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More Than a Healing

Posted on 08 Jan 2017 @ 4:20am by Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale & Ensign Shay Mitchell

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: Medical
Timeline: MD 11 || 0900 Hours

As the shift began to work in preparation for what lay ahead, a young Deltan man with a Medical bag in his hand in a Medical blue jogging outfit came to Shay's door before he pulled a PADD in his case to check something and and knocked on it. "Excuse me, Ensign Mitchell?"

"Yes?" Shay asked, turning her attention toward the door and the young man standing there. It must have been time for physical therapy, but she had to admit she wasn't looking forward to it. All it seemed to do was frustrate her, but a big part of her was hopeful she'd see some progress.

The officer entered the room and smiled. "I'm Ensign Merzek, your therapist for the day. How are you feeling?" He asked as he stepped into the room and set the bag on her bedside table.

"Frustrated. Angry. Annoyed. Ready," she replied. "Is that an okay answer?"

"It's perfectly acceptable," Merzek said as he reached into the Medical bag and pulled out two motor assist bands. "Would you like to walk to therapy today?"

"I can make an attempt, but I make no promises," Shay said, sitting up so she could maneuver her legs to the side of the bed.

Merzek waited until she moved her legs to the side of the bed, knowing that the young woman was dedicated to walking again. He put one motor assist band on each of her legs by the knee and activated them. The bands began to create electrical impulses to stimulate her muscles and once he was satisfied with the readings, he stood up again. "Give it a minute before you get up," he suggested. "I know this isn't the first time you've used them, but they take time to master."

Shay nodded her head, but she didn't need to be told twice. She didn't want to end up face first on the floor. Sadly, the young woman had already done just that. "If it's okay with you, I'd like to wait until I'm ready."

"I'm on your time, Ensign," he smiled. "I'll get a hoverchair for you." He turned to page an intern to bring a hoverchair to the room.

"No," the young Ensign said, shaking her head. "If I'm going to get better, then I need to work for it. I can't rely on a hoverchair."

The bald Deltan turned back to face her. "Are you sure, Ensign Mitchell?" he asked her. "No one would find fault in you either way."

Shay nodded and slipped from the bed with a look of determination in her eyes. She wasn't going to lose focus. Her entire life depended this. "I'm sure. I need to do this." With her hand on the bed, she closed her eyes tight and bit her lower lip as she willed her leg to move. With a grunt, her leg moved forward.

Merzek moved to her side, but didn't offer her any assistance. "Just remember...one step at a time, one foot at a time," he coached her.

"I remember," she said softly, attempting to move her other leg. Though, it drug across the floor, Shay still moved it, and the smile on her face showed just how proud of herself she was.

"I'd like to talk to you about something, Shay," her said as she moved her other leg. "Motor assist bands are generally used to stimulate muscles in preparation of other potential surgery. Would you be interested in having a much better chance of walking again?"

Shay couldn't help but look at him like he'd just grown a talking head from his belly button. "Do you really have to ask me that?" The young woman asked in return. "Of course I want a better chance at walking again. There's no need to ask. Laying around is something I'm not good at."

"The first option is to implant Neural Transducers. They pick up the neural signals from the brain and then stimulate the appropriate muscles. The implants are generally not one hundred percent effective, but do allow a patient to recover most mobility," he told her. "The second is a bit more invasive."

"What's the second option?" Shay asked, leaning against the foot of her bed. Though she didn't move far, she was already exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally.

Merzek collected his thoughts and looked at the young Security officer. "The second option is using a genetronic replicator. It can scan the genetic information in a damaged organ, and replicate an entirely new, healthy organ for replacement. It can create a new spinal column for you which we would have to implant."

Shay didn't hesitate. "When's the soonest that could happen?"

"It isn't something to consider lightly, Ensign," he said. "The Genotronic Replicator has came a long way, but there's still a chance the procedure could be fatal."

"And there's a chance it could work, too," she pointed out. "My job can kill me at any moment, so you don't need to mention risk. If it weren't for my job, we wouldn't be talking right now. But... I love what I do, and I want to get back to it sooner rather than later. I want to do it. As soon as possible."

"I'll have to contact Doctor Abrams and discuss it with him as he's the resident surgeon," Merzek said.

"Then talk to him. Please," the young woman said, feeling hope for the first time since her accident.

"I will, but for the moment, think on it and we'll get started on your therapy in the meantime. Does that sound okay?" Merzek asked, knowing it was best to have the young woman at least thing about the procedure instead of jumping on it right away.

"There's nothing to think about, but we can continue," she said, getting back to her feet.

The bald Deltan offered her his arm to support her and nodded. "Do you want to go in the pool today or would you rather use the beams?"

"The pool, please," Shay replied as she rose from the bed again. That was the most logical choice considering her body would be weightless in the water, and with his help, it'd likely be easier for her to move. Still, though, she didn't want to waste too much time as far as the procedure went. "How long would recovery time be? Do you know? I expect there to be some kind of down time to follow."

"That would be determined by the doctor and how the surgery goes," Merzek said as he waited for her to set the pace. While he did offer her his arm, it was only for support if she wanted it and he was proud of her for doing it on her own as she had been. "The pool it will be, but I suspect that's because you want to see me in my swim trunks. Sadly, all Deltans have to take a oath of celibacy when we enter service."

Shay couldn't help but smile. "You have nothing to worry about. I can barely walk, so I won't jump you once you've changed." Her tone was light... joking.

"Do you have your swimsuit, Ensign?" He asked with a smile. The little joke he had made got her to smile and her tone changed from what it had been. "I forgot to get one for you when we got distracted by talking about the various options available to you."

"I can replicate one easily enough," she said. "And please... call me Shay. I'm not on duty."

"Shay it is," Merzek said. "You can call me whatever you want as long as you call me when you need me. Otherwise, I'm known as Merzek."

"It's nice to meet you, Merzek, and thank you for being patient with me," the young woman said. "I know I haven't been the best patient."

"Nonsense," he said as he walked slowly out of the room with her. "Now if you just wanted to lie in bed and get people to feel sorry for you, then you'd be the worst patient. You, Shay, are a wonder and one of many reasons that I'm in physical therapy."

"Are you hitting on me?" Shay asked with a smile, the light tone still present.

Merzek laughed as he headed down the corridor at her place. "Were I to resign today, you would be the first to know," he said with a smile.

Shay couldn't help but blush at that. She'd never really looked at herself in that kind of light before since graduating from the Academy, which meant she didn't think anyone else did, either. "That wasn't an answer I was expecting," she said softly, but there was still a smile on her face as she slowly pushed her broken body forward.

"You blushed and you've been smiling, which means you're thinking about other things and you've kept moving the entire time," he said. "I consider that to be more than half of my battle and I will do anything for those that I've sworn to help."

"So... it's all to take my mind off of what's going on?" Shay asked, keeping her eyes locked straight ahead. That was rather dirty handed in her mind, but it worked. "Maybe a hoverchair isn't a bad idea. It will get us to the pool faster. I can wait here while you get it." She leaned against a wall to indicate she wasn't going any farther on foot.

"That's not it at all, Shay," Merzek told her. "I didn't want to lead you on, either. I'm Deltan...and that means celibacy is a way of life for my people the moment we join Starfleet. We also have pain-relieving abilities that manifest during tactile contact, which is why I haven't touched you. It's been called addictive by some....but here and now, I'm a person who cares about you as a person and wants to see you get better. I'm sorry if I offended you, but I really hope you'll change your mind about the hoverchair."

The young woman listened as he spoke. She understood, but still felt... sadly... the right word didn't come to mind. "Thank you for explaining," she said, still leaning against the wall. "But, a hoverchair is probably for the best. I don't know if I can make it to the pool without getting tired."

"You're right," he said as he mentally kicked himself for what he viewed as a setback. "I'll be back in a moment, Shay." He gave a sad smile and went to get the hoverchair.

The second Merzek was out of her sight, she pushed herself away from the wall and bit the inside of her lip as she stood. Her features took on a look of sheer determination, and the need to get away so she could be alone fueled her. He'd succeeded in doing what he'd set out to do, but maybe not the way he would have liked.

After taking a deep breath, the young woman squeezed her eyes shut and braced a hand against the wall for support, then moved one foot forward. Oh... it hurt. Her entire body screamed for her to stop, but she didn't. She moved the other, knowing that this sight would be viewed as pitiful to anyone who witnessed it, but she didn't care. She wanted out, and nothing was going to stop her.

Merzek returned a few minutes later with the hoverchair and smiled as he noticed that she had gone further without him. He approached her quietly, but held back so he wouldn't disturb her or interrupt her progress, but was close enough to catch her if she fell. He paused by a wall unit and pulled a pair of non-allergenic gloves from a dispenser and put them on while he kept an eye on her.

She knew he was there without having to look. Her instructors would be proud as her training hadn't been in vain. Shay didn't say anything to him, though, or let him know she knew. Instead, she pushed herself forward and managed to make a bit of headway. Hell... the turbolift was right there along with her freedom.

Shay's entire body was on fire... a burning that couldn't be put out with the use of water. She was so close, and yet... it felt like miles. Gritting her teeth and reaching down to wrap her free hand around her outer thigh, she pushed forward. Deck five was only a short ride down, and even though the pool was also on the same deck, she had zero intentions of actually going there. No... she was going home.

"Shay," he said softly as he recognized the symptoms of someone pushing themselves too hard. "Overdoing it won't help you in the long run. Moderate yourself and rest when you need to. No one is going to judge you."

"I'm fine," she said through gritted teeth, pushing forward. The light at the end of the tunnel was growing brighter by the second, and that's what kept her moving.

Merzek moved the hoverchair up behind her and went around it. He saw the strain in her face and heard it in her voice. "You aren't fine, Shay. You're pushing too hard. Relax and when we get to the pool, we can go at an easier pace."

"I'm not going to the pool. I'm going home," Shay stated, pulling her leg forward. "I can get around well enough to be on my own."

"Ensign Mitchell," Merzek said with a frown as he stepped in front of the turbolift. "If you think for one minute that you're qualified to make a medical opinion of yourself in this matter, I assure you that is not the case. I apologized for earlier and admit that I could have done things differently, but I didn't. If that makes you want to do further harm to yourself, I cannot in good conscious allow it."

Shay was exhausted. There was no denying it, or the immense amount of pain she was in. "I'm tired," she said softly, keeping her gaze on the floor. He was right, of course, even if she didn't want to admit it out loud. "Maybe I can go to the pool some other time."

"Will you allow me to help you into the chair, Shay?" he asked her softly.

"Yes," she answered softly.

With a gentle touch after making sure his skin didn't come in with hers, Merzek gently helped her into the hoverchair and removed the motor assist bands from her legs. "How does a good massage sound once we get you back?"

Shay wanted to say no, but even she knew she'd be a fool to turn it down. Once she was settled in the chair, she nodded her head. "It sounds good, and maybe something for the pain, too. If it isn't any trouble."

He smiled as he moved to the side of her hoverchair. "We can certainly do that," he told her and since the hoverchair had the controls on the armrests, he decided to let her operate it to give her more freedom. "Now let's get you loosened up and tell the pain to take a long walk out of an airlock."

Using the controls, Shay got the chair turned around and moved toward sickbay once more. "Don't forget to talk to Doctor Abrams about the procedure, too. I'd like to do it."

"I'll talk to him as soon as I can," Merzek said. "In the meantime...last one to sickbay is a Targ!"

"I'll be the Targ," Shay said as she moved down the corridor. She just wasn't feeling as perky as she'd been moments before, and that had a lot to do with the fact she hurt so bad. Her mind couldn't seem to focus on anything beyond that. "Thank you for being patient."

"You're welcome, Shay." He laughed and moved up beside of her. "What do you say that we both become Targs and enter side by side?"

"Sure," the young woman replied as she moved through the doors of sickbay. One positive side about being in the hoverchair, she was able to move a lot faster than if she were on foot, but she still took it slow.

As she moved through sickbay and neared her room, a sense of sadness washed over her. Moments ago, she'd experienced freedom, but now it was back to what was her reality now. Confined to a bed that she could only get out of if someone wearing the uniform of medical was present. What kind of life was that for a young woman who'd been beyond healthy up until the accident? It wasn't much of one, but it was her reality until her stupid legs worked right again.

When she grew closer to the door leading to her room, she sighed. "I'd like a raincheck on that massage you mentioned. I think I'd rather to take a nap instead. This has all been pretty exhausting. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, too."

"Are you sure?" Merzek asked as he went to get a hypo and loaded an ampule of five ccs of terakine for the pain she mentioned before he came back to her. "And, I'm less than smart. I took your motor assist bands off too early. Let me help you get in bed."

"I can do it, I think, but don't go too far just in case," she said, maneuvering the chair until it was next to her bed. Once it was in place, Shay pulled herself up and turned until she was leaning against it. Taking a deep breath, she pulled herself back and used her hands to get her legs onto the bed. As she laid back and closed her eyes, she found herself grateful this was all about to be over soon.

He pressed the hypospray of Terakine to her neck and released the analgesic into her system, then stepped back. "Would you like me to get a nurse to assist you if you have to use the bathroom, Shay? I'll leave the hoverchair here for you as well as the motor assist bands." He set them on her bedside stand and looked at her.

Shay shook her head. "I'll call for one if I need help," she said softly, trying to relax while she waited for the medication to work its magic. "I'm going to rest now. Thank you."

"Okay," Merzek said with a smile. "I'll just be a com away if you need me for anything." He checked the room temperature to make sure she was comfortable, then headed out.

 

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