on the third floor."
"I'll send the first doctor available up."
"In the meantime, go ahead and run some tests."
Carole nodded and ran to the elevator. She made it to the operating room. Sharon was taking Mike's blood pressure. Mike was practically unconscious, and he was groaning like crazy.
"Dixie said to run some tests," Carole said. "Let's go."
"Does he do drugs?" Dan asked.
"No, but he smokes," Carole said. "Maybe that has something to do with it."
Carole and Sharon did every possible test they could think of. All came out negative. They were at a loss. Just then, Carole thought of something.
"Wait a minute!" she shouted. "I know this may sound highly unusual, but check his blood."
"Blood?" Sharon asked. "Carole, I don't know. I doubt there's something wrong with Mike's blood, I mean . . ."
Carole was already preparing the needle. She wiped some sort of liquid on Mike's arm and stuck the needle in. After she took blood, she put a piece of gauze on Mike's arm and fastened it with an adhesive strip. Carole was about to put it under the microscope when Dr. Brackett came in.
"What's going on up here?" he asked.
"Mike collapsed in the cafeteria," Carole explained. "We're just testing his blood."
"I'll do that," Dr. Brackett said, walking over to the microscope.
Carole walked over to Mike, took his hand, and stroked his soft, dark hair. He just looked like he was asleep. A few moments later, Dr. Brackett had the results with the blood test.
"Did you do every other test?" he asked.
"Yes, Dr," Carole said.
"All right. This may shock you, Carole, but Michael has a low blood sugar count."
"He has hypoglycemia."
"Oh no. Could it develop into diabetes?"
"Not if he's careful. Sharon, go down to the cafeteria and get a glass of orange juice or a Coke or any other soft drink. We need to give Mike either some sugar, or food, or something. I think liquid form should be the best form, since he's unconscious. And bring it to room three fifty-four."
Dr. Brackett and Carole wheeled Mike into a room. Sharon returned quickly with a can of Coke. Dr. Brackett opened it.
"Carole, raise his head," he ordered.
Carole put her hand behind Mike's neck and lifted as gently as possible. Dr. Brackett held the can of Coke to Mike's lips and tilted it. Most of the soda got into Mike's mouth, however, some of it was dripping down the corners of his mouth. Carole laughed.
"Oh, Mike, you're making a mess," she said, wiping the corners of her stepson's mouth with her handkerchief. She turned to Dr. Brackett. "Will he be okay, Dr?"
"He should be," Dr. Brackett said. "Hypoglycemia can turn out to be much worse if it's not treated properly. I'd better tell both of you what's going to happen when he wakes up."
Carole nodded. Both of them left the room for awhile. Dan and T.J. were waiting at the front desk.
"Well?" Dan asked.
"Hypoglycemia," Carole said. "He should be okay, once he wakes up."
"Oh, good," T.J. said. "We'd better get back to the station or the captain's gonna have a fit."
Dan nodded and he and T.J. were off.
Fifteen minutes later, over an intercom of some sort . . .
"Ahh!" Dixie and Carole screamed at the same time. They started panting and they put their hands over their hearts.
"Mike's awake," Carole answered.
"How could you tell?" Dixie asked.
"His voice is like a sonic boom when he yells."
Carole was off. Apparently, everyone in that hallway was frightened half to death. Dr. Brackett came up to the two nurses.
"Was that a sonic boom?" he asked.
"No, Kel, that was a patient," Dixie said.
"I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count."
"You got it."
"Should've guessed. Might as well follow Carole."
Dr. Brackett and Carole walked into Mike's room. He was sweating and he looked panicked.
"Mike? Anything the matter?" Carole asked.
"Plenty," Mike said. "One minute I'm in the cafeteria. The last thing I remember was I fell to the floor and now I'm in a hospital room, in a hospital gown, and I wake up and I see a candy striper tryin' to attack me!"
"We must have a word with Steffie," Dr. Brackett said. "How do you feel, Mike?"
"Lousy," Mike answered. "What happened anyway? Am I over worked?"
"Did you eat anything at all today, Mike?"
"Well, I did skip breakfast to tell you the truth. I might have had some coffee."
"Did you put any cream or sugar in it?"
"Nope. Black coffee. I was tired, so I guess I was tryin' to wake up. Why?"
"I hate to tell this to you, Mike, but you have hypoglycemia."
"Hypo-what?! What's that?!"
"Hypoglycemia is when your glucose is below normal."
"What the H-E-double hockey sticks is glucose?"
"Why didn't you just say so?"
"Is it anythin' like diabetes?"
"Am I gonna be on a strict diet now?"
"Well, Mike, this is the beauty of hypoglycemia. You don't have to decrease the amount of sugar that goes into your body, you have to increase it. And you have to eat more."
"Carole always bugs me about eatin' more. I guess now she'll have a better reason to get me to eat."
"Yeah, you're a skinny young thing, aren't you?"
"Us tall Texans are known to be skinny."
"Anyway, you're going to have to do something about your habits. I know you're in a rock band and your friends expect you to dance all these moves, which frankly I don't see how anyone can do!"
"You'd understand if you were a lot younger, Dr. Brackett."
Dr. Brackett glared at Mike, but continued his lecture.
"Anyway," he said. "You're going to have to start eating more. Skipping meals is not an option. Every time you have a rehearsal, eat something before hand. And when you do a concert, eat first and then perform."
"Oh, but we usually perform first and then eat after," Mike said.
"This time, it has to be vice versa. Mike, you can not mess around with this. If you don't eat anything for a long period of time, you could faint, or it's possible you could slip into a coma."
"No, I didn't mean to panic you, Mike, but it can be if you don't take care of yourself."
"So all I have to do is eat more."
"That's basically it."
"Well, what happens if I forget to eat somethin' and start to faint?"
"If anyone is around, ask them to bring you some food. Anything. An apple, a Hershey bar, a seven pound steak, you won't care, just eat something!"
Mike laughed and nodded. It all seemed simple enough. Dr. Brackett decided to keep Mike over night for observation. Carole was at the front desk handling everything. Soon, a middle aged man came running around the lobby screaming at the top of his lungs, and Sandy was chasing him with her chainsaw.
"SURGERY!" she screamed.
"Hello, Dix?" Carole said, picking up a phone. "Is there a doctor in the house?"