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    Aceinthehole
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The Hidden Ones: Resurrection - 45. The Love and the Loss

---Teddy---

They tell you a lot when you graduate medical school. They tell you you’ll do great things. They tell you you’ll save a lot of lives. They tell you you’ll make a difference in the world. What they don’t tell you is the long hours that come with it. Or the fatigue that sets in after a long surgery. Between schooling, residency, and my own experience, I assumed I had seen it all, the good and the bad. But nothing could’ve prepared me for what happened today. For losing my first patient.

“Dr. Haner, the family, they’re,” The head nurse stuttered. “They um, they’re waiting to speak with you.”

All I could do was hold my head in my hands as I sat near the body on the surgery table. “Jesus Christ.” I exhaled, wishing I could just wake up.

“I’ll speak with them.” One of the older surgeons volunteered. “Dr. Haner needs to go home for a few days, why don’t you,”

“I can do it.” I interrupted, finally rising back to my feet.

“Dr. Haner, I really don’t know if,” The surgeon continued.

“I can do it.” I insisted in a strict tone. “This, this was my surgery. How will it look if their son died and I’m missing?”

“Like you’re a surgeon who cares about his patients.” The head nurse argued. “You’re a human Dr. Haner, if you need time to,”

“I can handle this.” I repeated, shooting her a stern look.

“Fine.” She shrugged. “But I’m grabbing Cait Hollis for the second you’re finished. You listen to her right?”

I ignored her words and went right back to the prep room. Getting changed into clean scrubs, talking with the other doctors, making my way to the small office. It all felt like one big blur as I tried my hardest to keep up a confident façade. I just, I have to make it through this then I can think about it all. Then I can grieve.

“I’m Dr. Theodore Haner,” I bravely began, staring at a middle-aged woman and her mother. “I was the surgeon who was taking care of,”

“My son.” The woman worriedly interrupted. “You were taking care of my son Chris, he’s thirteen, he’s about to graduate River Edge Middle School, he loves,” She began, trying her hardest to give me a reason to care about her child. Trying her hardest to make this all mean something to me. But the cruel reality is it already does.

“I understand.” I interrupted, not wanting to hear anymore. “Unfortunately Chris, he didn’t pull through.” I forced out. Professors and peers bring it up, but no one really tells you how to deliver this news. How to look a mother in the eyes and tell her you lost her son.

“What?” She asked, looking over to the older woman. “What do you mean?”

“He was too weak when he was brought in,” I tried to elaborate without losing control of my emotions. “And the surgery just didn’t take.”

“No, no,” The mother shook her head in denial. “You, you have to try something else. Anything else Dr. Haner.”

“I’m sorry for your loss.” I shook my head. “We have grief services and,”

“Please!” She interrupted once more, this time through tears. “Don’t you have a son? Or a brother? Or anything? Can’t you understand that you have to keep,”

Before she could finish the older woman grabbed onto her and pulled her close. “Thank you for trying Dr. Haner.” She gulped. “We, we just need a few minutes.”

“Of course.” I nodded my head. “I uh, I’ll have one of my nurses give you my information and help you set up grief support.”

The older woman nodded as I quickly left the room. I could feel my heart racing and emotions starting to bubble as I stood in the hallway.

“Teddy.” Cait finally called out, rushing up to me. “Teddy are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” I lied with a shake of my head. “Absolutely fine.”

“You need to go home.” She instructed, grabbing onto my arm and beginning to pull me.

“I can’t just,”

“Teddy!” She reprimanded staring back at me. “Your doctors, nurses and patients can’t see you like this. They can’t see you doubting yourself.”

“But I,”

“But nothing.” She cut off. “You’re allowed to be in pain right now. You’re allowed to want to grieve, but you can’t do that here. And you can’t jump into another surgery like nothing happened.”

I felt one of my hands rise to my face as my mind tried to replay the situation. “I’m going to have to go in front of the board and,”

“No you won’t,” She insisted as her tone grew more worried. “I, I don’t know all the details but based on what I was told the patient was already in critical condition. You’re not a miracle worker Teddy. You can’t bring people back from the dead.” She was trying her hardest to keep her voice down so the family wouldn’t hear, but her words boomed in my head like thunder.

“There’s always a way.” I argued as she pulled me to the reception desk.

“Go home now Teddy.” Cait warned. “I’m taking you off schedule for the next two days and I, I really think you should take your seven days. Or as much of it as you can.”

“I can’t just leave my staff and,”

“Dr. Haner.” The head nurse interrupted from behind the desk. “You’re here nearly all hours. You cover for everyone and anyone who asks. We can easily do this for you.” She explained. “And you, right now you won’t be the doctor your staff or patients need. Go rest.”

“Come on.” Cait nodded, noticing the words were starting to break through to me. “Do you want me to call your dad or Ryder to come,”

“I can drive myself.” I shook my head as she walked me to the front doors.

“Are you positive?” She gulped, taking a long look at me.

“Yeah.” I sighed as the sun blinded me.

“You’ll be okay.” She tried to comfort as we finally reached my car. “Every doctor goes through this. And what happened today, it wasn’t your fault.”

“It sure as hell feels like it.” I exhaled, falling back into my own world.

“It’s not.” She insisted grabbing my arm once more. “Now go, or I’m calling Ryder.”

I nodded and in another blur got in and drove away. I don’t know how long I drove, or how exactly I got back, but suddenly I was pulling into the driveway.

************************************************************************************

I think my dad said something when I walked in the front door, but I kept moving until finally I was sitting on my bed staring out the window. Once more I have no idea how long I sat there, or exactly what I was trying to do. But flashes of the scene kept playing in my head over and over again.

I’ve seen a lot of terrible things in my time as a surgeon. Burn victims, car accidents, bullet wounds, what’s felt like whatever the world can throw at me. But nothing was ever as bad as today. As those thirteen holes right in the boy’s chest. The site alone was enough to keep me up at night, but what happened after, well it guaranteed I’d never sleep again.

The way nothing we did seemed to work. That way the heart monitor seemed to scream at us for help. The loud fast beeping taunting us and sounding off in my head. I don’t even know how the other doctors and nurses are handling this. I know they’ve seen it before, but still. This, this is the cruelest punishment for someone just trying to help.

“Hey,” I heard Ryder force out as the door lightly opened. “Your dad called and said you were acting weird today.”

“I’m okay.” I responded in a quiet voice.

“Are you sure about that?” He asked, shooting me a cautious look.

“Yeah.” I forced a nod, but kept my gaze ahead. How in the world could I tell him at a time like this? When he’s already gone through so much, and still has so much more on his plate.

I heard the door shut before the figure slowly worked its way over and sat next to me on the bed. “What happened Teddy?” Ryder forced out, carefully scanning me.

“Nothing.” I shook my head.

“This doesn’t look like nothing.” He pressured. “You always tell me we need to be honest with one another. That we need to come to one another with our problems.” He lectured. “So stop shutting me out and just,”

“I lost a patient today.” I finally answered as the first tears began to fall.

“Oh, I, I,” Ryder stammered in shock. “I’m so sorry Teddy.” He finally began to comfort as he pulled me into him.

“He was thirteen, and I-I think he was in Oliver’s class.” I shook my head. “I don’t know how but he, he was stabbed thirteen times Ryder. Thirteen times.”

“It’s okay.” Ryder said, starting to rub my arm. “It’s all going to be okay.”

“How can you say that?” I argued as frustrations began to mount. “I, I’m going to have to go in front of the board. I could lose my license just for telling you what happened. I could lose my license for what happened! And telling the family.” I groaned as tears began to fall faster. “The, the way they looked at me. The way the mother began to cry,”

“Don’t think about that right now.” He interrupted. “You have to,”

“She asked me if I had a son or a brother Ryder.” I heavily exhaled. “What if that was Oliver? What if,”

“It wasn’t!” He exclaimed, trying to pull me back to reality. “It wasn’t Oliver. And this isn’t your fault.”

“But there’s so much I could’ve done different, so much,”

“Theodore,” Ryder forced out, trying his hardest to get me to look into his eyes. “This, it happens, and it fucking sucks. You’re allowed to feel whatever you want right now, but you’re not allowed to blame yourself.” He consoled as I finally began to calm down. “You tried your hardest and that boy, he’s so lucky to have had you there. Because anyone that knows you, well we know that you never stopped fighting for him. You gave this everything you had.”

“But it wasn’t enough.” I shook my head.

“No, this wasn’t on your skills,” He tried to correct. “This, there wasn’t enough time.”

I nodded but fell quiet as he held me. Once more I lost track of time as we sat there quietly in our room. The scene stayed on loop in my mind, and all I could do was hold Ryder tightly. As though he could take away my pain. As though he could fix everything going on.

“I’m not going back to work for a while.” I said, finally breaking the silence.

“Teddy, I don’t know if,”

“I’m not.” I repeated. “I-I’m supposed to take seven days off a month and,”

“Woh, woh,” Ryder interrupted. “Seven days?”

“For every week you work as a surgeon you get seven days off and,”

“You have fourteen days off a month and you don’t use them?” Ryder pressured, trying his hardest to wrap his mind around it.

“No one uses the full fourteen. That, it’s an unwritten rule.” I shook my head. “But I, I’m going to start to take my seven off.”

“As happy as I am that you’re taking time off I just don’t want it to be for the wrong reasons.” He explained, trying his hardest to support me the best way possible. “This isn’t your fault. None of it is.”

I nodded but grew quiet once more. “You’ve saved so many lives Teddy. You’re so skilled and gifted.” He encouraged. “You can’t give up because of one bump in the road. I-I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for you, and I mean that. I have no idea how you brought me back to life, but you did Teddy.”

“I won’t give up.” I concluded, not knowing if I even fully believed it myself. “But I need the next week off to think about it. I-I still see the boy’s face, and his body and,”

“It’s okay.” Ryder began to comfort once more. “You don’t need to think of that, I’m here.”

*************************************************************************************

That night was one of the slowest of my life. The guilt intertwined with the sorrow for what became a combination that haunted my mind. My mom brought food up to me and Ryder, but I couldn’t eat. All I wanted to do was sit there and stare out my window. Thinking of anything and everything I could’ve done different.

“I know you don’t want to hear it,” Ryder finally began. “But I know how you feel. I know how much life can hurt.” I stayed quiet as I stared off into the darkness. “But trust me, you can’t just think of that. You have to look at both sides. Today life took but it also gave.”

“How did it give?” I shook my head.

“Because this is something you’ll never forget.” He explained. “And I-I don’t know how, but I know you’ll find a way to turn this into something good. Because that’s what you do Teddy. Because that’s who you are.”

“I’m sorry you’re missing work.” I said, suddenly switching the topic. “I know you can’t afford to and I know,”

“It’s okay.” He forced a small smile and rubbed my arm. “This is so much more important than the studio. Besides, the guys can handle this.”

“And Oli?”

“He’s fine.” Ryder nodded. “He’s probably the one getting the guys to work.”

“He’s going to hear about this and,”

“And nothing.” He cut off. “He’s going to hear about this and be proud of his older brother for trying to save a life. He knows what a great surgeon you are, he always talks about it.”

I nodded but fell quiet once more. This time the hours felt even longer than before, and when it was time to go to bed I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned as everything flashed in my mind once more. Now I know the hell Ryder has gone through his whole life. The pain he constantly battles night in and night out. How has he survived it for so long? How has he been able to handle it?

*************************************************************************************

When morning rolled back around I practically had to force him to go into work. He can’t sit here taking care of me all day. It’s not fair to him. It’s not fair to the band. It’s not fair to Oliver.

“Hey.” Mom forced out as she entered the room. “Ryder told me and your father what happened.” She began, not knowing what else to say. “I’m sorry.” I stayed quiet and tried to look away as she grew closer. “I know you take everything to heart. I know you feel like it’s your responsibility to save everybody who comes to you.” She comforted as she rested her hand on my side. “But you can’t save the world Teddy.”

I looked to her then quickly away as I heard her words. “When you were a little boy you told me you wanted to save people.” She began once more. “And you’ve saved so many people Teddy. But, trying to save people, it comes with the risk of losing people.”

I kept quiet as she watched over me for a few more minutes until finally another person entered the room. As I heard the small coo’s of a baby I quickly turned to see Liz standing nearby with Hayley in her arms.

“Hey.” Liz forced out, taking a long look at my face. “How are you feeling?”

Once more I stayed quiet and stared off into the distance. “This again, huh?” She asked, looking to my mom.

“I’ll leave you three alone.” She nodded. “Unless I can take Hayley.”

“I think Teddy needs some time with her right now.” Liz smiled as my mom nodded and slowly left the room. “Teddy,” Liz began, but as she saw she wasn’t getting my attention she picked up my hand and gave it to Hayley. Hayley’s small fingers wrapped around my thumb as the young baby kept exploring life.

“You make life like her’s possible everyday Teddy.” Liz suddenly encouraged. “You’re the reason why babies like her have moms and dads. You’re the reason people come home to their spouses or their kids.”

“I’m the reason a kid,”

“You’re not the reason.” Liz shook her head. “Whoever attacked that kid is the reason. The world can become a dark place real quick if we let it.” She exhaled. “But it can also become a place of laughter and love.”

As I shook my head and went to turn away I felt Liz grab onto my hand along with her child. “This isn’t going to be the first time this happens to you.” She warned. “But look at Hayley and tell me you don’t want to keep making sure babies like this have parents to come home to. Because that’s what you do, and you’ve saved so many more people than you’ve lost.”

I nodded and slowly sat up as I pulled my hand away. “Can I hold her?” I asked as Liz quickly handed me the small bundle.

I won’t say Hayley healed me because I’m still in so much pain. But holding her close, hearing her soft coo’s and laughter. It gave me hope again. It reminded me why I became a surgeon in the first place.

“I was thinking,” Liz began once more. “Maybe, maybe you can write the family a condolence letter. Maybe even attend the wake or funeral. It might help you find peace.”

“Maybe.” I slowly nodded. “But I don’t know, it, it already feels, just, too real.”

“I understand.” She accepted as I handed Hayley back. “But just think about it.”

Liz stayed with me a little longer until finally the baby grew fussy and tired. I could tell she didn’t want to go, but I know she needed to. After all, she has a family of her own now. I can’t expect her to put all the pieces back together for me anymore.

This time the hours seemed to pass by faster as I finally began to find peace in what had happened.

“H-hey.” A young voice called out as my door slowly swung open then shut. “Ryder kind of told me what happened.” Oli softly forced out. “I’m really sorry.”

I couldn’t bear to look at him as flashes of the boy on the surgery table appeared in my head. “But you were just trying to help him.” Oli tried to comfort. “It’s not your fault.”

I kept my eyes away as Oli took a seat on my bed. He stayed quiet not knowing what to say as he tried to force eye contact. “I-I’m gonna tell you something Tommy told me when I first started in Messiah.” He began. “He told me that when something goes wrong, I can either sit around and cry about it, or I can learn and become better for it.” He exhaled. “And I know this isn’t the same thing, but, but this is a challenge for you.” Oli shook his head. “And you can either quit all together and let more people die because you were scared, or, or you can learn from this and make sure Chris didn’t die for nothing.”

“You know his name?” I forced out, trying my hardest to hold back tears.

“Yeah.” Oli slowly nodded. “We, we heard about it at school today. Don’t worry. No one knows you were the surgeon.”

“Did you, did you know him?” I pressured, seeing how much I could learn.

“Kind of.” Oli swayed his head. “He always just kept to himself and all. He was friends with all the quiet kids so he didn’t like me very much.” He explained “Kids at school were sad, but it, it’s not your fault, okay?” He asked, forcing me to look at him. “Okay?” He repeated with water building in his eyes.

“Okay.” I nodded as I pulled him close.

I need to remember the two sides of life if I’m going to get through this. The love and the loss. I need to remember that life moves on. That I need to keep moving on. I don’t know how yet, but I’ll pick myself back up from this. I’ll learn, and I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again. I’ll make it up to that boy and his family. I’ll even the score. Somehow. Some way. I swear I will.

Copyright © 2018 Aceinthehole; All Rights Reserved.
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I had a feeling when the boy came  in with 13 stab wounds that things may not turn out so well.  All Teddy could do was try.  True to the point, maybe there was something he could have done differently, but that’s how advancements in medicine are made. He can’t blame himself that the procedure has not been thought of or perfected yet. I am positive he tried everything possible and yes, it wasn’t enough. Great to see friends and family rally around him and try to encourage him. Sure glad he had the skills to save Ryder.  Teddy has said he is going to take more time off I hope this will convince him to do just that. I was thinking the other day, the money that Ryder has, Teddy doesn’t really need to work at all. He could choose to be a specialist and set up his own hours as well as choose who he is going to work on. I have several friends who are physicians. One of my close friends was a GP and he got certified as a dermatologist. I asked him why, he commented, no emergencies. He chose the patents he wanted to see and who he felt confident he could help. That might be a good direction for Teddy. If you stay in ER, you are going to loose patience, that the nature of the beast. 

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43 minutes ago, travlbug said:

Chris was murdered. As this was a case of domestic abuse, I presume that the murderer was his father or possibly a brother. I hope that the monster is found and brought to justice quickly.  As the surgeon, Teddy will have to give testimony at the trial, and I hope that his innate goodness, and the love of his family, give him the resolve to see it through without relapsing into self-recriminations or depression. He will ultimately be a better doctor--and a better person--for the experience, but it's a terrible situation to have to work through.

 

Thanks 'bug,

 

Glad to see you brought back the limited circumstances around the trauma - I suspect it will have more impact further down the line

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Tragedy has affected Teddy in the past, but it’s always been more of a second-hand experience. What happened with Ryder happened to Ryder, not to Teddy directly. There’s always been a separation. Aside from Ryder’s faked infidelity, nothing has affected Teddy directly. This was something that was related to something that Teddy did or didn’t do. He feels more responsible since it happened when he was doing his job.

 

This hit him harder than it might have for many others since most of his life has been a kind of fairytale – with that little 13 year gap.  ;-)

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3 hours ago, BlindAmbition said:

Moving chapter. Timing is everything. I’ve dealt with three deaths In a month. This one hit kind of hard.

:hug:

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It sounded like Teddy has never lost a patient before which is surprising and bound to affect him. Not to be crude but it sounded like Chris was Swiss cheese. 

 

When I heard a patient from the school came in I thought it may have been one of Oli’s bullies and he would be a suspect. Someone who was frequently bullied could easily be suspect number one. 

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This is so sad 😞 but it’s a lesson the mighty Teddy has to learn. Especially to what Ryder has been going through. Good for Oliver as well. Very sad

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As yet, I have seen no speculation as to the motive behind Chris's murder. Could that be because we already know it? (Try miming 13 blows with a knife:  The amount of hate behind such an act is hard to fathom.) I am sad to think that his death could have been motivated by homophobia, but I can't think of any other reason which could generate such hatred between a father and son or a pair of brothers. That said, there is no excuse for domestic violence of any type, let alone murder, and the electric chair is too good for Chris's killer. (Whoever he is, I hope he doesn't take the easy way out with a policeman's bullet, though it might be easier on the living if he does.)

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