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135 25 ~ Emily I wedged the telephone receiver between my left ear and neck, scrunching up my shoulder to hold it tight. The yelling from Marge’s office was loud enough to interfere with my conversation, but her closed door obscured the details of the reprimand. Carmen was describing the stain on Josué’s bandage. “It’s a greenish color, and it smells bad.” The corner office door opened several inches to reveal the new nurse’s hand clutching the doorknob. “We have regulations here and they apply to everyone,” Marge said, before the door closed again. I wondered what the new recruit had done, and if she would pack up the framed desk photo of her infant son and never return. Had any of us remembered to orient her to Marge’s obsessions about certain procedures? I tried to concentrate on Carmen. “Does he have a fever?” “No, no fever. But the green, does that mean an infection?” I could hear Josué in the background reassuring her. “No infection, Mamá. Don’t worry.” We all tried to ignore the muted fury that seeped from Marge’s office. Even Andy, usually the boss’s stalwart defender, turned his back on the racket and rolled his eyes. “Call the surgeon’s office and let them know,” I suggested to Carmen, pressing my fingeragainstmyfreeear.“Iftheywantaculture,I’llstopbyafterlunchandcollectit.” I checked the clock. Just enough time before Pippa’s ultrasound appointment for my weekly call to the probation office. A question for Nan had been nagging at the back of my brain but I couldn’t quite remember it. “Malloy.” Even this early, Nan’s voice had an edge of no-nonsense. “This is Emily Klein. Checking in about Pippa Glenning?” Ever since Momma’s nightly phone calls with Daddy during his trial, I wasn’t crazy about telephones. But it was better than being in Nan’s office with that painting. 136 ~ House Arrest “How is Glenning?” Nan asked. “Any problems?” I considered briefly the potential adverse effects of wine mixed with peyote cactus powder on a second-trimester fetus. But I doubted that Pippa planned to drink the libation. Not this year, not when she was pregnant. And what about skipping out on work last Wednesday to visit Zoe in the hospital? Strictly speaking, I only knew of that from other people, so that was hearsay. Gossip, really. “No problems. I’m picking her up in a few minutes for her ultrasound and blood work.” “Did you see the newspaper yesterday?” “Yeah. It makes me very nervous.” There was a pause before Nan responded. “Listen. The D.A. is putting a lot of pressure on the court to put Pippa in jail with her friends. It’s complicated. Two years ago a pregnant woman miscarried in our local jail, and Judge Thomas is determined to avoid something like that again. But then last week in Cambridge, this pregnant bimbo awaiting trial for a B and E, who was under House Arrest to protect her fetus, snuck out and got an abortion and the judge is furious. For the moment, his protectthe -baby philosophy is working in Glenning’s favor, but I can’t promise how long that will continue.” Miscarriage. Hurt. I remembered my elusive question. “Pippa really wants this baby. She seems to be cooperating fully with the medical plan,” I said. “By the way, what if there’s an emergency? If Pippa starts spotting or goes into premature labor in the middle of the night? What is she supposed to do?” “Go to the emergency room, of course. But she should call as soon as possible, and let us know where she is and what’s happening. Before these damn federal privacy laws were passed, we could call around to all the E.R.’s to find out if an offender was there. But now with the HIPAA regulations, they won’t say a word. Even to us.” Nan’s laugh sounded bitter. “Privacy laws? How do they expect us to do our job, to protect the public—don’t get me started on that. No, in an emergency, of course we want her to get treatment right away. And then notify us ASAP.” I tried to choose my words carefully. “But, I mean, if she leaves the house, because she’s sick or something, it’s not a big deal, is it? If it’s for a good reason? For her health or her baby’s well-being?” “Breaking...


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MARC Record
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