Langley Station

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i'm weather-beaten in a losing battle punctured by nature becoming organic

Posted on Tue Feb 18, 2020 @ 7:08am by Lieutenant Tuula Voutilainen M.D.

Mission: First Unity
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: Mission Day 48 at 1100


Tuula's next appointment is a little more curious than usual. Most people are compelled to visit the doctor by basic transfer etiquette; new posting, new physical-and by that rationale most people are Starfleet officers, but her next patient specifically called and booked his own meeting. His message was vague, merely stating that he required an ongoing care physician. When it's his turn, he's led into an exam room where she finds him seated upright on the bio-bed, posture tense and straight, back rigid, a cane hidden neatly out of sight. He's got somewhat-lengthy hair that curls up at the ends, and is dressed in immaculate, expensive tailored clothing more fit for a classroom than a starbase. "Dr. Voutilainen," he greets her with a dipped head, pronouncing her name more-or-less correctly. He's hardly conversational in Finnish, but he still remembers moi and mitäkuuluu and minä puhun englantia and also randomly, I love ice cream-don't judge him, he was twelve.

"Doctor Ganna, I presume," replied Tuula, rolling herself into the exam room where the patient was already seated. Anticipating another long day at the office, Tuula had spent some extra time that morning taking care of herself to prepare. Which for her meant black lipstick, dark makeup, and her hair tied back and in an updo, revealing an undercut and a large tattoo on the side of her scalp to complete the look. It was unorthodox to be sure, but at least the rest of the medical staff had gotten used to it, even if it still got some stares from patients. "Welcome to Langley Station. I got your correspondence, though it was a little short on details."

Alan would like to say to his credit that he didn't openly stare at her, but unfortunately he's only human, and he can't say he's ever encountered a doctor who looks much like her, so his eyebrows shoot up to his hairline. To his credit, though, he doesn't comment. "Thanks, and my apologies," he murmurs, giving her a kind of grimace that attempts to be a smile. He doesn't exactly elaborate, though, despite the fact that it was he who scheduled their meeting. He taps his fingers against the bio-bed in a staccato drum-beat, inhaling sharply as if psyching himself up. "I've been in physical therapy for about fourteen years," he finally opens up with. He touches against his shoulder, and then his leg. "I've had multiple surgeries to correct the issues, but they're somewhat pervasive." He reaches into the pocket of his jeans and withdraws a small, translucent touch-screen PADD, handing it over. It displays the majority of his medical record indicating a high degree of damage to the scapula, arms, hands, and both legs; one of which has been relatively corrected while the other shows high treatment resistance, all mostly caused by breaks to various bones. There's plating in the legs and hands. They additionally show a few prescriptions; morphenolog per-request as needed as well as propranolol, dermaline gel and ambizine.

Tuula took the PADD in her hands and began scrolling through his medical history, starting with the most recent. "I see..." she started, figuring since they were already getting down to the business, it was best to skip the small talk. Holding the PADD down at her lap to keep it from getting between her and her patient, she looked back up at Alan, figuring it was best to get the story straight from the proverbial horse's mouth and read up on the details later. "So, how did this all start?" she asked, her tone professional yet sympathetic.

"I performed on a stunt crew in college. We did television, holos, the works. Had a few close calls, but I liked the work too much to quit." Alan gives her a small smile, fingertips digging into the material of his pants despite the rend of pain that sends through his joints.

"Hmmmm, I thought Hollywood had better health and safety policies that that," mused Tuula, pushing herself in slightly closer. "So, we're talking multiple occasions of blunt force trauma; that sort of thing?"

"Exactly," Alan nods, letting out a breath he isn't aware he's been holding in. "The company I worked for was privately owned. Unfortunately OSHA wasn't their top priority. It was fun while it lasted, and incredibly un-fun afterward." The smile doesn't reach his eyes. His fingers dig futilely into the fabric of his pant leg.

"I see," replied Tuula, not finding it too hard to be sympathetic given her own battle scars. While the extent of Alan's injuries were a little more than usual, she was not unfamiliar with these sort of injuries. Starfleet officers tended to be the sort who were physically active and willing to take risks, so between people getting banged up in the line of duty and injuries from sports or holodeck activities, she had experience with this sort of thing. "And since then, it's been the joy surgeries, physical therapy, and chronic pain?" she added, her deadpan tone conveying a firsthand understanding of the pain and difficulties of old injuries.

"You got it," he salutes dryly with two fingers from his temple. A small amount of tension releases from his shoulders, but it's unclear exactly why, and he straightens up a bit. Given his chosen profession and his manner of dress, it's a bit difficult to imagine Alan as the sort of person not-only willing to take risks (after all, he called and schedule his own appointment) but certainly not in pursuit of something entirely meaningless; but you can't judge everyone by their cover, right?

"I know the feeling," Tuula said, the tone of her voice conveying mutual exasperation with the pain and inconvenience of old injuries. Unlike many of her colleagues, she knew what it was like to experience this sort of pain, only to have medical professionals dismiss it as something that was just in her head, or just phantom pains. "Well, I see you have been prescribed morphenolog and some other medication to manage the pain. If you find it to be effective, I can give you a refill," she said, "It's also been a little while since your last detailed scan, so I wouldn't mind scheduling an appointment for imaging to make sure things aren't getting any worse."

Alan presses his lips together, giving her a nod that on him was an expression of genuine gratitude. Having doctors jerk him around due to the morphenolog and claim they knew what was best for him better than himself, or outright accuse him of drug-seeking behavior when he barely enjoyed taking a Tylenol, for G-d's sake. It's not like it isn't evident in every meter of his body, bones held together by wires and screws like the Tin Man. Hearts can only be practical insofar as they can be unbreakable. The Wizard had it right. "I appreciate it," he murmurs sincerely. "And I'll submit to whatever other treatment you think is appropriate."

"Excellent, I like it when men submit to me," replied Tuula, delighting in the double entendre before realizing that it may not be appropriate for work. "I mean, I'm happy to see that you have no objections for treatment. Now, there is one other recommendation that I have for patients in your situation. It's not exactly a prescription, but it works for me."

For some reason it makes Alan flinch slightly, but he catches himself and straightens. It's obvious he knows it's a joke and isn't offended, but there was something there for a split second that only a trained medical professional, who is supposed to be keenly observant of their patients, would grasp. "Alright. Let's hear it."

"It's a sauna three times a week, minimum." explained Tuula. "I know it sounds silly when you have chronic pain, but I find it to be very effective...


Lt. Tuula Voutilainen
Chief Medical Officer
Langley Station


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