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197 44 ~ Emily After I watched them rush Pippa through the double doors, after I spoke on the phone with Sam, after I stood outside gulping cold air and letting my tears freeze on my cheeks, I stretched out on Pippa’s three chairs, using her coat as a mattress and mine as a blanket. I tried to reassure myself. A shot of epinephrine would suppress the allergic reaction, but I didn’t know how long Pippa’s breathing had been affected, whether her baby’s oxygen supply was compromised. I should have been there with her, not outside searching for Orion. I wondered what the story was with Tian and Francie, and why Sam was so concerned. I worried about Nan, and would she let Pippa stay at home if she couldn’t safely wear the monitor any more. Even with these questions swirling around my brain I must have fallen asleep because I woke up to the skinny nurse shaking my shoulder. “Your friend is a fighter,” the nurse said. “She’s going to be okay.” “And the baby?” “So far so good. You can see your patient now. Then we’ll transfer her upstairs.” My patient. I noticed that word. They knew about Pippa and me. I gathered our coats and followed the nurse. “Thank you.” “Bytheway,”thenursesaidoverhershoulder.“Youshouldhavetoldusshe’sunder house arrest. We notified the probation department.” I had a moment of panic, but I had notified Nan, even if I had left out some crucial details. Let that go, I told myself. Pippa and her baby were okay. Pippa didn’t look so great. She was even more pale than usual, even with the supplemental oxygen through a plastic cannula under her nose and two IVs. But the cardiac monitor showed a normal pattern and the smaller unit above it showed a strong fetal heartbeat. The nurse moved a chair close to the bed for me. At the scraping sound, Pippa opened her eyes. “Hi,” she said. The nurse adjusted her oxygen and wagged a finger at Pippa. “You need to rest.” 198 ~ House Arrest Pippa nodded then turned to me. “The twins?” “Sam says they’re fine.” I checked my watch; almost five a.m. “We’ll call him later and let him know you’re okay. Maybe he can bring the boys here to visit, after you rest.” I thought again about Tian and Francie. Maybe I should warn Pippa, before Sam said anything. Pippa closed her eyes. “Are we in big trouble?” “I don’t know. The last time I talked to Nan, while you were going into shock, she sounded pretty suspicious. The hospital called her too.” I pointed at Pippa’s ankle. “What happened?” She turned her face away, toward the beige curtain divider. “I was afraid the hives would be gone by the time they saw me,” she whispered. “I helped them along.” “You could have died.” She turned back to me. “You could have lost your job.” I couldn’t decide if her actions were brave or stupid. Both, I guess, just like mine. When I had a moment, I would have to figure out what I thought about my own actions, about using my knowledge of medicine to subvert the rules, even to a good end. Somehow, I didn’t think that’s what Florence had in mind in the nursing pledge when she wrote the bit about devoting ourselves to the welfare of those committed to our care. I pondered that conundrum while they disconnected Pippa from the E.R. equipment and wheeled her upstairs to a medical unit for twenty-four-hour observation. “Mostly for the baby’s sake,” the nurse explained, but I figured it was more likely at the request of the probation department. Settled in her new room, Pippa promptly fell asleep and I put my head down on the edge of her bed, close enough so I’d wake up if she moved. I dozed. Pippa’s visitors started arriving just after 7:00 a.m. First Sam brought the twins, who climbed over the guard rails right onto the high hospital bed, book-ending Pippa with their hugs. Jeremy stayed snuggled up against her, while Timothy leaned over to peer at the wiggly green lines skipping across the monitor screen and inspected the dials and alarms. Pippa smiled at Sam. “Thank you for taking care of them.” “They’re great kids,” Sam said. Pippahesitatedamoment,thenasked,“Tellmeagainwhathappenedatthepark.” “When I got there, your...


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MARC Record
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