Dr. Ryder examined the rash on Janie’s arm closely.
“Humm, it does look worse from last time doesn’t it? When were you here last? Humm. he said “three weeks ago?"
“Ok let’s have another look at your reflexes and I want to do one more EKG just to be sure. First, why don’t you lie back. Yes like that. Now press your feet against my hand. Yes like that."
Janie pressed her feet, the toes mostly, against Dr. Ryder’s outstretched hand and noticed they didn’t move very much.
“Humm.” Dr. Ryder said.
“Nurse could you hook her up for me? I will be right back.”
Nurse, Mary Hamilton, asked Janie to take off her blouse and lie back while she took electrodes and started to paste them at strategic points on Janie’s body; there were about eleven of them or so.
Janie avoided looking at her as nurse Hamilton started to stare at the monitor of the EKG machine before her.
“Well, well,” she said. “that can’t be.”
“What,” Janie’s said “what can’t be?”
"Oh nothing nurse Hamilton said slowly still staring at the monitor “must be one of these dang electrodes.”
She asked Janie to move a bit as she inspected each of the electrodes to see if they were securely taped onto Janie’s body.
Satisfied, she stared at the machine a bit more and then started to make notes into her little computer for Dr. Ryder.
Meantime, Dr. Ryder was in his inner office on the telephone talking to Dr. Rather, who was a tropical disease expert at the University hospital.
‘Rash yes,” Dr. Ryder was saying “greenish, about 6 centimeters long, persistent, raised above the skin line and hard, yes hard, rough to the touch.. Yes I have given her anti-biotics and ran some blood tests on her, and get this Don, her blood platelets, liver and kidney function seem to be changing, yes changing. Damnest thing.
I don’t have a clue, never seen anything like it. I took her blood just six months ago and if I didn’t know I would say this is an entirely different girl, Yes, I took her blood levels again, just to rule out lab errors.
Meantime I would consider it a favor if you had a look as soon as possible.
I will send her over.
You’re a friend. Thanks.”
Ryder came back to the examination room as Nurse Hampton gave him a puzzled glance and looked down at her notes as she handed them over to him for his inspection.
Dr. Ryder looked at the notes and said ‘Thank you Nurse, I will look these over.”
Nurse Hamilton left with a puzzled look on her face then Ryder turned to look up at Janie.
“Tell me Janie, how do you feel, have you noticed any changes in your body, your moods, dizziness anything out of the ordinary?”
Janie looked up at him saying
“What is going on, what is the matter with me?”
“Oh, nothing so far I just want to check out everything. Tell you what Janie I want you to..."
He paused as he took out his pen and began to scribble something on his note pad,
"I want you to go see my friend Dr. Rather at the University hospital, he will be able to run some more tests on you with equipment we don’t have here.”
“Tests” Janie said. “What kind of tests?
“Routine,” Ryder said “I just want to be sure, you know, to rule out anything exotic going on.”
“Exotic.” Janie said
"Yes, exotic," Ryder said "you have to be cautious and check everything out, everything."
"Ok Janie will you do that for me? Dr. Rather is expecting you there tomorrow. I want to get his tests out of the way and then you and I will have another appointment and take it from there.”
Janie agreed a little unsure of what was going on. Perhaps, she thought as she got dressed, it had something to do with her late period. She was sixteen and still had not gotten her period.