What Happened to Baby Cameron?
by: E Walk
(© 2009 by the Author)

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...

Chapter 36  

The Verdict Is?


I was so angry with everyone that I almost decided to leave the boys at the school so Hank or someone would have to pick them up.  I realized that it wasn’t the boys’ fault that things were happening, and I really didn’t want them to have to sit at the school until someone would pick them up.


When I arrived at the school, I was nearly the last parent to arrive.  When the guys saw the van, they came running.  As the boys were climbing into the van Cam asked, “Dad, is there another problem.  Why are you late?  Is everyone okay?”


“Cam, everyone is fine.”


“Dad, we need to drop Terry off at the house on the hill.  His mother had an appointment.”


My jaw tightened, “Terry, how’s Len going to get home and who’s going to be there to take care of you guys.”


Terry shrugged. “Mrs. Granger is taking Len home.  When we took Cody to school this morning,  Len and I were told to stay inside and not let anybody in until Chad and Damon got there.”


When we arrived at the house on the hill, Mrs. Granger was pulling up in front of the house.  As Len exited he waved,  “Thanks for bringing me home, Mrs. Granger.  Cody, I’ll call you if we have a swim party this weekend.”


Terry opened the van door, “Guys, I’ll talk to you later.  Thanks for bringing me home, Uncle Steve.”


As we were pulling away, Colby was arriving with Chad and Damon, so I felt better.  I was still baffled as to why Mrs. Martin would need to make an appointment at a time when she knew the boys would be coming home.


It was very quiet on the ride home.  I guess the guys felt the tension I was feeling, even though I was trying to mask it.  Finally Cam spoke, “Dad, what’s wrong, did you and Daddy have another fight?”


“Cam, I have not seen nor talked to your Daddy all day since we departed for school this morning..”


“Then why are you still angry?  You have your teeth so tight together that you’re going to break them.”


Fortunately I was spared from having to respond because we arrived at the ranch.


When we exited the van, Hank came to meet us, “Hi, guys, did you have a good day?”


Cam answered, “It was fine until the ride home.  Dad is so uptight that we almost froze in the van.  You need to check and make sure that he hasn’t broken any teeth because he was grinding them.”


“Guys, Grandma Ellie has a really neat treat ready for you.”


Cam motioned his head toward the house, “Come on, guys, I think we were just told to disappear.”


Hank held his hands as if he was pleading, “Steve, we need to resolve what’s happening.  I had calls from both Dusty and Wayne and they’re ready to quit.  What in the world did you say to them?”


I took a deep breath, “So now this whole debacle is my fault.  If you feel that way. I’ll be leaving as soon as I can pack my things.  I’ll take Ricky and Randy with me.  You people can get along without us.  If Dusty feels he has been embarrassed, it’s only his perception.  As far as Wayne and Linda, I’m not sure that they are ready to be parents.  Why in the world would they allow the boys to go home to an empty house, especially Terry and Len?”


Hank tried to put his arms around me but I pulled away.  Cam came out of the house and looked at us, “Dads, please go talk to Ricky and Randy.  They’re threatening to run away if Dad leaves.”


“Thanks Cam, I’ll go talk to them.”


I went to find Ricky and Randy.  They were in Cam’s room with the door open.  Randy was holding Ricky, “Ricky, it will be okay.  Daddy and Mr. Rodgers are adults and should be able to solve their problems even though they’re acting like little kids.  Maybe they should beat each up, so they can make up.  If things aren’t better tomorrow we’ll leave.  We’ll go find a new home.”


I didn’t say anything, but headed for the bathroom in Hank’s bedroom and promptly lost what little I had eaten during the day.  I felt so miserable that I dropped on the bed and started to moan, ’Why is this happening now?  Ricky and Randy had nothing to do with it.  They of all people don’t need to be hurt by what’s happening.’


I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I remember was Ricky touching me, “Daddy, are you going to be okay?  Dinner is ready.”


“Ricky, I’m okay.” 


I tried to stand up and fell back on the bed. ‘Oh great, I’ve had a stroke or a heart attack and I’m only 46 years old.’


I watched as Ricky ran crying from the room.  As hard as I tried, I just couldn’t get up.  I felt so weak.  Hank came into the room, “Steve, Ricky says you can’t get out of bed.”


“Hank, I’ve tried, but I can’t seem to stand up.  It’s as if all my strength is gone.”


Hank looked at me, “Steve, can you touch your fingers with your thumbs?”


I did as he asked, “Good, that rather rules out a stroke.  Steve where do you have pains?”


Hank, I don’t have any pains, I just don’t have any strength and can’t get up.”


Hank picked up the phone, and called the kitchen, “Tell Cam to go get Chase and/or Freddie and tell them I need their help.  I need to take Mr. Michaels to the hospital.”


That was the last thing I remember until I woke up in the hospital and Hank was sitting beside me, “Hank, what happened to me?  Why am I hooked to all these tubes?”


“For starters, you passed out because you were super dehydrated.  What did you have to eat and drink today?” 


“You saw what I had at breakfast.”


“Yes, and you hardly touched anything and I don’t remember you even drinking your juice.”


“At lunch time I was so upset that I ate and drank almost nothing.  I didn’t have anything to eat or drink when we got home this afternoon and I lost what little was in my stomach when I heard Ricky and Randy talking about running away because you and I were acting like little kids.  Randy suggested that we should beat each other up.”


The doctor appeared, “Well at least Michaels is alive.  Mr. Michaels, we’ll be keeping you overnight to make sure you’re going to be okay.  I’ve prescribed several tests for you in the morning, but I think you should be able to go home by two tomorrow afternoon.  Mr. Rodgers, I suggest you go get something to eat or you may find yourself in the same predicament as Mr. Michaels, and I know for a fact that you have five sons at home waiting for you.”


I looked at the doctor, “Doctor Whitman, how did you know that we had five boys at home?”


“Easy, my dear sir, Cameron has called three times to check on how you were.  He threatened to come after me if you don’t get better so you can go buy them some new puppies.”


After Doctor Whitman had departed, I looked at Hank, “Go home and take care of the boys.  I’ll be fine.  I feel as if I’m going to fall asleep.  I guess they put something to make me sleep in one of these tubes.”


I was awakened the next morning by a nurse, taking my vitals.  She was an older lady, “Gees, I guess we ain’t going to lose this one.  How are you feeling, Mr. Michaels?”


“I’m a little groggy, but otherwise I’m fine.”


The nurse grinned an evil grin, “I regret to inform you that we won’t be able to give you anything to eat or drink until after your M.R.I. and Cat Scan.  The lousy technicians that they employ here on weekends will be coming to get you shortly. While we’re waiting, I need to drain some more blood from you.  Just remember, I’ve been known to make grown men cry because I’m so inept.”


The nurse and the orderly who arrived to transport me to the tests put me on the gurney and I went to have the testing done.  I rather knew what was happening because of my experience with Chad.  After the tests, I was taken back to my private room, and there were five boys waiting for me, along with Hank.


The evil nurse brought some food as soon as I was situated in bed, “Boys, if this man doesn’t eat his food, you have my permission to shove it down his throat, so I don’t have to work so hard.”


That was the signal for five boys to be sitting on the bed with me making sure I ate and drank all my food.  Doctor. Whitman entered the room as I was finishing eating.  “I see the evil nurse Donovan has struck again.  Mr. Michaels, you’ll be free to get up and move about the country as soon as check you one more time.  Would you little munchkins get out of here, so I make sure this man is okay.”


Cam glared at the young doctor, “Watch it, doctor, or we will sue you for being mean to us poor innocent kids.  Why can’t we stay to hear what you have to say, since he’s our Dad?  Besides we’ve already seen his penis, if that’s what’s you’re afraid of us seeing.”


Doctor Whitman threw up his hands, “If you're going to stay, then sit on the chairs and be quiet, so I can do my work.”


Doctor Whitman checked me over and was making notes on my chart.  “Good, the tests show that you don’t have diabetes, but Mr. Michaels, you appear to have a metabolism that would suggest that you need to eat three or four times a day.  We’ll be sending the results of your tests to Doctor Bednarik.  We’ve scheduled you for an appointment with him at one thirty on Tuesday afternoon.  That way he should have all of the test results.  It should be a simple appointment and your EKG indicates that your heart is behaving nicely.”


He turned to the boys, “I’ll leave it up to get Mr. Michaels dressed, since you’ve already seen him up close and personal.  I want you to make sure that Mr. Michaels doesn’t do anything too strenuous for the next twenty four hours.  I’ll go sign his release papers while you get him ready to go home.  I’ll have an orderly come and take him to the loading zone in a few minutes.”


Evil Nurse Donovan entered the room after I was dressed, “Okay, men, Mr. Michaels is to drink at a minimum forty ounces of liquids each day and he needs at least three good meals each day.  If I hear that you aren’t doing your job, I’ll come and start taking blood from each of you and I’m not very good at it.”


Cam sniffled, “Don’t worry Nurse Donovan, we’ll make sure we have enough baby bottles to keep him going when we're in school.  I guess we could make him drink twenty ounces before we go to school, and twenty ounces after we get home, but he’d probably pee his pants.”


That caused Nurse Donovan and the young orderly, who had a wheelchair, to start to laugh.  Nurse Donovan tried to stop laughing. “Make sure he always has some spare clothes with him in case that happens.”


Needless to say, I was practically chained to the bed and I had people checking on me constantly.  I wasn’t even permitted to go downstairs for my lunch or dinner. They brought them to me and there was always a cold bottle of water beside the bed.  I began to feel as if I was going to flow down the toilet when I had to go to the bathroom.”


Ricky and Cam came in at about eight o’clock, “Dad, we’re going to get ready for bed.  Do you need anything else?”


“Guys, I’m fine.  I’m still feeling a little weak but I’m sure I’ll be fine after I get a good night’s sleep.  Go ask Dad Hank to bring me one of my sleeping pills that the doctor prescribed.”


Hank entered the room with another bottle of water.  He sat down beside me, “Steve, would it be okay if I slept in bed with you or would you rather sleep alone?”


“Hank, this is your bed.  If you would prefer, I’ll sleep on the sofa.”


“Steve, that’s not what I want at all.  I want us to get back to where we were, before this fiasco started.  It’s going to take the two of us working as a team to make our family work.  Neither of us are spring chickens, and I don’t think that one of us can provide for the needs of our five youngest, let alone our four older guys and we do need to be concerned about the four Martin boys, regardless of what Wayne said.  I guess Chad really lit into him last night after he heard what happened to you.”


“How did Chad find out what happened?”


“As soon as I left to take you to the hospital, I swear Cam called everyone he knows, including Kevin, Jacob, Tim and Tad.  I had more calls last night than I care to describe.  Believe me, people were and are concerned about what has been and is happening.  Both Jacob and Kevin were ready to fly home because they are so concerned.”


“When you’re feeling up to it, tomorrow, I hope you will talk to Dusty and Wayne.  Dusty has an interesting proposition for you, and Wayne is blaming himself for what happened to you.”


I guess the medicine took control of my body because I don’t remember anything else that happened that night.


When I woke on Sunday morning, I was being touched by Randy, “Daddy, can you go to the bathroom or do you want to use the bottle?


“What bottle?”


Randy showed me a bottle, “The hospital gave us this bottle so you could go to the bathroom without going to the toilet.  Dad Hank said you used it three times last night.  I guess all the water is going right through you.”


I tried to get up, and I realized that was not a good thing to do, “Randy, I’ll use the bottle.”


Randy handed me the bottle, “Daddy, would you like me to leave?”


“Son, you’ve seen me pee before, so why would I ask you to leave.”


After I relieved the pressure in my bladder, Randy took the bottle to toilet and flushed it.  I heard him wash his hands.  When he returned, he looked at me, “The guys will be bringing your breakfast shortly.  I’ve already told them you were awake.”


I hugged Randy, “Son, I feel so helpless.  It’s like I can’t do anything for myself.”


He hugged me so tight that it almost hurt, “Daddy, now you know how Ricky and I feel.  We need you here to take care of us, and so do the other three guys.  You don’t realize how important you are to us.”


I looked at Randy, “Did someone tell you to say those things.”


“Daddy, no one told me what to say.  You should have heard how Cam was yelling at Dad Hank when you were in the hospital.  He was threatening to leave home if we left.  Poor Tony and Andy didn’t know what to think.  Now that they’re afraid that their Grandfather is going to leave too.  Daddy, please make everything better.”


Our conversation was interrupted by four people carrying food.  Cam announced, “Room service is here.  Nurse Randy, would you put the bed tray into place so we can make sure that our patient eats all his food?”


All of a sudden there was a tray like they had in the hospital and Randy was putting extra pillows behind me so I could eat.


Cam put down a tall glass of orange juice, “Dad, do you realize how hard it is to make fresh orange juice.  If you don’t drink all of it, I'll pour the rest on your bed and you can sleep in it.”


The boys brought way more food than I really needed, but they were relentless and I ate almost all of it.  I looked at the them. “Aren’t you going to church today?”


Cam answered, “The doctor said we weren’t to leave you alone for twenty fours.  Now go to sleep so we can go do something.  Don’t worry, one of us will be here to watch, until you feel strong enough to get up.  We’ll bring you lunch in bed, and that’s the last meal we’re going to serve you in bed.”


I watched as the five young guys disappeared.  Hank had been standing in the door, watching the proceedings. “Look, Michaels, I can’t be running to the store all the time getting the things that the boys think you need.  Get some rest.  You’re going to be having visitors later this afternoon.”


 After he left the room, I thought to myself, ‘What did he mean by that?’


To be continued...


Editor's Notes:  Well, at least Steve is being somewhat civil.  That's a start, I guess.  It's funny,  we are hearing this from Steve, but he still seems to be acting very foolishly.  Even hearing his version of things, I fail to understand why he is being such a jerk, concerning his situation. 


I could understand how he might feel that he was being put upon, to some degree, but no one was really trying to supplant his position. 


Everyone has apologized to him for taking him for granted, and I don't think any of them will be doing that anymore.  He needs to lighten up, and realize that they all love him and want the best for him.


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher   


Posted: 05/07/10