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Wake Up Call

Posted on Sun May 21st, 2017 @ 6:26pm by Lieutenant Commander Cara Nichols MD & Brigadier General Christopher Mitchell

Mission: Down on the Upside
Location: Deck 9 - Room 5

ON:

Christopher slowly opened his eyes as a throbbing pain brought itself to the front of his head. As he did so, the searing fluorescent light burned his eyes as if he was seeing it for the first time in weeks. Squeezing them shut, he tried to speak but found his mouth was as dry as sand. Attempting to sit up, he felt a sharp pain in his back and gingerly lowered himself back down. Mentally shouting expletives at himself, he slammed his hands onto the railing on his left side and pulled himself up, feeling an agonizing sting radiate through his back and down his legs.

Alarms sounded at the nurses' station and the nurse assigned to the General looked up, then jumped up and ran into his room. "No, sir.....lie back down. You can't get up," she said, placing her hands on his shoulders and easing him back against the pillows. "You're alright. Just lie still. I'll get the doctor."

Chris frowned at this. He would have killed for some water at this moment as his mouth and throat were still bone dry. Looking around, he searched for a cup or a pitcher of some kind that has anything he could use to soothe his dry and tight throat.

The nurse went to the door and called out, "page Dr. Ledall and Dr. Nichols," then she went back over to the bed. "Hang on General. I'll raise your bed and get you some fresh water. You have been asleep for a long time," she said as she raised the head of the bed a little. "You broke your back and ribs and had a nasty concussion," she explained as she brought him a fresh pitcher of water from the replicator in the room. She poured the water into a glass and helped him as he drank.

Christopher gratefully accepted the water and took a sip, a satisfying chill spreading through him.

Dr. Ledall appeared at the door. "Well....it's about time," he said with a chuckle and walked over to the monitor on the wall and switched it on. "How do you feel?" he asked as he reviewed the General's chart on displayed on the monitor.

"I guess I fell harder than I thought. I heard someone pushed me over a railing by accident. Is that true?" he asked the doctor as he began to gulp the water down.

Ledall pulled the monitor over to where Mitchell could see it and said, "that's what the EFTS team said when they brought you in but I don't have the specifics." He pointed to the image of his skeletal X-rays. "As you can see you came in with several fractured ribs. One of which punctured your left lung. You also fractured your T12 vertebra which fragmented and pinched your spinal cord... The ER doctor re-inflated your lung and repaired the fractured ribs and sent you to me." He walked down to the foot of the bed and pulled the covers up. Taking a large bore needle in a sheath out of his lab coat pocket, he unsheathed it as he said, "I was able to retrieve the fragments and repair the vertebra." Ledall, gently, pressed the tip of the instrument against the top of Mitchell's foot. "Can you feel this?" he asked.

Christopher nodded quickly.

Ledall moved up the leg repeating the test then switched to Mitchell's other leg and did the same. He re-sheathed the instrument and went back down to the foot of the bed. Placing his hand against the bottom of Mitchell's right foot, he said, "press against my hand like you were pressing against the rudder of a Javelin."

Pressing back against the doctor's hand, he could feel a slight strain in his lower leg as he did so.

Ledall repeated the test on Mitchell's left foot and nodded. "Now raise your right leg," he said, holding his hand under Mitchell's leg just in case he lost muscle control. "That's it. Hold it. Ok. Now the left."

Cara walked into the room and over to the side of Christopher's bed. "Welcome back to the land of the living," she said with a smile.

Christopher repeated the process as he saw Cara. "Thanks, Doc." he said as he noticed a shining black pip behind her two solid ones. "I see you made Lieutenant Commander. Congratulations," he said as he lowered his foot.

Cara waved it off. "You know I don't hold to rank, Christopher," she said with a laugh. "I'm a doctor and that's all of the authority I need. I have the power to relieve you of duty whether I'm ranked as a mop pusher, lieutenant or Admiral." She winked at him and squeezed his forearm. "So I suggest you stay away from railings for awhile. Oh....and don't get the sniffles." She looked at Ledall. "What's the prognosis, Doctor?"

"Will do, Doc." Christopher said, his arm feeling slightly numb where the doctor had squeezed it. He began to ball his fingers into a fist and release, which caused his entire arm to tingle as he did so.

Ledall chuckled as he pulled the covers back over Mitchell's feet. "Everything looks good," he said to both Cara and the General. "I have already set it up with the PT department so you can begin your physical therapy. They'll come down and get you once a day and will let me know how you are progressing. If all goes well I expect you will be fit for partial duty in 3 weeks."

Christopher grumbled. Partial duty was nothing to be proud of- he'd be away from his station and his people for longer than he'd want to be. "Doctor, is there any way that we can speed this up? I can't off duty for three weeks, it'll drive me insane." he said.

Cara smirked and shook her head while Ledall simply said, "you can't rush the body when it comes to healing itself. It is a miracle of science the way it works but when it comes to healing...it does it on its own time. Just follow my and your physical therapists instructions. Any deviations may end up in set backs not steps forward. If three weeks sounds long...imagine if you re-injure yourself and set things back to square one and another three or four weeks. Take my word for it, General....you will not go insane."

"Christopher.....you will see," Cara said, softly, trying to sooth Mitchell's anxiety about being off duty for any length of time. "The fact that you are physically fit to begin with will be an advantage."

"And you will be surprised how exhausted you are going to feel after your first physical therapy appointment," Ledall said. "You'll be glad that you don't have anything to do but rest. Now I am going to leave you and Dr. Nichols to chat for a while and I will get you set up with PT. They'll probably be in to take you for your first round this afternoon after lunch." With that Ledall winked at Cara and made his exit.

Chris sat up straighter in the bed. "Doc, when I was coming to, I could swear I heard the nurses calling me 'Humpty Dumpty'. Let's make sure that doesn't spread. Other than that, did I fall or do they think somebody pushed me?" he inquired.

Cara pulled a stool closer to the bed and sat down. "We aren't sure. Our Chief of Security is not convinced it was an accident based on the trajectory of your fall and where you landed. He's investigating. Been asking everyone who might have seen something. Ledall says he's been up here every day hoping you would be awake so he could talk to you. I suspect as soon as he hears you are he'll be coming for a visit." She looked over at the monitors then said, "for right now you need to get some rest before they come to take you down to physical therapy. You are in good hands. Dr. Ledall is the best we have," she smiled and winked, "besides me, of course." When Christopher relaxed and closed his eyes, Cara waited until he was asleep then, quietly got up and left the room. A lot of people were going to be glad to hear their beloved leader was on the mend.

OFF

 

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