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Putting Humpty Dumpty Back Together

Posted on Sat Dec 31st, 2016 @ 8:10pm by Lieutenant Commander Cara O'Reilly MD & Captain Claudia Ainscow

Mission: S1E2 - Unity
Location: Sickbay - Main Suite
Timeline: MD 15 - 1920

Cara and the Captain materialized on a biobed in a treatment cubicle at the back of Sickbay.

Mac, who was already standing by, activated the biobed's monitors and said, "Dr. Chen is on his way."

"Start an isotonic saline infusion drip and push 10mgs solumedrol," Cara instructed as she placed a neuro bonnet on Claudia's head. While the bonnet analyzed what was going on in Claudia's head, Cara used a handheld xray tablet to visualize Claudia's rib cage and spine.

Dr. Chen, the chief of Neurology, entered the cubicle. "What have we got?" he asked then noticed it was the Captain. "Oh damn," he muttered.

"She was knocked unconscious," Cara reported. "Aproximately 3 minutes ago. Pupils are unequal...left is sluggish but reactive....right is normal."

Chen looked at the neuro monitor. "Uh huh," he nodded, pointing to a dark spot on the screen at the base of Claudia's skull. "Subcranial hematoma. Putting pressure on her cerebellum. I need to drain it so it doesn't rupture inside the cranium," he said, checking Claudia's pupils again.

"She also has 4 fractured posterior ribs," Cara stated. "No other fractures that I can see."

"Meds on board," Mac reported.

"I need a neuro drill and large bore hemo-extractor," Chen said. "Turn her on her side."

Mac leaned out and snapped her fingers at a passing nurse who joined them in the cubicle. Once Claudia was on her side, Cara cut the back of Claudia's shirt and began using a skeletal regenerator to mend her broken ribs while Chen drilled a small hole in the base of Claudia's skull and extracted the blood collecting at the site of where her head had slammed against the deck. Once the ribs were mended, Cara stepped back and watched Chen at work. Within seconds he had drained the hematoma and closed up the small puncture wound.

Mac and the other nurse lay Claudia back on her back and raised the head of the bed. Mac got a cold pack from the drawer, activated the crystals in it and placed it under Claudia's head.

"Now that the pressure is gone she should wake up," Chen said.

"Thanks, Chen," Cara said as the man smiled, nodded and left the cubicle.

"Man of few words," Mac joked.

"The good one usually are," Cara said as she picked up Claudia's hand and began to, gently, rub the back of it. "Claudia," she said, softly but firmly. "Claudia....can you hear me? Come on. Time to wake up now," she said, glancing at the monitors.

Claudia was dreaming but a voice started calling for her to wake up. She didn't want to wake up - but the dream of being with her daughter on the beach just before Claudia left for the Vindex slowly but surely dissipated into nothing and she found herself in sickbay on her side and feeling disorientated and uncomfortable. She couldn't remember anything immediately recent at all.

"Wh-where...where's Grace? I was right with her...where's my d-daughter?" Claudia mumbled.

"Easy," Cara said, soothingly, as she patted Claudia's hand. "You're in Sickbay." She took her penlight out of her labcoat pocket and checked Claudia's pupils again. "It's OK," she said. "You got a pretty hard knock on the head but you're going to be fine."

Claudia didn't really take any of it in. All she could remember was being on a beach with her daughter - she couldn't remember anything about her time on the Vindex or even leaving Earth in the first place. She didn't even know who Cara was.

"Wh-where is she? Wh-where am I? Who are you?" Claudia replied.

Cara frowned. Claudia's heart rate and blood pressure had shot up and she was trembling. Cara looked at Mac and whispered, "get Chen back in here," then took Claudia's hand in hers and gave it a gentle squeeze. "Ok, Claudia," she said in a soft, soothing tone. "I need you to calm down, hon. Take nice slow breaths. I am Dr. Cara O'Reilly. You are on the USS Vindex...which you are the Captain Sickbay. Grace is still on Earth with your sister. She is safe." Cara sat down on the edge of the biobed and lay her other hand on Claudia's shoulder and, slowly, caressed it as she spoke almost hypnotically. "Slow breaths.'s right. Calm down. Everything's alright."

Claudia listened but none of it seemed to make any sense to her. Evidently the impact on the Vindex deck plating had not only broken some ribs and caused her a head injury - but it had erased all of her recent memories. "Vindex" rang a bell but nothing else did - she'd never heard of Dr O'Reilly and she didn't recall being promoted to Captain.

"I'm...I...don't know...I don't...feel so good" Claudia mumbled.

"OK, sweetie," Cara soothed. "Just try and rest." She looked at the other nurse and mouthed, "O2" and when the nurse placed the small nasal canula under Claudia's nose Cara said...her voice almost a whisper, "breathe"

Chen walked in and checked all of the monitors. Then he nodded towards the cubicle entrance.

"That's right. You're doing great," Cara said, patting Claudia's hand as she let go of it and got up off of the biobed. "I'll be right back." She looked at the nurse and mouthed, "watch her," then joined Chen outside of the cubicle. She, quickly, briefed him on Claudia's lack of memory.

"Not uncommon with a severe concussion," Chen said. "The psyche shuts off memories as a form of protection. Usually it just eliminates the short term memories...of the accident...but in some cases it goes back a little too far. Her vitals are still within normal limits for someone who wakes up in a strange place surrounded by strangers. I would keep an eye on the injury site for any signs of swelling...which I don't anticipate. And keep her calm. The higher her blood pressure the more risk of the swelling returning."

"How about a sedative?" Cara asked.

"A mild one should be fine," Chen said with a nod. "Something to help her calm down and rest. Follow the usual head injury protocols and give her brain a chance to rest and heal itself. If...after 12 hours she still hasn't regained any of her memories...we might consider calling in Counselor Maera. Keep me posted," he said and walked away.

"Mac. Get me 10CCs Melorazine," Cara said and went back in the cubicle. "How're we doing?" she asked the nurse who simply nodded. Cara walked over to the side of the bed and looked down at Claudia. "I'm going to give you something to help you get some rest," she said and, as soon as Mac walked back in, she nodded for her to give Claudia the sedative. She checked Claudia's pupils again as she gave the medicine a chance to work then asked, "feeling any better?"

Claudia now felt quite numb and relaxed. Her muscles had loosened considerably but it was still quite an uncomfortable situation and she felt frightened - none of the voices were familiar but they sounded reassuring and that relaxed her a little. It still didn't answer how Claudia went from being on the beach to lying on her side on a bed on a starship she thought she'd never been on before.

"I...yeah...wh-what did you do?" Claudia mumbled.

"Dim lights 70%," Cara said and pulled a stool over to the side of the bed. She sat down on the stool and laid her hand over Claudia's. As the lights dimmed, she said, "I gave you something to help you relax. And that is exactly what I want you to do. Close your eyes and concentrate on breathing slowly. Don't think of anything else. I'm going to stay right here until you are asleep. Just relax," she repeated, softly.

Mac motioned for the nurse to follow her and the two left the cubicle and shut the curtain.

Claudia nodded and felt a lot more at ease - but she decided not to push for answers any more - she didn't want to stress herself out or confuse herself any more than she already was. With the dimmed lights Claudia felt a bit more relaxed but the bed wasn't so comfortable - but she'd had worse. When she was taken hostage four years ago Claudia had to sleep on the cold floor of the cell she was kept in.

"Wh-who designed these beds? Th-they're...not...the most...comfortable" Claudia replied.

Cara reached down and pressed a button which inflated the mattress on the biobed 20%. Then she got up and got a blanket out of a drawer under the bed and spread it across Claudia. "There. That should be a little better," she said and sat back down.

Claudia nodded gently and slowly drifted off to sleep again. The dream she was in resumed where it left off - and a gentle smile spread across Claudia's face as she slept.

Once the Captain fell asleep, Cara tiptoed out of the cubicle and went to check on Tolan in the Burn Unit. Every few hours, she went back to Claudia's cubicle to check on her, gently rousing her then allowing her to drift back asleep.

After eight hours Cara went in and placed her hand on the Captain's shoulder, giving her a gentle shake. "Claudia?" she said. "Wake up for me. I need to check your reflexes. Come on, sweetie, wake up."

Claudia hated being woken up but she felt a lot better than she had the previous evening - although she didn't have any recollection of what had happened. She turned to face Cara and although she felt refreshed it took her a few moments to get her bearings.

"Urgh...morning Doctor..." Claudia replied.

Once Claudia responded and looked at her, Cara smiled and said, "hi there. How do you feel?"

"I feel alright thanks question - why am I here?" Claudia asked.

Cara smiled at the question. As she tapped Claudia's knees she asked, "what's the last thing you remember?"

"Err...I was on the bridge talking to Miss Johansson...or someone...then that's it. I don't really remember what else happened after that...could you enlighten me Doctor?" Claudia replied.

Cara's smile broadened. "I would be most happy to," she said, pulling the blanket back over the Captain. "You went over to the Ops console to tell Lt. Tolan something when the Dark Horse fired and the console exploded. Tolan took the brunt of the explosion but you were thrown back and slammed against the deck. You got knocked out." She held up her index finger and said, "follow my finger with just your eyes, please," then moved her finger from side to side then up and down. "When you woke up you couldn't remember where you were, didn't recognize me or Mac and didn't remember the incident." She stepped back and said, "but it looks like you are one the mend."

Claudia managed to follow Cara's finger with her eyes and felt great - although mentally she felt broken and upset after her confrontation with Laena. She hadn't been back to her quarters since then and expected the broken glass to still be on the floor and two day old food still to on the table.

"I feel alright I guess. I'll take it easy for the next few days and see how things go. I don't really think there'll be much need to rush around" Claudia replied.

Cara glanced at the closed curtain and realized that Claudia couldn't see the pulsating red light bars. She looked back at the CO and grinned. "Hey. That's my line," she teased. "But do need to take it easy. And to make sure of it I am keeping you here for four more hours and if Dr. Chen agrees...we will discharge you but only to go to your quarters as I'm making you take 48 hours off," she said. "Now. Are you hungry? I can have someone get you some of Paul's soup."

Claudia chuckled and broke a small smile before nodding. She was always keen to take the Doctor's advice as it was for her own good whether she liked it or not. At least there was an offer of Paul's soup of the day which sounded great. She was rather hungry to say the least.

Claudia had no intention of going to her quarters - instead she planned to stay with Paul for another few days to help the healing process of the events of the argument with Laena. His company and advice was the best she could hope for and want right now.

"That's fine - but just to make you aware I'll be staying with Paul for a few days because I think company would be useful during my recovery. A bowl of soup sounds great though - could you ask for an extra large helping and some baguette slices to dip in it? And...a cup of tea would be great" Claudia replied.

Cara laughed. "I'll see what I can do," she said, glad that the Captain was back to herself. "In the meantime...Well...You know. The R word," she said with a wink then left the cubicle to send someone up to the Officers' Mess.

Claudia smiled and watched Cara leave to go and arrange for her breakfast - of sorts - and cup of tea to be brought down for her. Another four hours wasn't going to do much harm - although she did plan to call Akiva down for a progress report at some point. At least the ship was still intact and Sickbay didn't look inundated with casualties from the battle which was the most important thing.


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