Hes in the ICU she says So theyre taking really good care of him Theyre doing

Hes in the icu she says so theyre taking really good

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"He's in the ICU," she says. "So they're taking really good care of him?" "They're doing their best, Max," she says. The intensive care unit is this place where there are so many nurses, you can't hardly turn , around without bumping into one, which I do as soon as we get there. Every patient gets a room alone, and there's all this electronic gear the Fair Gwen says is called "telemetry," which means when Freak sneezes, the nurses know about it before he can wipe his nose. I'm not scared at all until I actually go into his room and see how small he looks on the bed. They've got him sitting up with all these tubes going into his arms and up his nose and Dr. 148 149 The Empty Book Spivak is guarding him, she won't let me come too close. "I thought no visitors was the best policy for now," Dr. Spivak says. "But what Kevin wants, Kevin gets." Dr. Spivak is this small woman with short red hair and a real stern face, and it's like she's.mad because Freak wants to see me, or because I'll break some of her precious equipment. "That willbe all," Freak says to her. "You are dismissed." The thing is, his voice sounds funny. Not just faint and weak, but kind ofwhistley. Only when I get closer do I see he's got this weird little plastic button stuck in his neck. "It's called.a tracheotomy," he says, holding his finger against the button, which stops the whistling noise. "Standard procedure to facilitate breathing." "Does it hurt?" "No way," he says. "I think it's cool. Listen to this." Then he plays with his finger against the but- ton, making his throat whistle a tune, .whichhe says is the theme from Star Trek, although you can hardly recognize it. "So when do you come home?" I ask. Freak can't move much the way.they've got him set up in the bed, so he sort of shakes his eyes instead of his head. "I'm not coming home," he says. "Not in my present manifes- tation."
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Freak the Mighty J go, "What?" "The Bionic Unit is on red alert," he says. "Tonight they'll take me down there for my spe- cial operation. The next time you see me, I'll be new and improved." _"I'm scared," I say. "Don't be a moron," he says. "You're not the one having surgery." "I still wish they wouldn't." "Don't argue with me," he says. I have to lean close to hear him because his voice is so small and whispery. He goes, IIIf you argue with me, I'll get upset and they can tell on the telemetry. Then you'll get in trouble." 5,0 Ijust stand there likea lump and don't say anything for a while. I put the ornithopter on the foot of the bed, but I don't think he notices. "See that book on the table?" he asks. He can't point, but I see the book on the table. "Open it," he says. The book reminds me ofthe dictionaryhe gave me for Christmas, except when I open it, all the- pages are blank. "That's for you," he says. "I want you to fill it up with our adventures." "Huh?" "'Writeit down, dummy. I was going to doit, but now it looks like I'll be busy getting used to my new bionic body. It'll probably take me weeks just learning how to walkwith long legs." I put the book down.
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