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How many exams does it take...

Posted on 07 Jul 2017 @ 4:03am by Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant JG Jace Crystan

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Sickbay

Jace, pondering his day thus far, had been scheduled for his boarding physical. It was standard procedure for any new assignments to report to the chief Medical officer, but he was due for his yearly anyway. Thankfully, he didn't have an aversion to the doctor's office, so when he entered the waiting area in main sickbay, he had a bit of pep in his step. He was greeted by an on duty nurse, who went to get whatever doctor was on duty. He was hoping to strike a positive step with this doctor, since the last one he had been associated with didn't seem to like people much. Or maybe it was just the bedside manner.

Jace sat down on the couch in the waiting area. It was quite comfortable.

"You must be Mister Crystan," said the cheerful nurse Rigby as she entered the waiting area looking for the next patient. "Or else you're his evil twin because you look identical to his file!" She giggled, nose wrinkling. "Come on back! Doctor Kij is ready for you!"

Jace smiled as he stood, starting to walk towards her. He suddenly stopped, moving his hand to his face and tracing his fingers around his mouth where facial hair would be if he didn't shave every day. Finding nothing, he said, "Nope. I think we're good. No evil mastermind mustache." He began walking again and was led to an examination room.

Rigby laughed in response. "Most people just grin and roll their eyes," she said. "That was great. Right this way, we don't want to keep the doctor waiting."

As they approached the examination room, before going in, Jace stopped for a moment and said, "I didn't catch your name."

"Rigby," she replied with a smile. "Nurse Eleanor Rigby. Doctor Kij is waiting," she reminded him, nodding towards the room.

"My pleasure, Nurse Rigby. Thank you," Jace said, walking into the examination room.

"Hi!" said Jayla cheerfully as she saw Crystan enter the room. "I'm Doctor Kij. Hop right up here and we'll get started. I'll try to make it as painless as possible."

Jace smiled and did as directed. At least she was pleasant, which was a LOT more than he could say for his last chief Medical Officer. "Thanks for that. I try to stay pain free these days," he said jokingly.

Jayla grinned. "That's a good plan," she said, beginning her scans. "I've been leaning that way, too. Any complaints? Medically, I mean."

"Well," Jace started, "In the interest of full disclosure, I've been feeling some tightness in my left shoulder. Its not pain, or overly uncomfortable, just a little weird."

Hm," she said, turning her attention to the shoulder in question. "Is it just at random, or does there seem to be a pattern, like following exercise or stress? Or is it pretty much constant?"

Jace thought for a moment, trying to remember as best he could for the sake of the doctor's diagnosis. "I usually know it when I use it a lot, but I suppose its always there." Jace began to feel a little itchy in the mentioned area, but it passed quickly. "Realistically though, on a scale of one to ten, its barely mentionable."

Jayla nodded, studying the readout on her tricorder. "I'm showing slight muscle strain and also an inflamed nerve. Looks like you may have pulled a muscle that didn't quite heal right, which irritated the nerve and now they're just making one another worse. Luckily," she added, turning to retrieve a hypospray and two small phials. "It's easily corrected at this stage. Left untreated, it can cause some pretty severe pain and inhibited movement." She inserted the first phail and dialed in the correct dosage. "First, a muscle relaxer," she said, pressing it directly onto the offending muscle. "And an anti-inflammatory," she added, swapping the phials and pressing the hypospray to the shoulder again. "I'll want to see you back here tomorrow to evaluate the progress. You may need another dosage."

Jace nodded. "Yes ma'am." As the doctor finished her treatment, he asked, "Scans finding anything else?"

"Well, not yet," she replied, putting the hypospray away and picking up her tricorder again. "But it's still early." She gave him a wink to let him know she was teasing.

Jace smiled again, his shoulder feeling slightly less stressed. It was probably more knowing the doctor had applied the treatment than anything else, but it was the right way to go. "I'm looking forward to the future here. From what I've heard and read, this crew has been through a lot!"

This time, her smile was a bit grim. "Don't let anyone glamorize it," she warned. "Most of it was dreadful. I suspect I killed someone. Granted, it was a hunter and it was self-defense, but even so. Can you imagine being a doctor and suspecting that you've killed someone?"

"Not even in the slightest. I've been through a few skirmishes, but nothing coming close to what I've read on this crew." It was true, of course. From what he'd so far read on the mission logs, his own experiences hadn't even come close to what was recorded for posterity. And going by the general sense from what he'd gathered observing conversations he'd had with the crew, words really didn't do it justice.

Taking a deep breath to calm her nerves, she moved on to the secondary scans. "I thought about resigning as soon as I got back," she admitted. "I kept telling myself to hand in the letter of recommendation I'd already written and just walk out, but it felt so much like failing that I just couldn't do it. Saved the letter, though, just in case it stops feeling like failing."

Jace nodded as he listened. He certainly couldn't empathize with her story, but he could try to sympathize in his own way. The scans continued and he said, "Well, I hope I can live up to the standard set by this crew."

"I'm sure you'll do just fine," she assured him. "It's pretty simple: do your job well and everything works out. Learned that from my mentor, Doctor Saraja Jellic. Haven't talked to her in awhile. I should send her a letter."

"Thanks," he said in response. "I've tried to keep in touch with a few of my professors from the academy, but I had one mentor from my university days. Doctor Alan Alverson, Professor of Astrophysics. Taught me everything I know, plus the most important lesson: there's always another question. Ask it."

"Ooh, that's good," replied Jayla appreciatively. "He sounds a lot like Saraja. She used to tell me it was better to ask a question that you think has an obvious answer than to assume you know what to do and get it wrong."

Jace nodded. "Yep, sounds familiar. I try my best to never assume anything, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't guilty of it. Thankfully, living life means there's room for improvement." It was about as confident as one could get without edging towards arrogance when talking about oneself.

"Always," agreed Jayla. "As long as you strive for excellence and not perfection, mind. 'The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time.' Edwin Bliss. Saraja was fond of that quote. I think I might have been a perfectionist as a teenager." She grinned.

"I think all of us has a little perfectionist in us, its just a matter of degree. But I like your philosophy." Striving for excellence. It had a great ring to it for sure. He enjoyed this conversation. It made a typical evaluation much more pleasant.

It was, of course, in Jayla's nature to be chatty, so it would have been more surprising if someone hated coming to see her. All too soon, though, it seemed she had all the scans she needed and hadn't found anything outrageous. "Well, it seems I can pronounce you fit for duty," she announced, snapping her tricorder shut.

Jace nodded. "Well, I guess I'm not getting out of it today. Thanks a lot, Doc!" He hopped off his seat and straightened his uniform.

"Nope, not today," she replied with a grin. "Now get back to work!" she added with a wink.


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