“Ah, should probably have gotten Jude.” Paul said, reaching for his phone.
“No need to rouse the whole house to make what could very well be a short trip to the ER.” Jean said, steering the car down a winding drive.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right on that one.” Paul said, fiddling with his phone.
“Do you want me to text him?” Vanessa offered, pulling her phone from her pocket.
“Yeah sure, he’s probably asleep, assuming me falling down the stairs didn’t wake him up.”
Vanessa’s thumbs flew nimbly across her touch screen, and in a moment a bell dinged. “Alright, sent”
“Thanks.” Everyone was quiet for a while, then Paul spoke, “Jean, you seemed to know at least a little about medicine, or broken bones at least, where’d you learn that?”
“Oh, I had some training while I was in the service. I was a field medic for a bit.” Jean pulled the car into a parking lot, “Alright, Paul and Vanessa, you wait here, I’ll be right back.” He slammed the door shut behind him and jogged into the hospital, returning moments later with a nurse and a wheelchair.
Jean helped Paul into the chair and the nurse began wheeling him towards the hospital.
“I don’t need a wheelchair, I’m not that bad off.” He continued to complain as he was wheeled into the ER.
The ER was quiet and empty, so Paul was seen relatively quickly. As expected, the doctor ordered an x-ray, which came back promptly. Paul wondered if it was because of his company, or if he was actually just seen quickly.
“Alright Mr. Paul, we have your results here…” The doctor started.
“You guys ready to find out we wasted a trip?” Paul looked towards Vanessa.
“Well, actually, it’s good that you came in, your tibia and fibula are broken towards the ankle.” The doctor flipped through some pages on a clipboard.
The color drained from Paul’s face and his heart sank, “I… Uh…” he stammered, “What does that mean for me?”
“Well, you’re going to need to keep off of it for a bit, we’ll get the swelling down, and cast you up.” The doctor clicked his pen a few times.
“How long do I need to keep off of it?”
“I’d say at least for a few months, we’ll have you in to check on your progress.” He turned to Jean and Vanessa, “You two are going to need to keep a close eye on him while he’s got this cast, given that he’s blind, and even not-blind people need a good bit of help.”
“We’ll need to talk to Jude.” Jean said, leaning over to Vanessa.
“Okay then,” The doctor said, pocketing his pen. “I’ll be back in a few to check on that swelling.”
“I’ll go call Jude.” Jean looked between the two, and when he saw no objections, he rose from his chair and stepping into the hall.
“Son of a bitch…” Paul sighed, putting his hand to the bridge of his nose.
“Hey, it’ll be alright.” Vanessa gently placed her hand on his uninjured knee.
“No it won’t!” Paul fell back onto the bed and sighed, “I’m already blind, now this? I’m a blind cripple!”
“Paul, your leg will heal, your blindness won’t, and I’m sorry, but you need to learn to live with that, and be more careful so this won’t happen again.” She crossed her arms.
Paul paused for a moment, staring forward, he then looked down. “I’m sorry. You’re right.”
“It’s okay, you don’t have to do this alone,” She took his hand and looked deeply into his eyes. “I’ll be with you, and so will Jude, and Jean, and all of us. You need to let us help, I understand giving up your autonomy is difficult, and we’re not asking you to be totally dependant, just realistic.”
“Thank you…” Paul said, wiping his eyes, “I’ll get a cane, well, after this that is.” He gestured towards his leg. “Hey Vanessa… I’m sorry I’ve been such an ass. This is just hard for me…”
“It’s okay, Paul.” She leaned over and gave him a hug.
Paul’s leg was casted and after it set, a nurse came into the room with a wheelchair and a stack of papers.
“Hi, Mr. Darbyshire, I’ve got a couple of prescriptions for you. As you know, when you break a leg, you need mobility assistance. The typical patient might get crutches, but given your blindness, we don’t recommend crutches.” She thumbed through the papers, “Here I have a prescription for a wheelchair, and a prescription for a walker.” She then handed Jean the papers, before turning back to paul. “We don’t get a lot of blind patients, so I suppose you’ll be able to work it out?”
“Yes, ma’am.” Paul stared blankly forwards as he spoke, still reeling from the realization that he would be extra disabled for weeks.
“Alright, you’re free to go, we’ll wheel you to your car.”
Once they were in the car, Vanessa laughed a little bit. “Your last name is Darbyshire?”
Paul’s face went a little red. “Yeah…” He laughed.
On the way to the house Jean stopped into the supermarket, and got a walker and wheelchair.