642 Things #7 – A Test In Patience

If Carl had known the unknown, he never would have agreed to the procedure. The year of isolation, of complete silence, trapped in his own mind – nothing was worth this. The procedure was a radical one. When Carl was medically induced into a coma, the rebuilding would began. A test in patience, the coma would last for one year.

The accident had left him in worse shape than he could have imagined. Lacerated liver, 29 broken bones, internal bleeding and a massive concussion. The nerve damage in his spine had incapacitated him. “We can make him comfortable,” was the first thing the doctors told his wife. Sherry refused that answer. She wouldn’t give up so easily.

Dr. Jacobs made his appearance in their lives then. Dr. Jacobs proposed the radical procedure that Carl had just undertaken. First, his legs would be repaired. The shattered femur in his right leg and left tibia would be completely replaced with a new high-density alloy. The same alloy would be used on any bones beyond recovery. Dr. Jacobs detailed that each broken bone either had to be replaced or set. All nerve damage could only be repaired by undisturbed rest after a difficult surgery. The swelling of the brain would take time as well.

The list of repairs was extensive. Impossible to cure according to some doctors. That’s when Dr. Jacobs suggested the radical part. He would induce Carl into a medical coma for a year. That would allow for the massive rebuild to take place and healing to complete. The consequence of this procedure were clear. There would no guarantee until the coma was reversed if the surgeries worked. Carl would lose a lot of muscle mass. He’d have to relearn to walk. But, he would likely walk again.

The list of injuries should have killed Carl. Dr. Jacobs ensured Carl and Sherry that Carl wouldn’t remember a thing. He’d go to sleep and wake up a year later. One second his eyes would close, a year later they’d open and Carl wouldn’t know a difference. Somehow, Carl and Sherry found themselves agreeing to this crazy idea.

Fast forward, and here is Carl. Dr. Jacobs was wrong. It wasn’t like just going to sleep. It was like going to sleep and waking up in a world you didn’t know. Waking up by yourself. Trapped in a small room. Words did not escape your mouth, or they simply made no sound. For the next 365 days, this would be Carl’s hell. Not able to speak a word, write a word or communicate in any way. Trapped in a dark, endless tunnel.

Sherry’s year without Carl was just beginning. The toll it would take on their relationship was uncertain. The only certainty is that when Carl woke up, if he could truly move again, the first thing he was going to do was tell Sherry he loved her. The second thing, is ensure that Dr. Jacobs never had a chance to do this to someone else again – no matter the consequences.

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