Mission 4: Letting the Hair Down
Location: Deck 12: Main Sickbay
Timeline: MD 06 - 1340 Hours
Javn continued to gather the necessary tools she would need to perform the nerve conduction velocity test on Lieutenant Liski's leg as she waited for the patient to arrive. Having brushed up on the procedure protocols that morning she felt confident in conducting the test.
The soft *thud-click* of a foot and crutches announced Statzia's arrival. "So, I'm here to be poked and prodded."
“It’s won’t be all that bad, I promise to be as gentle as I can.” She patted the bio bed she stood next to.
Statzia gave a wry chuckle. "There's nothing gentle about zapping my nerves with electricity." She went through what was a normal routine: removal of her shoe, shirt, pants, leaning the crutches against the wall, and the one-legged hip onto the biobed.
"Oh I said I would be gentle, I can't say the same for the equipment." Javn smiled down at the machine giving Statzia some privacy as she undressed. "For someone who recently lost a limb you've adapted quite well."
"Starfleet doesn't give you much of a choice, do they?" It was hard to tell if the sound that Statzia made was a laugh or a huff. "You either replace the absent limb with a machine, or you get shipped back home--and the latter isn't an option."
Javns ability to be optimistic was occasionally lacking, therefore making it difficult for her to produce any words of comfort as she prepared the areas on Statzia's leg where the electrode patches were to be placed. She wanted to ask her about her home and why returning there was no longer an option but feared she would come off as prying so she didnt. Javn removed two small patches from a container and placed them both on different areas of Statzias injured leg.
"Sorry if they're cold." She pointed to one of the patches, "One electrode stimulates your nerve with a very mild electrical impulse, the other one records the time it takes for the impulse to travel through the nerve. Ready?"
Statzia gave a quick nod. Both of her hands gripped the edge of the biobed, waiting for the uncomfortable jolt she knew was coming.
Javn initiated the test, it only took a few moments before results started loading onto the PADD Javn was holding.
"I'm going to run it one more time, the more data we present to the doctor the better conclusion he's able to draw. Then we'll move onto the next test."
Javn detested causing others pain, seeing Statzia grip the biobed was difficult, it made continuing the test even more so.
"You're doing great." She encouraged.
"Just do it." Statzia's plea came through gritted teeth.
Knowing the second round of testing was going to be much more painful then the first, Javn didn't hesitate to begin. She quickly initiated the device outputting the electrical impulse to the electrode positioned on Statzias leg. Upon finishing the test Javn stepped back to give her space.
"Would you like to take a short break before we move on to the next test? If you are in too much pain it can cause the results to be inaccurate and we would need to run them again or worse run a different kind of test that's far more.... invasive."
Statzia closed her eyes and shook her head. "Just...something for the nausea."
Javn grabbed a hydropray filled with an anti-nausea medication and released it on the side of Statzias neck. She waited a few moments for the medicine to kick in before removing the electrode patches from her leg.
"The next test will be slightly more painfull as the electrode will need to be connected with the muscle to read the activity. But there wont be any electrical impulses so it wont strain you as much as the first test."
"I know exactly how much it hurts. I've been poked and prodded and scanned and cut apart and put back together again." Statzia took a deep breath as the nausea finally subsided. "I suppose it's my penance for being the only one to survive the away mission, right?"
Javn kept her eyes focused on the next set of electrodes she held for the test. She would need to insert the needle directly into the damaged nerves of Statzia's limb.
"I hardly think that's fair..." Javn had met only a few patients who suffered from survivors guilt, each time she was at a loss on how to comfort them. Instead she ran a cold rag dipped in antiseptic across the skin of her limb.
"I led the expedition team, Ensign. It was my job to bring my team home. Search and Rescue couldn't even recover their bodies." Statzia saw the lengthy needle in Javn's hand and gave her the nod to continue.
The needle punctured the skin quickly becoming nestled in the muscle and nerve. Her pressed a few commands on the tricorder and the screen displaying the results changed.
Javn hesitated before speaking, “I’m a firm believer that when it is our time to pass we will do so, you survived because it was not yet your time. Your story isn’t over yet. I am sorry for the loss of your crew, but we all accept the dangers when we enlist in Starfleet.”
Statzia's brow furrowed as she closed her eyes to shut out the pain. She blew out a breath. As badly as it hurt, she was not about to vomit during the middle of the test. "Being mauled to death by some unknown carnivorous alien wasn't in the brochure."
Something was wrong, the tricorder wasn’t picking up any readings coming from the nerve. Javn was sure she had calculated the correct placement of the needle but now she wondered if she had been off. She looked up from the data to see the silent pain Statzia was already under and loathed that would have to inflict more. She set the tricorder down.
“I have to readjust the needle. This will not be pleasant, but if we’re to get any results from this I have to. Bare with me.” She placed the dermal regenerater on the bio bed next to her before using one half to retract the electrode and the other to steady Statzia’s leg. She quickly healed the wound, sanitized the needle and prepared to reinsert it at a different angle. She knew this would be more painful and proceeded with our warning.
A cry of agony escaped through gritted teeth. The needle and muscle felt like fire, and Statzia gripped the biobed until her knuckles turned white.
The replacement of the needle did the trick, even if it seemed to cause her patient agonizing pain.
"I know it hurts but I need you to try to calm down, I need to monitor the nerve in a resting state, your too tense." Javn braced herself for threats and curse words to start spewing from Statzias mouth. "I promise it will be over soon."
Statzia's lip trembled, and she bit it hard as she willed her body to relax despite the fire and pain flooding through her. She closed her eyes and forced herself to remain still.
Javn rubbed the Lieutenants back hoping to give her some comfort or distraction from the pain. In the other hand she monitored the results appearing on the tricorder. After a few moments the test was complete. Not the results the doctor would be thrilled about but it gave them a good starting point for the prosthetic.
“You did great,” Javn gave Statzia a genuine smile “That concludes the testing.” After setting the tricorder down Javn retracted the needle from Statzias leg and began healing the wound with the dermal regenerator.
Before the dermal generator was done, Statzia pulled away, swinging her legs over the biobed. Her body trembled as she rubbed her hands into the throbbing stump on her leg, and she bit her lip hard enough to bring the taste of blood to her mouth.
Javn stepped back, regretting she what she had just put Statzia through. There were aspects of her profession she detested and this happened to be one of them.
“If you would like to stay awhile, just until the pain subsides, your welcome to.” Javn pushed the tray holding the electrodes and needle on to the other side of the room out of immediate eye sight. She contemplated offering a hyrospray but knew that the discomfort would end soon.
Statzia shook her head, wiping her face with her hand and doing everything she could to keep her composure. "I'm-- I'm good." She grabbed her pants, hastily pulling them on.
Javn kept her hands free, ready to assist the lieutenant if she should need it. "There is no need to rush, it's better to take it slow. The test put your nerves through a lot of stress, they will need time." She almost pleaded.
Statzia clenched her jaw, wanting to scream or cry or both, but not wanting to unleash the anger and pain on the Ensign, who did absolutely nothing wrong. "I don't need time. I--" She never finished the thought, as her trembling hands that reached for the crutches instead knocked them to the ground.
She put up a hand to stop the nurse before she could jump in. "Don't--"
Frustration flashed in the Ensigns eyes as she was halted by the hand the lieutenant held up. She waited a few moments before ignoring her warning. Javn picked up the crutches and laid them against the bed, she spoke with a more stern tone this time surprising herself. "Lieutenant Liski, you are going to do yourself more harm then necessary. Sit. I understand you are in pain but I will not allow you to leave sickbay under your current condition. The pain is clearly worse then you led me to first believe."
Statzia swallowed the lump in her throat. She reached for her crutches. "The leg had never stopped hurting. If it isn't the connection points, it's the leg feeling like it's being crushed even though it's not there anymore, and if it isn't the leg, it's the nightmares."
Javn was taken aback by her words, she felt remorse for the pain she had caused the lieutenant, no matter how necessary it had been. Javn placed her hand on the crutches, keeping Statzia from taking them from where Javn had leaned them against the bed. It wasn't often Javn was faced with a difficult patient, most crew listened to her, Statzia was clearly not going to cooperate easily.
Statzia closed her eyes for a brief moment. She'd already been knocked down a rank for fighting with fellow crew members, and she'd been warned that continued incidences would result in a dishonorable discharge. She opened her eyes again, putting a hand on the crutches, aware that the eyes of a few other medical staff were on her.
"I'm already on thin ice, Ensign," she said through clenched teeth. "I just want the dignity of falling apart in the privacy of my own quarters."
Javn fiercely turned her glare on the other members of the medical team, they quickly scattered and turned attentions elsewhere. She let out a sigh when she turned back to the lieutenant, her hand still on the crutches. "Fine, but I am going with you." She left little to no room for debate, she refused to allow a patient in as much pain as Statzia out of her sight, she was lucky she was even allowing her to leave medical.
"Damnit--" Statzia grabbed the crutches, slipping her arms into them. "I will call you if I need help, but right now I want to break something, and I don't want it to be you!" Her voice raised to a shout as she pushed herself to her feet.
Javn picked up both a tricorder and hyrospray, slipping them both into her pocket she moved to make room for Statzia's exit. She waved a hand towards the exit," Regardless of your wishes I will see that you make it to your quarters safely. After you."
Just when they had everything decided Mis tentatively walked into sickbay. Stazia had not asked her to come nor even informed her of what was going on. She'd heard it through the grapevine. But, she didn't like the idea of someone she cared about being in pain and it was impossible not to like Stazia, she was so . . . outgoing and friendly, things Mis never considered herself to be. And so Mis had come to check up on her. "Hi," Mis said awkwardly as she saw them. "Oh, are you leaving already? Are you sure that's wise?"
"Gods!" Statzia spun on Javn. "If you want to follow me down the corridor, and into the turbolift, and down the hall, I don't give a Cardassian's ass. But if you think for one second that you are going to come into my quarters without my permission--"
Javn clenched her fist at her sides, difficult patient was an understatement while regarding the lieutenant. Javn had to control her breathing, holding back her instinct to raise her voice to match Statzia's. Through gritted teeth she responded, "As your Nurse I will do as I see fit regarding your health and well being. Should you have an issue, I will gladly inform security that restraints are required to keep you in sick bay and under observation. "
Her eyes cut to the commander who just joined them. Not Javn's most shinning moment, and to see it witnessed by none other then the first officer was wildly embarrassing but not enough to ease her frustration with the lieutenant. She tried to reign in some of her angry before addressing the commander, "Commander, I do not advise that Lieutenant Liski be released from sick bay with out someone to see that she makes it to her quarters safely."
Statzia scoffed. "Safely? There's nothing safe about what we do here in Starfleet!"
"It's alright, I'll take her. " Mis responded. She fully intended to stay as well. She looked at Stazia to see if that was acceptable.
Statzia didn't acknowledge one way or the other. She spun on her singular heel and stormed out of Sickbay.
Commander Nokomis Diza
Executive Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant JG Anastatzia Liski
Chief Operations Officer, USS Orion
Ensign Javn Darhk
Head Nurse, USS Orion