Taro (mother2012) wrote,

Frozen in Time, chapter 2 of 18

    Non-con sex. Unconsciousness. Threesome, het and slash sex.
    Toward the end there's some philosophy.
    If you don't like the first chapter, you won't like the rest.
    Contains opinions, assumptions and situations that some might find offensive.
    Medical issues are based on my experience with frostbite, information from the internet, and common
sense. They are pretty much correct, but I have ignored a thing or two. It is, however, a whole lot more accurate than "Forever Young."
    This is entirely written, so you don't need to worry about whether it gets finished. However, while I certainly appreciate that not everyone gives feedback to every chapter (including me), if I don't get much of any positive feedback, I will probably lose interest in posting.

Rated: Series: NC-17, Chapter 2: G
Type: RP het/slash
Pairing: EW/DM/OFC
Disclaimer: This is fiction. And not intended even to be wise. While some of these characters may be based on real people, I don't personally know them. I made it all up out of my perverted little head.
    No, I don't make any money at this.
Archive: No, please.
Feedback: Please feed me. Praise is lovely. Constructive criticism is valued. If you find nothing of value in it, though, please don't bother telling me. You wouldn't be the first person.

Beta: The wonderful elfellon111, whose attention to detail has inspired me to be a better writer.

Frozen in Time
A DomLijah Story

by TaroDragon

Part 2

Some Things Are More Possible Than Others

Susan wanted to call the hospital immediately, and Mary volunteered to do that, since she worked there. Susan got on the other extension, Ellen was aware of Susan's voice rising shrill over Mary's calm one, but concentrated on reading the printouts. The two of them returned to the living room.

"I can't believe they won't send an ambulance," Susan fumed.

"Well, they really can't," Mary said.

"Did they suggest anything useful?"

"No!" Susan cried. Ellen looked up at her. Her face was red, distressed. Not on the verge of tears, but certainly more frustrated than she was accustomed to being. Ellen looked to Mary.

"They're going to try to locate a snowmobile, but they're pretty short-handed. There were a lot of car accidents for a while, and a lot of people didn't show up for work."

"So what did they say?"

"They wanted to know how cold they are. I don't have any way to tell that, of course. But basically they just said to warm them up slowly and either it works or it doesn't."

"So we're on our own?"

"Unless someone shows up on a snowmobile."

"Okay. Susan, this is the Army/Navy Handbook on hypothermia. It's intended to tell CO's in the field what to do in case of emergency. That one's your copy. I've been going over it, and here's some of the stuff we need to know. This says,

"Three factors are believed to contribute to sudden death in hypothermic individuals: ventricular irritability, hypovolemia and orthostasis, and sudden intraventricular cooling."

"Say what?" from Bob.

"Well, what I get from it is …wait. Here's a better sentence:

"Finally, exercise and warming of the skin in hypothermic individuals increase blood flow to areas that have been underperfused during cold exposure. The stagnant blood in these areas is acidotic, hyperkalemic and cold. If large amounts of this cold peripheral blood enter the central circulation, the ventricle is exposed to metabolic and temperature conditions (called post-exposure cooling or "after-drop") that further aggravate the risk of fibrillation."

"Oh, yes, that's much better. I understand completely now." Mary rolled her eyes.

"Well, this confirms what I thought I remembered. Don't warm the skin. Don't move them around more than necessary."

"Okay, but what do we do?" Susan whined.

"This next bit is important. Passive and active rewarming. Without reading it all to you, they really recommend passive rewarming. In other words, just keep them warm enough and let their own bodies adjust. Like the hospital said. But …" Ellen hesitated.

"But what?"

"But if they're too cold, they won't warm themselves. The more I look at this, the more it comes down to: Just how cold are they?"

"Like the hospital said," Susan put in.

"Um, yes."

"Here it says:

"Passive rewarming is effective even from core temperatures as low as 80°. Depending on the effectiveness of the insulation, core temperature increases from .25 to 1° F per hour. Passive rewarming is appropriate only as long as temperature is rising even though it may take 24 to 36 hours to restore normothermia.

"Then they talk about the need to monitor the core temperature. There are other places in here that it talks about conditions at this or that ‘core temperature'. Again, like the hospital said. The thing is …" she stopped and sighed helplessly.

"The thing is," Mary took it up, "that in a hospital it's easy to find out the core temperature. Here, it's impossible."

"Under or over 80 degrees. If they're over 80, they should be left alone to just warm up, but if they're under they won't. No way to tell without a rectal thermometer."

"And one that goes that low," Mary added. "A drug store wouldn't have one even if we could get there to buy one." She had been looking at the page Ellen held. "Here's another goodie:

"If they fail to rewarm spontaneously, then active rewarming should be started. They should be admitted to an intensive care unit, be given warmed, humidified oxygen and gradual rehydration. They should have continuous cardiac and temperature monitoring …

"Et cetera, et cetera. Ellen, this is hopeless."

Susan interrupted again. "We can't do that. They must do something to help us." She turned almost hysterically on Bob. "You've got to do something."

"There isn't anything I can do," he growled. "Calm down."

"Calming down isn't going to help!"

"Susan!" Ellen exclaimed. "It isn't hopeless. I've got various plans in mind. It says ‘warmed, humidified oxygen', but another place it says that oxygen isn't all that necessary. The warmth and humidity is what's wanted. We can do that with - what d'ya call it? - resuscitation."

"Yes," Mary concurred. "We can do that."

"The other thing we can do that's basically without risk is warming the scalp. It says, ‘application of warm water soaked towels. The scalp has a low blood volume but high blood flow and rapid entry into the central circulation'."

"But it says that it can be dangerous to try to actively warm them," Mary protested.

"But if they're under 80 degrees, then it's the only thing to do," Ellen argued. "If they're that cold, they won't warm up by themselves. The thing is, we need to know how cold they are."

"Well I don't have anything that would measure those temperatures except my house thermometer. And you can't use that!"

"Why not?"

"To begin with, it's the wrong shape."

"Okay. Reasoning this out - they do appear to be breathing. From what this says, that means they have to be warmer than 70. That means there's a good chance that they're over 80."

"Are they still breathing?" Susan bent over the boy on the mattress, moved the blanket aside a little.

"Still warm air?" Ellen asked.

"Yes. But we can't just stand here and do nothing."

"Actually, doing nothing is a whole lot better than doing the wrong thing." She held up the papers she was still holding. "There really isn't a rush, as long as there is some gradual warming, and no getting colder."

"Well, how about the warm towels?" Susan insisted.

Ellen sighed, hating to take responsibility for ending up doing the wrong thing. "Yeah. Mary, would you call the hospital back and ask what they think about that?"

"Sure. I'll see if I can find anybody with any experience with this." Mary went off to the bedroom to use the phone.

Silence. Everyone waiting for the next thing to happen. Ellen tried to make conversation.

"Were you on vacation?" she asked reasonably.

Long silence. Then Susan responded shortly, "Yes."

Ellen considered asking how old the boys were, but felt that might be insensitive. Perhaps the mother was trying desperately not to cry, and asking about the boys could make her lose control. Maybe it was holding on to her emotions that made her seem distant. But a conversation was obviously out. She was thinking she should make sure the other boy was breathing, when Mary came in.

"Well?" A chorus of voices.

"He said that if they don't warm on their own, that we should do that."

"In other words," Bob put in, "if they're under 80 degrees, and don't respond to the warm air in the house, and if it isn't too late, may as well go ahead and do that."

"That's about it, yeah."

Susan broke in. "Did he say anything about the chances?"

Mary drew a deep breath and plunged in. "He said that he doubted they would recover if they were in the hospital; they had a man last year who'd fallen through the ice. He said it sounded like about the same condition, and that man hadn't made it."

"What do you mean the same condition? What did you tell him?"

"Well, very cold to touch, barely detectable breathing. He wanted to know how long they had been unconscious and I told him at least an hour."

Susan turned away and stared at the wall. Bob became agitated again. "It just isn't possible," he said, his voice straining with the attempt to calmness, "that in this day and age …" He gave up the attempt and also turned away.

"Well, it would be stupid to just give up," Ellen said. She was biting her lip again. "Maybe they'll just gradually warm up and be fine. Maybe they aren't really as cold as it seems." Then she turned to Mary thoughtfully. "I have an idea. Come here." She led into the guest room. Becky trailed along behind.

Susan turned to Bob. "They're not telling us something."

"I suppose. But she does seem to know what she's doing."

"Seem to, yes. I don't like her. I don't trust her."

"Well, she's kinda bossy. But I think I do trust her."

"We're responsible, Bob. I don't like letting someone else call the shots."

"I don't like it either; and when push comes to shove, I'm responsible. But I have no idea what we should do. I didn't know that drinking was such a bad thing in the cold; it's supposed to warm you up."

"You're taking her word for that? Who says she knows?"

Bob shrugged. "Can't deny that they're in trouble and we're not. And she acted like she really knows."

"Acted like. That's the problem. She acts like she knows, and I don't think she knows anything!"

"Hey, look. She's said several times that she doesn't know ..."

"And then goes right on doing things her way ..." Susan's voice was rising.

Bob practically shouted back, "Well, what would you do?"

Out of earshot in the guest room, Ellen suggested her plan. "Listen. You have a thermometer that will tell us 80 degrees. All we need to know is whether they're warmer or colder than that." She looked up at Becky. At seventeen, Becky was mostly a woman in her own right, but Ellen just didn't feel comfortable outlining this in front of her, much more than in front of the parents.

"Becky, why don't you bring our stuff in from the car?" She waited for Becky to leave, then, "Warmer or colder than 80 degrees? If your fingers are at 80, then you're going to know whether something they touch is warmer or colder."

"I don't get it."

"Put your thermometer in a pan of water, and get it to exactly 80 degrees. Then I'll soak my hand in it ‘til it feels normal."

"But just touching them won't tell the core temperature … Oh! You mean use your finger …"

"Of course. Don't say anything to pathetic parents out there. You should have seen their shock when I mentioned that we would probably take their clothes off."

"There's something freaky about them."

"Tell me. But it could be just shock. And guilt. You go get the water ready. I'll get the kid's pants off."
Tags: frozen
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