Saturday, July 31, 2010

Any Other Day - Part Three

He was hauled into wheelchair on arrival, much to his disgust. "This is really not necessary you know," he muttered as Callie drove it through the side entrance, he really didn't need any unwanted press over this and besides it would already be on You Tube and fifty thousand people's cameras. Just fucking great.

She pushed him up the ramp to the door. "Like you could walk on it, nor you should be even trying until we know what's going on." His wife and her doctor hat shining ever so brightly. 

"I managed on stage didn't I?"

"Barely, Jon."

"What about the kids?" He hated to even think what his kids would have been thinking, they hadn't had a scare like this before in their lifetime.

"They're worried, I saw them before you left the stage to reassure them and that we'd call when we knew what was going on." Flashes of white jackets and the hustle and bustle of hospital life when zipped past him as his wife tried to beat the formula one record down a hospital corridor.

"Good, they shouldn't be worried it's only a strain." He swore as pain blindsided him when he lifted his leg out of the wheelchair. 

"Right, a strain."

"Don't gloat, you know I hate when you do that." He frowned, all their years together and she was the one that knew him better than anyone else. And sometimes, he hated that. She flipped to logical so quickly, more than he did these days and in hindsight its what kept their family operating as a little unit between the crazy but hell, if she could just take a step back from it for a minute. Jesus.                                                             

She patted his shoulder, "I'm right and you hate."

He growled, "it's my leg. I know what's happening, as I said it's a strain."

"Dr Bongiovi, right this way." Dr Colbert appeared in the corridor armed with a clipboard and his stethoscope slung tight around his neck. 

Most husbands would kill for medical privilege like his wife was getting them but he was so pissed off that all this clinical talk was killing him. 

"Thanks Paul, I appreciate this, this is Jon. my husband. He's got a suspected tear, did it on stage towards the end of the concert tonight from an innocent wrong back step from what I could see."

He motioned them into a room and the nurse that flanked Dr Colbert hooked her arms under his, "I'm just going to move you up to the bed."

"Fuck," he yelled as his leg bent and the fire zig zagged up his leg. 

Dr Colbert waved at the nurse. "Get him ten milligrams of morphine."

Callie shook her head before the words could leave his mouth. "Just oral please. No morphine, he's had three advil as we left the stadium." He closed it again, he hated fucking shots and he wasn't touching morphine with a ten-foot barge pole.

He raised his brow and and looked at his chart. "Ok, we'll get an anti-inflammatory into him, that'll help work with the pain relief."

Callie took his hand linked her fingers through his and he relaxed a little. This was his worst nightmare and he didn't want to even think about what ramifications this was going have, he  was determined that it would have none. 

"We'll have to cut the pants off him, it'll be easier than trying to get him out of them, less stress on the leg." Jon's eyes widened as the doctor held up a pair of shears. 

Good fucking Christ, he had no choice but he hated the fact he couldn't do it himself. Hated it. They made a cut and then tore the fabric up to the thigh. His calf was red and looked like it had been inflated like a balloon. He blew out his breath, "shit". It didn't look that great. 

He took Jon's vitals and examined the leg carefully.

"You ok?" Callie whispered. He clenched his jaw as the doctor felt around the leg.

"Been better," he hissed when he pressed his thumb into the side of his calf.

"I'd like to do an MRI, to see the extent of the damage but I'm suspecting a grade two tear." 

A MRI? Were they fucking kidding? And what the hell was a grade two, freaking doctors. "What is that when it's in fucking English?" Jon asked.

"Jon," Callie warned.

Dr Colbert continued. "It means it's a significant injury but with rest you should be back to normal within six weeks or so." 

Jon folded his arms, "Well that's not likely to happen I have concerts all this month. Is there something we can do?" What would he do with the rest of the concerts? They were already booking concerts in South America for September and August was off-limits. He wasn't going out like this on the last leg of the tour, he wasn't that guy. 

"Let's get the image and then we'll discuss that. Take the anti-inflammatory and we'll let that kick in before moving you, I'll prescribe you some Vicodin. It'll be a rough couple of days while it settles." He scrawled the chart and handed it to the nurse. 

"Is there anything else?"

Jon shook his head, but Callie continued, "can we have some ice while we wait for the MRI?"

The doctor nodded at the nurse, "sure. Nurse can you please sort Mr Bongiovi some ice?"

The nurse nodded and the doctor flipped the chart closed. "Ok, someone will be a long to take you to the scan shortly."

Callie smiled, "Thanks Dr Colbert." The doctor left and she pulled out her phone.

"Are you calling the kids?" Jon asked rolling his head back against the pillow.

"Nope, I'm ringing a colleague of mine, he's very good with sport's injuries, pays for a second opinion."

Jon shuffled back onto the bed, "what? Do you not trust your own -- aw fuck," he curled his fingers around the edge of the bed as he moved the leg without thinking.

"What did you do?" 

"Moved wrong," he winced and then puffed out a breath. "I don't need a second opinion." Why couldn't she just stop? He just wanted her to sit here and be with him. Not try and run his damn medical care. 

She held her hand up. "I've got his voicemail." She relayed a brief message about coming by tomorrow to the house. Callie clipped her phone back and poured him a glass of water, "it'll help get the pain killer flowing." She perched on the edge of the bed and took his hand, "are you ok?" Warm blue eyes calmed him again, she always had this uncanny way of doing that, as if she cast some kind of spell over him. 

"I'll be ok when I get out of this fucking place, I hate hospitals." He pinched the bridge of his nose, "I'm so stupid. Of all nights had to be tonight when I'm looking at a string of shows one after the fucking other."

"I know, not the best timing but you can't blame yourself. These things happen. We'll see what the doctor says, I'm worried about you being on that leg on stage though." 

"I can't cancel. I just can't the band, the and everything that's riding on this. We'll lose money, they'll lose money."

"Ok shhh, we won't talk about it yet. Let's see what the scans show, just try and relax and the let the drugs work." He closed her eyes as her hand swept over his forehead. 

"We won't talk about it because it's not happening, it's not an option."

"Jon, you don't want to do anything stupid here. We'll see what they say, you can't be pig-headed about this and no one will thank you for ending up lame."

The nurse returned with the ice-pack and applied it to his leg and left leg. He fell silent as the cold bit his skin, this sucked.

"Are you still in pain?"

His eyes flicked to hers and then back to his leg, "no it feels fucking wonderful."

"I can give you a shot of morphine, I know you don't want one but it will relax you."

"Not having one, don't need it. It's just a strain," he grunted.

She sighed, "you're the worst patient ever." 

She was right, but he was the one sitting disabled with his pants shredded to his thigh. Callie's phone beeped but she put it away again.

"Who was it?"

"Obie, I'll ring him when you have the MRI, Richie can go a long with you." 

"I don't need a babysitter. And why isn't Obie ringing me?" 

Callie sighed, "because he wants you to focus on getting the medical attention you need. I can do the updates. I always have."

Jon grunted, again she was right. She was always the one that he trusted to take control of a situation when was unable to, it didn't happen often but when it did she always stepped in with ease. "I hate this Callie." She perched herself on the edge of the bed and tucked her chin into his shoulder.

"I know you do, but you've got to trust them and just take this hour by hour." She soothed his arm with her hand, "I know for a man that's always thinking ahead it's hard. But you just gotta, for me?"

He dropped his forehead to her head and took in her scent, "ok. I'll try." He just wanted her with him, he hated to admit it but she was playing doctor when he wanted her to play wife. He was a little broken and he needed that Callie strength he always had when things got rough, the one that made him the man he was today. "Callie, get Rich to make the calls--"

The door swung open and the orderly wheeled in the chair. "I'm here to take Mr Bongiovi for his scan."

Callie hopped off the bed and pulled out her phone, "I'll get Rich and make these calls. See you soon honey." She kissed him on the lips and disappeared out the door.

"Callie!" He called for her but the door clicked closed behind her. Dammit. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Any Other Day - Part Two

Callie wiped her brow, she'd swapped out her coffee for water. She watched her husband finish Wanted, to a crowd that still cheered like it never wanted to leave. She had seen the signal, Jon was feeding off the crowd and they were in store for at least a couple more songs.

"Another?" Matt handed her a fresh bottle of water.

"Sweet baby Jesus it's a sauna tonight." She popped the top and sucked down half.

"I ran a couple out to Stella and Jacob as well. They're having fun with Mom and Dad."

Callie glanced out where her children and Jon's parents were sitting. "Yeah, they love seeing him play. They had a blast in London; it's been hard to get everyone settled since we've been home. Especially him," she nodded out to her husband as he hooked his fingers into his mouth and ripped out a whistle. He turned and threw a wink her way as the band roared into the old Dave Clark song. "Oh jeez," she laughed snorting out water.

"What?" Matt asked.

"My husband thinks he's being funny." She chuckled to herself, glad all over indeed. She couldn't wait to whisk him home and have her wicked way with him, she'd learned quickly over the years about the benefits of after show sex when he was wound up tighter than a spring. She took a long sip and watched her husband bust a few moves. He'd found his niche all over again this tour, and it was exciting to see him having fun like he was born all over again. She swiped her hair back from her face and the bottle slipped through her fingers as Jon bent back and then doubled over.

"Oh hell," she clutched her chest and felt her belly bottom out. He struggled to compose himself and grasped his mic stand while he keeled over, still belting out the words of the song. "Shit," she turned to Matt but he'd gone and backstage started to buzz as the song went on. Jon was good at saving his vulnerability to those moments with just her, so showing clear cut pain in front of thousands was bad. Very very bad. She blinked away the tears, she felt so helpless watching unable to do a damn thing to help him.

Rob and Matt were barking into walkies, she glanced over behind them where Carl his trainer was armed with his medicine bag.

"I'll take him into work, get the car ready." She instructed Rob who nodded and disappeared backstage. "Oh god Jon, what have you done?" Jon winced and told the audience he'd blown his calf muscle, he flicked a glance in her direction but she nodded, he'd finish the show. The band ripped into Living on a Prayer and he stood anchored on one leg by his mic stand. She smiled as the crowd hummed, louder than they had before, that alone would get him through.

"I'll get a shot ready," Carl said as he dug through his bag.

Callie shook her head, "he won't take a shot. Get a chair ready, ice pack and we'll give him three Advil to tie him over till the hospital. I want to see what the damage is first. She scanned the crowd for her children and his parents "get him in the chair as soon as he gets off stage k?" She should have checked how much water he'd be drinking, clearly it hadn't been enough and he was partial to his tea on stage. She'd seen it with athletes that came into the hospital a thousand times, too much heat, too little water and they'd blown out their muscles, some of the damage irreversible. God what if this was irreversible? She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and felt her heart quicken. She hurdled a couple of rows of seats until she reached her family.

"Hey. I'm taking him to work after he gets off, I'll call you from there as soon as he we know what's going on ok?" She swiftly held her children tight as they nodded, she crouched down and brushed back her daughter's sunny blond hair and looked into her dad's blue eyes. "Hey, Daddy's tough. He's just hurt his leg so we'll take care of him, k sweets? I'll call Nana and Pops as soon as we know anything. Mommy is going to take good care of him."

"I'm scared," Jacob said, she hauled them both into her chest. "He's superman, remember? Just be good for Nana and Pops ok?" She kissed both foreheads and stood up.

Carol hugged her, "it's bad isn't it?" she whispered in Callie's ear. She pulled away and nodded, "I think he's torn it so it's going to be painful, Christ if I can ever make him sit still." She mouthed into her ear over the crowd roaring the chorus.

Carol squeezed her arms. "Give him our love, and call us as soon as you can. We'll look after these two, don't worry."

Callie sighed and kissed John Snr's cheek. "Thanks guys, I'll be in touch soon." She waved at her kids and quickly disappeared backstage as the band took their bows, Jon supported by the rest of his band. "Holy shit," she muttered as Matt and Rob had cleared the path to the exit.

"Car's ready to go, you want me to come?" Matt asked.

She squeezed his hand, "No, he’ll hate too many people--- get him into the chair."

Matt smiled, "I'll get him into the chair."

There was a shuffle as they moved Jon backstage, she held herself back and bit her lip. His face was scarred in agony. She rolled up her sleeves and bent down as they lowered him into the chair, "left calf?"

"Son of a fuck!" he landed on the chair and tipped his head back.

She took the ice pack and pressed it against the calf and looked up into her husband's stormy eyes. "Drink the water and take the pills."

He took the water and threw the pills into her mouth, Matt, Rob and the band circled around them.

"Don't think we're going home, because we're not," he snapped.

"Jon," she warned. Trust her husband to be thinking of that at a time like this. Of course the thought had run shot through her mind, what if they had to cancel? It wasn't just about Jon here.

"Well we're not---son of a bitch." He grabbed the towel and wiped his face and arched back in the seat as she applied the ice to his leg.

"We'll move you to the car shortly, I'm taking you to Riverview."

He groaned, "I don't need---"

"It's not negotiable." She ignored his growl, he wasn’t getting a say in this.

Richie stood behind him and rested his hand on his shoulder, "listen to your wife Jon."

Jon tightened his jaw and nodded. "Callie, let Carl do that."

She should but she wasn't just going to stand there and watch. No fucking way. She wanted to feel the calf for damage but she guessed her husband's foot would lodge in her chest if she did that.

"How bad is the pain?"

Jon's face fell, "you're not really asking me that are you?" His fingers curled around the edge of the chair.

She ignored his snap, "ok let's get him to the car. I can't tell what sort of damage is done, we'll need scans." Matt nodded, and Rob helped lift him between them, Jon wound his arms around their shoulders. This was as a doctor your worst nightmare, she was used to all sorts of sights but nothing really compared to her husband, her strength in that much agony. They'd been blessed with a lot of good health over the years she just hoped this was a strain or a pull, something that wouldn't halt her husband's life.

"You should stay with the kids Callie, Matt can come with me" Jon hissed as they glided him through the hallway.

"Like that's going to happen." She slipped into the other side of the car as they sat him across the back of the car with his leg elevated. She handed him a bottle of water, banded her arm around his middle and rested her chin on his shoulder.

He did so and tipped his head back against her, "fuck me."

She brushed back his fringe and kissed his cheek. "I know Jonny just hold onto me, the pills should kick in a little soon. I'll give you more at the hospital."

"I'm so stupid, the tour...god..." He linked his fingers through hers and his other hand dug into the seat.

"Shh, Jon don't. I know it's not in your blood, but just try and switch off for now, we'll deal with that once we know what's happening ok?"

"Ring Obie, tell him we're not cancelling."

"I'm not ringing Obie, he was there. He knows we'll wait to see what we're dealing with." She felt for him as Jon took such disciplined care of himself during a tour but god, he needed to just focus on himself for more than one minute.

“We’re not cancelling,” he repeated as he tightened his jaw. His eyes clamped closed as they pulled away from the stadium, she jumped when a fist pounded against the passenger window. The door popped open and Richie jumped in the front seat.

"Sorry, carry on as you were." He said to the driver and twisted around in his seat. "You're getting old man," he threw a wink at her.

"Fuck you," Jon muttered but Callie smiled through her tears graciously. Thank god for Richie.

"And you thought it would be one of those ducky buses that would get you, huh?"

Callie laughed, and squeezed Jon's hand.

"I swear to god Richie..." Jon grunted and arched back, his body was so tense against her riding out the pain.

"Shhh, we'll be there soon."

Callie blew out her breath and with her spare hand reached for her phone. She hit work and told them to be ready with a private room and Dr Colbert, who she knew was working tonight and was one of their top orthopaedic specialists, it was about time she used a favor.

"Is it bad?" Richie asked as she clicked her phone closed. Jon had curled his head into her neck, and was too still for a guy in this much pain, but that was Jon.

She nodded, "I want Dr Colbert to look at it, I'm pretty sure it's a tear."

Richie screwed up his face, she knew what he was thinking. Hell, her husband was certainly thinking about it, what did this mean for the rest of the summer tour they had this month? He would be disappointed this happened tonight, the first night back in the country after such a good run in England. They'd just have to wait and see. As the familiar lights of Riverview bled through the windows she took a deep breath, here we go.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Any Other Day -- Part One

July 9th 2010.
New Meadowlands Stadium.

Callie curled her fingers around the lapels of his leather jacket as the house music bounced around the stadium. "Ready then Rockstar, your adoring public awaits."

He winked and dropped a kiss on her lips. "They're right here."

She sighed as the kiss melted down to her toes. "This is nice." It was a moment, they lived on their little moments that they snagged in-between life. Her brow lifted as his hand slid up her top and his fingers stretched across her ribs. "Mmm, this is very nice." He backed her up against the door, it clicked closed. She lifted her leg up his around his hip, his mouth sliding down her neck. 

"I've missed you," he murmured into her neck.

She hadn't gone anywhere, but their life in tour season was crazy, even if she had just been in London with him a month. "Me too, good thing I've got the weekend off before you runaway upstate. Especially since I just had a month off in London, the chief will kill me soon."

He nipped her chin, kissed her fiercely and his hand slid up her thigh. "You're too good to lose and he knows it. Besides," his eyes flashed with heat. "I'll make it worth your while. Any requests tonight?"

She fingered his buckle. "None that can be on the set list. But I know what I want right--"

"Jon, we need a minute." She flinched as Matt's voice thundered through the door.

Jon tugged her away and opened it. "Hey, Matt."

"I need you to sign a couple--hey sis." He leaned in and kissed her on the lips. 

"Hey Matty." She looked at Jon and winked. "I'll leave you boys to business k?" She was used to interruptions, it was their life. Whether it was band thing, the sound of her beeper, or one of the kids, they were used to it. 

Jon wound his arm around her waist. "No, wait--here." He popped the sharpie lid off in his mouth and scrawled across the two tour programmes Matt held up. "Done."

"Ok, about five minutes." He winked at her and shut the door behind him. 

"Just another day huh?" Jon asked, the scent of him drawing her in again. 

She chuckled. "Yup, just the norm." She kissed him again, their noses bumped and their teeth clicked."We'll have to find time for this later." She brushed back his hair. She couldn't help but miss the longer hair, and she knew with the break in August and David's wedding, he'd cut it again.

"It's OK, I convinced Mom and Dad to spend some much needed Nana and Pops time with Stella and Jacob."

Her eyebrows winged. "Oh really? In that case I'll be glad all over when this show finishes and we can escape. I'll make sure the driver is ready. SoHo or Redbank?" They'd originally planned to go back to SoHo, but that was before she knew that she'd be kid free for the first time in months.

He soothed her arms, stood back, glanced at himself in the mirror and picked up his guitar. "We'll rattle around the Redbank home, and be naked in any room we want." The trademark smirk spread wide across his face.

She picked up her purse and the travel mug of coffee. Obie always left one for her. It had become a tradition over the years, like so many other things in this backstage family. Things had been crazy with the London trip, and her recent promotion to head surgical resident at Riverview Hospital.

With Jon on tour, and an eight and six year old, there was never a boring moment in her life and she wouldn't change it for the world. As if their lives weren't already full of crazy with their schedules, they added children into the mix. But as with everything with them, they made it work. Both her and Jon had experienced a lot of success in their professional lives and but they both agreed that having their children was something  completely else, something you couldn't measure. 

It still amazed her how they managed a band that worked more than they didn't, a medical career, and parenthood, but they did. From years of practice juggling time between them they always managed, and had a strong loving marriage as well.

The familiar beat of their before show anthem started to play. "All right." She flicked the tab on her cup, taking a hasty sip of her only other lifeblood besides her family. "You have a wonderful show, go get them and I'll be waiting for you."

He smiled, after twenty years together she still knew the smile he reserved only for her, the one that sparkled and reached his eyes. "Love you, C."

She winked, slipped out the door and high-fived the crew and band all waiting in the hallway for him. These people were her family, and she made a point to know them, at least the regular crew since she was usually hit and miss for shows. She waited in the wings, listened to the crowd that roared louder than a jet-plane and smiled.