Vital Monitoring

Xanadu Weyr - Infirmary
The infirmary here is intended for human care. It is spotless and smells of disinfectant, cots are lined up against one wall, a curtain can be pulled to give some privacy to the occupants of the cots if they so desire. A cabinet stands off against another wall, instruments and medications stored against when they will be needed. A couple of curtained off beds are used for examinations of patients and the treatment of minor injuries which won't require long term care. A desk with chair is just off of the doorway for the healer to sit and catch up on record keeping after a long days work.

The night has passed, and a new day has dawned. In fact, it's significantly past dawn. The first stir of the morning routines have passed, and it's approaching noon. Inside one of the alcoves of the infirmary, however, little has changed. The cot is still occupied by a patient, strapped to a bodyboard due to the risk of spinal injury. Next to it, there's a chair - in fact, two chairs, one on each side of the bed, but only one of them is currently occupied. On the cot is the unconscious form of Darsce, still dressed in muddied riding clothes. In the chair is Jethaniel. He's spent the night here, and he looks it; rumpled clothing (also spattered with mud), tousled hair, and a slumped posture. His hand rests against Darsce's, his eyes drifting toward shut. His night here… may not have been entirely restful.

Morning has indeed arrived. Which means the begining of another lovely day of work in the infirmary. Upon his arrival Cyrus checks the files of all the patients to see who has arrived since he was last here, and it seems things have been busy. He sighs as he reads one name in particular on the name on the list. Oh great. Some of his favorite people in the world are here. It looks like its going to be a very fun day! Everyone else in the infirmary is here for relatively minor things so Cyrus walks along the hall until he comes to the curtain behind which is the lovely, or in this case…not so lovely, couple. He steels himself and tries to put on his best and most comforting smile and pulls back the curtain, "Morning."

Jethaniel's eyes are nearly shut when the voice arrives, and he blinks them open to blearily look past the opening curtain. Its removal causes an increase in lighting, and as such, he blinks again. "Ah." Morning, the voice presumably connected to the illumination posits, and Jethaniel sees no reason to dispute this. "Yes." It is morning. It is also perhaps - or so Jethaniel presumes - time for one of the monitorings of vital signs that have been conducted at regular intervals, and so he looks away from Cyrus, back to Darsce. Jethaniel's observation of her breathing is not a medically accurate one, but he nevertheless conducts it, curling his fingers around hers as he does.

Monitoring time indeed. With a patient in a state like this you have to keep very a very watchful eye on them. Things can both improve and deteriorate quickly and if you aren't on top of it damage can be done. At this point the healers are presumably still trying to figure out what to do with her and let her body rest and hopefully allow some of the damage to resolve itself. He makes his way over to the bed and takes her other hand by the wrist to check for a pulse, which he quickly finds, and from there glances over to Jethaniel, "Have you noticed any changes?"

Jethaniel observes the observation, which is to say that his eyes lift slightly to look across Darsce's form and watch the healer. Her pulse, once found, is at least steady. Jethaniel lifts his gaze further, regarding Cyrus more fully. It is at this juncture that he makes a positive identification of the healer, and there's a twitch of recognition, a momentary frown before he shakes his head. "No." Jethaniel looks down, his eyes seeking Darsce's face. "She is… the same."

Cyrus notes the reaction from Jethaniel. It isn't all that different from his own reaction that he had behind the curtain, but for the moment its all about being professional. Particularly since this is a rather serious affair. Its good that her pulse is steady, but how much damage has been done will only be told with time. He reaches over and lifts her eye lids to check the pupil reaction to the light, first one and then the other, "You probably should go home and get some rest." he says to Jethaniel, "We will notify you immediately if there is any sort of change." He knows its futile but at some point Jeth will have to leave. People can remain in coma's for hours, days, sometimes even years.

There are, unfortunately, very few diagnostics that may be conducted on an unconscious patient. They speak to gross bodily function, not to any of the details which… are often crucial. Jethaniel continues to watch Cyrus's assessment, since it becomes conducted over Darsce's face, and continues to hold Darsce's hand as he does so. The healer's suggestion is met with a flat, "No." He shakes his head. "Notification is non-instantaneous, and further…" Jethaniel lowers his head slightly, looking down to his own hand… and Darsce's limp one. He repeats himself, more quietly. "No."

Cyrus isn't going to throw him out of the infirmary or anything, he doubts that Jeth would leave even if he did. He takes a seat in a nearby chair and sighs, "No it isn't instantaneous. But I'm going to be very frank with you, because you deserve to know. This could go on for a very long time. There are patients that remain this way for months, and even years. I'm not saying that this will be the case here. The honest truth is simply that we don't know." It isn't really bad news, but it isn't good news either, "The good news is that we can keep her comfortable, monitor her progress." Such as it is with the equiptment that they have here. She might do better at a more advanced medical facility, but even then…

Jethaniel regards that hand of Darsce's, trailing a finger along it. He frowns, but he listens to Cyrus. "She… might," he acknowledges. "However. She might also wake at… any moment." His eyes flick to her face, as if hoping (despite knowing that hope to be unreasonable) that his statement of the possibility of her awakening will be sufficient to cause it. It, of course, is not, and so his eyes trace, disappointed, back to her hand. "There… does not exist an expected duration." It is, as Cyrus stated, an unknown. "Should…" He pauses, swallows. "…the duration… become sufficient, I will make… other arrangements."

Cyrus never really did completely understand the way Jethaniel thought about things, or the way he expressed himself, but he manages to get the gist of it, "Its true. She might awaken at any moment." Though given the apparent severity of the injury as well as the lack of a response up until this moment, he finds this to be unlikely, "If she does show any signs of movement or anything I'm sure that you will be letting us know." Might as well deputize him to get him something to do, since he will be doing that anyway.

There are some known issues when it comes to Jethaniel and comprehension, and further, the current circumstances may not be the most helpful in that regard. Darsce's theoretical awakening is not matched by an actual one, and Jethaniel exhales slowly, lifting his other hand to rest it on the edge of the cot. "…do there exist potential signs of a… non-obvious nature?" Jethaniel looks up and across at Cyrus. "I am… aware that they are merely indicators, prior to an actualy return to consciousness, but… do any exist?"

The whole field of what goes on inside the consciousness of someone in a state like this is a very hotly debated topic. There are some who think that nothing happens and that its just like a dreamless sleep. Others posit that there could be some sort of minimal consciousness going on and that the person would respond to the world around them, but there is no consensus, "I would watch for small things. Little movements. Things like finger twitches or eye flutters. Breathing is obviously something to watch for. And I'd talk to her. There are some who think that is helpful." At the very least Cyrus doesn't believe there is any harm in it, "Beyond that its all internal stuff that we'll keep monitoring to the best of our ability."

It seems probable that all stances in that debate are - in some cases - true. There are a variety of causes and severities for such states; there may be an equal variety to the states themselves. The one being demonstrated by Darsce is unknown, thus the careful hedging of the healers as they attempt to prepare - and prepare the patient's family - for both best and worse. As he listens, Jethaniel's gaze goes to Darsce's eyes, back to her fingers. There's a flick of his eyes to the curtain at the mention of speaking to her, but after a moment, Jethaniel nods. "I will… look for those." Or at least, should he note such things, he will be more aware of the potential significance.

Yes. Preparation. For the best and the worst. All of it is critcal. Jeth knows that the situation is serious and at least now he knows what to look for. Cyrus gets up out of the chair that he was sitting in to begin his rounds to see the other patients, "If you need anything just ask." he says to him before making his way toward the curtain. It is a hard situation that he is in and he does feelf or the both of them. Though feelings won't change anything about the situation, they at least make us human.

Ultimately, the preparations may be insufficient or irrelevant, but they can at least be made. Emotions are a part of humanity; so is striving, the attempt to do something, to make a difference in the world. Jethaniel begins to nod to Cyrus, then pauses. "…as a matter of fact." He looks up to the healer. "I would like some paper, and a pencil or pen." This may not quite constitute a need, but it is nevertheless a request; the first such Jethaniel has made since arriving here. He further clarifies its nature by adding, "Please."

Cyrus nods his head, a paper and pen can be easily rustled up, "I'll have someone bring those in for you right away." he says. Beyond that its a waiting game. Will Darsce wake up or won't she? He hopes that she does for Jethaniels sake. The man is obviously lost without her, and she was by far the more normal of the pair. Sadly they may be the most normal people in the whole weyr from what he has seen, except for himself of course. He is perfectly sane and normal, "If there is any change let us know." he says as he makes his way behind the curtain once more and closes it to give the patient and her husband a bit of privacy.

"Thank you," Jethaniel says. He has been waiting; he continues to do so. He waits for that paper and pen, but more importantly, he waits for Darsce. The map for this territory is an incomplete one, filled in slowly by experience, and all that truly matters to each patient, to each patient's family and loved ones, is what that patient's course through may be. The healers learn from the stories, but they are, at their heart, personal ones… and so Jethaniel waits. He nods to Cyrus's departure, and waits for his footsteps to fade away as he lowers his head to touch his forehead to Darsce's hand… and waits for her.

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License