I Got Stung

Ben Esra telefonda seni bosaltmami ister misin?
Telefon Numaram: 00237 8000 92 32


“So are you gonna ground me, Doc?” the P-8 pilot asked.

“Sorry, my friend. Three days. Mandatory. And I’m writing you a prescription. That’s one nasty mess you’ve got going on up there, and until it’s cleared out, there’s no way you’re flying anything.”

“I knew something was going on. I just didn’t know it was that bad,” the young Navy lieutenant, junior grade (LTJG) said.

“The good news is you should be good to go after 72 hours on antibiotics, but I’ll need to see you again first.”

“Okay, sir,” he told the lieutenant commander (LCDR) who was a Navy doctor and also pilot in his own right. Most flight surgeons were rated aviators and Doctor Nathan Hawthorne was no exception.

“You want me to send the scrip to the base hospital?” the senior officer asked as he sat down at his computer.

“You know what, Doc? I’ve got a Walgreens right by my house out in town. I can take it there and get in and out in about 15 minutes.”

The ‘doc’ laughed and said, “Or you can sit at the pharmacy for at least half an hour.”

“And that’s if I’m in uniform. My dad’s a retired Marine, and he says he often waits closer to an hour.”

The Navy MD hit ‘print’ then turned around and smiled.

“Yeah, but…it’s free.”

The younger officer laughed knowing that was true. Even retirees didn’t have copays if they used a base or post hospital. The flip side of that was waiting. It didn’t matter if you were getting a prescription filled or picking up a refill. You could use the drive through window wherever a base had them or go sit down inside. But either way, you were going to sit. And wait.

“So come see me on…”

The doctor had to check the calendar as the days flew by so fast for him they often blurred.

“Thursday. If you’re clear upstairs, I’ll clear you to go upstairs.”

“Roger that, Doc,” the younger man in the flight suit replied.

LTJG Trey Donovan had been on active duty a little over years and had been assigned to a P-8 Poseidon squadron at Naval Air Station Jacksonville for the last eight months following flight school.

When he learned he was getting P-8s he felt sick to his stomach. He’d wanted to be a fighter pilot like his father in the worst way. The ‘old man’ had flown F-4s his first couple of years on active duty then transitioned to the F-18 for the US Marine Corps until his retirement in 2010. He’d worn the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor for 30 years and retired as a colonel.

Like his father, Trey was 6′ 0″ tall with a muscular build. Trey’s hair was thick and black while his father’s was a mix of ‘salt and pepper’. They also shared the same deep-set hazel-colored eyes, and both men were considered very good looking in their youth, and both had smiles that turned a lot of heads.

The similarities didn’t stop with the physical. Both had been valedictorians of their high school graduating class, and both were graduates of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. But unlike his father, Trey had never really given any thought to being a Marine. As a young boy he’d watched the movie Top Gun, and from that moment on all he’d wanted to do was take off and land jets on an aircraft carrier.

So while he didn’t want to be a jarhead, he still wanted to fly ‘fast movers’ more than anything. The day he was informed he would be flying a prop plane during flight school had been the most depressing day of his young life.

But after flying the propeller-driven beast for a few months in training and a few more in the Fleet, he’d come to love the ugly tin can. The P-8 was the Navy’s replacement for the P-3, that service’s primary ASW or anti-surface warfare platform for decades. The P-8 was essentially a modified 737 that carried a nine-person crew along with a relief pilot and an in-flight technician.

Its main job was to locate and kill enemy submarines and ships using torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other onboard weapons. It could also drop and monitor sonobuoys as well as perform other important missions.

It wasn’t as sexy as flying at ‘the speed of heat’ or engaging a Russian fighter in air-to-air combat, but it was an extremely important mission and the P-8 was actually a lot of fun to fly. Of course, no one had actually engaged any Russian MiG or Chinese fighter since Vietnam, and there wasn’t much of a submarine threat out in the ‘blue water’ areas of the world. But that could change anytime either country decided to challenge the world’s remaining superpower, and being ready was the allowable option.

All in all, Trey loved his job, and even more so, he loved the camaraderie he’d first encountered at the Naval Academy. The endless razzing and practical jokes were a part of every pilot’s life, and thin skin meant being miserable. Trey wasn’t thin-skinned in the least, and he gave as well as he got.

His dad still occasionally ribbed him for being a ‘Squid’, the word the other three services used for Navy sailors, and also for being a ‘second-class citizen’ meaning a pilot who flew a prop plane or a helo, but the truth was Gaziantep Escort Reklamları his father was incredibly proud of his son and had even mentioned it a time or two.

As Trey headed back to his unit to let his boss, the squadron operations officer, know where he’d be going, he was trying to remember the last time he’d been sick. The only thing he could come up with was back in junior high school when his appendix nearly ruptured.

He’d played sports in high school and at the Academy, and other than some bumps and bruises from intramural athletics, he’d been incredibly healthy. But what started as a sniffle had turned into a head cold, and at some point had morphed into a full-blown sinus infection, and Trey’s head felt like it was going to explode.

After handing the ‘no-duty chit’ to the LCDR he worked for, Trey left the squadron and the base and turned south onto Roosevelt Blvd then onto I-295 toward the town of Orange Park where he lived. The traffic was surprisingly light when he turned off I-295 onto Blanding Blvd., which was often wall-to-wall cars that time of day.

Trey glanced at the dashboard clock and saw that it was about 10am as he pulled into the Walgreens parking located near the city’s only shopping mall.

It was mid-December in northeastern Florida meaning the ‘Fall weather’ they had for a few weeks each year was here even though it was a little over 70 degrees outside. It had been in the 40s for the previous three nights with highs in the upper 50s, and the warmer weather was a huge relief, especially due to the pounding in his skull which was made worse by the cold.

The downside was immediately apparent when he stepped out of his 2019 Chevy Silverado. A fly buzzed by his head which he lamely swatted at with the khaki-colored hat he pulled on a second or two later. On one side of the hat there was a single silver bar signifying his rank, and directly opposite was a silver and gold Navy emblem.

The hat securely on his head, Trey turned to go inside when he noticed a woman getting out of her car. When she did the same thing he’d just done, he laughed. But when the woman screamed, he realized it wasn’t quite as funny to her. Two steps later the woman was still screaming and swinging both arms making him wonder what in the world was going on.

As he continued toward the entrance he realized there was a bee buzzing around her, and he correctly assumed she was allergic. He ran over to her and planned on picking her up if necessary to get her inside as she seemed frozen in fear. Other than the frantic arm flailing that was still going on.

But before he could reach her, he heard a different kind of scream just before collapsed.

“Help me,” she said as she lay on the ground.

“Ma’am? Do you have an EpiPen?” Trey asked as he grabbed her purse.

Her throat had already closed up enough that she couldn’t talk. Trey could hear a wheeze indicating she was getting some amount of air, but he knew that could change very quickly. He tore open the purse, shook everything out on the pavement, and realized she didn’t have the antidote needed to reverse the effects of the bee sting.

He went to dial 911 then realized that Orange Park Medical Center, a first-class hospital with a trauma team in its Emergency Department, was less than a a half mile away. By the time an ambulance got there he could have her at the Emergency Room entrance.

He tossed her wallet and keys back in the purse, slung it under his left arm then lifted her up and threw her over his right shoulder and ran back to the truck. He carefully laid her in the back, jumped in the front, and fired it up. Seconds later he was at the intersection of Blanding Blvd and Wells Road where he made a right turn and headed south.

The Orange Park Mall flew by on his left as he drove as fast as he safely could. He hit the ‘dial’ button on the steering wheel and Blue-Tooth connected him.

“911, what is your emergency?” he heard a female voice say.

The P-8 pilot calmly explained who he was, where he was going, and why. The voice on the other end said she’d call ahead even though Trey was less than three minutes out.

He then pulled into the left lane in order to turn onto Kingsley Avenue and heat east. Orange Park High School was located at that intersection, but school was in session, so student traffic was non-existent, and he was through it in less than a minute.

The hospital was now just up the road on his left a few hundred yards away. He gunned it as they flew by a Lowes and made another left into the hospital parking lot. He saw the sign for the ER and began honking his horn as he got closer to it.

By the time he pulled up to the sliding glass doors, a well-trained team was standing by and ready to go. He rolled the window down, and when he was close enough he hollered, “She’s in the back!”

Two men rolled a gurney up, and as soon as the vehicle stopped, one of them opened the door, then he and another man pulled the woman out and laid her on the gurney.

“Is she your wife?” a woman on the ER team asked as they began moving her inside.

“No,” Trey replied as he explained how this happened.

“Unless you’re an immediate family member you can’t go in with her,” the woman informed him. “But don’t worry. We’ve got this, and we’ll take good care of her, okay?”

Trey thanked her just as she disappeared with the other members of the team. The last thing he saw was the same woman, an ER doctor, jamming an EpiPen in her thigh.

Suddenly alone in front of the hospital, all he could do was shake his head at the unlikely turn of events while feeling grateful to have been able to help in some small way.

He shut the rear door, climbed back up into the cab then made his way back to Walgreens when he realized he’d forgotten about his own little malady; one that wouldn’t kill him even if it went untreated—unlike a bee sting for someone who was seriously allergic.

Most people who were allergic didn’t die, either, but having an EpiPen or actually two of them at all times seemed like it would be second nature to anyone who was allergic. And perhaps it was. She was also going into a drugstore, and Trey realized she might have been heading inside to pick up a pack of them at the pharmacy. Regardless, he was happy to have been there at the right time, and made a mental note to check up on her once he had the antibiotics.

As he got back out of the truck—again—he glanced in the back and noticed the woman’s purse.

“You gotta be kidding me!” he said out loud, frustrated with himself for having overlooked it.

On the plus side, everything else he’d dumped out was still right where it had fallen. Unwilling to carry the purse even a few steps, Trey walked over and picked everything up and brought it back to the truck then dumped it in her purse. He went to stand up, but out of curiosity, he pulled her wallet out and looked inside until he found her Florida driver’s license.

“Robyn Crawford,” he said to himself as he read the information.

He also noticed the date of birth which was November 17th, 1980, meaning she’d just turned 39. He took a look at her photo and was surprised he hadn’t noticed that she was a very attractive woman, even for one who was nearly 40 years old. It was a surprise because the young officer noticed every attractive woman, as did nearly every healthy, straight man on earth. Even though he’d been just inches from her face, he’d been too busy to pay attention.

He put the license away, replaced the wallet, then made sure to lock the door to avoid having to explain how he’d lost her purse when he went to check on her.

Trey was pleasantly surprised to see there was no one ahead of him as he walked up to the counter under a sign that said, ‘Drop offs’. A modestly attractive woman who seemed to be around his age smiled and asked if she could help.

He handed her the prescription, and the young woman asked if he’d been there before. The pharmacist, a woman of about 35, answered the question for her.

“Oh, he’s been here before. Trust me on that.”

He hadn’t actually been to the pharmacy before. He’d just been near it and asked a question, and it was this particular pharmacist he’d spoken to.

She also smiled at Trey who then smiled back. Unlike her assistant, she wasn’t exactly attractive, but she’d been friendly and helpful, and once he saw her, Trey remembered her having helped him.

“Oh. Hi there!” Trey called out.

“Hey there yourself, handsome!” she called back.

The younger woman rolled her eyes but didn’t say anything. She just processed the piece of paper then set it in the pharmacist’s ‘in-tray’.

“You’ll be next, Mr. Donovan,” the pharmacist told him without looking at the prescription.

Trey looked over to his left and saw her photo with her name on it along with two other pharmacists who worked there then said, “Thank you very much…Missy.”

“You’re very welcome,” the older woman in the black glasses and who carried a few extra pounds said with a smile.

Trey took a seat to wait, and closed his eyes to try and minimize the crashing in his head, but the pharmacist was having none of it.

“Sinus infection?” she asked as she got to work.

Trey opened his eyes, looked her way, then said, “Yeah. A real killer.”

She laughed and smiled again then promised this would start making things better in a day or so.

Trey decided to continue the conversation and mentioned the incident outside.

“Was the woman about my age, blonde, and…annoyingly attractive?” Missy asked with a hint of jealousy.

“Yes. As a matter of fact she was.”

“Okay. Yeah, she had a prescription called in for EpiPens less than 30 minutes before that. I was working on it and would have had it ready for her. I hope she’s okay.”

Trey told her what the ER team said, and Missy mentioned she was glad to hear that.

“Do you mind me asking how much one of those costs? An EpiPen?” Trey asked.

Missy stopped working and looked right at him as she said, “A lot. Since 2007 they’ve gone up 500%. So a two-pack runs just over $600 now.”

“Whoa. Did you say six…hundred?” a shocked Navy JG asked in disbelief.

“I did. And if you don’t have insurance or a coupon, that’s an insane amount of money.”

Trey was shaking his head when the pharmacist said, “And unfortunately, she doesn’t have insurance.”

“Is there any alternative? Like a generic?” Trey asked.

“Cute and smart. I like that,” the pharmacist replied as she smiled at him. “Yes. We carry something called Adreniclick and it’s ‘only’ $110, and that’s what she was getting. Still a lot of money but a whole lot better than the EpiPens.”

Less than two minutes later Missy called his name and told him it was ready.

“Wow. That’s gotta be a record,” Trey said with a smile as he got up and went to the ‘Pickup’ counter.

Missy smiled at him while the younger girl who’d just picked it up said under her breath, “Gee, flirty much?”

Trey heard but didn’t say anything. His head was pounding again, but he was also thinking about the woman whose purse he still had in his truck.

“Missy?” he said just as the assistant told him the amount.

“Uh-huh?” she replied with a very big smile.

“How much did you say the adrenaline stuff costs?”

She laughed and told him again.

Relieved, Trey said, “May I pay for her prescription?”

“Are you serious?” the woman asked.

“It just seems like the right thing to do.”

“Oh, my goodness. Handsome, smart, and also a saint!”

“Not hardly. If we were talking about $600, the halo you’re seeing around my head would be a pair of miserly horns.”

He smiled then said, “And I’d be holding a pitchfork.”

“Yes, you can pay for it,” Missy told him. “But I can’t let you take it with you. I trust you, but if something happened, I’d be out of a job and maybe in jail.”

Trey tried to laugh but it hurt like hell so he only smiled.

“That’s okay. I just feel really bad for this woman. She was so close to help.”

Missy came down to personally ring up the other charge and said, “So close and yet so far, right?”

“Yeah. Life’s funny like that, huh?”

“Like Yogi Berra said, it’s a game of inches,” Missy replied with a smile.

Trey didn’t have the heart to tell her that Vince Lombardi was the guy who coined the phrase, and that he said it about football. Technically, though, she was right as life itself really often was a game of inches in so many ways.

He swiped his credit card a second time, and by the time he was back outside, Trey was feeling pretty good about himself, his aching head aside. He opened a bottle of water he kept in the truck, popped the antibiotics in his mouth, then remembered the purse again.

It was about 10:45 when he pulled back into the hospital parking lot, and this time he found an actual parking spot then walked in through the same doors they’d taken the woman he now knew was named Robyn. He removed his hat and scanned the area for the information desk then headed that way.

An older black woman was sitting there, and as Trey walked up, she said, “My, my. Aren’t you just a cutie pie!”

“Oh, thank you,” he said with a smile before explaining why he was there.

“Oh, yes. The woman with the bee sting. Let me check on her for you.”

Trey guessed the woman was maybe 65 or so, and he could see by the tag on her blue blouse that she was a volunteer.

“Okay. Yes. She’s able to have visitors now. I suspect she’s about to be released. Do you wanna to go on back?”

“Yes, please,” Trey told her.

She explained where to go, and Trey thanked her before heading off to meet the woman who’d been stung.

He saw her in the second room he passed and backtracked. She was sitting up in bed and watching the TV mounted on the wall in front of her, a feature the base ER most definitely did not have. One of his crew members had recently gone there, and when Trey went to check up on him, it looked a whole lot different than the ER he was standing in.

He knocked, smiled, then said, “May I come in?”

“Oh, my goodness! Yes! Please come in!” the woman said once she recognized him.

Trey walked over and smiled again then asked how she was doing.

“I’m okay,” she told him even as Trey saw tears welling up in her eyes.

“You sure?” he asked.

She nodded then held out her arms.

“May I hug you?” she asked.


Trey leaned in and used one arm to kind of hug her back as she put both of hers around his neck.

“Thank you. Thank you so much,” she said once she pulled back.

“You’re welcome, and I’m really glad you’re okay.”

“I am deathly allergic, and had you not been there…”

The woman got even more emotional, and Trey wasn’t sure what to do or say so he just told her how happy he was that he’d been there at the right time.

“Ironically, I was going in to pick up EpiPens when that…bee…attacked me.”

Under other circumstances, Trey would have laughed at the word ‘attack’, but this wasn’t funny. To her it was an attack, and a life threatening one at that.

Ben Esra telefonda seni bosaltmami ister misin?
Telefon Numaram: 00237 8000 92 32

Bir yanıt yazın