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Two Doctors

Posted on 26 Dec 2016 @ 10:32am by Lieutenant Avery Stuart Ph.D. & Lieutenant Abbey Road & Ensign Elisha Cherno
Edited on on 26 Dec 2016 @ 10:44am

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: Sick Bay
Timeline: MD 9 : 1600

Abbey had just finished up with a young ensign who had a sprained wrist. She turned to go back to her previous job, which was inventory of the medicines. They were low on painkillers and antibiotics. They were going to have to be stingy with them until they could resupply.

Avery approached Doctor Road and noticed she was busy with inventory, looking clearly intent on it. Not wanting to risk startling the doctor, Stuart asked softly, "Doctor Road? Do you have a moment? I was wondering if I might speak with you about our Cadet in recovery?"

"Of course," said Abbey, making a note of where she left off and setting her PaDD down. "I'm not doing anything important. Well, okay, it's important, but it can wait. What can I do for you?"

"I promise I won't keep you," Avery replied. "In your opinion, how would you say the Cadet is coping with her injuries psychologically? I was just wondering if it might be good for she and I to have a chat."

"It certainly couldn't hurt," answered Abbey. "She seems all right, but you know how these things can go sometimes. I've talked to her about making an appointment with you once she's out of here, but you could certainly speak with her today if you like."

Avery nodded. "I would like that. Of course, I think it would be a good idea if we saw each other once she is released, but I suppose it can't hurt to make introductions now. Hopefully, it will make our later meetings less intimidating."

"Absolutely," agreed Abbey. "Would you like me to see if she is willing to meet with you now?"

"Please," Avery replied.

"All right, I'll be right back," promised Abbey. She was only gone about a minute when she returned. "To be honest, I think she's bored," she said with a smile. "She said she'll talk to you now if you like. Right this way," she added, motioning the counselor to follow her. She led her to the room where the Cadet sat on a biobed, brow wrinkled in concentration as she tried to work on a PaDD. "Elisha, this is Doctor Stuart, the counselor," she said by way of introduction. "Doctor Stuart, Cadet Elisha Cherno."

Elisha set down the PaDD and smiled shyly. "Hi," she said.

"Hello, Elisha," Avery replied with a smile, stepping into the room. "Mind if I sit down? I thought you might like some company."

"Sure," answered Elisha. Her roommate was off at physical therapy again and she was tied of reading and playing games. "It's either talk or practice tying knots again," she joked.

"I don't know," Avery teased with a smile, "tying knots sounds pretty riveting. Are you sure you want to risk talking to me? I'm told as the Chief Counselor, I can be pretty intimidating."

"I'll be outside if you need me," Abbey told the Counselor before ducking out of the room to give them privacy.

Elisha glanced at Dr. Road as she left the room, but immediately turned her attention back to Dr. Stuart. "I think you're pretty safe," she replied with a grin. "Counselors are here to help, right?"

Avery nodded. "I promise not to bite. Actually, from what I hear, you've impressed everyone with your positive spirits despite being stuck in this place for so long."

Elisha grinned. "I almost died," she said. "The way I figure, the only way you can go after almost dying is up."

"I suppose that's true," Avery replied. "How's your recovery going?"

"Doctor Road says I'm speaking normally again," Elisha replied. "Apparently, I was a bit slow when I first woke up. I'm walking fine and running's not bad, but I still can't tie a knot. That's going to be a problem when I have to put on my boots."

"How are you feeling about not being able to tie a knot?" Avery asked. Stuart thought she detected an underlying anxiety that may have reflected worry about her return to duty overall, but she didn't want to presume.

"Frustrated," answered Elisha honestly. "But also determined. I'll get it right eventually. The worst part is that I remember how to do it, but I just can't seem to make my fingers do it."

"I'm sure you've been told that it will take some time for your brain to properly communicate with the rest of your body in some instances. It makes perfect sense that you would be frustrated, though. I imagine it's difficult to be in this situation because you can't know what the timetable is for a complete recovery. How do you cope with such uncertainty?"

Elisha blinked. "I haven't really thought about it much, to tell the truth," she replied. "I've been catching up on my memories." She held up her personal PaDD which held her diary, thousands of pictures, and many other personal files. "Apparently, I had a boyfriend. I don't remember him at all, but I mention him in my journal and there's lots of pictures of us together. It kinda makes me feel guilty, especially since he was killed in the line of duty." She sighed, gazing down at the pink PaDD. She wanted to remember so desperately, but there was just nothing.

"Guilt is a completely normal response under the circumstances," Avery offered with a nod. "The important thing to remember is not to force your own recovery. It's not a sign of personal weakness that you can't remember or that you're not functioning exactly as you used to right now. You are a valued member of our crew no matter what your injuries or capabilities are right now."

Elisha gave the counselor a grateful smile. "Thanks," she said. "I guess I didn't realize how much I needed to hear that." She sighed heavily. "I know I'll get back to normal eventually. I suppose I'll just have to be patient and not try to force it."

Stuart nodded and offered Elisha a smile of her own. "I'm happy to provide whatever reassurance you need. I realize coping emotionally with all of this is going to take more than words, but if you can remind yourself of the words, you can translate those words into action. It's also okay for you to have a bad day. We're not going to think any less of you if you struggle to see the bright side on occasion. You don't have to make dealing with your injury a positive experience for the people you encounter if that's not how you're truly feeling. You don't have to take care of anyone but yourself, okay?"

"Okay," said Elisha. "I'm trying to think positive because I feel like it'll help me recover, but at the same time, I don't want to be dishonest. Because, if nobody knows how I'm feeling, how can they help? Right?"

"Exactly," Avery replied. "I'm not saying you shouldn't think positively, just that you shouldn't pretend to feel positively if you don't. Once you start pretending, it's like you're telling yourself it's not okay to be honest with yourself or other people about how you're really feeling, and your real feelings are nothing to be ashamed of."

Elisha nodded. "I'll keep that in mind," she promised. "Any other advice? I could use all you've got."

Stuart grinned. "Well, is there anything else you are struggling with? Counselors don't really give advice, per se. I'm really just here to help you find your own answers to whatever's on your mind."

"Not that I can think of right now," answered Elisha. "If I think of any, I'll write them down, though. I'll definitely be making an appointment with you soon."

Avery smiled. "I'd like that. Thank you for talking with me, Elisha. I'll let you get back to your memories."

"Thank you, Doctor Stuart," Elisha said. "For everything."

 

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