A Healthy Check Up
Episode 5: Better Angels
Captain Reynolds entered sickbay somewhat skeptically. The rooms were much clearer now, with most of the wounded treated or transferred off ship. She nodded in greeting to one of the nurses before making her way over toward the CMO. If there was a way to put off this return trip, Charlotte gladly would have. Sickbay had always been a sore spot for her.
It wasn't that she didn't appreciate medical staff. Quite the contrary. The expert work of some medical officers was the only reason she was still among the living. But her long stint of medical leave and rehab meant she didn't exactly enjoy being in such a setting.
She limped slightly as she approached the doctor's office, before pressing the chime to his door.
Jace had been finishing up yet another monstrous pile of administrative work when the sight of the CO appeared by the open door of his office. He'd been working hard to clear his plate of any such mundane duties, as he was keen to ensure that he - alongside the rest of his department - was as prepared as possible to deal with the potential torrent of casualties that may result on their arrival to the Klingon homeworld. He'd be lying if he said he wasn't scared, but like many others placed that as far back in his mind as possible, in order to focus on his responsibilities.
"Captain!" he said, jumping a little from his chair. "Sorry, I... wasn't quite expecting you," he added, somewhat flustered as he stood up.
"Sorry, Doctor. Should have given you a heads up," Charlotte said as she entered the room. "I was hoping you might have a few minutes to give me a once over. I was supposedly healed up after my injuries aboard the station, but a certain impatient commanding officer may have checked herself out of sickbay before she was truly cleared." She gave an innocent smile.
"Hah," Jace chuckled. "I'm sure you know about one of our other senior staff who checked out prematurely," he said, deciding not to name the person specifically. As he hadn't quite fully read through the CO's more detailed medical record, he asked, "What was it that you presented initially with again?"
She tapped her left arm and right side. "Decently severe phaser burns here and here. Though honestly, they've healed up pretty nicely. The main problem is this one." She tapped her left leg. "I took a phaser bolt to this one. It passed clean through, clipping the bone a little on the way. It's healed up mostly, but I'm having some lingering symptoms and a slight limp."
Jace began a few preliminary scans, and a computerised image of the CO's lower limb structured itself on the nearby large screen on the wall. "Is it significantly painful when you walk?" he asked.
"No," Charlotte said, before continuing. "But I have a pretty high pain threshold. I even managed to stand and run a few steps on the injury just after it happened, so I don't know that I'm a good judge of reasonable pain. It's not perfect at the moment though."
"Fair enough," the doctor said. A physiotherapist was probably more suited to managing her discomfort, but he needed to make sure there wasn't an organic cause to her problem first. "What sort of exercise do you do?" he asked, although he knew there wouldn't be much option on a ship aside from the ship's gym. Still, there were enough facilities there to do a wide array of strengthening activities.
"Mostly cardio. Treadmill and other similar activities," the blonde replied, avoiding eye contact for a moment. Doctors always had a way of asking those questions that made you feel a little self-conscious. She honestly was a pretty consistent exerciser, but it'd still been nearly a week since she'd even tried. "Obviously, leg pain isn't making that any easier."
Jace had asked the CO to go through a few motions - mostly testing her overall lower limb strength at all joint levels. Gait and posture didn't seem to be an issue, although there was a certain movement that seemed to make her twinge subtly.
"Maybe you should start on some weight training," he suggested. "Start light first, before grading up. Cardio's great, but at the end of the day it's more for cardiovascular fitness and endurance, not so much rebuilding the muscle tone you had prior to the injury."
A slight grunt escaped her mouth before the captain got ahold of herself. Weight training was annoying on a good day. It didn't have the same trance like qualities cardio did, where she could zone out and process the rest of the day. And then of course there was the whole soreness the day after part... "I'll need to make sure to throw some in during my next work out. Don't suppose there's anything you can do for me in the meantime, is there?"
By then Jace had already determined that she wasn't suffering from any neuromuscular impairment, nor were there any red flags of anything specific aside from the usual symptoms expected of prolonged healing. "I'm sorry to say there isn't much at the moment. Try some paracetamol and ibuprofen," he said with a small smile. "Exercise, simple analgesia, adequate rest post-exertion."
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Charlotte said, with an awkward laugh. She’d have to be sure to give herself adequate rest during their confrontation with the dreadnaught. “On that note, I’ll allow you to get back to your work. Make sure to get some rest yourself. We’ve got a long road ahead of us.”