Next, she started wiggling just her fingers and toes. Stiff, sore, and in general twice as heavy as she remembered, but they still seemed to work and respond to her orders, or at least she thought they were. Now, she decided, for a damage report on her hands. Rotating the hands slowly at the wrist she winced. It seemed that in the right hand there must be an IV and on the left hand there was a definite restriction, it must be a cast. But there was pain so she was sure that the information she was getting from her body was reliable. Slowly, and conserving movement where she could, she got a greater understanding of the extent of her injuries. There was definite tenderness to the trunk of her body, probably had been internal injuries, hopefully most of which were healed, or healing by now. She concentrated hard, she could remember the pain taking a deep breath had caused and this reminded her that the possibility still existed of broken ribs. Her hand responded slowly, but respond it did, to feel for the tape that Jan knew would be around the trunk of her body. The left and right ankles and up the legs were also in casts, or restraints, a problem for getting out of here in any hurry, and her neck was in a brace. All in all, the outlook didn’t seem good, but she was still alive, and now she could remember a bit more in an organized fashion. This could be important.
Now it was time to discover what was left of her sight. She was almost sure that patience was not her strong point by now. Moving both the right and left arms with a slow and steady effort, she touched her face. At first she didn’t seem to recognize it as a face. It was swollen and tender in most places that her hands could touch, and bandaged the rest of the places. Nothing seemed to be broken, and from what she could remember that could only have been a miracle. She let her fingers investigate the bandages over her eyes. Simple, yet effective to keep the light out, as well as keeping her from knowing where she was. Rob, yes it was Rob, had told her where she was, but she couldn’t be sure that was the complete truth. She was also pretty sure that they didn’t want her knowing everything yet. Jan’s fingers had now become used to moving again and a little more nimble. It seemed that only the cast caused any restriction. Jan noticed that her fingers were also a bit swollen but not enough to keep her from starting to undo the bandages that kept her from seeing her surroundings. She stretched out the gauze around the eye pads so that she could easily slide it up and down. Carefully she slid it onto what she would call her nose, swollen and sore, but probably not broken.
Fear gripped her again. It was not like before. It was a new unknowing fear, one that she had never felt before, ‘What if I can’t see? What then?’ Throwing caution to the wind, and knowing that whether it was now or later, the truth would still be the same, she took a breath and carefully removed the one pad from the right eye. The eye responded by opening only halfway. Light streamed into her eye. Light, the blinding, beautiful light of the rays of the sun assaulted her eye. The florescent light in the room only added to the pain. There were more lights and colors from where ever else it might be coming from in the room. Her right eye shut just as quickly as it had opened, but now Jan knew one thing, she could see. This time, more slowly, she opened up her eye and was greeted with a welcome barrage of light and colors, mostly white. She took off the pad from her left eye and with the same care slowly opened it. With a sigh of relief, she greeted the light and color seen painfully by the left eye, with a smile. She blinked and took the next step, focusing. As her eyes watered and she blinked away the tears the first thing she could focus on was the institutional like ceiling of sound absorbing squares. With a slight smile she began to move her head as much as the brace around her neck would allow her to survey her surroundings.
The room was small, just enough room for a bed, desk or table, and a chair, which to her relief was empty. Monitors stood beside the bed and even though she could not move her head enough to see what they were reading; she knew that someone outside the room was monitoring her vital signs. A dramatic change in Jan’s condition would bring someone to the room and that was the last thing she wanted. Jan took another relaxing breath. The door was located out of sight at the foot of the bed. A small but adequate mirror was on the wall opposite the monitors along with what might be a small table or desk, unknown as she could not move her head to determine which it was.
Jan was all of sudden interested in what she looked like. It was vain, yes, but more of a curiosity. She let her hands feel for the bed’s controls and, finding them with her left hand. She slowly tried the buttons until she worked the bed to an upright position to better assess her condition as well as see what was left of the room in the mirror. Pain had figured into the equation, but Jan fought off the initial reaction, breathing in a relaxed manner she didn’t feel, and continued. Figuring that she might have drawn attention to herself by now, she quickly visually checked what she was able to see of her body. Sighing, and realizing that her first assessment had been correct she then turned and looked at the mirror just before the door opened. She gasped as she looked at what was once a fairly familiar face. It was now swollen to three times its size and with a number of butterfly bandages and bruises that made it nearly unrecognizable as a face. She turned carefully to see the face of a woman enter the room, the nurse.
“I think that is quite enough of a sneak peak for now,” it was the same female voice she had heard before, but now she could place not only a face but also a job to it. Yes, she was the nurse. She went over to the mirror and removed it placing it face down on the desk. “I will need to get the doctor now that you have decided to remove your own bandages. You have been very naughty,” the nurse turned back to look at her, “Are you seeing all right?”
The concern was real, and deserved a considerate response, “My eyes seem to be working fine,” but not ready to volunteer any more information Jan decided to feign tiredness, “I do think I may have done too much though. Could I rest before the doctor comes in? I promise to close my eyes and be good.” The voice sounded better than before and it was only partially a lie about the tiredness. The nurse settled Jan back to a resting position and then left the room agreeing not to send the doctor in just yet. Jan’s eyes closed and bits of memory started to flash through her mind again.
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