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Avery Visits Familiar Territory

Posted on 11 Dec 2016 @ 9:46am by Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Avery Stuart Ph.D.

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: Sickbay, USS Black Hawk
Timeline: MD9 : 1530 BACKPOST

Rounding off her departmental tour, Avery entered sickbay and immediately felt at home in the midst of the hustle and bustle within. Of course, there was a certain somber feeling here as well. If anyone knew the true cost of recent conflicts, it was the doctors, nurses, med techs, and counselors within this space. Even when all of them were able to save lives, there was always an understanding that bodies and minds were forever changed by the events that brought them here.

Smiling once more as she made the rounds with her basket of beverages and refreshments, it was only here Avery allowed her sense of fatigue to show. She had no doubt crew from other departments understood she was tired and would not hold that reality against her, but still, Stuart felt an obligation to present a dependable front to others. It wouldn't do if during her morale check, people felt an obligation to comfort her, after all.

However, sickbay was different. The men and women here were her family, and she wouldn't be able to hide the truth from them even if she tried. Satisfied she made the rounds amongst the junior staff, Avery made her way to the back toward the CMO's office, knowing the ever smiling Doctor was just as capable of anyone else as using her smile to cover a great deal of deeper emotions.

Jayla was tired, but far less so than she'd been the previous day. She was gaining energy back every day. It was a good feeling. She hated being exhausted and in pain. The headache had finally receded and now, with the help of some coffee, she was beginning to feel better.

And thankfully, Nurse Lane wasn't following her around like a mother hen any longer, either.

With a sigh, she stood from her desk and headed out into Main Sickbay and in so doing, nearly collided with the ship's counselor. "Oh!" she exclaimed, instinctively reaching out to steady the other person. "I'm so sorry! I should really watch where I'm going."

As soon as Avery righted herself, she reached out immediately to study the ship's CMO, reminded that she been injured recently and couldn't afford to fall and hit any part of herself, but particularly her head. "No, I'm sorry!" Stuart offered in genuine alarm. "Are you sure you're okay? The last thing I want to do is put you back on the injured list."

"It's all right, I'm fine," Jayla answered, ever-present smile adorning her face. "I'm mostly healed up by now anyway. What can I do for you?" The counselor didn't seem injured- the most common reason one would visit Sick Bay- but she couldn't be sure. It seemed that everyone was injured lately.

Avery held up the basket of refreshments. "I thought everyone could use some real food and beverages. I know this isn't an original idea, but our barkeep was kind enough to share some of her provisions with me so I could do the rounds. I figured by now everyone could use some replacement provisions." Stuart smiled. "I wasn't about to forget the hardest working medical staff in Starfleet."

Jayla grinned. "Thank you so much," she said, accepting the basket of goodies. "I think all we've got left from her last visit is some beef jerky." She gave the basket to one of the nearby nurses with instructions to pass things around. "I can't imagine you came by just to give us snacks," she added with another grin as the nurse happily walked off to pass everything out.

Avery smiled at the doctor's correct deduction. "I came to deliver goodies and to see how you and the rest of the staff were holding up. Think of it as a morale check on the fly."

"We're doing okay," said Jayla. "At least I think so. It's hard to tell sometimes when we're busy. I suppose I'm doing okay personally. I've got friends on the Cochrane, so I'm a bit worried about them, but otherwise, I'm okay." She added a weary sort of grin to drive home her point.

Avery nodded. She was worried about the crew left stranded on the Cochrane as well, and in conjunction how it was affecting Captain Geisler, but she had to put her concerns aside for now. "How's your head? I hear you received quite the concussion."

"I've been given a clean bill of health, but I'm still to be careful," she replied with a grin. "I didn't have a headache this morning when I woke up, so that's progress."

Avery nodded. "That is good." Reminded of what she had mistakenly told Camilla, she asked, "Any issues with flashbacks or nightmares? Research suggests traumatic head injuries can sometimes result in posttrauma symptoms."

"I haven't noticed anything yet, but it hasn't been that long," replied Jayla. "How quickly does that usually happen?"

"It varies," Avery admitted. "It really depends on how long it takes for the initial adrenaline and shock to wear off. Once that happens, the mind starts to try to process what it has experienced. Depending on the severity of the injury, some of that processing can be disrupted and manifested itself in nightmares and flashbacks. Basically, it's the mind's way of trying to make sense of it all. Not everyone experiences this, of course, but just in case it becomes an issue, I just wanted you to know it's perfectly normal and if you need to talk, I'm here."

"Great, so I've got that to look forward to," Jayla joked with a humorless smile. "I'll definitely come see you if I start having nightmares. And I'll mention it to the Cadet, too. Poor kid. I might have to send her to see you anyway. She's forgotten the past three months."

Avery frowned. "This is the cadet who suffered the extensive head injury, right? Or are you referring to someone else?"

"That's the one," replied Jayla. "She wakes up to find out- no, actually, I should let her tell it. It's her story and I'll probably get something wrong anyway." She blinked. "And I've lost track of the conversation. Um... nightmares? Is that where we were?"

Avery nodded. She was a bit concerned Jayla had lost track, wondering if it was an indication of something more serious related to her concussion, but for the moment, she chalked it up to just being distracted. "I'm not saying you'll definitely have them. I'm just saying you might, and if you do, it's perfectly normal. If you have trouble settling down afterward or staying asleep, just know my door is open. I know you have access to sleep medication, but just in case you want to try something without chemicals, I'm here."

Reliance on medication to address emotional or psychological problems always concerned Avery. Of course, some people definitely needed medication to address the chemical imbalances that caused their symptoms, but even so, she believed therapy could always support the effects of medication, and in many cases, help people in ways medication could not.

"Actually, I prefer not putting chemicals in my body if I can avoid it," Jayla replied with a vague grin. "I know some yoga poses that are very relaxing. And if that doesn't work, I'll come see you."

Avery smiled. "How refreshing! A doctor who doesn't want to solve everything with medication." More seriously, she added, "I appreciate your willingness to come see me if you need to. In the meantime, I'd like to schedule some time to meet with the Cadet. Do you believe she's medically stable enough for that?"

"She seems to be doing all right," answered Jayla. "Better than I would have expected, actually. She seems to have just accepted everything without question, which is incredibly strange in cases of amnesia. I'm not sure if she's incredibly trusting or if she remembers enough about us from before to know that we wouldn't lie to her."

"It's also possible she still in shock and is suppressing a lot," Avery pointed out. "I hope that isn't the case and she is just very resilient. She is young, so resilience is a strong possibility. Still, I suppose it can't hurt to sit and have a chat with her myself, just to be safe. Is she still here or were you able to release her?"

"She's still here," answered Jayla. "She's lost some fine motor skills, so we wanted to make sure she wouldn't fall over on her way to her quarters. I think Doctor Road is the attending physician for her case, if you want more information."

"Thank you," Avery replied sincerely. "I think I'll reach out to her while I'm here. In the meantime, thank you for indulging me. As I said, I'm here if you need me."

"I'll remember that," said Jayla. "Thank you for warning me about the nightmares, too."


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