“Oh, god, Maggy, the pain is worse…just unbearable and the morphine hasn’t kicked in…I thought it was under control, but I guess not,” she whimpered.
“What can I do? Do you want to go back to the hospital?”
“No. I just have to make it through until the morphine hits…oh my god, oh my god…” she stood and paced; Maggy stood helplessly watching, half afraid Cassandra would bump into something or fall, as she weaved back and forth, apparently without any sense of balance. She wanted to pace right along with her.
Another half hour elapsed before Cassandra seemed more comfortable. “I’m going to try to sleep,” she declared before heading upstairs to bed. Maggy turned out the lights and checked the alarm system before making herself comfortable in the guest room all the while thinking the whole situation was totally bizarre. Shaking her head, she reached out to set the alarm for 7:30 before sliding into pj’s and turning out the lights.
The alarm hadn’t gone off as yet but she heard Cassandra rummaging around. Still sleep drugged, she dragged herself downstairs to see how she was doing. Coffee was already made.
“Mmm mmm mmm, the elixir of life!” Cassandra grinned.
“I hope you’re not too insulted; Porsche came and slept with me last night.”
Cassandra looked down at Porsche, “You traitor, what’s up with that?” She patted the top of his head, ruffled his fur along his neck. “Yeah, you’re a rascal alright. You’re your own master, aren’t you, Porsche?” Her black Chantilly cat with the gorgeous gold eyes, her Halloween cat as she fondly described him, looked up at her and purred, rubbing up against her legs.
“How are you?”
Reaching down to give him an affectionate pat she replied, “The morphine hasn’t worn off but it will soon, so I figured it might be a good idea if I got showered, dressed and packed to go before that happens.”
“Hey, all I need is a cup of that incredible coffee of yours and I’m set.” Cassandra laughed as she was meant to.
The nurse on duty was prepared with a shot of the wonder drug ready for her, so she slipped her jeans down over her right hip and it was done.
Getting back into the car Maggy asked, “What do you think happened?” as they drove through the hospital entrance and turned toward the highway.
“I don’t know, I’ve been having troubles for a while. I went to emergency a couple of weeks ago because my eyes hurt, enough to get my attention anyway. The left one felt scratched or cut. The doctor on call gave me some drops and said if it wasn’t better in three days, to come back, but that the drops should do the trick.”
“She told me and had a nurse wash my eyes out with saline, now, this!”
Since they were about to lose radio reception, Maggy turned the SAT on instead.
Cassandra loved life; quietly, deliberately, joyously. Not with a wild-eyed free-for-all kind of joy, but mostly relating to achievement both hers and that of others. She was always delighted by other’s success as much as her own and supported close friends, family and assisted anyone who required it, no matter how it came about. Because, success usually required work, hard work, commitment and plenty of both. So, pain aside, this was but a bump in the road. Or so she thought.
As they drove along, she thoughts drifted to life in her small town with a population of just over 4500. Perhaps because it was so isolated (three hours from the next largest center) it meant there were few secrets here. The streets were filled with familiar faces. Lives intertwined here. There was an understood sense of cooperation along with a real sense of caring and support for anyone in need or in trouble. It was home. There was safety here.
The town slogan was “Where the Highway Ends & Adventure Begins!” Port Hardy really was the gateway to many eco – adventures, from Kayaking, either guided or self-guided day tours, with Port Hardy serving as the launch point for spectacular paddling areas that appealed to all skill levels. From Beaver Harbour and its sheltered islands, to rugged Cape Scott with kilometers of sandy beaches – to the archipelago of islands stretching across to the mainland, the diversity was truly as amazing as it was compelling.
What could be more awe-inspiring than paddling with the Orcas or surfboarding on a wave at Raft Cove or San Josef Bay or perhaps canoeing at one of many lakes enjoying all the quiet solitude the north end of the island offered!
She hadn’t tried white-water rafting or spelunking due to her claustrophobia which precluded that possibility so she’d settled for photographs of Little Huston Caves. And she knew there were other more adventurous alternatives with local guides as well.