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JP- Lt Bailey and Ensign Yael - Recovery on Both Ends

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((Main Sickbay - Starbase 118))


Sheila had hardly left Yael’s side since he went to sleep; the rest would provide him with a great deal of healing. Yet for herself she couldn’t. As a doctor she could have called in relief, backup, however rest on her part wasn’t going to be possible so she stayed by the Ensign’s side the whole time. Once and only once did she leave back to her office in order to settle into her wheelchair. 


Now Sheila had been awake for hours, each passing by slowly, sifting through the raw uncomfortable pain. Like before a double mindedness was noticed. Half was a relief at Yael being on the mend. The other half stiff, a constant look over her shoulder, a shift of her eyes to the very corners in order to keep track of the shadows her mind externally had her preserving. Shadows of her past telling her to run back to what made her hurt. Frankly that’s why she stayed by Yael’s side. A positive affect in the middle of a mind numbing fork in the road. A detour not a set back. 


Bailey: Hey, morning. How you feeling?


The Denobulan hybrid rubbed his face, moving somewhat gingerly, and yawned as we woke.  He wondered how his sleep cycle was going to survive all these unscheduled twists.


Yael:  Good morning… is it morning?


He’d slept all night. 


She’d not slept all night.


Bailey:  Morning yes. 


Yael:  You look tired.  Have you been here all night?


He was still a bit foggy, but much more coherent than he’d been when he initially woke the night before.


Maybe it was the fact that her neck still hurt or maybe the fact that she had not slept in the slightest as to why she was a tad irritated. Irritated at nothing in particular. 


Bailey:  I haven’t slept so yes. How are you feeling? 


Currently she was trying with all her might to avoid her pain. Yes she would have to address the emotions with Yael. Yael was the only person as of now that she wanted to discuss it with. Maybe German too but he was off dealing with his own turmoil; it would be rude to contact him about something he knew little about. 


Yael:  I feel… ::he stopped to consider the hurt fleshy bits::... alright.  There’s no pain.


Bailey: Mind if I? ::She waved around the medical tricorder she had previously had sitting in her lap::


Laying still, which wasn’t hard for him at the moment, he let her sweep the medical tricorder across him.


Sheila unlocked the wheels on her chair so that she could roll up parallel to Yael’s bedside. Here she waved her tricorder over his body. What came up on the tricorder screen was to be expected. Yael was healing even if after his sleep his system was being slow to wake up. 


Bailey: All systems are healing nicely. Might take a couple more hours for everything to come up to speed but that’s to be expected after being under anesthesia. 


Yael:  Thank you.


Now that Yael was awake it should have been standard to leave him to rest. Sheila on the other hand even with how exhausted she felt couldn’t. Just couldn’t. She had left her sisters. German had left too. In the current moment abandoning folks was not a goal of her’s. She would likely end up crying if any of the other current crew members left the station. Panic likely to set in if they got injured without her being there to stitch them back up. 


Bailey: I’m sorry. Can I get you anything? Water, something to read? Eat?


There was something egging at him, something he couldn’t put his finger on, but she was off her game somehow.  Was it lack of sleep?  Was he seeing things from being under anesthesia?


Yael:  Perhaps… some company?  If you’re not busy?


Sheila nodded. Again she wasn’t going anywhere.


Maybe it was obvious too that she was in pain despite her attempts to make the twinges in her neck minimal. Maybe too the twitches were a sign of extreme anxiety, a step beyond her normal controlled head shakes. At the thought her head shook violently and only semi painlessly. What embarrassed her most was how obvious the movement was. Yael was bound to notice. 


Bailey: I’m sorry. Sorry, my neck is stiff. ::That was a lie which she hoped wasn’t obvious. But if it was noticed perhaps a positive topic would come out of it::


Yael:  It seems to be more than physical fatigue.


Bailey:  I...ummm…::For the first time it seemed she was truly at a loss for words::

Yael:  It’s not about  my injury, is it?  I think a little more sleep and I’ll be good.


Bailey: Sleep always does the body good. And no it’s not your injury. I stand by the fact you're healing well; above and beyond. ::Sigh:: I’ve got a lot weighing on me.


Yael:  Well… you’ve got my undivided attention here for a while.  ::it wasn’t as if he was going anywhere soon::  Why not tell me what’s bothering you?


If the ache in her neck was anything to go by then Sheila did have something. The need, the willingness, to speak about it almost ate her up inside. Yet she easily could walk away, give in to that little voice of her uncle. Go crawling back to what hurt her. Or she could even change the subject. 


Bailey: You should rest. 


Yael:  I know you’re not one to complain about the little things, so if something is eating at you, I imagine it’s important.


Bailey: Can past trauma cause dissociation? 


Yael:  Oh, yes.  It definitely can.


It seemed that now the floodgates were opening right on up and wide. 


Bailey: I don’t know if you’ve read my file yet. 


Yael:  When I first came aboard, yes.


Bailey: I well happen to know a bad man. He hurt me. I know who and what he’s done. But the disconnect. How do I….I feel so out of step. 


Ashley thought on it for a moment.  If she was dwelling on a past injury caused by a person she trusted, she could be experiencing an assortment of issues.  Some form of PTSD was possible, or Betrayal Trauma.  Narcissistic Abuse was keen to leave a sharp mark on any of their victims.


Yael:  Have you ever been counseled for this before?  Specifically?


Bailey:  I’ve only seen one counselor for it, months ago. Since then I’ve mostly talked to both Taybrim and Nijil. 

Yael:  Have you ever been taught any grounding techniques?

Bailey:  Not that I recall. 

The last time Sheila had talked to, specifically a counselor, had been Malko back in January right after she first transferred to the Starbase. Since then she had only been “counseled” in nonofficial ways. She opened up to Nijil and then Taybrim. German likely counted too but that turned out to be a conversation between friends. 

Despite having told a few others she had never gone so far as to wonder what she could do beyond letting them know it had happened. Of course she dealt with getting a service dog but that only, as of now, hardly touched the surface of the problem.

Yael:  I think, with dissociation happening, the important first step would be to help you re-ground yourself in the moments where you feel lost.  First, I want you to identify one thing you can taste.  ::pausing::  It might seem silly, but humor me.

It wasn’t so much as silly but uncomfortable. Gave her this weird, unknown feeling. Sheila had never before taken the plunge, dove into deep water, in order to tackle the emotions head on. 

Bailey:  Metallic. My mouth tastes metallic. 

Yael:  Now, the air in here.  How does it taste?  Or is it cold, warm, stuffy?  Identify two things you can smell.

Bailey:  I can smell medicine. It’s sharp, very much like cleaning supplies. I can smell a hint of lavender too. Must be from my chai tea. 

Yael:  What are three things you can hear, right now.

Bailey: I can hear us talking, both our voices. The volume is not too loud. I can hear the sound of the main doors opening and closing. 

Yael:  Now, four things you can touch, instantly.

Bailey: I can touch my mother’s ring. ::As she said it she pulled out the chain from under her uniform. The chain had a small ring strung through it; the ring had a black stone. Sheila had almost forgotten she had had it on:: Can touch the wheels of my chair, my tricorder, the bedsheets. 

Yael:  And finally, five things you can see around you.

Bailey: ::She counted them off on her fingers as she spoke:: I can see you, the monitor, my equipment cart in the corner, and if I turn around I can see both the nurses stations and the main doors. Not to be rude but is this going somewhere? 

Yael:  It’s a method shortly referred to as “Five.”  It’s a method of reidentifying to yourself where you are, what’s happening around you, and helps you focus through the dissociation.  One thing you can taste.  Then Two you can smell.  Three things you can hear.  Four things you can touch.  Then Five things you see.

He lifted a finger for each explanation.

Yael:  It can take a little repetition to get it down.  So several times a day I’d like you to run through it, practice it.  When you’re feeling good.  So hopefully when you feel *less* than good it comes a bit more naturally.  Think you can do that?

Bailey: Doing it now was uncomfortable. 

Yael: ::he smiled at her::  It’s rarely natural the first time.  ::pausing::  Do you want to tell me about what happened?  Or at least, how you feel?

Bailey: I mean it’s all so new. I’ve only scratched the surface when talking about what happened. I have found a few tools on my own yet they can’t always allow me to sort through my actual thoughts. 

Yael:  It sounds like you’re finding ways to adapt.  ::but she could still use some help, it seemed.::  What else do you do that *does* help?

Bailey: I’ve actually talked with Taybrim and recently got a dog. A service dog. I’d like to have that companion to nudge me when I start acting distressed. 

Yael:  A working companion animal was an excellent idea.

Despite her having new tool in her toolbelt, one that research showed worked well for others, it couldn’t be everything. It stirred up a whole ton of emotions that made her question what actually happened. Her uncle was abusive to her, the type likely not important. Sheila did not want to sit talking or thinking about the past events. Yet how did it affect her now? What new label could she give the experience?

Bailey: It might take more digging but I...I think it might be helpful for me to put a label on it. I know he, my uncle I mean, abused me as a child. I can clearly say that. Could you assist me and in putting a new label on it? 

Yael:  ::nodding::  I can help you put a name to it, if that will help you.

Bailey: With my patients I work on giving them a clear diagnosis as it helps direct the most appropriate form of treatment. I might be trying to grasp onto what I know works. I am hoping something similar could be applied here?

Yael:  Your medical training has prepared you well for this, I think.  Having something to call it… or a name, a label… can help you define its boundaries.  It allows you to psychologically confine it, in a sense.

Bailey: The more specific we label it the better it, again, can be treated. I guess too having that specific label will allow me to not only understand it better but accept it easier and recover. 

Yael:  Why don’t we set up a few proper sessions together.  I can try to help.  In the meantime, try using the grounding technique if you start to feel displaced.

Bailey: I’d like that, having sessions. ::sigh:: I’ll try my hardest at practicing the grounding technique. In the meantime what do you recommend? 

Sheila would have loved to have a long sit down conversation, sort it all out at once. Yet from her own medical experience that wasn’t how things worked. It took several appointments for a diagnosis or if it didn’t the issue took time to heal. It was that healing process that was never linear. And now she was noticing how non-linear her own healing had been. At 13 years old she noticed the problem, at 16-18 years she had left her home planet and it wasn’t until a year ago that she finally actively started the healing process. 

Yael:  For now?  I think you should get some sleep.  *Are* you sleeping alright?

Bailey: Sleep? I mean last night was the first time I truly couldn’t sleep. 

Yael:  You normally sleep well then?

Bailey: Normally, I get 8 or more hours of sleep. Might wake up with a slight headache but that goes away.

Yael:  That’s good to hear.

Bailey: I appreciate it, all your hard work. 

Yael:  ::he tried not to chuckle at that::  I haven’t done anything but lay here.

Bailey: Anyway I think I’ve taken up enough of your time. We should both get some rest.

Ashley nodded in agreement, but was glad they had the opportunity to talk.  Even if it took a major surgery for it to happen.

Sheila herself slowly went back to her office, emotions mixed yet feeling better than before. Now not only did she have one tool, her service dog, but more were to come. Just like any good doctor the more tools the better. 

Lieutenant Sheila Bailey

Chief Medical Officer

Starbase 118 Ops


No woman should ever suffer at the hands of men - Sara Lance; Legends Of Tomorrow


Ensign Ashley Yael


Starbase 118 Ops



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