PreSIM: A (Begrudged) Meeting with the Counselor

Posted March 30, 2021, 8:49 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander T’Aria (XO / Navigation Officer) (Trinity Fister)

Posted by Ensign Kanina Dran (Doctor/Counselor) in PreSIM: A (Begrudged) Meeting with the Counselor

Posted by Ensign Kanina Dran (Doctor/Counselor) in PreSIM: A (Begrudged) Meeting with the Counselor

Posted by Lieutenant Commander T’Aria (XO / Navigation Officer) in PreSIM: A (Begrudged) Meeting with the Counselor
Posted by… suppressed (5) by the Post Ghost! 👻

Kanina nodded, understanding the basic struggle. She had had a similar experience from the opposite end of the spectrum, understanding people but uncertain how to react to people that could not read her mind. “It will be less of a struggle than you think. Those who work closely with you will adapt to understand your responses. How you display approval, support, any of the things they are looking for.” She smiled slightly, remembering a similar conversation almost a decade ago. “The ideal response for the person who is emotional is often validation.”
-Kanina Dran, CNS

“Validation?” T’Aria’s lips parted upward as she leaned forward, her head tilted ever-so-slightly. She listened closely to what Kanina had to say, valuing whatever inside the doctor could yield her. She understood, for the most part, what Dran was saying. Time had a way of making the odd, familiar. “I didn’t realise it was that simple.” She knew the mechanics of validation - reflective statements, attentive listening, clarifying questions - but lacked the process. She was eager to learn. “How would you go about validating an officer’s emotions?”

– T’Aria, XO

“The easiest way is what I call the I understand method. Before you give them feedback, positive or negative, say “I understand you feel…” and then whatever emotion you can identify. It makes people feel seen and makes them more receptive to whatever you need to say next.” Kanina clasped her hands in front of her on the desk. “I’d guess that you’ve often tried to get people to stop being emotional so they can be rational. Often, it’s easier to help them move through the emotions quickly rather than ignore them altogether.”
-Kanina Dran, CNS

“This.. ‘I understand’ method seems promising.” She reflected on her conversation – the mess – with Kane. She wanted to understand what he was going through and how she could — if at all – help to ease it. But she had no idea how to approach the situation without watching it crumble before her. The more she reflected, the more she realised how foolish she’d been.

T’Aria tore her gaze from the counsellor, inspecting a speck of dust as though it were a virtuoso soliciting attention. She blinked. “You’re right,” she released a quiet breath and considered the Counselor’s suggestion, “but at what point does ‘helping’ become ‘facilitating?’”

She desperately wanted this to be a science, but she knew it was the farthest thing from it. Humans – people were volatile and prone to irrational outbursts that, despite psychology holding the plaque for ‘science’, had no rhyme nor reason to it. She didn’t understand it. Frankly, she couldn’t imagine they did either. There were subtleties and so many grey areas that made logic a poor tactic. Still, she stubbornly continued to employ it. Maybe it was time to try something new.

– Lt. Cmdr. T’Aria, XO

“Feelings are muddled. Confusing. Joyous occasions make one sad, terror makes them laugh.” Kanina smiled at the determination she could feel from the Vulcan woman. She found her willingness to learn impressive, appreciated the way her thoughts flowed as she accepted and catalougued Kanina’s words. “Sometimes they need a little push to identify their own feelings, and then they can sort it out on their own.” She let out a small laugh. “Sometimes they can’t, and I am called to help.”
-Kanina Dran, CNS

“I see..” T’Aria attempted to visualise the strange combination of laughter and terror, but it manifested into a horrifying image. “People never cease to amaze me.”

She blinked away the thought and offered Kanina the slightest of smiles. Emotions were convoluted and difficult to decipher, but she appreciated having someone as keen as Dran aboard. She was a steady calm in a sea of chaos that was the hallmark of Starfleet enlistment. Although counselors were not yet standard, T’Aria was tamed by the belief they should be.

“And what of the opposite?” T’Aria hesitated. “I don’t mean to ‘pick your brain’, but how would you deal with conflicting emotions of.. personal nature?”

– T’Aria, pupil or XO?

“Talk through them. Struggling on one’s own is foolish.” Kanina stared piercingly at T’Aria, her dark eyes glimmering as though she was seeing multiple images on top of each other. “You have something specific in mind.” Not a question, but phrased as one. “You can ask.”
-Kanina Dran, CNS

bump for the boards

OOC: Thank you!

T’Aria’s schooled expression, glacial and composed, was softened by a trace of reservation.

[October 29th, 2261 – USS Portland – One-week post-transfer from Chernov.]

“All right, let’s start her on a low dose of Benjisidrine. 3mg for now. Wean her off the alpha-adrenergic agonist.” T’Aria scrolled through the medical file propped between her calloused hands. “We need to address the hypotension and fluid loss–” she handed the file to a nurse “–run a full-body scan and test her ABG, ACTH and cortisol levels.”

“PA Debysingh,” T’Aria turned from the nurse, “I understand you’re assigned to T’Reni’s care?”

“Yes, Doctor.” A middle-aged man, hair tainted with speckles of grey and white, stepped from the gathered professionals. He extended a PaDD to the Vulcan woman, “my observations.”

“Thank you,” T’Aria glanced over his observation and took a mental note of his diagnoses. “Please,” she gestured to him to take the PaDD back. “What are your thoughts on your patient’s condition?”

“It’s all in my–” His protest was tempered by a hard stare.

“I know what your notes say, PA.” T’Aria adjusted her stance. “I want to hear it from you, including what you didn’t put on her medical file.”

“Okay.” Debysingh stifled a sigh. “T’Reni presented with hypotension, syncopic episodes, and dyspnea. I thought she was suffering from heart failure, considering her age, so I ordered an echo and continuous ECG monitoring to determine cardiac function. We discovered atrial flutter and put her on an anticoagulant and beta-blocker. No improvement.”

“Have you applied a neurocortical monitor?” T’Aria rose a brow, interpreting his reserve as a ‘no.’ “Vulcans physiology is dependent on mind-body communication. Our brains are designed to act as a control unit, overseeing bodily processes both autonomic and voluntary.” She lifted a hand in a gesture of silence. “Without proper regulation and healing, T’Reni’s body will begin to deteriorate. Adrenal insufficiency, cardiopulmonary disease, autonomic dysfunction– you get the idea.”

“Dr T’Aria,” a nurse peeked around the corner. “The patient is asking for you.”

“Thank you, Nurse.” T’Aria turned to Debysingh. “Prepare the neurocortical monitor and autonomic testing to rule out neurocardiogenic complications. I’ll check back shortly.”

T’Aria took in a slow breath, her gaze wavering from the counsellor to her hands. She knew Kanina could sense her dissonance. T’Aria fought to hide it, but she couldn’t mask the strength of the memory. It was the prelude to disaster.

“I transferred from Chernov to the Portland a year-and-a-half ago,” T’Aria informed. “Command wrote it off as an emergency transfer implying the Portland required my expertise on Vulcan anatomy. That much was true.” She faltered. “But it was a little more complicated than Command let on.”

“Like most of my people, I lost the greater part of my clan to Vulcan’s destruction,” she shifted uncomfortably in her chair. “Among those who lived, my mother took a commission with Starfleet. It was her way to ‘fight’ what had been taken from her. Logical, I suppose.” T’Aria spoke evenly, her voice unimpeded by sentiment or resentment, but she was a skilled actress. “Three years passed. I stayed on Chernov and checked in intermittently. We didn’t engaged in more than idle conversation. In late 2261, I received a communique from the Portland’s medical officer – Dr Arisrik – that aprised me of my mother’s condition. Shortly after, I was reassigned.” T’Aria figured Kanina could piece together the minor details. “I’m not sure that was the best decision.”

“She had a heart attack,” T’Aria raised her eyebrows, tilting her head slightly. “Mycocardial infraction are seldom fatal,” she praised their medical advancement, “but my mother suffered acute left ventricular failure and went into cardiogenic shock.”

“Norepinephrine.. dopamine.. medicines weren’t working, and her condition continued to deteriorate.” Hazel eyes distant, T’Aria’s voice reduced to bitter recollection as the memory of her mother’s death played before her. “I knew if we waited too long, the hypoxia would claim her kidneys, then her liver, until she went into multiple organ failure. So I chose emergency surgery. We did not have the time to transplant or regenerate; we had to revascularize.”

“She survived the surgery,” T’Aria sighed, “but it was too late. Although I was successful in repairing the damage to her heart, I couldn’t repair the damage suffered by her brain. Without its regenerative properties, her organs couldn’t recover from hypoperfusion nor the subsequent hypoxia. She died that morning – 0237 hours.”

“So I find myself with a strange dilemma,” she broke Kanina’s gaze. “I don’t know whether I feel guilty for losing my mother or guilty that I abandoned someone I cared deeply for to do it.”

– T’Aria, XO

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