Larsson opened his eyes, and nothing changed.
“Shhhh… don’t worry, the room’s dark because your eyes are light-sensitive right now,” said a soft female voice, “it’s OK – you’re in hospital, you’re sick, but we’re looking after you.”
“Wha – happened?”
“Wait – I’ll get you some water.”
A straw touched Larsson’s lips, and he sucked on it. The water was cool, and his mouth, he realised, had been very dry.
“Yes… thank you.”
“You collapsed at work, do you remember? Then you came here, and we’ve been looking after you.”
“Shall we try some light?”
He heard her stepping away, and a light slowly bloomed in the ceiling. He blinked as a dull pain started in the middle of his forehead.
She dimmed it back to almost-darkness.
“Good! Now – is it too soon to think about food? I’d be starving if I were you!”
“Right! I’ll see what the kitchen can send up!”
A few minutes later, they had their answer.
“Jelly and icecream!” she said, laughing. “Well, it’s not much in the nutrition stakes, but it should tempt you? Come on, let me feed you.”
Larsson tried to sit, was overwhelmed with dizziness, and gave up. Baby food it was.
“There! Feeling a bit better?”
Larsson frowned. Then his stomach convulsed, and he sat up in time to vomit over the side of the bed… onto the nurse’s shoes.
“Guess not.” she said wryly.
He started to apologise, but his stomach convulsed again, bringing up the rest of the jelly.
“Never mind, it’s an occupational hazard!” she said cheerfully, “These shoes wouldn’t last five minutes if I couldn’t bung them in the wash with my uniform! Don’t worry – I’ll call an orderly to clean up the mess, get another nurse in here to watch you, and I’ll head off to get changed – see you soon!”
Larsson sank back on his pillows, a floating, dizzy sensation coming over him.
“I’ll put some Maxolon in your drip,” said the nurse, “It should calm the nausea down for you, alright?”
Larsson nodded weakly. He didn’t really care what they did, if it had a chance of helping. His stomach cramped again, and he gritted his teeth.
The nurse added a new bag to his drip stand, fiddled about with the lines, then dimmed the lights and left.
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