Healing for the Colonel
Posted on August 22nd, 2012 by Jorvan Tav
As Tav donned his surgical scrubs, he took a moment to relax in the silence. McKnight had not shut up until the very last moment when the general anesthesia took effect… and full effect at that. McKnight’s language had become especially foul as drugs took effect on his system. Tav had noted that on his medical file as warning for any future medical practitioner McKnight may perchance to meet. But now McKnight was under the anesthesia, and Tav would be able to perform the restoration on his arm in relative peace.
What the hell had burned his flesh like that, but not his bone, nor the armor around his arm? Tav had never seen anything like it. He shook his head at the thought. As McKnight’s doctor, it didn’t matter what had done this now, only that Tav get it fixed.
Having finished suiting up, he turned back toward the rest of Sickbay, and to the surgical theater. On most starships, they didn’t have nearly as much need for the surgical facilities as on Atlantis, to the point where they were almost an afterthought, put there just in case you couldn’t make it back to a starbase. To be fair, Tav had one of Starfleet’s best medical assistants as his, Doctor Nolan, and the nursing staff was superb. There was nary a day when he didn’t appreciate their expertise; even after two previous lifetimes as doctors in the past, working with them had brought him back up to speed, as well as up to speed on the current technology, after nearly a century of other careers. In fact, in a previous life, Tav had sworn off ever being a doctor again.
And here he was. The funny thing was, he was actually enjoying the career this time around. As a science officer on the bridge, he had always felt out of place; now it was safe to say Sickbay had become a nice home. The technology, it seemed, had caught up to where procedures he had abhorred in the past weren’t overly unpleasant now. And, since he rarely if ever saw other Trills, he knew that his chances of ever needing to treat Zyarian Syndrome, a fatal and rather aggressive disease for which there still was no cure or even treatment, were very low.
Now that his patient had finally stopped verbally thrashing about, Tav was able to really get a good look at the gruesome status his arm. The burns really did go all the way to his bones, and it was amazing that he could even still move his fingers. Apparently, the tendons in his arms had not burned or fused to the muscle. Tav would have to work very quickly and carefully to make sure that McKnight would be able to keep his entire arm, much less keep movement, while removing all the injured, dead and burned flesh, and replacing it with a stem-cell polycarbon which his body would accept as his own flesh and assimilate it, and eventually replacing the polycarbon with healthy, new flesh.
Tav began his work. working slowly to keep the damage to a minimum. He cut to the flexor tendons, being very careful to keep from cutting them. One misplaced nip and the Colonel’s career would be over. Over the next several hours, he worked carefully to damage only what he needed to in order to heal what he could. Luckily for McKnight, it appeared that even though the wounds were severe, he would still be able to fix the damage.
Tav thought about his past month and his recovery in Pensacola. After they had finally kicked Kuari out for being unable to sit still, it had been another fifteen of the most boring hours of his life that he had had to stay in the hyperbaric chamber. They could at least have had some entertainment options. A viewscreen and some old movies should not have been out of the question. Still, something had happened there, he wasn’t sure. Even though he could barely see her through the glass, he could feel, actually feel that Kuari had been concerned, and intensely so. It had been like thoughts he had not generated, yet they resonated strongly in his head. In those feelings was a very strong love… Nothing romantic, not a love of any sort of desire but friendship. He had intended to bring it up with Kuari, but he hadn’t had the time since they came back to Atlantis at the end of the shore leave, just a couple hours after his exit from the hyperbaric chamber. He had gone back to the boating company followed by his hotel, only to find out that Kuari had taken all of his belongings back to Atlantis. He found them in the neatest stack he had ever seen, in the exact center of his quarters.
A few hours later, Tav was ready to attach the prosthetic polycarbon. It bent easily into a ring where the muscle had been cut away, so that it perfectly lined up with the outer edge of the existing muscle. He pulled the high-resolution scanner into place and began the attachment at a microcellular level. He had removed all the bad flesh that could not be saved, and now looked for muscular attachment points. Soon, he had found them and soon had the muscle and polycarbon attached, and was working to stretch the skin over. It was a perfect fit. It should heal quite nicely over the coming days.
The surgery complete, Tav stepped away and instructed the nurses to prepare McKnight for recovery. He wanted to be out of Sickbay before the tactical officer came to. Besides, he could really use a nap. Tav used the minilift between Sickbay and Triage to get to Deck 14, and walked the short way down the hall to his quarters. He stepped around the stack of SCUBA gear… he hadn’t had the heart to put it away, and it actually looked really nice for a stack of equipment. Tav grabbed some chamomile from his replicator and sat on the couch. He wasn’t quite ready to sleep, though he was tired. Instead he thought for a moment, and remembered a classic Earth radio show that Gina, that cute Ensign from hydroponics had told him about on her last visit. “Computer, play the very first episode of the ‘Jack Benny Radio Program’.”