Catching Up

AUTHOR: Rebecca
SUMMARY: When Kerry fnds out that a friend is ill, she makes a trip to see them.

Kerry Weaver walked into the lounge with Alex in her arms. Alex had been very fussy the night before, keeping Kerry from getting any sleep. Carter had worked the night shift, and had come home around seven exhausted. He had offered to watch Alex but Kerry had insisted that he get some rest and that she would take the baby to work with her. Kerry sat Alex in her carrier and put her stuff away in her locker. Then Carol came into the lounge and picked up Alex.

"Did you let your mommy get some sleep?" Carol asked.

"No, she did not," Kerry said. "I got no sleep what so ever. Let's just say Alex is going to win the out all night award."

Carol laughed. "She sounds exactly like Tess and Kate." Carol handed Alex back to Kerry and went over to pour herself a cup of coffee. "I saw Carter this morning, he said that Julie was at a friends house last night."

"Yeah, she spent the night with Ashley," Kerry said walking toward the door with Alex on her shoulder.

"Morning Kerry," Mark said coming up to her. "Did Alex let you sleep last night?"

"No, she didn't," Kerry said. "I'm fixing to take her up to daycare." Kerry headed for the elevators with Mark following.

"How's Julie doing?" Mark asked as he stepped inside the elevator with Kerry and pressed the floor to daycare.

"OK," Kerry said. "Mark I never knew motherhood would be so demanding."

"Believe me, it only gets worse." Mark said as the elevator doors slid open.

Kerry sighed and headed for the daycare room. After dropping Alex off Kerry went back down to the ER. She checked the board, and grabbed a chart from the basket. Thirteen-year-old girl with severe headache. Kerry headed toward exam three and went over to curtain area two where a girl with blond hair sat on the bed "I'm Dr Weaver and you must be Lindsey Cole?"

"Yeah," Lindsey said. "My head has been giving me some trouble for the last few days. I don't want to end up like my other doctor who treated me back in Providence."

"What happened?" Kerry asked as she checked Lindsey's eyes, and ears."

"She went into a coma from a disease called encephalitis. She just woke up about a week ago and is now undergoing physical therapy."

Kerry nodded, hoping it wasn't Sydney Hansen. "How did you find out?"

"When I went to get a check up at the clinic the nurse told me why she wasn't there," Lindsey said as Kerry listened to her lungs and heart.

"So what brings you here to Chicago?"

"I'm on a field trip with my class," Lindsey said. "The doctor that I was telling you about, her name was Dr. Hansen."

Kerry looked at Lindsey with a concerned expression on her face. "Lindsey will you excuse me for a minute." Kerry went over to Abby, who was stitching up a cut on a four year old. "Abby can I speak with you for a minute?"

"Sure," Abby said. She put a bandage on the cut and helped the little boy down. "Come back in three weeks and have them removed," Abby told the mother. Abby followed Kerry out the door. "What's up."

"I have a patient who I believe knows Syd. She says she's from Providence. She told me that Syd was in a coma a week ago from encephalitis. I need to call and find out what's going on, can you cover for me?"

"Sure," Abby said. She headed for exam three, curtain area two.

Kerry went to the lounge where she could talk in private. She dialed the Hansen's number and waited for someone to pick up. Finally on the third Joanie picked up.

"Hansen's?" Joanie said.

"Joanie, it's Kerry Weaver," Kerry said.

"Hi, how are you?" Joanie said. Then she became quiet. "I'm sorry Syd isn't here, she's coming home from the hospital today. Dad just went to pick her up."

"That's what I was calling about," Kerry said. "One of my patients is from Providence, and Syd was her doctor. She's the one who told me that Syd was sick. How is Syd doing?"

"OK, considering she just woke up from a coma a week ago," Joanie said. "She's undergoing physical therapy right now, by a new age, handsome physical therapist"

"Tell her to call me when she feels like it," Kerry said.

"That may be a few days," Joanie said. "Dad just called, right before you and said that Syd was still very weak and tired," Joanie said. "Thanks for calling, I'll tell Syd you called."

"Thanks Joanie. I'll talk to you later," Kerry said. She said bye to Joanie and hung up.

In Providence

Jim Hansen helped Syd into the wheelchair. Syd still looked very tired and weak. She didn't say a ward the whole trip home.

"Dad I'm still kind of concerned about the treatments John recommended for me," Syd said as her Dad helped her out of the car. "He acts as though he has no idea what he was doing."

"I'm sure everything will work out fine sweetie," Jim said. "Joanie wants to see you." Jim helped Syd into the house and she sat down on the couch.

"I think I'll sleep here," Syd said. "I'm too tired to move."

"Syd," Joanie said. She gave her sister a hug. "I'm so glad you're home."

"Me too," Syd said with a smile. She closed her eyes for a second. "Where's Hannah?"

"With Robbie out in the yard," Joanie said. "Kerry Weaver called."

"Why?" Syd asked.

"She said that she is treating a patient of yours, who told her what happened to you," Joanie said.

"Shoot. I didn't want to tell them yet," Syd said. "I didn't want the phone ringing off the hook every five minutes."

"Syd you get some rest, and we'll worry with the phones," Jim said. He got a blanket and put it over Syd.

"Thanks Dad."

Kerry paged Elizabeth and met her in the lounge.

"You wanted to see me?" Elizabeth asked. She sat down on the couch with an exhausted sigh.

"Yes, it's about Syd. One of my patients knows her and said that Syd has been in a coma for the past week. I just got off the phone with Joanie, and Syd is home now but still very weak, and tired," Kerry said.

"Is she all right?" Elizabeth asked. "Do they know what she had?"

"Yes, encephalitis," Kerry said. "Joanie said that Syd won't feel like talking for a few days."

"I wonder why no one told us about it?" Elizabeth wondered.

"Maybe they just forgot, at least we know now," Kerry said. Then her beeper went off and she looked down to check it. "I have to go feed Alex, catch you later." Kerry waved bye to Elizabeth and rushed toward the daycare. When she got there she picked up Alex.

"She has been sleeping all day," the daycare worker told Kerry as she fed Alex.

"I'm not surprised," Kerry said trying to get Alex to eat. "She kept me up all night last night."

After Kerry fed Alex she went back down to the ER and checked the board. Her patient who knew Syd had been released while she had been feeding Alex by Dr. Greene. Kerry picked up another chart, hoping it wasn't another person who knew Syd. Kerry couldn't stop thinking about how Syd must be feeling, playing patient. Around two thirty that afternoon Kerry went into the lounge to find Julie there doing her homework.

"Hey kiddo," Kerry said giving Julie a quick hug.

Julie took off her earphones. "Hi. Where's Alex?"

"Up in daycare," Kerry said sitting down at the table, putting her crutch beside her. "Isn't Carter home?"

"He wasn't when Ashley dropped me off, so I just decided to come here," Julie said. "So, how was your day?"

"OK, I guess. I found out that Syd has been sick," Kerry said.

"With what?" Julie asked. Julie had gotten to know Syd really well over the past few months and now she was like a big sister to her.

"Encephalitis, she's been in a coma for the past week and got out of the hospital today. She's home now but isn't feeling up to talking."

"When can I call her?" Julie asked.

"Not for a few days, maybe by Monday she'll feel up to talking," Kerry said. She stood up and headed for the door. "Well, I have to work a few more hours so when you're done with your homework come to the admit desk."

Julie nodded and put back on her earphones to finish her homework. Later that night Julie was on the internet when Kerry came into the room.

"What are you doing?" Kerry asked sitting down on the bed holding Alex who was asleep on her shoulder.

"Chatting," Julie said. "Don't worry, I'm being really careful."

"Good," Kerry said. "Carter should be home soon. He's going to eat with us before he starts the graveyard shift."

"Is that what you call it?" Julie asked turning around.

"Well, we get a lot of strange patients at night," Kerry said. Then they heard the door slam. "That must be Carter. Come on let's eat." Kerry went into the living room and found Carter hanging up his coat. "Hi, where have you been?"

"I went for a walk," Carter said. "I ran into Elizabeth Corday, she said Syd has been sick."

"Yeah, she just got out of the hospital today actually," Kerry said as she sat Alex in her carrier. "I was thinking maybe we could go see her, try to cheer her up."

"Sure, if the boss will let us have some time off," Carter said. He kissed Kerry on the lips.

"I don't think the boss would mind too much," Kerry said. She smiled and headed for the kitchen.

Later that night Kerry called the Hansenís. She asked about coming to see Syd and Jim said that it shouldn't be a problem. He said that maybe Kerry could convince her that she's not the only doctor out there. Kerry smiled as she hung up after talking to Jim for an hour. Kerry couldn't imagine having one of your family members in a coma, then again, she had had her share of problems. When Kerry told Julie about going to Providence she was more than excited.

"I've never been to Providence," Julie said as she sat listening to a book in her room, Kerry sitting on the bed beside her. "Going to Syd's house should be fun. Didn't you say her Dad is a vet?"

"Yes, he owns a basement clinic in the basement of their house," Kerry said.

"Are we going to take Alex?" Julie asked.

"Of course, Syd hasn't seen her yet," Kerry said. "I'm not even sure she knows I even have a child."

"When do we leave?" Julie asked, sounding more excited by the moment.

"Not until Friday. That will give Syd some time to rest before we come. Remember Julie she just got out of the hospital, she won't feel like being your tour guide."

"Maybe her Dad or someone could do it," Julie said. "We'll see."

Kerry laughed and gave Julie a hug. Then she heard a familiar cry from the other room. "I think someone is awake." Kerry got up and headed for Alex's room. "I'll be right back."

Julie nodded, and put back on her earphones. She couldn't wait to go to Providence to see Syd.

Four days late Kerry, Julie, Carter and of course Alex stepped off the plane in the Providence airport. Jim met them at the gate.

"Well, who is this?" Jim asked referring to Alex.

"This is Alex," Kerry said.

"Syd was going to come to the wedding but she had an Emergency and couldn't make it," Jim said. "Joanie and Syd are dying to see you."

"How is Syd doing?" Kerry asked as they walked toward the baggage claim.

"Well, not as out of it as she was three days ago but still very weak. She has a slight limp which will hopefully go away soon. Syd will be so surprised to see Alex. She was so excited when she heard."

"I don't remember telling her," Kerry said as she handed Alex to Cater and let Julie take her wrist.

"Elizabeth told us when she called one day, about a month ago I think," Jim said. He led the group out to the car and helped them load their stuff into the trunk.

"Kerry, promise me that you will describe the city to me," Julie said.

"Don't worry Julie, I'm sure Joanie will see to that," Jim said.

Dream sequence

"Well, your new good looking therapist isn't here making you better?' Lynda asked as she appeared beside Syd.

"Please, mother not another lecture," Syd snapped giving her mother a stern look. "I've had enough advice for one day. I've been so afraid every since I came out of the coma. Mom, I may never practice medicine again." She sank back down on the couch in the living room.

"Syd just because you have a slight limp doesn't mean you can't practice medicine," Lynda said. She sat down beside Syd. "Kerry Weaver has a limp and it doesn't bother her."

"Mother I'm not talking about my leg. I'm talking about my mind, my emotional being. I'm afraid I'll pass out or suddenly freeze while doing an examination." Then they heard the sound of a baby crying.

"Well, that's my cue," Lynda said and she was gone.

Syd awoke with a start and heard voices coming from the kitchen. She went into the kitchen to find Kerry, Carter, Julie and someone new there.

"Syd," Kerry said. She gave Syd a hug. "How are you feeling?"

"OK, I guess," Syd said. She sat down at the bar. "Congratulations."

"Thanks," Kerry said. She took Alex from John and placed her in Syd's arms. "Alex say hello to my good friend Syd Hansen."

Syd stared down at the tiny infant in her arms. "Maybe we should move to the couch."

"Good idea," Kerry said. She took Alex from Syd and followed her into the living room with the rest of the group.

Syd sank down onto the couch and took Alex from Kerry. "Julie, hi. I'm sorry I didn't even see you there, how are you?"

"Fine," Julie said. She came over with the help of Cater and sat down beside Syd. "I heard you were sick."

"Yeah, I was," Syd said. "I'm still not completely better but I'm getting there. Is this your first time in Providence?" Syd gave Alex who was getting fussy back to Kerry.

"Yes," Julie said smiling. "I can't wait to see the city."

"Don't worry, I'm the official tour guide," Joanie said. "I'm going to take them everywhere."

Syd laughed at her sister's comment. "Where's Hannah, and Robbie?"

"Robbie should be home soon and Hannah is asleep upstairs. In fact I need to go check on her. Do you want to come with me Julie?"

"Sure," Julie said. She stood up and took Joanie's arm. Joanie led her upstairs to Hannah's room.

"Is Alex sleeping well?" Syd asked.

"No," Kerry said. She rubbed Alex's back trying to get her to sleep. "She's a lousy sleeper, with the exception of when I don't want her to sleep, which is now."

Syd laughed. "I bet. How's Lizzie?"

"Fine, and Mark and her are still going strong," Kerry said.

"Oh, Kerry while you're out and about tomorrow would you mind stopping by the clinic to see how everything is going? I called yesterday but got the machine. Lizzie told me about the new doctor filling in but I just want to make sure."

"Sure, not a problem," Kerry said.

"Have you gotten any more visits from Paul?" John asked. Carter and Jim had been talking quietly for the past few minutes.

"No, not recently," Syd said turning to face him. "Hopefully I won't either."

"So, what do you guys say we order out for dinner?" Robbie said suddenly appearing in the kitchen doorway.

"Where have you been?" Syd asked, turning to her brother. "Off catching pretty ladies."

"Be quiet," Robbie said. He sat down in a chair. "So, what's new?"

The next day Kerry, and Julie toured the town with Joanie as their tour guide. Kerry stopped by the clinic and got an update on how things were from Syd. Lizzie said that things were great and Syd shouldn't worry. Syd was getting more and more strength as the week passed but was still too weak to do any running around town.

Kerry and Syd sat in Syd's room the next night after a full day of running around and shopping catching up on each other's lives.

"I guess we have something in common now, huh?" Syd asked referring to her limp.

"Hopefully not for long," Kerry said. She took Syd's hand and squeezed it. "Syd are you OK with everything that has happened?"

Syd sighed and looked over at the picture of her and Lynda. "I don't know. I just feel so confused right now. I thought I was going to die Kerry. I wasn't ready to die, I still have some much left to do."

"But you didn't die," Kerry said. "You're strong Syd, you can beat this thing."

"I've been so afraid ever since I came out of the coma. It's not about my leg I'm worried about. Kerry what if I can't practice medicine anymore?"

"You're strong Syd, I know you can do this," Kerry said. She gave Syd a hug.

Syd sighed, she hoped Kerry was right.

That following Saturday the Hansen's said goodbye to Kerry, Julie, Carter and Alex as they boarded a plane back to Chicago. Syd had loved having Kerry visit and she had been right, Syd did need to be strong and get on with her life.

"Tell Lizzy I said hi," Syd said. Syd had felt well enough to come to the airport with the rest of the group.

"I will," Kerry said. She hugged Syd.

"Bye Syd," Julie said. She hugged Syd and then took Kerry's wrist.

"Bye little one," Syd said kissing Alex on the forehead. "I want a daily update on this kid."

Kerry laughed. "You got it."

After hugging everyone goodbye the Hansen's watched as their Chicago friends boarded the plane. Syd hoped that it wouldn't be six months before she would see them again.

As the plane roared into life Kerry looked back on the week's events. She was glad Syd was going to be Ok. Kerry rested Alex on her shoulder trying to get her to sleep and soon, she herself was asleep in minutes. Two hours later Kerry awoke, and looked down to see the city of Chicago. She sighed, it was back to the ER at Cook County General.

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