Chapter 36: An Emergency Part II
Meg Masters arrived at 5:30 with her medical kit, overnight bag, and a cot with bedding. She was introduced to the Padalecki family and hurried to Jensen’s room to set up and speak to Dr. Turner.
“Meg! Good, you made it,” Turner exclaimed. “This young man needs to be in the hospital. I called before I left the clinic and was told they are maxed out with young patients. I have him set up as best as I can especially given the circumstances. The clinic at the college called when they found out he went home. Seems he had a good portion of his classes out with this blasted flu and stopped by to get the vaccine. Too little too late.”
Meg had walked over and studied the young man lying in the bed. She brushed his hair back from his eyes.
“He’s a professor?” Seeing the doctor’s nodded, she added, “They’re hiring young one’s now.”
“You know his boyfriend,” Turner commented as he prepared to leave. He gave the nurse the chart he had done. “When he gets feverish, and he will, follow the orders on the chart. He’s sensitive to fevers; he gets delirious a little over 102. He’ll cry out when he hurts, and he wants his boyfriend. The older Padalecki left town to go get him.”
Turner smiled for a second and nodded towards the surprised nurse.
“Well, where is he?”
“Basketball tournament. He left last night and isn’t due back until Wednesday. I want to keep Jensen calm so I sent Jeff after him.”
“Talk about hiring young,” Meg murmured, focused on the patient’s age and youthful appearance.
“He’s your age, Meg,” the doctor teased.
“True. You leaving now?”
“I’ll be back in the morning. Anything urgent comes up, you have my cell number.”
The nurse watched the man leave and set about taking the young man’s vitals. His temperature was 100.5. She checked when his medications had been given, setting her alarm for the time to renew the dosages.
Sherri came into the room to check on Jensen. Meg was sitting in a chair near the young man. Gus whimpered at the door.
“He’s a beautiful dog,” Meg commented.
“He’s Jensen’s service dog,” Sherri answered. “He might help keep him calm until Jared gets here.”
The nurse looked at the sleeping man. “What’s wrong with him?”
“He’s blind. To be honest, I think he sees more than any of us,” Jared’s mother whispered.
“What’s his name?”
“His name is Angus, but they call him Gus.”
Meg leaned over in her chair and spoke to the dog. “Come here, Gus. Come see your daddy.”
The dog crept into the room and went to the bed, sniffing at his friend. Gus whimpered and jumped onto the bed, crawling up next to Jensen. He licked his master’s hand and laid his head on the man’s leg. Jensen stirred but did not waken. He murmured, “Gus,” in his sleep.
Both women smiled. Sherri sat in the recliner, and the two of them kept vigil.
Jeff pulled onto the campus in Dallas. He found the sports complex and looked for a parking spot. It was packed, which made finding a parking space difficult. A security guard walked over and knocked on his window.
“You got a handicapped sticker. There’s parking over there.”
“I’m driving my brother’s truck; his boyfriend is blind. I’ll park there because it’s urgent I find him. We have a family emergency, and I need to get my brother quickly.”
“He one of the players?”
“Coach,” Jeff answered.
“Park where I told you.”
“Thanks.” Jeff parked the truck and walked towards the complex.
Entering the building, he saw young men in the team’s uniform walking towards a hallway. He hurried to catch up with them.
“Sir,” one of the men asked.
“Do you know where Coach Padalecki is?”
“In the coaches’ break room. No one is allowed back there.”
“I’m his brother. Professor Ackles is real sick right now, and the doc says Jared needs to come home.”
One of the team members stepped up. “The Prof is a nice guy. I’ll take you there.”
The two walked through the complex and reached the double doors to a large room. As they entered, a coach stopped them.
“This is coaches only. You two can’t be here.”
“I’m looking for my brother, Jared Padalecki.”
Josh Ackles looked up and hurried over.
“You’re looking for Jared?”
“Yeah, I’m his brother, Jeff.”
“I’m Jensen’s brother, Josh.”
“I need to talk to both of you then.”
“Let me find him,” Josh replied.
Jensen’s brother went in search of the other coach. Five minutes later, both men appeared followed by their head coach.
The two Jeffs were introduced to one another.
“Is there some place quiet where we can talk?”
“Yeah,” Morgan answered, leading the three men and the player out of the room. He sent the boy back to his team, and the four men walked to an office. The head coach opened the door and turned on the lights.
“Jared, Jensen has a very virulent case of the flu,” Jeff said.
“He can’t handle fevers,” Josh interrupted.
“Doctor Turner agrees with that. The hospital’s full so we’re having to treat him at home.”
“Turner is taking care of him,” Jared repeated.
“Yeah, and some nurse he called in.”
“His old home nurse retired so she’s new. Why are you here, Jeff,” the coach asked.
“Every time the fever goes up, Jensen loses it. He cries out in pain and is yelling for you. The doctor thinks you being there will calm him down and maybe he’ll recover faster.”
Jared and Jeff looked at each other. The head coach jerked his head towards the door. “Get the hell out of here, boy. Just let Josh and me know how he does.”
Jared and Jeff headed towards the door when the younger man stopped and turned. “Josh, only your dad knows?”
The older Ackles nodded and said, “Go on. He needs you.”
At 1:25 in the morning, Jensen’s fever rose. Gus whined, and Meg stood up and went to check on her charge. He felt warm so the nurse got the ear thermometer and noted the temp was at 102.2. She started to bathe his torso and pulse points with a cool damp cloth. The woman finally managed to get an adult liquid Tylenol down the young man’s throat.
Jensen was hurting. He didn’t recognize where he was, and the woman next to him was an unknown person to him. He had trouble moving his left arm and tried to pull out the I.V. Someone held him down.
The young man began to cry out in pain, flailing one arm.
“Ssshhh. Jeff has gone to get him. I promise you,” Sherri’s voice spoke softly to him. She’d left the door ajar and slept in the living room where she could hear everything.
“Jared,” Jensen whimpered. “Please.”
“He’s coming. Baby. He’ll be here soon.”
The temperature kept rising and the pain from the fever, the nausea, and the muscle cramps rose with it.
“Jared,” Jensen screamed.
Suddenly, both women were moved aside and the coach knelt by the bed.
He kissed the ailing man on his forehead and gently brushed his hair back. “I’m here, Babe,” he whispered.
“Yeah. I’m not leaving you. I promise.”
The professor grabbed his boyfriend’s hand and held it in a death grip. Jared looked up at the nurse, and recognition lit his eyes. “Hi, Meg.”
“Hey, yourself. You finally find the right one?”
“Yeah. This one’s a keeper.”
“That’s good. I need two strong men to help me undress him and help me keep him in a tub of lukewarm water. Turner made a note that he fights it.”
“I’ll get in with him and hold him.”
Jared and Jeff undressed Jensen while Sherri ran the water. The coach stripped to his boxers and picked up his love. Meg guided the i.v. stand as they headed into the bathroom. The coach handed his boyfriend over to his brother and stepped into the water.
“Damn! Are you sure this is lukewarm?”
The nurse tested the water and grinned. “I’m afraid so.”
“No wonder he fights it. He has a fever, and the water will feel almost frigid.”
“I hate it, but we have to get that temp down.”
Jared nodded and sat down, mumbling at the coolness. Jeff leaned down, passing Jensen to him. The coach took the sick man into his arms and, between the two of them, they set him in the tub between the younger Padalecki’s legs. Jensen leaned against the man’s chest.
The professor cried out, but his love held him in his arms and ran his hands over the sick man’s body, calming him.
Sherri sprayed the bed with a disinfectant spray before putting new sheets and blankets on it. Jared carried the older man in his arms and laid him on the bed. Meg tended to his medications after dressing him. Gus climbed to the foot of the bed as the coach lay on the opposite side and held the sick man in his arms. Jeff, Sherri, and Meg watched.
“I think you two can get some rest,” Meg whispered. “I’m going to. Jared will wake us if we’re needed.”
The two Padaleckis left the bedroom, and the nurse lay on her cot. Everyone slept.