Come on Kerry, Peter argued, I just saw Kovac. He doesnt need restraints anymore. Kerry insisted, He DOES need them Peter. One more violent flashback and he could tear his sutures again. Just yesterday you told me he wouldnt survive another surgery if that happened. But Peter refused to give up. After their talk, he felt he owed it to Kovac. Look, Kerry, that was yesterday. I wouldnt be here TODAY if I thought that was still a risk. God knows I dont want to see him in surgery again. I dont think the flashbacks are a problem anymore. Kovac seems to have them under control now. Besides, the restraints arent helping. Theyre just upsetting him. Cant you see that?
Kerry recalled how angry Luka had been when she refused to take off the restraints. She was torn. If she kept them on now, despite Peters opinion, she risked alienating Luka even further. But if she removed the restraints and Luka tore his sutures again, it could very well kill him. At that moment, Kerry regretted being ER Chief. She wished she could leave this decision up to someone else, but she knew it rested on her shoulders alone.
Peter was quickly losing his patience. He glared at Kerry and growled Come on, Kerry whats it gonna be? Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Kerry said, You win, Peter. I hope were both right. She called the I.C.U. to have the restraint order removed from Lukas chart. Peter stopped glaring at Kerry and smiled. You made the right call on this one. Im sure of it. Ill look in on Kovac later. Ive gotta get to work now.
Although shed been reluctant to go along with Peter at first, Kerry had to admit that deep down, she was relieved. With the restraints no longer an issue, maybe Luka would be willing to talk to her. Shed misjudged the situation badly on her last visit. Bringing DeRaad was a mistake, she knew that now. Luka had felt ambushed betrayed. He was probably still furious at her. She thought I wont get anywhere with Luka unless I can convince him that I didnt betray his trust to DeRaad.
Not one to put off a difficult task, Kerry headed upstairs to see Luka. On the way, she stopped at the Admit Desk to tell Amira Ill be up in the I.C.U. if anyone needs me. Amira put her hand on Kerrys arm and said Please tell Dr. Kovac I was asking for him. And tell him I dont know how to thank him. Kerry replied gently, I will Amira.
As Kerry got off the elevator, the I.C.U. nurse greeted her with good news Oh, Dr. Weaver, youll be happy to know that Dr. Kovac is doing much better today. He really perked up after Dr. Bentons visit this morning. And Im sure taking off the restraints helped too. Hes been much calmer without them. Kerry was relieved Glad to hear that, Mary. Do you think hes up for another visitor? The nurse answered Well, hes awake, thats a start. It certainly is Mary, it certainly is, Kerry said as she headed toward Lukas room.
Before opening the door, Kerry braced herself for a chilly reception. Good morning, Luka. I heard you were feeling better and I wanted to see for myself. At first, Luka seemed startled to see Kerry, then a flash of anger crossed his face. He suppressed the anger and greeted her politely, but his voice clearly lacked its usual warmth. Good morning, Kerry. Yes, I am feeling better this morning. Peter Benton visited for awhile and was kind enough to remove the restraints. Despite the cold tone in Lukas voice, Kerry was relieved that hed brought up the subject.
Yes, I know. Peter came to see me as soon as he left here. After a long discussion, he convinced me that the restraints werent necessary anymore. So I called up here and told the nurse to remove the order from your chart.
I appreciate that Kerry very much, Luka said. But I am still very angry with you you had no right to bring DeRaad here. You told me our conversations were private. I trusted you Kerry I trusted you his voice trailed off. But it was the coldness in Lukas eyes that bothered Kerry more than his words. She knew she had to reach him and make him understand that she hadnt betrayed him.
Despite her discomfort at the whole situation, Kerry was grateful for Lukas candor. When he had a problem with someone, he didnt brood or play passive-aggressive games. He addressed the issue directly. Still, she hesitated a moment before beginning, Luka, Im glad you brought that up. First of all, I want to apologize for bringing Dr. DeRaad here without discussing it with you first. But just as important, I want to assure you that I didnt betray your confidence to him. I never told him about any of our conversations. All I told him was that your family was killed in the war and youd had several flashbacks since the shooting. Luka, I admit that I used poor judgment by bringing DeRaad here, but you have to believe me I would NEVER divulge any conversation we had in private NEVER! When I give my word on something Luka, you CAN trust in that.
Lukas eyes softened and he met Kerrys gaze as he said, Then I owe you an apology for jumping to that conclusion. Kerry let out an audible sign of relief. Shed gotten through to him! Luka continued, Im sorry Kerry. Its just that when I saw DeRaad, all I could think of was the other psychologists Ive talked to over the years. The look in their eyes when I told them what happened to my family how I felt what I was thinking. They never saw me as a person, I was just another case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or whatever diagnosis they attached to me. Kerry, I always try to see my patients as people first, not just some disease or collection of symptoms. If a psychologist cant do the same for me theres no point in seeing another one.
I understand, Luka. Really I do. But I wish youd give DeRaad a chance hes one of the good guys. He treats people, not symptoms. But I wont force him on you like that again, you have my word.
Luka was exhausted and his incision was starting to hurt a great deal, but he wanted to finish clearing the air with Kerry before asking for a painkiller. He didnt want to fall asleep in the middle of this conversation. I appreciate that very much, Kerry. For my part, no promises, but I will consider talking to DeRaad.
Kerry replied, I cant ask more than that. Im sorry those other psychologists didnt treat you the way you treat your patients. But then again, not all doctors are as caring towards their patients as you are. Thats one of the reasons I hired you. Youre a wonderful doctor Luka capable and compassionate. Im hoping some of that will rub off on a few other people around here. Malucci, in particular, comes to mind. And Abby can learn a lot from you too. As a matter of fact, theyve both raved about how much they learn when they work with you. So has Carter. And Lucy told me on several occasions that she appreciated how you took the time to teach her things, but always put the patients needs and comfort first. Kerrys voice choked as she spoke of Lucy.
Luka said softly, Kerry, I know how hard Lucys death must have been for you. It has affected me and I didnt know her as well as you did.
Luka, Kerry replied, sometimes terrible things happen to people we care about. When that happens, we have to find a way to go on. But you know that better than anyone else here. Youve managed to go on for the past nine years. But sometimes, you have to accept a little help when the going gets rough. You dont have to do it all alone.
I know that now, Kerry. Peter helped me realize that. He talked to me as one father to another about what our families mean to us about how our lives change when we lose someone we love. No one has talked to me like that for a very long time. I cant explain it, but it made me feel less alone somehow.
Kerry smiled. Then Im very grateful to Peter. She hesitated a moment, then decided to bring up something that had bothered her since Lukas first day in the I.C.U. Luka, after the shooting, you told me you planned to leave Chicago as soon as you were discharged. Id like you to reconsider your resignation. I need you here. And I think you need to be here too. You certainly dont need to go off someplace where you dont know a soul. That wont make the emptiness go away. Luka nodded, but said nothing. Kerry took that as a good sign at least he hadnt said no yet.
She continued, There are people here who care about you, Luka. You have NO idea half of my time down in the ER is spent fielding questions from the staff about when they can come visit you. Haleh, Abby, Carter, Malik, Lydia, Chuny, Amira, Randy,Yosh, Cleo, Malucci, Connie, Mark and Elizabeth I cant hold them off much longer. They might just storm the I.C.U.
That last remark actually made Luka smile. Kerry was happy to see that. As far as she was concerned, the man didnt smile enough. Besides, I care about you and Id like you to stay, Luka. Even if you cant say yes right now, please just dont say no. Promise me youll think about it.
Kerry, I dont need to think about it. I Id like to stay, Luka said softly. Kerry let out another very audible sigh of relief, then said, Im so glad Luka. You wont regret it.
I know that, Kerry. And thank you - for asking me to stay, for wanting to help, for for everything. Youre right its time to stop running from the memories and the emptiness. Its time to get on with my life. I dont think I could find a better place to do it than here in Chicago here at County. Maybe you could tell the staff that I wouldnt mind a few visitors from the ER as long as they dont all come at one time Luka smiled again. Kerry couldnt help thinking how beautiful that smile was. It lit up his face and made his eyes shine. He looked much younger too.
Thanks Luka. Thatll make me pretty popular down there, Kerry laughed. I think Amira will be your first visitor. On my way up here just now she asked me to tell you how grateful she is for what you did for her. But before your many admirers start arriving, how about a handshake to celebrate this new beginning?
Lukas answer surprised but delighted Kerry. I think Id like a hug instead if thats OK with you. Without a word, Kerry leaned down to Luka and tried to stretch her arms around him. They both laughed, then he wrapped his long arms around her and they exchanged a heartfelt hug. Kerry carefully positioned herself to make sure she didnt press against Lukas incision.
As Kerry stood up again, Luka said Just one thing Kerry She asked, Whats that, Luka?
I think Id like to rest a little right now, Luka said, wincing as he tried to get comfortable in the bed. Kerry noticed that behind his lovely smile, the young man was clearly exhausted and probably due for a painkiller by now. Right on cue, Mary, the I.C.U. nurse, entered with Lukas meds. Thisll make you feel better, hon, Mary soothed as she changed Lukas I.V. and added Dilaudid before adjusting the drip. You get some rest and Ill be back to check on you in a little while. Luka thanked her and closed his eyes, intending to rest them for just a moment. But he drifted into a deep sleep almost immediately.
When the nurse left, Kerry sat next to Lukas bed. She wanted to make sure there were no flashbacks this time. After half an hour, satisfied that he was sleeping peacefully, Kerry gently reached over and brushed a few stray hairs off Lukas forehead. Then she headed back down to the E.R., where the staff quickly surrounded her. They cheered loudly when she announced that Luka would be able to have visitors later in the day. Recalling how exhausted Luka had been, Kerry quickly added Remember people, hes had a rough couple of days and hes still in the I.C.U., so you cant all go in at the same time. He still needs a lot of rest - please dont wear him out!
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