Maddy's Floor, page 8
Who called their daughter 'Sissy' anyway? Doris had met one other person with that name, a child she'd taught piano lessons to way back when. The poor girl had died a mysterious death, as Doris recalled.
Doris kept her head down, tugging her focus back to the half-written letter in front of her. Surely, Sissy shouldn't be here on this floor anymore, at least not much longer. She didn't know what drugs she'd been getting, but Doris wanted some of the same for herself.
She'd have to ask her doctor. Maybe he'd prescribe the same thing. She stole a second look. Damn, that woman looked good. She offered Sissy a tentative smile and received a lukewarm response.
Doris returned to draft her letter, happier. Maybe they could be friends. Most of her other ones had died.
Time to meet her new patient.
Maddy barely kept her bouncing step in control as she walked down the hallway to meet her newest arrival. She smirked at Nancy's eye roll. "What? I'm happy. We get so few children in here. Felicia's arrival is a huge deal." Hospice care differed from location to location across the country. Yet Maddy knew from experience that children responded better to her energy work than any of her other patients. Children didn't come here normally – it was considered an adult care facility. But the hospital was open to everyone and sometimes, on rare occasions, a child moved into The Haven. Often their family fought to have them here. They always came to Maddy's floor.
Maddy came upon Belle, as she visited with her latest great grandson. Contentment whispered through her aging energy. Belle had come a long way these last few weeks. It was good to see her adjusting.
"Except the arrival of this child means she's deathly ill and there's not much great about that," Nancy reminded her.
"And that's why she needs to be here. Maybe we can turn things around." Maddy refused to let her joy dim with negative thinking. She wished she could work only with children. Her healing skills could do so much more with them. Unfortunately, the medical establishment was a long way from acceptance on that issue.
They passed the nurses' center, where two of her staff worked tirelessly, their energy calm and relaxed. That was so important here. People liked to believe they were independent of each other, but everything they felt and thought affected those around them. Children were particularly susceptible. The good news was the children also had the ability to heal – almost overnight.
The last two children had been released in steadily improving health. Paul Dermont had cancer that refused to respond to treatment. After his transfer to this floor, his cancer had gone into spontaneous remission within months of his arrival. Sending Paul home had been a highlight of Maddy's year.
Nancy smiled, her features softening. "Let's hope so. Felicia could use it. It's a good thing Dr. Robertson is on your side."
They shifted to walking single file, as two orderlies moved carts down the hallway. Maddy smiled at Horace, who'd been working here for decades. He was a favorite among the patients – always had a smile for each one.
Momentarily distracted, Maddy tried to pull the threads of their conversation together. Where were they? Right, Dr. Robertson. "How true. Unfortunately, it took him a lot of years to get there."
Convincing doctors at the beginning had been tough. Many misunderstood and viewed her work with dismay or distrust. They wanted proof. Something she could only provide after working with a patient – and she couldn't do that if they didn't invite her in on a case. Now, after seven years, she worked with two specialists and several doctors at the local children's hospital.
Felicia's medical history would be an interesting read. Maddy knew a bit about her condition, but not her full history. She'd have a conference with Dr. Robertson to discuss treatment options and to set up a pain management program.
Maybe Felicia would be lucky and experience something magical here, too.
Felecia was moving into Jansen's spot, a circumstance that had given Maddy pause, until she realized that had also been Paul's bed and he'd gone home to continue his recovery. Jansen's death was an anomaly. It had to be. Nothing else made sense. Maddy insisted Jansen's bed be moved back to its original position, tucked securely inside the protective energy. That didn't guarantee the child's safety, but it would help – and it made Maddy feel better.
The increased noise level said they'd almost reached the right bed. Gerona was there, paperwork in hand, to sign off on Felicia's arrival.
"Dr. Maddy, it's good to see you again." A tall, silver-haired man in a white lab coat hovered protectively beside Felicia's bed, holding out his hand to two interns. Dr. Robertson shook the two men's hands and thanked them for taking good care of Felicia.
One man grinned and waved at Felicia while the other chucked her under the chin before leaving. "You be good. This is the luckiest move of your life. Let's hope the next one will take you home… So behave yourself."
Maddy shook Dr. Robertson's hand. "Why am I not surprised to see you here with her? Did you follow the ambulance in?" she ribbed him gently. Felicia had been Dr. Robertson's patient since her birth. She was also his most heartbreaking case. Terminally ill children were hard on everyone – especially the children.
The sheet-covered body moved, a sock-covered foot slid out, then the toes wiggled. Maddy grinned. God, she loved children. As she reached to snag a toe or two, the sheet slid down and Felicia's head popped up. Shaved and bruised looking, yet the little girl wore a gamin smile that melted all who saw her.
"Hi, Dr. Maddy," she piped in the optimistic singsong voice of a child. And that was one of the reasons Maddy wanted her here. Her life force was strong, regardless of the brainstem glioma threatening to kill her and the unsuccessful radiation and chemotherapy that had made her life hell. Her spirit shone bright and free. That gave her a fighting chance.
"Hey, pumpkin. How are you doing?"
Doernbecher Children's Hospital had given her great care. However, it was Dr. Robertson's push that brought Felicia to Maddy. Paul, the patient who went home, was also his patient. There was nothing like success with one case to bring hope to another.
Maddy studied Felicia's energy field. Low, thin and pale, yet still strong. The core pulsed with possibilities. Maddy had watched her from the sidelines this last year and as each treatment failed, Dr. Robertson and the parents had become a little more desperate. She'd undergone surgery once, only the growth had returned. At that point, Dr. Robertson had thrown his hands up and asked for her help.
Medical practice required permission. Maddy had it now. Felicia was hers. Hopefully, it wasn't too late. Maddy immediately reached for a brighter thought to overcome the negative one. Lord, she'd been doing that a lot lately.
"I'm good. The ambulance ride was fun. Do you have television here?" Felicia twisted her head from side to side, checking out her new home.
Maddy threw her head back and laughed. "Of course, do you think all these patients would stay if we didn't?"
Felicia giggled. "Maybe if you served chocolate ice cream."
Dr. Robertson reached out and lightly tapped her bald head. "Not everyone is as addicted to chocolate ice cream as you are, young lady."
"Then they don't have taste buds." Her eyes opened wide at several posters on the walls that depicted animals and kids playing sports. That would be Nancy's doing most likely. They'd be able to decorate the area more fully now that Felicia was here. There was rarely time before patients arrived.
Opposite was a large window that allowed the midmorning sun to sneak in. A super-sized balcony sat outside huge double doors halfway to the next bed, sectioned off by partial walls and curtains.
Maddy smiled at her patient's curiosity. A good sign. Activity bustled around them as nurses stepped up to complete the transfer of paperwork and equipment, and warm blankets arrived to take off the chill that had been induced by the move and any uncertainty the girl felt over the changes in her life.
"Mom said she'd be here." Felicia glanced around for her mother – the first glimmer o
"If she said she'd be here, then she'll be here. This place is huge. She's probably lost like we would have been if not for your terrific ambulance guys," Dr. Robertson said with a smile.
With a nod and a wink at the tiny addition to her floor, Maddy led the way to her office. Once inside, she offered Dr. Robertson a coffee from her espresso machine.
"Only you'd have a coffee station in your office." He shook his head, accepted the cup of Italian coffee from her and sat down in the leather seat opposite her desk. "I may have to reconsider my career options. Look at this place. High class indeed."
"The Board indulges me." Maddy shrugged. She'd also taken over from Dr. Newell, who'd been fastidious about his office furniture. She actually preferred light-colored wood furnishings like cedar or oak, but asking for a complete furniture switch had been prohibitive and unnecessary. She'd rather have the funds go to patient care.
"So what are we doing for Felicia now?" That turned the discussion back to business and they sat down to discuss the next step in Felicia's medical journey, hopefully one that would lead to an improved outcome.
Drew relaxed at his desk, enjoying the new office. So few people. So much space. So little noise. He finally felt like he was adjusting to his new caseload as well as his space. They had a lot of freedom to work here, but it was hard to re-evaluate old cases to find a new angle, find a way forward with the old evidence. He had to wrap his mind around a lot of information. Technology had changed this field tremendously, allowing them to retest old samples, provided they hadn't deteriorated. DNA samples were a huge boon.
The dead kids though, with their faces staring down at him from the wall, had affected him. Their unexplained deaths were a puzzle with no way forward. That hadn't stopped him from trying. He'd left a message with a contact in the FBI Behavioral Unit this morning, hoping to run some info through the MO databank. There'd been no return call at this point. Chances are there wouldn't be one.
Portland didn't have a similar database and he'd already run the bruise pattern through the Oregon State Police Law Enforcement Data Computer or LEDS system, with its limited MO files. No luck yet. Next were InfoNet and its system that allowed him to email anyone on the LEDS system. Maybe he'd get lucky and find someone who had seen this particular bruise pattern.
Then there were the journals. Sigh. He'd flicked through a couple, only he hadn't been able to find anything except the painful ramblings of an older woman. He'd put them in chronological order, yet hadn't devoted much time to them. He figured he might get through a diary a day. That would still take him a month or two, but at least he'd know that he'd done what he could in that regard.
He was about to reach for his coffee cup when the phone rang. Dr. Miko, the pathologist at The Haven. Interesting.
Maddy collected the flowers delivered for Felicia and carried them down the hall. Painted bright and cheery with lavenders and turquoises, her area looked like any normal child's bedroom, complete with a bookshelf and a toy bin.
Felicia was awake and appeared to be playing with her Nintendo video game. Her hands and fingers were painfully thin as she manipulated the small buttons. Handheld computer toys were a great way to pass the time. As her condition was terminal and she was debilitated to the point she couldn't live a 'normal' life, Felicia had teachers visit for various lessons and she attended school online with her laptop. Her mother visited her each day to help with the homework.
"Hi, Dr. Maddy. Are those for me?" Her young face brightened at the gorgeous sunflowers in Maddy's arms. "Wow, those are beautiful. Who are they from?"
Maddy grinned as she placed the bouquet on the bookshelf. Pulling out the card, she handed it to Felicia. While the girl exclaimed about the flowers, Maddy opened her tablet to Felicia's file. Hmmm, Felicia's appetite was down. Not unusual given the transfer, but that couldn't be allowed to continue. Felicia needed her strength. Healing would only happen if the body had energy to spare.
She studied the drugs listed. The cocktail was daunting, particularly considering that nothing was working. Her radiation treatments had been discontinued and the traditional way forward appeared to be the only option – help her make peace with the future.
After her rounds this morning, Maddy planned to go into her office and do a full energy scan on her youngest patient – something Maddy needed peace and quiet to do. She'd like to do one here at Felicia's bedside while she slept. However, until the place returned to normal from the repairs and new arrivals, she'd do her scans remotely. Switching her vision, she checked Felicia's energy. It pulsed slowly and was snug against the tiny body. White with soft lavender ripples, but the pulses had a tenacity to them that gave Maddy hope. Still, the energy was low and fainter than Maddy would like.
There was no time to lose.
"Felicia, I have to go and run a bunch of tests. When I'm done, we'll talk again." With a bright smile, and a brief touch of her hand to Felicia's cheek, Maddy left and strode down to her office. At the nurses' station she stopped for her messages and told the staff she'd be working and not to disturb her.
They understood, at least to some degree.
Few understood the world of a medical intuitive. For Maddy, her special awareness was a natural complement to her medicine and as instinctive as breathing.
She closed her office door, drew the heavy curtains together and turned off her phones. She walked over to the wall beside her door, pushed the visitor's chair back and away and cleared a space where she could sit on the floor. She could do this standing or sitting; however, as yoga was her preferred method to unwind, she usually chose to relax into one of the many poses her body loved so well.
After unbuttoning her jacket and kicking off her heels, Maddy gracefully sank to the floor to sit cross-legged. She sighed deeply, rotating her neck and releasing the tension in her system. Tension was resistance. She knew that, and slowly eased her body into a state of relaxation and self-awareness.
Feeling a familiar calming detachment, Maddy went to work.
Using a technique called remote viewing, Maddy focused on Felicia until her awareness was right at her bedside where she 'saw' Felicia's body. It was almost as good as being there in person. She shifted her focus to Felicia's energy systems. Every physical body had a road map of energy like highways rippling across it, servicing all the main body systems. Maddy saw the energy flows and drains, as they moved to address worry, stress, past events or even joy.
Most people in The Haven had little energy dedicated to the good things in life. If they had, they wouldn't be as sick. The human body created and tapped into so much more energy than people understood. Instead of reaching for the energy so readily available, people 'used up' their stock of this resource with the little irritating things in life, leaving their systems short for healing. They could get more anytime, but rarely did. Most people, if asked, would say they didn't know where or how to get more energy.
Maddy had perfected another technique for use on her terminal patients. She moved from one end of the body to the other, seeing thin slices of the body similar to a CT scan, which allowed Maddy to flick through one area to another.
Starting at the toes, Maddy studied Felicia, making note of any issues on the way through the layers of the child's body. Energy buzzed or slugged its way through Felicia's circulatory system, shining with light, and in some areas, with a dark, purplish slow energy.
Working steadily, she familiarized herself with the ebb and flow of Felicia's life force, her health, her condition and her illness. The back of the child's neck and the lower portion of her head had a dead black pulsating look to it. This was the problem. She'd known that much already though. The question was, what fed this tumor's insatiable growth? Usually a growth of this type came when blockages prevented the normal spread of energy, causing new pathways to form around it.
Distancing herself slightly, Maddy studied the meridian lines tracing movement of
Maddy didn't know what to do with this information yet, but she now had an idea of the severity of Felicia's condition. Complete blockages caused energy pathways to rework, regrow and reform. In Felicia's case, they spread out in tiny webs searching for other pathways to take care of the problem. Felicia's body was a spider web of tiny networks.
All illnesses and diseases affected the body's nervous systems and developed tension. As she had used one method to read the energy, Maddy used a companion method to soothe the ruffled energy of Felicia's aura, easing the tension rippling through the child's body into a smoothly flowing stream. Then Maddy went to work on one meridian, the one running up the front of Felicia's leg and chest where a minor blockage was forming.