“Cassie, are you asleep?” Dr. Grey asked as he took her wrist in his hand to examine her pulse. It was strong and steady just like the blood pressure machine reported.
Her head moved as it turned toward him but her eyes remained closed. Her mouth opened but only a whimper came from it.
“Open your mouth wide.”
Cassie could obviously hear him as she opened her mouth. Using his otoscope he examined her throat thoroughly.
“Now Cassie I need you to open your eyes.”
She did not respond,
“Did you hear me Cassie? I want to see your eyes. So you need to open them.”
Slowly her eyelids moved. They crept open in slow motions until finally they were fully open. Dr. Grey leaned forward and used his otoscope to check her reaction. First her right eye opened and then the left one. He pulled back for a minute then did it again.
Sitting upright once more he stared at Cassie.
“Cassie what do you see?”
She waited a minute then rotated her head a little before answering.
“I don’t see anything.” Her voice sounded raspy.
“Nothing? Not even a blur?” Dr. Grey asked a little perturbed.
“Oh, no. everything is just dark like under the covers at night after all the lights are turn out.” Cassie answered and once more he noticed her voice sounded like it was being sandpapered.
She sounded very calm even if the voice was rough. She should be freaking out. But the sedative should still be working, maybe that was why.
“Cassie, I don’t know what happen. Why were you screaming?”
“Oh.” She paused before answering. “I thought I saw something really bad.”
“I don’t know.” She closed her eyes and rotated away from the doctor.
He stood and stared at the young girl for a minute before leaving to talk to her mother.
“Let’s go to my office,” he said to Sarah. Then he turned and headed down the hallway.
“Wait. I want to see Cassie!”
“Talk to me first then you can see her.” He said over his shoulder as he continued to walk away.
Sarah hesitated; Joe Grey did not act this way. It must be serious, she thought, as panic began to overtake her. She hurried after him.
As she entered his office Dr. Grey was already seated and was staring at the ceiling. Once more her panic tried to take over. She seated herself gingerly in one of the chair facing him.
“What’s wrong, Joe?”
Slowly he looked at her and just stared for a minute.
“Sarah, this is so far beyond me that I feel like a new intern.
Dr. Nugent in Odessa saw something on the EEG that startled him very much. That‘s why he wanted the angiogram so fast. He was afraid that she was having a stroke! Well she wasn’t but I saw something on that angiogram that I have never seen or heard of in all my years of medicine. Dr Nugent has over 20 year in neurology and he has never seen, read or heard a thing about what we saw.”
He got up and turns a monitor to face her. Sarah scooted to the edge of her seat. There on the monitor were four pictures of the skull and there in one quadrant was a large white object with fuzzy edges. “What is that?”
“We really don’t know. Look at the next picture. That was taken seconds after the first. In it, it’s less than a quarter of the size of the first one. Now the third picture is even smaller. But now the fourth picture is the same size as the first one. From the first to the last took less than 10 seconds.” Dr. Grey stared at the pictures.
“Dr. Nugent asked me if we were joking when he saw it. I had to insist that we were doing a CAT of a ten your old girl. Then it started getting smaller and smaller each cycle; until finally it disappeared completely. A new EEG shows that the electrical activity in that part of the brain has gone to zero. Now that not good either.”
“You mean Cassie has brain damage!” Sarah whimpered.
“Hold it! Sarah, don’t decide things like that on the spur of the moment. We don’t know what we are dealing with. The truth is that we may have just stepped into the twilight zone. What we saw here is not possible, never happened before and we have no idea how it happened this time.”
“Oh, when will I be able to see her?”
“Very soon; I talked to her.” Dr. Grey said.
“She is not screaming anymore?”
“No. But we have another problem.”
A silence settles on the office and Dr. Grey looked at Sarah waiting for her to say something.
“She is blind Sarah.”
“What? Blind? But how, what did it?”
“Again I don’t know. When she came to and woke up I checked her eyes and they were not reactive. A lot of things can cause that and we even do it on purpose some times to examine the inside of the eye. But when I asked her what she saw she insisted that it was like being under a cover at night with all the lights out: Pitch black darkness. What’s freaking me out though is that she is not freaking out! She is accepting it like “oh, I’m blind today”. At first I felt that the sedative was keeping her calm. Examining her notes I find out that the sedative was a PRN or as needed. Since she was not upset of or acting up the nurse did not give her the sedative when it would have normally been give. So now it has worn completely off and is having no effect on her. This is what she should be screaming about but she is not!”
“So Sarah, don’t you get all freaked out and cause her to freak out too.”
Sarah sat there taking deep breaths to calm her panic. She was going to have to be very strong; for herself and for Cassie and especially for George.
“That area of the brain that has no activity now is believed to be the center of the visual cortex. Something seems to have burned out her vision centers and the nerves that control the eye itself are not working.”
Cassie lay in the bed with the pinging of machines around her. The images were gone. Slowly she opened her eyes again. There was nothing there. She shuddered. It was only four days to her birthday. Her father had reserved the Big Steak dining room for it. Her whole class had been invited. Cassie had signed each of the invitations herself. Now she could not see. It probably meant that she was not going to have that party. That was okay. At least she was safe now. She no longer saw anything.
My thanks to Grumpybear for his editing and proofing help. But the final results are mine and all criticism should be loaded onto my shoulders.
© Virgil Lee Fuqua III and vlfouquet.wordpress, 2008-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Vlfouquet and Virgil Lee Fuqua III with appropriate and specific direction to the original contents