Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Chapter Fifty-Seven

“Nurse, could you call down to the cafeteria and have them let Mr. Britt know that his wife is resting comfortably now. I want to talk to her when she wakes up, but it might be helpful for him to be here when I do.” He glanced at the open laptop on the bedside table. He felt sure that something in that email message must have triggered the reaction. Memory loss was almost always an indicator of a traumatic event, but what made it so difficult to analyze was that the nature of the event was locked in the mind of the patient.

The door opened and Harold Britt came in. “How is she, doctor?”

“Her blood pressure and heart rate have returned to normal and she appears to be resting comfortably now. Do you have any idea why your wife would have had such an extreme reaction to this email?”

“Fanny had been giving Abby advice on a number of thing– including some thorny issues related to her marriage.” Harold could tell that the doctor was puzzled. “Fanny is Abby’s AA sponsor, doctor.”

“I understand. I did see in Fanny’s history that she’d been sober for a number of years. How long has she sponsored Abby?”

“About two years. They met when Abby started going to Fanny’s home group.”

“Did you know Abby’s husband?”

Harold nodded. “He was in the program too. I met him at one of the meetings I go to. Richard had a reputation for being a hot head. I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of Fanny sponsoring Abby. I’d heard a rumor that he’d made some threats against his wife’s previous sponsor.”

“Did you know about the accident?”

“Yes, Abby left a telephone message for Fanny saying that Richard had been killed in a car crash. I didn’t tell Fanny about the call. Abby said she’d told Richard recently that she was going to leave him. She said she thought he was going to kill her.”

“Was your wife acquainted with Richard?”

“No. I don’t think she ever met him. With everything else that has happened, doctor, I just don’t understand why his death – as tragic as it is – would have affected her so severely.” He sat down in the chair next to his wife’s bed. “Oh, Fanny” he whispered. ”I wish you could tell us what happened to you.”

“I think she is trying to tell us, Harold. When she wakes up have the nurse call me immediately, I will be in my office.”



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