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Stroked:part 5
 
ICU

Mulder remained quiet after being inflicted by the agonizing 
pain that had just been caused to his leg, he was not going 
to admit to pain. He wanted to spend some time with Scully, 
not drugged to the gills again. The pain in the left leg was 
overwhelming but he needed to see Scully. If they turned him 
or touched the leg again he would have no choice but to 
admit to the pain. The leg that had been numb was now 
hurting but not so much at the sight of the wound but in his 
lower calf. He felt not only pain but also extreme nausea. 
He hoped that Scully would return to the room. He needed her 
here.

Rachel pushed the call button and asked the front desk to 
page Dr. Harriman stat. She again looked down at her patient 
and tears were streaming down his face. " Mulder is your leg 
hurting?" her voice filled with compassion for her hurting 
patient. Then she realized that the catheter in his back may 
have dislodged, she needed to check it but was afraid to 
cause him anymore discomfort.

Mulder stayed quiet and held onto his emotions and the 
emesis that was threatening to spill out. Where had Scully 
gone? He needed her now.

Dr Harriman and Sheila entered the cubicle together. He 
started to get very concerned that his patient had suffered 
a setback due to the grimace on his face and the way he was 
positioned in bed. His body was stiff and he was able to 
move his lower extremities, the epidural was evidently out. 
He quickly pulled his stethoscope from around his neck and 
placed it into his ears and started listening to Mulder's 
chest. The congestion from the Pneumonia was still evident 
but no decreased breath sounds or increased congestion. He 
then looked over to his patient, who had remained quiet. 
"Mulder, what's going on? Is the pain in your upper leg bad 
again?

He shook his head and gritted his teeth and spoke in a low 
pained tone of voice," My lower leg is killing me. It feels 
like it is about to fall off." Inside he was wishing that it 
would. Dr. Harriman was ordering tests and extra pain 
medicine. He reached over and pushed the PCA button and then 
pulled back the sheet to look at the leg. The calf was red 
and swollen and had all the makings of a blood clot. He then 
turned and ordered a stat PTT and PT, tests that would show 
if Mulder's blood thinner was working. His major concern was 
that the clot might break off and go to Mulder's lung, heart 
or brain. He needed to make sure that he did not throw one 
to his lungs, with Mulder's recent Pneumonia he did not want 
to take a chance. Again he was yelling out orders for a VQ 
scan, a heparin bolus now a drip post VQ scan and an 
arteriogram.

Mulder was lost in all of the medical terminology and felt 
that he was dying and nobody was willing to tell him the 
truth. Scully would tell him the truth but where was she and 
why wasn't she here with him? He felt ignored and he needed 
something else for pain or at least a sedative.

Scully walked in a few minutes later and went straight to 
Mulder's side. He was now irritable, agitated and in a lot 
of discomfort. While Dr. Harriman was trying to fill Scully 
in on the details the vomiting that he had quelled went full 
force. The emesis filled Mulder's bed clothing and he was 
rolled onto his side to prevent aspiration, which broke his 
quiet demeanor, the screams from his hoarse and ragged voice 
went off and he was not any longer in control of the pain in 
his leg. The feeding tube was again cut off and removed from 
the G tube in his abdomen.

He was transferred quickly to a gurney as the nurses were 
rushing to clean him and to change his gown. The emesis was 
in his hair and on his bandage, it would be cleaned later 
after the tests. Dr Harriman was whispering calmly to 
Mulder, who was lost in a world of pain. "Mulder I am going 
to drug you completely when I get the VQ scan, but I need 
you awake a little bit longer. I promise. "Let's give him 50 
mgs of Demerol IV now" he shouted out to the nurse.

Scully was trying to give comforting words and his full 
focus was on her face and words, the tears and moans were 
eased by her presence. He was happy to see her face, yet he 
was unable to communicate in words to express what it meant 
to have her beside him. He needed her and that was the 
bottom line.

THREE HOURS LATER



The VQ scan ruled out the possibility of a blood clot to the 
lungs and Mulder was medicated for his pain and was given 
medicine to help him sleep. They finished the other test and 
confirmed the diagnosis of a blood clot in the lower calf of 
his left leg. A loading dose of heparin was given and a drip 
was started at 1000 units an hour. The IV Med pump would 
deliver the medicine to help thin his blood and to help 
prevent a clot from being thrown to other major organs. 
Unfortunately the blood thinner would not dissolve the clot 
for a long while and the risks of it breaking off were 
evident.

Mulder was sent back to the unit and was placed on O2 by 
nasal cannula and placed back on the Haldol drip but at a 
lower dose, he needed to be able to communicate with his 
patient.

Scully sat in her chair beside her partner. She had a lot of 
concerns but the main concern was the blood clot in his left 
leg. She wanted to scream for her partner. He had never 
experienced so much discomfort in a hospitalization that she 
was aware of in his medical history. He was moaning even 
through the heavy pain medication and sedatives. She would 
reach over and push the button on the PCA pump and give him 
enough relief to rest a little bit more comfortably. The 
nurse had applied a pillow underneath the leg and wrapped a 
heating pad for comfort to the tender calf. The epidural 
catheter that had been dislodged was removed. They needed to 
better assess the leg without the numbness.

1600pm ICU

Scully was awakened by someone's touch on her hair. Her head 
was lying next to Mulder's hand. She had fallen asleep with 
her head on his bed. She looked up to see bright eyes," 
Hey." She spoke softly and reached over and pushed away his 
hair from his face.

" Scullllly." His voice was hoarse and weak.

"Shhhh Mulder. You are doing much better. How is the pain in 
your leg?"

He closed his eyes and for a second Scully thought he might 
have fallen back to sleep but he spoke quietly, " It still 
hurts but is doing better. It's a Tylenol kind of hurt."

She reached over and picked up the water pitcher and poured 
out a small amount of water and placed a straw into his 
mouth. He sipped cautiously, the tube in his nose was 
irritating his throat and it hurt going down. After he 
finished he pushed the cup away. She wiped his mouth with a 
tissue and gently brushed his cheek. " It's been a long 
week."

That statement got him to open his eyes again and he looked 
up with sad eyes, " It's been a week?"

She nodded her head and smiled slightly, "Time passes 
quickly when you are having fun."

He nodded, " Then I must be having a party." He smiled and 
looked up with tired eyes at half mast. " When do I get to 
go home?"

She actually anticipated the question and knew that she 
could not ignore it. " Dr Harriman has you medicated to the 
gills and your on constant sedation due to restlessness and 
agitation produced by the pain in your leg. You are feeling 
better due to the drugs and you have a while to go before 
you can get rehabilitation for your leg. And with the nature 
of your wound, even rehab will take a while."

" Months or weeks Scully?" His full attention focused on his 
partner.

She knew that honesty was the best policy, "Mulder, a few 
months I'm afraid."

He nodded but did not say anything else. He closed his eyes 
and within a few minutes he was sleeping.

Two days later

After two days Mulder was transferred to the step down unit. 
He had a lot less tubes and monitors but still he had his 
share. The nurse had finished irrigating his wound but he 
still could not look at the open wound but the nurse was 
encouraged by the decreased drainage and pinker tissue and 
that he was having decreased pain. They had positioned him 
close to the desk due to his prior medical condition, he 
still needed a lot of medicine for pain.

When Scully walked into the room Mulder was sitting up in 
the bed with a breakfast tray in front of him and a scowl on 
his face. He had been out of it for the last two days but 
this morning his hair was combed and his face was shaved. 
But the expression on her face told her that he was not in a 
good mood. "Mornin Mulder."

Her partner did not return the greeting but instead sat with 
a look of disgust on his face, " I hate jello. And I 
definitely hate it for breakfast." He growled. His bad mood 
showing no end in sight.

" Mulder. It's clear liquids, what Dr. Harriman wants you on 
for a few days." She was putting her things on the chair and 
putting his pajamas into the drawers that she had brought 
from his apartment.

" Well I'm not going to eat it, especially when it is orange 
and goopy. I want eggs, toast and coffee. I want to go 
home." He pushed the table away and flipped on the 
television. After a few more grunts he looked up and in a 
small childlike voice he spoke, " Hey Scully."

She smiled at his boyish manner and replied, " Hey Mulder." 
She hesitated a few seconds and decided he needed a Scully 
lecture. "Mulder if you don't eat then you will keep the 
feeding tube and the intravenous fluids. You want to go home 
soon don't you?"

He turned and he gave her a defeated stare and he almost 
started to argue but he knew that she was right from all the 
previous hospitalizations. He knew that Dr. Harriman would 
not let him get rid of anything until he started to eat. 
Unfortunately his stomach was doing flips after drinking a 
small amount of apple juice he had forced himself to drink. 
He felt nauseated but he was not going to tell anybody. He 
did not want any more drugs. He would rather suffer than be 
out of it again. " Maybe later Scully." He lied to his 
friend without making eye contact, she would see the lie a 
mile away, he just hoped that he did not hear it in his 
voice.

Scully knew that she should pursue the conversation but 
instead she dropped it and focused on taking away the tray 
and getting Mulder comfortable. She was concerned that he 
was not eating but she did not want to get him upset, she 
would just see what he did for lunch. She reached over and 
picked up the tray and took it out to the nurse's desk. They 
needed to tally the input and output to keep up with his 
hydration status. She voiced her concerns to the nurse on 
the unit and soon returned to Mulder's room. He was curled 
up as much as he could without bending his left leg. The 
brace aided in keeping the leg straight. He was snoring 
quietly. She reached over and pushed up the siderail and he 
opened his sleepy eyes.

" What's wrong?" he asked sleepily and added a big yawn to 
the end of the question.

" You're fine Mulder. I'm here if you need me." She reached 
up and cut off the bright overhead light. " Just sleep. I'll 
be here when you wake up."

He nodded and closed his eyes, within just a few short 
seconds he was sleeping again. Scully sat down and removed a 
journal of medicine from her bag and started reading by the 
small bedside light.

Mulder had been asleep for less than thirty minutes when he 
started retching and all he could bring up was the small 
amount of apple juice and some gastric secretions. His skin 
was diaphoretic and his face was pale. He could not control 
his fragile emotions and he started to cry. He was so sick 
of being sick. Scully was holding the emesis basin under his 
chin and his nasogastric tube was again hooked up to the 
intermittent suction. She also reached over and cut off the 
feeding tube infusing into his abdomen. She was trying to 
give him comfort, she knew that he was emotionally drained 
but the tears were a surprise and her heart felt for her 
friend. Scully hit the Nurse's call light and instructed the 
nurse to bring Mulder something for nausea.

The nurse entered with a syringe, turning on the bright 
lights above his head and quickly emptied the contents of 
the syringe into his IV port. She then looked over and saw 
the Dr. Scully had turned on the intermittent suction on his 
nasogastric tube and cut off the feeding pump. She quickly 
motioned for the assistant to take Scully's position on the 
other side of the bed and they proceeded to run some warm 
water and clean up their distraught patient, afterwards they 
changed his gown and linen. They placed a cool cloth on 
their sleeping patient's forehead and left the room. Again 
Scully pulled her chair close to his bed and picked up 
Mulder's limp hand. The lights were dimmed again and he 
slept due to the drugs.

The nurse had contacted Dr. Harriman. He was in the room 
just minutes later. " I was admitting a patient to ICU. How 
is he doing?" he asked from the door. He was definitely in a 
hurry and had just dropped by to check on him on his way 
back to the office.

"He's doing better now. Sleeping." She answered in almost a 
whisper, not wanting to disturb him from his sleep.

Dr. Harriman lost the impatient, I'm in a hurry look and 
walked towards his patient. He listened again to his 
sleeping patient's abdomen and replaced his stethoscope back 
around his neck. He looked over to Scully, " Did he try to 
eat anything for breakfast?"

She shook her head, " He was complaining about the jello and 
refused to eat it. He has lost a lot of weight in the past 
week. I'm really concerned."

" Let's see what he does for lunch." He paused for a few 
seconds and looked over to Scully. " What kind of case was 
Mulder working on before he was admitted?"

" It was a child killer. He was kidnapping small children 
and killing them. It was a really bad case." Her voice was 
almost inaudible. " A small girl was killed by the killer at 
the house we followed him to ,it was really bad."

" I'll write an order for the staff psychologist to drop by 
tomorrow and see if Mulder would like to talk. Sometimes he 
keeps a lot to himself, maybe a stranger could help."

Scully nodded and Harriman left to write the orders.

2100pm Mulder's room

Mulder had slept through lunch and dinner. He was restless 
but a dose of pain medicine was given and he had settled 
down to a comfortable sleep. Scully felt that he might be 
able to sleep through the night and she needed to run by the 
office before going home. She left a message with the nurse 
to call if Mulder asked for her and then she gathered her 
things and left for the evening. Before she left she kissed 
him sweetly on the cheek.

Mulder's night was quiet and the drugs helped him sleep 
comfortable. He did not have any more episodes of nausea or 
vomiting. He awakened to the morning sounds and realized 
right away that Scully was not present. He missed her and 
felt alone without her by his side. He was a little fuzzy on 
what had happened last but he was not nauseated any longer. 
His leg did not have any pain now and that was a good thing 
and he did not feel the tight bandage that fit around his 
leg with the heavy brace. Actually he noticed something very 
strange and he started to panic. He felt numb on his left 
side, his entire left side. His mouth even felt numb and he 
was unable to move his left arm. He concentrated on the 
numbness in his face and started to become scared and very 
agitated. What else could go wrong? He thought to himself as 
the panic continued to build. He tried to make a sound but 
nothing would come out except the drool that ran down his 
right cheek.

The day nurse entered to make her morning assessments and 
was about to take his vital signs when she noticed that 
something was very wrong with her patient. Quickly she 
realized that she was dealing with a patient with a possible 
stroke.




Part Six

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