THE COWARDLY LION
Chapter Seven

I went on my Sippy diet a few days later, while also being proud of myself for not giving in to the morphine shots coming every three hours instead of every four. General Masters visited all the time, and even went to the extra effort of writing a letter home to my wife, or so everyone said. General Puller never made it, not while I was in the I.C.U., anyway. He was always coming but never showed up, and it really bothered his son that there was never any explanation for his not showing up as planned either. I hated the Maalox liquid medication I had to drink on the hour, but on the half-hour, I got three ounces of milk. It never tasted so good. My body processed the liquids, which led to my next transition goal, which was getting to my feet.

Shoot and Kathy sat me up, my stomach covered by 4X4s, and over those, an elastic bandage that went all the way around my torso. I was able to sit unassisted, noting that my primary pain had shifted from my abdomen to my left hip. The hip had been in nine pieces, each piece which had been drilled and then tied into the other pieces with stainless steel wire. Good fortune had allowed that my hip ball and joint had not been affected by the bullet’s travel or its nearby hydrostatic effects.
Two days later I was able to get out of the bed and into a wheelchair. I made my first trip up and down the corridor with Shoot being my guide and the motive force behind me.