#YRfanfiction #Niktor #Newmans Now&Forever: Playtime Is Over Pt. 7

Published May 21, 2012 by tdaddetta16

Chapter Nineteen
“Mom, it’s true you didn’t do any one thing for Dad, but-”
“I know what you’re saying, believe me, I do. It’s funny we’re talking like this. Just a few days before this all happened, your father and I were talking about how much things have changed, how much he’s changed and what he was like, who he was before he met me.”
Intrigued, Victoria sat straight up in the chair across from her mother and listened intently. “He was in a very strange mood. He said he realized that he doesn’t often say it, that he doesn’t say it enough, not nearly enough but he realizes how much of an impact I’ve had on his life.”
Still sceptical, Victoria said nothing as she waited for her mother to continue.
“He said, looking back, it wasn’t about any single thing I’d done for him, it was, it is, about what I’ve done for him, how I’ve changed his life in general. He talked about how angry and miserable he was all the time and how he always tried to make other people miserable, I think a big part of the reason he was that way was because of his need for self-preservation. The need to protect himself, to ensure he wasn’t the one getting hurt, the one who would end up vulnerable, overshadowed everything for him.”
“That still doesn’t make it right.”
“No, it doesn’t, I’m not giving him a pass on his mistakes or sweeping them under the rug, just trying to put things in context for you, trying to help put things in perspective.”
‘Perspective? She’s still got those rose-coloured glasses on when it comes to him! She’s still only seeing what she wants to see!’ Vicki thought to herself bitterly.

“Gradually, I started to see a softer side of your father, it wasn’t an automatic change in him, Victoria, too much had already happened for it to be a sweeping change, an overnight success, but it was there.”Satisfied her daughter was, perhaps listening, perhaps beginning to see things a bit more clearly, Nikki continued. “When I came into your father’s life, it took a lot of hard work, a lot of patience, but the more time we spent together, the more human he became, the more compassionate he became. He opened his heart to me, trusted me, for the first time in his life, for the first time since he’d been abandoned at that damn orphanage, your father trusted someone, he trusted me, Victoria, I’m not sure you understand just what that means to me, or that I can put it into words.” Nikki took a moment to study Victor as he lay there, so still, so serene, fighting for his life, fighting for their life together.
With a quiet sigh, she turned back to her daughter and continued. “It took a lot of courage, a lot of courage, Victoria, for your father to open his heart up to me out of love, to trust me totally and unconditionally, and probably for the first time in his life after being hurt so badly, so brutally as a child, simply because he loved me and was willing to, trusted me enough and had enough faith in me, to let me love him. He took a big chance on me, Victoria, a big chance.”
“So did you;” Victoria told her pointedly, wisely.
Nikki nodded thoughtfully and agreed “And it worked out, for both of us. It’s the smartest thing we ever did.”
At her daughter’s silence, the deepening scowl etched on her face, Nikki asked carefully, “Something I said?”
“No.” Victoria lied as she tried to sit still but couldn’t help clenching and unclenching her fists.

Silently, Nikki took her daughter’s hands in her own and gently, slowly uncurled her fists, taking special note of the nail marks on her palms. Saying nothing, she began to massage her hands, concerned by the tension she felt there. ‘What is going on with her? It’s more than Victor’s heart attack and the stroke. This isn’t making any sense, she’s acting stranger and stranger, what could be going on?’ Nikki thought to herself as she studied her daughter intently.
Still fidgeting and unable to stop, no matter how much she wanted to, Victoria let out a tired sigh and said, “You know what I think?”
“No, what?”
“There’s a reason for the huge change in Dad when you guys aren’t together.”
“And that would be?” Nikki asked intrigued.
“When you aren’t together, when he doesn’t have your influence around, and you know you have a lot of influence over him, he reverts to how he was, what he was when you weren’t in his life, when he didn’t have anybody he felt he could trust. Without you, he becomes that cold, bitter and frightened man who only knows how to lash out in fear of someone lashing out at him first. Without you, he’s lost and can’t find his humanity. You bring that out of him, you bring out the best in him, his humanity, his humility, his ability to love and trust, as much as he can considering how he grew up. Without you, Mom, he’s lost, he just spirals out of control and gets lost; he can’t find his way, his humanity without you. You humanize him, you get through to him when no one else can.”
“Without you, Dad allows all that rage and hate, all that hurt and pain to overtake him, he becomes inhumane and, at times, hateful, but with you, he’s whole and loving and human. You made him human again, made him whole and changed his life for the better. I just hope he realizes that.”
“He does, Victoria, he does.” Nikki tried to reassure her as she stroked her daughter’s hair and kissed the top of her head as Victoria rested her head on her mother’s shoulder.

“Does he? Does he really Mom? Sometimes I wonder. I can’t remember him showing any true remorse for what he’s done over the years, any true remorse or regret for how he’s hurt you.”
Shaking her head; as if to change her train of thought; Victoria continued. “All the years you’ve been together he’s never really crossed the line, never purposely been cruel to you, for once simple reason; you’ve always been in his life and he’s always known he had you close by. He loves you so much that, even when you’re apart, he knows you’re still there for him, there’s not a doubt in his mind. When you left him, I don’t know, he lost control, lost his way somehow, somehow he lost his humanity. When you’re not together, when you’re not even speaking, I barely recognize him, he’s a completely different person, someone I don’t even want to know or be around. When you’re not there to guide him, to help him put things in perspective, he doesn’t know what else to do, so he turns his anger and fear on you.”
“Maybe, one thing’s for sure though.” Nikki told her thoughtfully.
“What’s that?” Vicki asked rubbing her eyes and trying to fight the thick fog of sleep quickly overtaking her.
“Deep down, in some ways, I think he’s still the same scared little boy he was all those years ago trapped in that hateful orphanage, unable to trust or love anybody completely, not the same way he would if he’d had two parents who loved him and gave him a safe, stable home to grow up in.”
“I think that might have been the case before, but not now.”
“Oh really?” Nikki asked surprised.
“Yeah, that might have been the case when you first met Dad, but you loved, you love him enough show him he could do it. You loved him enough to show him he could open his heart, trust and love people without fearing he’d get hurt. You still do, after everything that’s happened, everything he’s done to you over the years, you still love him like you did all those years ago. If Dad ever lost you, he’d be lost, we all would.”Victoria finished as she gave up the fight and let sleep overtake her.
“Victoria” Nikki whispered. “Victoria.”
Seeing her daughter had drifted off to sleep and feeling exhaustion start to overwhelm her, Nikki pulled her close and held her tight and whispered, “I’ve got a lot to think about.” With that, she fell asleep.

As the sun slowly peeked through the curtains of Victor’s hospital room, Nikki awoke from the best night’s sleep she’d had in a very long time. After briefly glancing at the binders of research she’d spent countless hours poring over, she decided to forgo it and picked up her notebook once again. Despite everything we’ve been through, all the ups and downs, one thing remains constant in both our lives. Neither of us would ever give up the time we’ve spent raising Nicholas and Victoria, watching them grow into the strong, confident and self-assured adults they’ve become. I was so scared when I found out I was pregnant with Victoria, I knew Victor didn’t want children and I knew he probably wouldn’t take it well, but I wasn’t at all prepared for his reaction. He went ballistic and demanded I have an abortion. That reaction was so far removed from the kind; sweet man I knew and loved. I couldn’t believe I was talking to the same person. Just thinking about it now, remembering that time sends chills down my spine. The cold, cold air of detachment I saw in his eyes…I’m not sure I can put into words what it was like to see that in his eyes. It terrified me. Just thinking back to that day makes my blood run cold. I’ve never seen him so angry. To this day I don’t really know what happened, why he was so angry. All I know is the only way he could see the pregnancies were as mistakes. Mistakes! I still can’t believe it! He had the nerve , the gall to demand I have an abortion-both times! I still can’t believe it, where did he get off demanding I have an abortion? There was no way in hell I was about to do it, not even for him! Victoria and Nicholas didn’t deserve it, they didn’t do anything wrong! But, of course Victor couldn’t see that, or didn’t want to, I don’t know which. Nikki had to stop as bitter tears began to fall, unwanted and despised, down her cheeks. Letting out a shaky breath, she looked up toward heaven praying for guidance and searching for the strength that was becoming harder and harder to find. Part of me thinks, or thought anyway, that if he really loved me, he would’ve never even suggested it, let alone demanded it! Only a cold-hearted monster does what he did! How could he have demanded I get rid of the most important, most precious gifts anybody’s ever given me? How did he expect me to do it? Why should I have done it? They were his children, damn it! They weren’t playthings he could just toss away at a moment’s notice, on a whim! They were our children and even if he didn’t want them, I did! I wanted them because they were part of him; part of us! Why couldn’t he understand that? ‘Why am I doing this now? Why am I thinking about this now? For God’s sake, Victor’s on his deathbed and here I am reliving the worst moments of my life and berating him? Why am I doing this?’ Nikki thought to herself completely confused as she stopped for a minute to consider what she was doing.

Chapter Twenty 
I’ll never forget the day Victoria was born. Nikki stopped and smiled at the memory. She was beautiful, absolutely beautiful. And there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that she was Victor’s. I always knew, deep down inside that she was Victor’s. So why did I let that farce of a marriage I had to Kevin Bancroft take place? ‘ ‘Because you thought you had no other choice, your daughter needed a father.’ A little voice from somewhere inside her whispered. If I hadn’t, if I had stood up to Victor, maybe Alison Bancroft wouldn’t have kidnapped Victoria. That was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. God only knows what would’ve happened if we hadn’t found her, if Paul hadn’t found her.

Nicholas was just as beautiful as Victoria when he was born, although much quieter. Nikki smiled and shook her head as she thought back to that day and realized just how different her children were; and still are. I couldn’t have been happier than I was when he and Victoria were born. “One thing’s for sure, they’re the same when it comes to protecting me! Both stubborn and completely unwilling to let me handle things, they both insist on standing as my guards” Nikki whispered to herself as she chuckled and shook her head knowing she should be annoyed but finding it endearing somehow.

Regardless of all of that and despite what Victor thought, I’m glad I did it. I’m glad I defied the great Victor Newman and had my children; our children! If I hadn’t, I would’ve missed out on so, so much. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t look at Nicholas and Victoria and know I did the right thing, I know I did the right thing! Besides, I knew that he would be a wonderful father, although he couldn’t see it. I don’t know, maybe he was too scared to see it, too afraid he’d turn out like his father and repeat his mistakes, that the cycle that started with him and his father would continue? Who knows?

I do know this, I wouldn’t trade the time I spent with them, the time I spent raising them and the opportunity I’ve been lucky enough to have, to watch them grow into the amazing people they are, for anything. Nothing in the world is worth that. Nothing is worth sacrificing my children and the relationship I have with them. They’ve given me so much, much more than I can put into words. As difficult as it’s been sometimes, I don’t regret a moment that I’ve spent with them. I couldn’t be happier, prouder or more grateful for everything they’ve brought to my life. Victoria’s become such a strong, capable woman, both personally and professionally. I had such hopes and dreams for her when she was born and she’s surpassed every one of them. I don’t care what anyone says or thinks; they don’t know her like I do. She’s her father’s daughter, that’s for sure! She’s determined to make her mark in the business world and the world in general. What she doesn’t realize though is she’s already done that and more. I don’t understand why, but she doesn’t see it, or she doesn’t seem to. She doesn’t recognize what she’s accomplished, I don’t understand why. It’s almost as if she’s still searching for something, desperately searching for something. I wish I knew what, I wish I could help her, but more and more, I can’t. She’s cut herself off, completely blocked out anyone who’s tried to help her. But I can’t give up; I can’t give up on my daughter when she needs me the most! I have to keep trying. I’ve already lost one child; I will not stand by while I lose another! I will not stand by complacently watching while my daughter slips further and further away! I’ll do whatever I have to do to make sure that doesn’t happen; whatever it takes I will not lose my daughter! It’s not an option! She needs me now more than ever and I won’t let her down; I won’t!

Feeling drained and uneasy with her current train of thought, Nikki turned her attention to past relationships-Victor’s and hers-and why they hadn’t worked out. None of our relationships with other people have ever worked out. Looking back now; we’ve always avoided answering one central but critical question- even if it was coming from our children-why. Why didn’t any of those relationships work? Looking back now, the answer is simple; we were looking, searching for what we already had and lost what we threw away. We were trying desperately to replace what we’d already thrown away. We wasted so much time searching for what we already had. We wasted so much time trying to fool ourselves into thinking we had what we needed with other people when we really had nothing but beautiful illusions; illusions we’d created for ourselves and clung to as if there were nothing else to hang on to. How could we have been so wrong? How could we have wasted so much time and been so wrong? Why didn’t we see what was right in front of us? Why did we ignore what we had? How could we have been so naïve to think we could, that we would be better off without each other? What were we thinking? Were we even thinking or were we just too wrapped up in pain and outrage, too immersed in wounded pride and wanting to lash out, needing revenge, needing to hurt each other the way we’d been hurt? Why couldn’t we see that wasn’t the way? Why couldn’t we see that wasn’t the way to fix what was wrong, to fix what was broken? Why couldn’t we see that the only thing it did was completely devastate each other and our relationship, blind us to what was real and really important-us?

What took us so long to realize that the reason it never worked with anyone else is because we were still in love? We knew what we had and we still threw it away! How is that possible? How is it possible? Why didn’t we fight harder? Why didn’t I fight harder? Why did I give up so easily? Why didn’t Victor fight harder? Was it because he didn’t love me? What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently? I wish I knew, God how I wish I knew! If I knew maybe I could understand. Even if I can’t go back and change it, maybe I could understand it if I knew what happened? What did I do, what did I do wrong?

Was it me, was I the problem or was it something else, something I missed, something I should’ve seen, something I should’ve done and didn’t? Or was it him, did he just fall out of love with me somehow? Or was it the mistakes we both made that tore us apart? The stupid games we played, all they did was make things worse. All the time we wasted trying to get each other’s attention, make each other jealous; and for what? We were miserable and no matter how much we tried to fool ourselves into thinking we weren’t, we were lonely, so, so lonely. If I knew then what I knew now, I would’ve never ever let him go! Never! I would’ve done everything I could to keep him, everything I could to save our marriage.

It wasn’t the money or the prestige I wanted when I married Victor, that’s not what I was after. All I wanted, all I’ve ever wanted is Victor; only Victor. We wasted so much time trying to fill the void we’d left in each other’s lives with things and people that would never even come close to replacing what we’d lost. What we’d lost was more precious than anything else we could’ve ever found, anything else we could’ve hoped to find. Worst of all was that we let our pride get in the way of the things that meant the most to us-each other and our children; being a real family like we knew we’ve always wanted. They say love is blind, that it blinds people to the truth, so is pride. It gives you a false sense of strength, like you’re indestructible but that’s only an illusion-a painful and costly one. Punishing ourselves was one thing, punishing each other was another. And, sometimes, were too wrapped up in our own pain to realize the people we were punishing most were our children. Whatever was going on between us, they didn’t deserve that, they never did. We could’ve been better role models for them, we should’ve been but, somehow…somehow we failed.

If we’d been able to get over our own pain and wounded pride, we might have seen it and done what we needed to fix what we broke, but it was easier somehow to walk away and try to convince ourselves that it was for the best. What fools we were, what fools we’ve been! So much time wasted, time we can never get back. We wasted so much fighting pointless, useless battles, with each other and with ourselves. So much time wasted on petty, pointless arguments that lead nowhere, brought us nothing but more heartache and tears. And yet we kept going, kept up the front, held on to the façade for all it was worth, all we were worth; afraid to let it slip. We were so, so afraid to be the first one to let down our guard and get our heart broken. Foolishly, so foolishly, we believed that it was better that way, that we were better off that way. We somehow convinced ourselves that we could live our lives, that we could truly be happy without each other! What a joke, what a farce! We were miserable and we both knew it! We knew it and yet we clung to the painful illusions we’d created for ourselves as if there were nothing else to cling to; as if there were nothing left.

Even after we realized just how empty our lives were without each other, just how hollow whatever victory we’d fooled ourselves into thinking we had garnered, we clung to the stupid illusions rather than tossing it all aside, opening all the locks we’d kept on our love and taking a chance on each other, on love once again. We somehow, for some reason I can’t even begin to imagine were content to live in the house of cards we’d built for ourselves, maybe on some level we even preferred it. I don’t know. One thing’s for sure it was such a mistake. One I wish I could take back. But, I can’t, as much as I wish I could, I can’t take it back. Why did it take us so long to realize what we threw away? Why were we so stubborn, so intent on continuing the charade? Why couldn’t we see what we were doing to ourselves; to each other? If I had it to do all over again, I’d do so much differently. I’d pay more attention to Victor and my children; I’d give them what they needed, whatever they needed. I wouldn’t take them or the time I spent with them for granted. I would make sure they knew they come first; that they knew nothing and no one is more important to me than they are. There were times, far too many times when they didn’t. There were far too many times when our children and doing what was best for them took a backseat to me and my problems, my needs and what I wanted. I know that, even though they haven’t said anything about those times, never would say anything about them, they still left its mark on Nicholas and Victoria. They still left wounds that still haven’t healed; not completely.

Why does it always take a crisis, a major crisis for us to wake up and realize how much we love each other? Why does it take something like Victor getting shot by someone like Mary Jo Mason to remind me, to remind us just what we mean to each other? What was I thinking, marrying Bradley? Thank God I came to my senses soon enough. I could’ve lost Victor. Although, I do regret hurting him. He’s a good man, deep down, he’s a good man. If he could just get past his hatred for Victor, he could have such a full life.

He was furious with me for staying with Victor and our children after Victor was shot. What did he expect me to do? Did he really expect me to pack a bag and jet off to Italy with him? I couldn’t do that, they needed me! Shaking her head, Nikki let out a sigh as she walked over to Victor’ s bedside and continued to write. Victor was so damn stubborn! Showing that he needs help, that he needs his family is not showing weakness! It’s showing he’s human! It’s admitting that he’s strong but wise enough to let the people who love him in when he needs to lean on us. Why can’t he understand that? I’ve spent so many years trying to teach him that, so why doesn’t he get it? Why doesn’t he want to accept it? He’s still too damn stubborn for his own good! He still thinks being a man means putting on a show, holding on to a façade no matter how much pain he’s in!

I was so scared he’d die, that the doctors would do everything they could for him and it still wouldn’t be enough. With a smile, she said half to herself, “I should’ve known better.” There are a few, very few circumstances where Victor’s stubborn streak has been his most valuable tool, his greatest weapon. That was definitely one of them.

I still can’t believe the lengths that woman was willing to go to just to keep that fax Keemo sent Victor from seeing the light of day. God knows what else she would’ve done if she hadn’t been caught. She brought so much turmoil to so many people’s lives; Jill almost took the fall for her, almost had to spend the rest of her life in jail. She hurt Jack more deeply than I ever thought possible. He was devastated.

It didn’t take Victor long to get back to his old self though. In fact, he was back to normal in record time. She smiled and chuckled a bit as she looked at Victor remembering. “Shouldn’t you be getting some rest? I could help tuck you in.”
“Only if you join me.”
“Ooh, you are feeling better.”

Chapter Twenty-One
“Isn’t it amazing, to have been that close to death and have these wonderful feelings? I was close to death though wasn’t I?”
“Yes, but that’s all behind us now. Pretty soon you’ll be recovered and you’ll be back in our lives the way it’s meant to be.” He never could behave for very long, let alone follow doctors’ orders.

Even when he was almost fully recovered and well enough to go home, he still insisted on going back to the penthouse and having a nurse take care of him while he recovered. I was furious with him! He absolutely wouldn’t let anybody let alone his family take care of him! He’d rather have had a complete stranger around than his family! God, I just wanted to shake him! He refused to listen to reason, why I’ll never understand! He dug in his heels for all he was worth! Well, despite his stubborn streak, we both got what we wanted in the end, what we’d spent so much time fighting and searching for-each other. And this time I’m not giving him up!

With her mood much improved and the sun shining through the window in Victor’s hospital room, Nikki slowly awoke a few hours later and went back to reading. “Don’t leave a stroke survivor out of social gatherings or conversations. Try and help him/her so he/she doesn’t start feeling lonely and cut off from people. Word questions so they can be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or a nod or shake of the head. Remember that, at times, stroke survivors may get these answers confused. Try using pieces of paper with ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ and ‘I don’t know’ written on them. Ask the survivor to point to the right answer. Speak in a natural voice. Don’t shout or talk too fast. Pauses and speaking at a moderate pace may help the survivor understand you. When talking with a stroke survivor, turn off distractions like the tv or radio. Keep conversations clear and direct. Speak one at a time. During the early stages of recovery, when giving the stroke survivor choices, limit the number of choices to two. For example, ask the stroke survivor ‘Would you like coffee or tea?’ Try writing down the choices. If the person with aphasia is having problems reading, use a drawing beside the written word. In time, as the person recovers, you can try adding more choices. Short, concrete, common words can be easier to understand. For example, say ‘leg’ instead of ‘limb,’ ‘bread’ instead of ‘nutrition’ or ‘house’ instead of ‘residence.’ Don’t rush someone with aphasia.—Rushing Victor’s a cardinal sin when he’s healthy, who’s stupid enough to do it now?—” Nikki said half to herself with a chuckle.
‘Hey, she finally gets it!’ Victor thought to himself with a smirk.
Sobering, Nikki continued. “Be patient and give him/her time to think of the right word. The one most important thing a survivor’s caregiver and family can do is to remember that aphasia means that the survivor has difficulty with language, not with thinking. In various respects, the survivor is still the same person inside. Having aphasia doesn’t mean he/she is stupid or doesn’t understand things. …Another problem connected with aphasia that stroke survivors may have is dysarthria or slurred speech. Something else that would drive Victor crazy, God, I hope that doesn’t happen!” Reconsidering it, Nikki said half to herself, determined to keep her family together and do whatever she needed to do to keep her husband safe, make him healthy and keep him alive, “Even if he is diagnosed with it, it won’t matter. I won’t let it!”
She stopped for a few moments to consider. “I hope Victoria’s okay, she left without a word and she was in a strange mood earlier.” Shaking her head, as if she could shake away the doubts, Nikki told herself “I’m sure she’s fine.”

Refocusing, she went back to her research. “…Some stroke survivors may have both expressive and receptive aphasia. When people have expressive aphasia they may know what they want to say but can’t make the words come out right. Individuals with receptive apahsia might not understand what’s being said to them, but they might seem to understand. Aphasia can also make it challenging to read, write or do math. It can be frustrating for caregivers to communicate with someone with aphasia. Survivors haven’t lost intelligence or common sense. Instead they have trouble saying what they’re thinking. It’s just as frustrating for them not to be able to communicate effectively. Some people with aphasia may improve their use of language within a few months. Others will have permanent language problems. Even if people don’t recover full use of language, they may be able to learn to communicate effectively in spite of their apahsia.”As tiny pinpricks of fear worked their way along her skin, Nikki whispered “Please God, don’t let that be the case for Victor, don’t let him be bedridden and unable to communicate, unable to talk to the people he loves. Let him be alright, please God let him be alright.”

As he drifted in a haze of medication and memories, ones that were so fragmented and disjointed; he couldn’t make sense of them, Victor was thrust into a nightmare. He saw himself in the same room he’d been in for days, his family gathered around his hospital bed saying their goodbyes. No matter how he tried, how much he wanted to, he was powerless to fight, powerless and completely unable to offer any words of comfort to those he loved most. He tossed and turned in bed, as much as his body would let him, trying to block out the horrifying scenes that played in his mind’s eye. Nikki and his children stood there doing their best to be brave, their best to remain strong for him, when all they wanted, all they needed was reassurance that he’d be okay, that he’d somehow, some way be able to come home. Worst of all was seeing the face of his youngest daughter, her confusion, fear and sorrow shining in her eyes and tearing at his soul. As he scanned the room, the pain and sorrow etched on his family’s faces broke his heart, tore at his soul so much, so deeply that he wanted to cry out, to rage and scream at the injustice of it, to somehow fight against the cruelty that fate was now forcing upon his family, yet he could do nothing but lie there and silently, slowly and helplessly slip away.

Hearing him murmuring and moving around in bed, trying to rid himself of the heart wrenching images racing through his mind, Nikki slammed the binder shut and quickly walked over to him. Gently laying a hand on his arm and sending the other to run through his hair, Nikki murmured softly, “Victor. Victor it’s me. Wake up, darling, it’s me. You’re safe. It’s just a dream; it’s a dream, wake up Victor. Victor, you’re safe, you’re safe and you’re going to stay that way, I promise. I promise I won’t let anything happen to you. I promise.” With tears welling up in her eyes and falling silently, helplessly down her cheeks, Nikki kissed him softly, still murmuring to him, doing her best, doing everything she could to try and calm him and knowing that, if she couldn’t, she risked losing him.

Finally, after several minutes, Victor calmed down. Although he hadn’t woken up, he now slept soundly, his breathing returning to normal, or what passed for normal under the circumstances. Breathing a sigh of relief, Nikki kissed him softly once again before going back to her reading.

“Since the cerebellum seems to be a center for learning motor skills (implicit memory), could damage to that part of the brain cause paralysis? What about the memory loss; is that because of damage to the hippocampus; it says that part is critical for forming long-term memories.”
“It says the motor association cortex is responsible for coordination of complex movement, so could that have been damaged, causing the paralysis? Since the primary somatosensory cortex gets tactile information from the body, could that be part of the problem, could that have been damaged? Should I be watching for lack of feeling and keep an eye on Victor to see if he’s able to move his legs at all in the next few days or months?”

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