Crash and Burnout, Part 5
Posted on Mon Feb 19th, 2018 @ 2:37am by Unawakened Devon Spencer
Location: Newport News, Virginia
Timeline: Tuesday, 09 March 2010
Tags: Devon, Dev, Deo, Spencer, Bobbie, Mitchum, Liv, Jones, Tina, Cyparissus
Previously, “Tripping Balls Down the Rabbit Hole”
Deo grimaced, “God, no!” He then softened thoughtfully, “I mean, I felt great Monday but if this is what pot does to me then never again. You know me, Liv, I hate drugs. I’m weird enough without them.”
“I jest,” Liv said defensively. “Besides, I won’t have to kill you to death, because as I just established, you’re never going experiment with I.V. drugs.” She started to pick up the tourniquet, hesitated, and then picked up the cuff instead. She used it to cut off circulation temporarily. “Is that too tight? I can loosen it up if you need.”
“Huh,” Deo looked down, “No, it’s tight but it’s supposed to be. I’m good,” he offered a reassuring smile.
“Good,” she said, “can you make a fist? Pump it up a few times.” She continued to carefully examine his forearm. “Excellent.” Using her bare fingers, she tenderly probed his forearm. “Just a few more times. There we go.”
Releasing the pressure on the cuff, she wiped his arm with alcohol and then donned the gloves. She opened the needle’s packaging but didn’t yet remove it, instead reinflating the cuff and then, with everything just so, went back to probe his arm one last time.
“I’ll go slow,” she said gently, “and steady, but there’s still going to be a pinch. Feel free to look away. Try to relax and not move; tensing up and wiggling tend to make it hurt more.”
“Little stick,” she said, lifting the syringe and needle, as she carefully inserted the slender shaft under his skin, “and now a big one.” Now she worked on slipping into the vein, but it rolled. “Sorry,” she said softly. “I’m trying. Dehydration makes this difficult.” She tried again, not removing the needle from his skin, but still fishing below the surface slowly. She made it into the vein this time but had no luck. Even an attempt to withdraw the syringe to pull blood was a failure. “Well, that’s a wash.” She loosened the cuff and sat back with a sigh.
Deo turned his head opposite from Liv and pinched his eyes shut. He gritted his teeth against Liv’s fishing for a vein. He did not feel any particular fear of needles but this was new in his experience. He kept his breathing steady, though with clear effort. “That’s weird, nobody has had any trouble before. I guess it is the dehydration. That’s Incentive to drink. Yes, I will drink more water,” he took a deep, calming breath. “Okay, if you need to try again, I’m ready.”
“I need a new needle,” she said apologetically. “Unless you’d prefer Tina try? She’d still need a new needle, but….”
“It’s okay,” Deo opened his eyes and gave Liv a nervous smile. Things went unspoken between him and Liv but for now, he needed to speak from his heart. His cheeks turned red and he ducked his eyes bashfully. “Nothing against Tina but I know you. Nobody is better at this stuff than you. Do what you have to do, Liv.”
Liv flushed a deep red as well, the color filling her face as she took the new syringe from Tina. She didn’t speak, instead, she looked for a new site to try. Settling on one more on the side, she gently stroked his skin, satisfying herself that it was full and she was past the valve.
Nodding, she repeated all the moves from before. Wipe, tighten, open. “Here we go,” she said softly. “Right, pump your fist for me. Nice and big.” She stroked the inflating vein. “A couple more. Relax, Dev, this is looking much better.” She aligned the needle with the vein. “In through the nose,” she said softly, “out through the mouth. Nice and steady, like the tortoise, here’s the pinch…” The needle pierced the skin, and then, with a flash of deep red, she was in the vein. The syringe filled itself at first, as Liv eyed the tubes, trying to calculate how much was needed for each.
“CBC, TSH, Free T4, Metabolic and Chem Panels, Electrolytes, I’m seeing a gold, a green and two lavenders - am I missing anything?” she asked Tina. “So we don’t need even 3 full mils?”
Tina shook her head. “Nah, that’s enough. I’ll send those off to the lab and have it tested.”
“Great,” Liv said, checking the syringe, releasing the pressure on the cuff, and then withdrawing the needle while pressing a cotton ball in its place. “Here,” she said, “press, and lift your arm.”
“Congrats, Deo!” Tina smirked playfully, clapping her cousin’s son on the shoulder. “You survived!”
Deo grinned shakily as Liv gave him a cotton ball to hold over the puncture mark. “Yay,” he cheered, “I want my damned lollipop!”
Liv quickly pierced the gold, green, and then two lavender tubes in turn before letting the cap of the needle seal itself off. “OK, Dev,” she said, “let’s see here.” She took his arm back, wiped around the wound, and then bandaged it. “Very nice. Don’t take the Band-Aid off for a while, and I’ll go find you a sucker.” She kissed his forehead. “Your tubes, Tina,” she added, handing them over, and then gathering her trash.
Bobbie sat on the bed opposite Tina so she could sit if she liked. He took Deo’s good hand and kissed the knuckles. “You seem to be in better spirits.”
“Chin up and all that,” Deo offered a pained smile. “I still feel like my gut is wrapped around my spine. Could it really be an allergy to pot? When can I expect this to go away?”
“Hard to say.” Tina shrugged. “At least not without being sure exactly what is going on here. If it is an allergy? Without further exposure, the hunger will fade in time. We’ll know more when we get the blood results back.”
“Can I have some water?” Devon cleared his throat.
“You big baby,” Bobbie’s lips curled with amusement as he kissed his love. He spoke softly, “Be right back.”
The muscular youth made his way around the corner to the bathroom, giving Deo opportunity to face Tina. He peered from under his lashes in sheepish regret. “I’m sorry for calling you away from your visit with Mama. Especially since it happened because I did something stupid. I felt so much better. I really hoped…,” he let his words trail off as he stared at his hands. “I guess it was too much to hope that THC might really help me.”
Deo looked up to meet Tina’s gaze. “I remembered the report Liv wrote about THC, about how people suffering from PTSD showed dramatic improvement. That and Bobbie seemed so nervous about my seeing what his real life was like. I wanted him to know that it was okay, that I never wanted him to change just for me. I thought I could kill two birds with one stone. It seemed like a good idea at the time.”
Tina nodded, her eyes soft and sympathetic, “I understand. THC does help in some cases of PTSD, yes, and an allergy to it is ... not common, especially when it presents like this, but at least now you know. You’re developing a reaction to something doesn’t mean that Bobbie needs to change his lifestyle to suit you, of course. Though ... from the look of that man and how he looks at you, he might just want to.” Tina smiled, a benign, soft affectionate smile as she reached out and gently tucked a lock of hair behind Deo’s ear. “Lucky bastard ... wait, did I say that out loud?”
Deo opened his mouth to reply when Bobbie returned with a plastic tumbler of water and resumed his place, seated at Deo’s side. “Here,” he gave over the glass, “Drink, but slowly, okay.”
“Okay,” Deo nodded and drank with hands atremble, water dribbling past his lips and off his chin. The Greek artist finally gave over the empty tumbler and hugged his gut, appearing on the edge of tears with hunger pangs. “If we’re done I could really use something to eat.”
Tina laughed. “We can find you something.”
Liv returned with an enormous red plastic bag with a bright white logo emblazoned on the side. “Pick a flavor,” she said, proffering the opened bag, holding one of the small, round, wax-paper-wrapped objects in her hand. “I’m partial to blue raspberry and anything red myself, but whatever floats your boat. We already know that you and I disagree on all the most important things in life.” She had a wicked gleam in her eye.
Deo reached for the bag, saw the label and glared. It read, Dum-Dums.. “Really, Liv,” he rolled his eyes. “This joke grew old when we were five.”
“What?” she insisted in feigned innocence. “I only opened the bag to get mine out. Mama picked them up on her most recent trip for when the girls come by. You’re the one who asked for a lollipop.”
“Oooh, can I have the green one?” Tina asked, hopefully.
“Go for it,” Liv said.
“Awesome.” Tina grinned, taking the green one and tearing into it eagerly. “I love these.”
“Oh, I’ll take orange and lemon,” Bobbie rummaged in the bag. Devon eventually snatched it.
“Grape! I call purples and … What’s left?” He pouted as he peered into the bag. “You guys suck!”
-To be continued-