The nurse led them down a few halls towards the opposite side of the hospital that they had been to before. She opened a door to a room that had a small flat bed with railings on the side. The treatment room was equipped with a myriad of different monitors that were all connected by long gray cables.
"You can put him down on the bed. I'll be right back with a few supplies," the nurse informed the couple. She turned and walked out of the room.
When Simon gently laid Jacob on the bed, the little boy released a long sigh as he stirred awake. The therapists stepped back just a bit, giving him some personal space.
Jacob slowly opened his eyes as he was assaulted by the bright fluorescent lights. He thought his nap had been very beneficial since his head was much clearer, and the migraine pain was reduced to a tolerable level. After he adjusted to the lighting, he took in the room around him, and acknowledged the presence of his captors who were both standing mere inches away from him.
"Oh, this is great. I'm so glad to be back here," he remarked sarcastically.
"I'm happy to see you are feeling better than you were earlier." Simon responded.
Jacob turned to glare at his former therapist. "I'd feel even better than I do now if I wasn't the size of a toddler. But you couldn't help yourself, could you? No, you had to play God."
Angelique began, "Jacob-" but she was interrupted by Simon,
"It's quite alright, honey. Let him get it out."
The young man narrowed his eyes at Simon. "Don't you think I should have the right to decide on my own life?"
Simon took a deep breath and calmly replied, "If you are asking whether I regret stopping you from ending your life, then the answer is no, Jacob. I don't."
The nurse returned right as Simon finished speaking. "I'm sorry it took me a moment to get a smaller needle," she explained as she pulled on a pair of gloves.
When Jacob saw the needle in the nurse's hand, he immediately focused on trying to escape. He refused to allow them to sedate him again. For all the young man knew, he might wake up even younger than he already was. He slid backwards on the bed, trying to figure out how he was going to get away with the nurse blocking the only exit.
Seeing the young patient's apprehension, the nurse explained sympathetically, "Jacob, this is just an IV. I'm sure you're tired of needles by now, but we need to make sure your body is properly hydrated before you undergo the treatment. Otherwise, you'll have to deal with unpleasant side effects."
Jacob stared at the nurse with a defiant expression. "Look lady. I'm sure you're just doing your job, but I don't consent to this shit. There's no way in hell I'm just going to let you or anyone else in this insane place stick another needle in me."
"Have it your way then." The nurse looked over at the couple. "Do I have your permission to restrain him?"
"Yes," Simon confirmed and moved forward to help her hold him still.
"I do not fucking consent!" Jacob snapped, fighting against the nurse when she grabbed his arm.
"Hold his arms right there, please." Jacob heard the nurse direct his captors as she pulled a small pair of cotton straps from under the bed.
It only took a minute for the nurse to secure his arms in the straps, and when she was done, Simon and Angelique released their hold on him and moved to sit in the chairs that were leaning against the wall.
Jacob was silently fuming while the nurse poked his vein with a needle. He had calmed down some after the nurse left, but his anger boiled over once more when Dr. Kelly entered the room.
"Fix me back, you sadistic lunatic!" Jacob instantly demanded, seething with anger. "I'm not your lab experi-" He gagged feeling his headache and nausea returning. "I don't want to be stuck as a dumb toddler."
Dr. Kelly smiled. "Jacob, I thought I told you that the effects of Restalsis are permanent. You will grow in time, and in about twenty years, you will look almost the same as you did last week."
"You're sick and twisted. I already had a childhood. I don't want another!"
Dr. Kelly ignored her screaming patient. "Simon and Angelique, could we continue this in the hall? I suspect Jacob doesn't plan to allow us to have a civil conversation in his presence."
"Yes, of course, doctor." Angelique replied.
When they got to the hallway, Dr. Kelly opened the blinds on the door before closing it behind them, allowing them to keep an eye on the patient.
The doctor turned to face the couple. "So, Jacob is definitely experiencing a migraine problem that we have seen in other patients before. This may be a little jarring, but the best treatment available for his migraines is ECT." She paused and leaned against the wall, giving the therapists a moment to let that sink in. "I'm sure you two have heard of it before."
Simon rapidly blinked his eyes, unsure that he heard the doctor correctly. "Electroconvulsive therapy?" he asked in a slightly higher pitch.
"Yes, but I do want to say that the media really has done a good job of making the treatment out to be a lot worse than it actually is in the 21st century. Nowadays, patients are never awake, and they are given an anesthetic which stops them from convulsing.
Angelique commented, "That is much different than what I was picturing."
Dr. Kelly nodded. "ECT is a simple, quick and an effective permanent cure. He will only be asleep for about fifteen to twenty minutes, and after we observe him in the recovery room for thirty minutes, you two will be free to take him home."
"Are there any side effects that we should be watching out for?" Simon hesitantly asked.
"Yes, it's likely that Jacob will experience memory problems for the day. We don't know for certain how extreme they may or may not be as the extent varies from patient to patient but after tomorrow, his memory will be back to normal again."
"Should we expect behavior similar to what he was like when he first woke up?" Angelique inquired.
"Mr. Hammond did speak to me about that. I wanted-" The elevator that was just a few feet away dinged, and Mr. Hammond stepped out and began walking towards them.
"Speak of the devil!" Dr. Kelly exclaimed as she smiled and waved at Mr. Hammond. "We were just talking about you, Charles!"
"Oh, were you? I guess I am right on time then." Mr. Hammond huffed, clearly out of breath. "This section of the hospital is quite a good walk away from my office."
Dr. Kelly jovially responded, "It's not like you don't need the exercise."
Charles laughed for a moment before he looked towards the couple with a more serious expression. "I'm sorry to hear Jacob developed a side effect to the Restalsis so soon."
Dr. Kelly added, "Yes, it's surprising that it happened so soon, but I'm glad it is something we can cure it right away." She put her hands in the pockets of her lab coat. "Anyways, please tell us about what happened this morning."
Simon and Angelique explained in detail how Jacob had behaved as though he was a true toddler when he woke up after the procedure. Simon shared his account of how he unsuccessfully attempted to get the child to speak, and Angelique relayed how Jacob had screamed and convulsed before he woke up again and started talking.
"Wow, that is a first." Dr. Kelly admitted. "What do you make of this, Charles?"
"Honestly, I don't know." Mr. Hammond rubbed the back of his bald head. "I certainly recommend a case study. We should follow his regression a little more closely."
"I agree." Dr. Kelly pulled a pen and small pad out of her pockets and wrote a few notes before turning to face the couple. "Thank you for sharing this development with us. While this is a unique situation, I do want to say that I don't think this will negatively impact Jacob's regression. It may, however, add to our understanding of the way Restalsis works in the brain."
Simon released the breath he was holding. "Okay, that's good news." The couple held hands. "We were worried there may have been serious implications of the events that transpired earlier today," he admitted.
Mr. Hammond assured them, "No, his current behavior shows us that the procedure worked as expected. It may just have been the sedative. That's why we want to do a case study to be sure."
The four of them stood in the hallway silently for a moment before Dr. Kelly took a deep breath. "Great. Well, let's get back to Jacob. I already got the drugs from the pharmacist," she said pulling the supplies out from the pockets of her white coat.
Simon held the door open for his wife and Dr. Kelly as she held the vial of medication in one hand and an uncapped syringe in the other. "Alright, this is just a short-acting sedative and it will put him to sleep for about half an hour." She drew the contents of the vial into the syringe and continued, "Once he's fully asleep, I'll have you two leave the room, and we will immediately start on the ECT."
Jacob instinctively tried to squirm away from Dr. Kelly as much as he could when she approached him with the syringe, but with the restraints, he didn't even move an inch.
She injected him directly into his IV port, and within seconds, Jacob could feel the sedative in his system. He focused on the details of the room around him and the face of the nurse who entered the room to assist Dr. Kelly, trying his best to stay awake. But when he felt Angelique soothingly rub his head, the last of his concentration slipped away and his eyelids drooped.
Dr. Kelly undid his restraints. "Okay, I'll see you two again in the recovery room in a few minutes. This won't take long at all. There's some coffee in the waiting area."
"Thank you," Simon replied as the two of them left the room and closed the door behind them.
A few moments after they finished sipping their cups of coffee in the waiting area, the nurse who had assisted Dr. Kelly for the procedure came to escort them to the recovery room.
"Did it go well?" Angelique asked as they stood to follow the nurse down the hallway.
While the three of them walked to the room, the nurse nodded her head and confirmed, "We're all done. The treatment was successful. We are just waiting for all his vital signs to stabilize. He should wake up soon."
When they returned to the room, Jacob lay asleep on the bed. The heart monitor attached to him indicated his heart was beating quickly, but he didn't physically appear to be unwell at all. The couple sat on the chairs in the room waiting for him to wake up.
A few moments later, Jacob fluttered his eyes open, and he was immediately aware of how tired he was and how stiff his muscles felt. He thought he heard the distant voices of people trying to talk to him, but his brain felt foggy, making him unable figure out what they were saying. The young man was even more confused when a nurse detached him from the medical equipment, but he was too tired to process anything and fell back asleep almost right away.
Dr. Kelly came back into the room right as Jacob drifted out of consciousness. "His scans looked perfect right after the procedure. It was a success. The nurse informed me that he woke up and vitals have stabilized. So, You all are free to head home."
"Thank you so much, Dr. Kelly," Simon and Angelique responded at the same time.
"No problem. Good luck on the drive home," she said taking her chart out and leaving the room. The couple followed behind with Simon carrying the sleeping boy in his arms to the car.
It didn't take them long to make the walk back to the car, and while Simon was working on buckling the little boy in his car seat, he felt the sleeve of his shirt being pulled. He looked down to see that Jacob was awake again and tugging on his arm.
"Simon?" he asked quietly.
Simon continued buckling him in, and responded, "Yes, what's wrong?"
"How come Nesee isn't coming with us?" Jacob tentatively questioned.
When Simon froze, Angelique asked, "Who?"
"His little sister," the middle-aged man clarified softly.
"Jacob, can you tell me what year it is?" Angelique inquired.
"Um..." Jacob yawned. "I dunno."
"That was a big yawn." Angelique remarked, taking the driver's seat in the car while Simon closed the door to the backseat. "Are you sleepy?"
"Yah," the little boy confirmed as he nodded his head.
"Well, it is quite late. So, you should get some sleep. Alright?"
The couple watched as he obediently closed his eyes and leaned his head against the cushioned car seat. Before they got on the interstate, Jacob was soundly asleep.
Simon and Angelique drove most of the way back to the house in silence. When they got home at around 1 am, Jacob was still deeply asleep. He didn't react when Simon picked him up and carried him to the nursery.
Simon changed the boy's diaper before he laid the snoring child in the crib and pulled a blanket over him. He joined his wife in their bathroom, and the exhausted couple quickly got ready for bed hoping that Jacob would not experience any more major complications the next day.