The Harshest of Reality Checks

Posted Jan. 21, 2021, 2:08 a.m. by Lieutenant Revna Edman (Counselor) (Jennifer Ward)

Posted by Civilian Runa Siff Edman (Education Specialist) in The Harshest of Reality Checks

Posted by Lieutenant Revna Edman (Counselor) in The Harshest of Reality Checks

Posted by Lieutenant Lauren Shan (Doctor) in The Harshest of Reality Checks
Posted by… suppressed (4) by the Post Ghost! 👻

Revna was actually wearing very warm sweater like pajamas and socks already. She’d started doing that to help keep her body warm incase something like this happened. Much good it did her now. She closed her eyes adjusting to the lower pressure of the air and squeezed Danica’s hand in acknowledgement. Revna wanted Runa, but at the same time she didn’t. Runa was amazing and loved her dearly, but she was also a bit high strung at times. And there was no way to know how Runa would be if woken in the middle of the night for this. More strongly there was the memory of a warm hand holding hers, but even in this condition, Revna wouldn’t ask, she wouldn’t be that selfish. And then she wondered if she was too unfit for duty and would have to retire her commission after this.
Lt Edman, Couselor

Danica felt the squeeze and nodded. “All right. Well, we’re gonna get you straight to Medical. Doc should be meeting us there.” She tapped her comm and ordered the immediate site to site transfer. As transporter acknowledged, she kept a hold of Revna’s hand. “We’ll be there in a sec, Revna. I gotcha the whole way.” She was being as supportive as she could, despite knowing the woman was in pain and struggling. Once they were in medical, she could help her more.

NE Danica

Lauren moved out from behind the desk and to the emergency transport station. =/\=Danica I need you to prepare for the emergency beam out to sickbay. I am not sure if she experiences another bout of syncope you are going to revive her. Her blood oxygen levels are in the nineties which is concerning but stable enough for transport. Transporting now.=/\= Lauren moved with the deft steps of one used to working the graveyard shift. Many people hated this shift. The abrupt wakeups from long hours of silence and nothing to do was the cause of many mistakes in medicine; however, Lauren thrived during this time. She had long ago learned the survival skill of instant wakefulness which served her well as a doctor. Moving away from the transporter console, Lauren headed to bed three and her arriving patient.

The blue swirl engulfed them. It always amazed Revna that despite being torn apart into the endless number of atoms that made her herself her body could still register feeling and thought. This was no different and instead of an expected moment of stillness and calm there was still the endless struggle to breath and the pain and panic. A moment later Danica and Revna reappeared in sickbay. Revna closed her eyes, there wasn’t anything she could do at this point except continue to breath. The doctors would have to decide and she’d have the time to choose, or they would choose for her. She wanted Runa, but she’d only be in the way. And she had no way to ask for her, she had to breath instead. If it was bad the med staff would call her, so that was probably a good thing. If Runa showed up, Revna would know it was really bad.
Lt Edman, Counselor

Once they were settled, Danica set to making Revna more comfortable. The Doc would join them shortly, but the young woman wasn’t going to just stand around and do nothing. She got a blanket and set it to Revna’s usual body temp. It would warm or cool her till the oxygen in her body stabilized and her extremities weren’t so cold. She also set the breathing device on and fixed the setting so it wasn’t forcing air into her lungs faster or harder than she could handle. And she made sure the bed was barely reclined. Enough to keep Revna comfortable, but not too upright, or prone, to make breathing even more difficult.

Revna tried to push her self up on her arms to relieve the pressure building from being flat but it made her dizzy. She was immensly relieved when Danica inclined the bed for her. The warmed blanket was calming. Though not overly heavy the added weight gave the illusion of compression and calmed the muscles and nerves that were over active from the panic. It also reminded her of home. Her Da used to leave blankets by the fires to warm when they were would be gathered outside late into the nights in the summer or all day during the winter. He would wrap her and Runa and their mother in the warmed blankets and hug them. He would switch them out as soon as the warmth faded. It was a calming and Revna’s respiration slowed with the memory.

As she did this, in a near matter of fact type of way that made it seem ordinary and not so pressing, she kept up her small chatter and soothing tones to help keep the Counselor as calm as she could. As she finished, she moved to Revna’s side and smiled. “There, hopefully that’s helping a bit more. I don’t want you to be scared. Doc will make you right as rain again, I am sure.” She smiled and held the woman’s left hand in her own to both keep a human contact with her for comfort, as well as help warm it.

NE Danica

Lauren approached the bed and immediately began taking scans and punching buttons. A shimmering shield slid down the sides of the bed enclosing Danica, Lauren and Revna. “Hello counselor,” Lauren said in a friendly but professional tone. “I am Doctor Shan but you can call me Lauren, doc, or whatever you are most comfortable with. I have increased the oxygen level in the room hence the force field you just saw come down. It will help you breathe easier because more pure oxygen is getting into our body instead of the general atmosphere. You my dear are going to feel better but,” she turned to Danica after addressing Revna, “Let me know if you feel any disorientation, respiratory problems, or myopia. I am going to place a thirty-minute visitation rule on the counselor here. The prolonged exposure to higher than normal partial pressures of oxygen shouldn’t result in any further oxidative damage to her pulmonary membranes.”

Lauren knew Danica would understand why she was putting this rule in and there was a better than average chance Revna had a working knowledge of why. She had just learned that it saved time to state the obvious and reasons why one was doing things. Other than that one ended up repeating things which was fine unless time was of the essence. Lauren had no problem with Danica sitting with Revna especially since the woman would know what to look for and what to say to the patient. Few things sent people into a frenzied panic like waking up blind or not able to breathe. Those two conditions could bring out the primal nature of someone so the fact Revna was calm with Danica let Lauren do what she needed to at the moment.

Revna appreciated Danica staying with her and keeping a hold of her hand. She’d done it so many times for people back on Centurion. Revna was trained as a medic but had no real practice with those skills. She’d always been there as a counselor, but that had been equally useful as medical skills. Their patients were often panicked and disoriented. She’d had a way of soothing them. Often telling them outrageous stories. The lilt in her voice carrying the tales to everyone in the room. Revna had an uncanny ability to read a room and know what to do to calm it. That often turned out to her telling stories that seemed to get everyone’s attention. Being human she had no empathic abilities but it was as if she did the way she could pick a story to control a room and change the feeling of it. But that skill had failed her the day she’d been injured and she had lost her confidence. It wasn’t that she would change the events, but she didn’t understand how she’d missed something so vital in the room.

So in this case Revna was grateful for Danica doing for her what Revna had always done for others. This time she was able to nod her head without making her breath catch or hurting in acknowledgement of Danica’s words. She knew, and had suspected for the last week or so, that the scar tissue was starting to block off her lungs rather than protecting the parts of her lungs that were healing. The doctors just hadn’t said it yet. It was like she’d told Nash. She had to make a decision, but it was up to the doctors what choices she had or if she even really had one. But right in that moment she was very ready for whatever procedure they thought she should have.
Lt. Edman, Counselor

The oxygen was working and Revna made a very painful mistake…she tried to take a deep breath, which set her off coughing, which made it worse and then she was seeing spots in front of her eyes again. If she wasn’t such a calm person she’d be thumping a fist on the biobed in frustration. Like she had 3 days after she woke up on Centurion. Cpt Jameson had laughed at her. Calm down there, princess, we don’t allow royal temper tantrums in sickbay. Then leaning in closer despite his joke he shook his head. It won’t help, Revna, you have to be patient, and unfortunately for you, everyone is watching you for an example. Hang in there.
Lt Edman, Counselor

If Revna was still coughing that meant the levels in the room needed to be adjusted. “Still having trouble,” Lauren placed a hand gently on the woman’s arm. She had to get Revna completely stable to run the tests. That meant alleviating all the symptoms the counselor lived with on a daily basis.

Revna started to shake her head no, but stopped herself. She’d been fine till she tried to breathe deeper; she’d done it to herself. She was grateful for the forcefield so that the mask could come off. Revna wasn’t claustrophobic but the mask seemed to give the impression of blocking the air, even though it was actually giving her more.

Runa had been worrying over Revna. Revna never said, but Runa could tell she was getting worse. It wouldn’t have helped to argue with Revna about doing less. She sat in a chair all day and listened to people talk. It wasn’t like Revna was trying to run a marathon. Though Runa knew the sessions with children could be taxing, but when she’d asked the NE at the desk in the counseling suite told her that Revna had cut back those sessions as well. Runa knew that had to drive Revna crazy. She’d contacted Cpt Jameson, again, to ask more questions about what had happened to Revna and what would happen during her recovery. Jameson had told her that eventually, there was the possibility that Revna would get worse instead of better. That the scar tissue, that the body uses to protect damaged parts of the body, would get so thick it would actual hinder her lungs from working. Then Revna would have to make hard choices.

Runa felt horrible for the man. He hated that he’d had to leave Revna with damaged lungs. Artificial ones weren’t available and she was too injured to wait for cloned replacements to be made. Runa didn’t see it as a failure. He’d saved Revna’s life and she would always be grateful. Runa was 100% certain that Revna knew what was going on, but wasn’t telling her. With that thought in mind she’d gotten up, walking to corridors, intending to go check on her sister when she’d been paged by a medic from sickbay to tell her that Revna had been brought in for a medical emergency.

Runa walked in, seeing Danica sitting quietly by Revna’s side, trying to soothe her as Revna fought with the coughing fit. Runa walked over and took Revna’s other hand and squeezed. She swallowed hard seeing the breathing mask over Revna’s face. Runa pushed the frustration back. This was going to stop. Revna was going to do something to get better. She wasn’t making progress anymore and hadn’t for a few weeks now. Runa was always seen as the goofey sister, fun loving, always out for a gag and a prank. And she was, but there was a steel in her as well and a deep well of compassion. It was what made her such an excellent teacher for the very young children. She moved so her face was in Revna’s vision. She squeezed her hand as Revna focused on her. “All right Revna, it’s time for this to stop, okay,” she stated softly. She felt Revna squeeze her hand and she sat down, tucking their joined hands under the blanket to keep Revna warm. Runa waited, sitting next to her sister, for the doctor to come in and tell her what was going on. While they waited Runa talked softly about nothing in particular, mostly stories from when they were children.
Runa Edman, Teacher

Revna listened quietly as Runa talked. In this, story telling, their twinness came out. The both had a gift for it, but Revna would never tire of listening to her sister. Rather than laughing she’d squeeze Runa’s hand at the humorous parts. They had been such a force of nature when they were kids. Then life had separated them. She didn’t know why Jameson had gone out of his way to find a position here, on Atlantis, for Runa, but she was thankful. She’d missed her sister, her best friend, her partner in crime. Though those days were probably long past Revna now. Runa paused in her stories, and Revna slowly reached up to touch a curl of Runa’s hair. Luckily, her sister was sitting and she didn’t have to exert too much effort. Where Revna’s showed more copper highlights than Runa’s, Runa’s hair had more yellow highlights, looking like gold. Revna wanted her to tell the story of Siff’s Golden Hair. It was one she loved to hear Runa tell. Runa was named after the goddess Siff because of those gold highlights. And Runa always told it with passion. Runa tucked her hand back under the blanket and nodded, understanding and began to tell the story.

Punching a few buttons, Lauren adjusted the controls from 28% oxygen to 32% oxygen with a flow rate of 10 L/min. “Revna, I am giving you a higher oxygen content. Let me know when you feel relaxed. This content will suppress your need to inhale more deeply. Doing so prevents the coughing fit because even the reduced amount of air going into your body you are getting 30% more oxygen per breath. I am watching your oxygen saturation levels in your blood. You got low at 90 but its not critical until you hit below 88. We just don’t like you patients pushing the we liiiiiiiieeeee.” Lauren drew out the last word with a smile. A bit of humor tended to make patients feel more at ease. Also, the sense that they won a small victory knowing that the doc’s lie and the patient’s gut was correct also tended to make them feel better if only for a brief second. Lauren needed Revna to have even a small amount of reprieve from the stress and chaos before she got into her diagnosis.

Revna squeezed Danica’s hand so she could tell Lauren she understood. The coughing had passed and the dizziness and fuzzy vision had as well. She didn’t want to set it off by moving too much. Her eyes danced a little at Lauren’s admission. She breathed slowly, though shallow, reminding herself not to laugh because it would make it worse. She closed her eyes briefly forcing herself to relax and breathe slowly so that Lauren could finish what she needed to do.

“Hey Runa,” Lauren smiled at Revna’s sister. “I know there is a doctor-patient privilege here but I told Bobby McDougal if he shoved another marble up his nose it would get permanently lodged there due to donestuffauppanose syndrome,” Lauren said the made-up diagnosis so fast it almost sounded official unless you were over the age of ten. “Anyway, I think he will not try it again....until next month.” The defeatism in Lauren’s voice was the first time anyone in the room heard it. Runa would completely understand why Lauren felt defeated by Bobby because Bobby had a way of being a space-aged Dennis the Menance. He was a great kid just always into trouble.

“Hey Lauren. Yeah well, marbles up that child’s nose is the least of the things he’s done. He broke the gravity plate in the education suite last week, including the nursery. Mikhail was in the middle of changing diapers when it happened. The clean up was horrible and we had to move all those kids to the secondary classrooms on deck 23 for the rest of the week. It took engineering that long to fix it. I’m tempted to require his parents to stay in class with him. Most loving kid in the world, but has absolutely no ability to judge the consequences of his actions.” Runa shook her head, “He helped clean up all the mess and fix the furniture and straighten up the rooms. But he’ll do something again next week or month just as bad and have no idea how it’s similar to other disasters he’s caused.” She sighs in defeat. Bobby was a sweet kid, but man did it take an army to keep the ship safe from him.

“So,” Lauren shifted from relaxed to professional. “I got good news and bad news. Pick your poison.” Lauren had a very down to earth approach to medicine. While she was soft and gentle when needed, she also did not waste time. Lauren was a pull the band-aid off fast kind of doctor. In her experience, it was not the news that sent people in the direction they needed to process it but the time after when the patient thought about what the news actually meant. That is where Lauren spent her time with bedside manner.

Dr. Lauren Shan medical

Revna waited, she was pretty sure she already knew what was coming. Jameson had warned her, given her the symptoms to look for, now, like she’d told Nash, she had a choice to make.
Lt. Edman, Counselor

Runa glanced at Revna, catching her gaze and then looked at Lauren and nodded. “Bad news first. Let’s get to the heart of the issue so we can do something about it.” Edman’s never hid from what needed to be done, and Runa wasn’t going to let Revna start now.
Runa Edman, Teacher


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