PHD #248: Hope in Sight
Hope in Sight
Summary: When Rose shows up for her usual physical examination and blood test, she gets a most unexpected and exciting diagnosis.
Date: 1 Nov 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Cameron Rose 
Sickbay - Deck 10 - Battlestar Cerberus
Being able to accommodate combat casualties requires room, and the Sickbay has it. Beds line each side of the room with privacy curtains strung up and readily available. Large vaulted lockers hold access to the supplies at the far end of the area. Nearer the front, a Petty Officer sits ready to dispense simple items like ibuprofen and aspirin. Further to the rear is an area prepped twenty-four hours a day for emergency surgery. To the side are a set of double door that lead to the Recovery Ward where patients can recuperate.
Post-Holocaust Day: #248

Rose Ibbhanas has seen far too much of sickbay since her rescue and arrival on Cerberus, from her ten days in recovery to her many follow-up examinations. Towards the end, her radiation therapy on Sagittaron was rationed and nearly depleted, meaning she had system-wide illness and weakness. Now, mostly functional and with only concerns for developing cancers later in life, she's a poster child for the miracle of anti-radiation science.

The woman's whitestick clicking as she feels her way into sickbay, her escorting MP waits by the exit to take her back to the starboard hangar once she's done here. Finding a waiting room chair, she sits down, folding her whitestick up and crossing one leg over the other.

The Sickbay is, blessedly, quiet today. No crowds of people, no masses huddling. Barely even a cough or sniffle. As such, it is only a few minutes before Rose likely hears footsteps approaching her, a shadow falling over her face as someone leans down before her, a warm, friendly male voice greeting, "Ms…." and then there is the rustling of papers, her file most likely, before he continues, "Ibbhanas?" A hand lightly touches hers, shaking it as he continues, "Dr. Adair. If you would allow me to escort you back we can discuss your condition?" The hand in hers is strong, callused, gripping her hand in turn neither too hard nor too soft. Warm too, like his voice.

It's clear that she's adapted well to her sightless state, as she turns her head slightly, hearing him coming before even being close enough to touch her hand. So she doesn't jump. "Dr. Adair, I don't think I've met you, yet," she says, returning the handshake, and then allowing him to help her stand and head in the right direction. "It seems I've met every doctor and nurse by now, but I suppose there are more than I thought." She is led easily, and doesn't have much of the clumsiness she had months ago.

"Nor I you," he offers with a soft chuckle. "I'm very new. I'd say 'fresh off the boat' but ironically it's more the reverse. Fresh on the boat, as it were. Just recently recovered from Aerilon, and even more recently approved to work officially in Sickbay." He takes her arm, like a gentleman, escorting her back to one of the examination rooms, guiding her to a seat before closing the door behind them. "My understanding, according to the notes here, is that you're just here for a routine check-up? Blood draw, general tests, that sort of thing?" Being blind as she is, she clearly doesn't see Cameron's study of her eyes, his ocean-blue ones peering into her milky white ones thoughtfully. There's a lot to read, Cameron sifting through the papers, reading the notes jotted down there. "Do you have anything in particular you'd like to ask me? Any problems? Changes that you find worrisome?" There is some soft rustling as he notes, "I'm just going to get your vitals and such," in warning before doing just that. He checks her pulse and heart rate, her blood pressure, her weight, all the usual checks while he listens to what she has to say. He's careful not to surprise her with his touch and always makes sure that whenever he touches her with a stethoscope or any other device, that it is warm, not cold, to the touch.

As the usual rigmarole proceeds, she's idly conversational. "Nothing out of the ordinary, fortunately, other than the fatigue," she reports. "The iron supplements I've been taking help somewhat, and I'm not nearly as easy to tire as I was before." None of her vitals are off-base, and are consistent with her previous readings. She might be improving in some areas as well. "You know, since coffee and tea are just so rare in the starboard hangar, it could just be that I'm suffering from extended caffeine withdrawal," she jokes, giving a sunny smile despite her persistent disability. "I suppose now you'll be telling me that my health, for what it is, is remarkable considering my history, and then you'll draw a pint of blood?" Another quirky grin.

Chuckling softly, Cameron muses, "Well, there's always stims, but I can't say I recommend those much really." He takes notes, her readings all within the range of normal, and her disposition seems more than satisfactory to the doctor. "Do you want me to tell you that your healthy is remarkable, considering your history? Seems to me you're already well aware of that fact. I shan't bore you by being repetitious." A chair creaks as Cameron takes a seat and notes, "I'm going to take the draw now," extending her arm and having her back a fist while he carefully finds a vein to tap. "As anyone talked to you about your blindness? About your cataracts?" he asks mildly as dark red blood fills the first small vial, gloved hands expertly swapping out for another. Different tests, different vials. She wasn't terribly off with that 'pint of blood' remark.

Rose desperately tries to be brave in proximity of, and during being stabbed by, the needle, but she squeaks and clenches her eyes shut. A single tear rolls down her cheek, which she wipes away quickly with her free hand. "Sorry, I've just not ever been good with needles," she breathes, forcing herself to chuckle nervously. "I, uh, no, not really. I was told that it's something that would be addressed further down the line when my health stabilized and whatnot. I haven't pressed the issue, since it's not vital to my recovery, and it being a military ship and all… I'd rather not push. Besides, I've managed fairly all right so far, although oral dictation of organic chemistry to someone not schooled in it can be quite interesting." Once the required vials are taken and the gauze placed atop her puncture, she moves her free hand to press it in place until the usual tape is applied.

Rubbing her arm soothingly, Cameron murmurs, "I'll be as quick and gentle as possible." He would offer the silver lining of that fact that at least she can't see the needle, but there's a 90% chance she wouldn't find that the least bit funny or comforting. Dark humor is a delicate thing to balance out. "You're a chemist?" he asks, his voice interested and curious. "What sort of work do you do?" The blood drawn, Cameron presses a bit of cotton against the needle point and withdraws it smoothly, placing her hand over the cotton to hold it in place while he prepares a bandage for her. "Well, with any luck, this will be one of the last of these sorts of appointments that you'll have to do for awhile. Your levels and blood tests have been coming back both improved and stable for the last few runs. He pats her arm lightly and then asks, "Do you mind if I take a look? At your eyes, I mean."

"No, not at all," Rose says, in response to her eyes. She tries to stay as still as possible as he examines her further. "While I have a Bachelor's in biochemistry, my field is applied phycology. I was due to give my dissertation defense in a few months when, well, when everything happened. I happened to be on Sagittaron with an undergraduate class on a marine life field trip." When the inevitable bright light is shined in her eyes to check her pupil response, there's a little bit of a wince from her and her pupils respond sluggishly - a good sign that she can distinguish light from dark, still. "You could say algae and I are best of friends."

She can sense a light being passed back and forth over her eyes as Cameron instructs, "Just stare straight ahead?" This is by far not his area of expertise, but he's not without knowledge and experience. "Algae, huh? Someone mentioned you to me …. Lt. Lunair I believe? We share an interest in horticulture, she and I, that is. She mentioned there was another, but with an emphasis on algae." The light fades away as Cameron notes, "Never thought much of the stuff myself, save when I was a kid and used to run around with 'dead man's fingers', teasing the girls. But I've been told there are all sorts of wonderful uses for the stuff. Food source. Energy source. And Lords know, oxygen of course." There's a moment of quiet before Cameron asks, "What would you say if I told you think I think sooner, rather than later, would be good for removing these cataracts?"

There's a hint of a smile at the mention of Lunair. "The Lieutenant was one of the first people to be kind to me once aboard. I've taken much of her foundation of hydroponics and expanded the numbers to incorporate, well, everything a population of thousands would need. I think that without her kindness, I'd be lost and without direction, just milling about angrily like some of those Sagittarons down below…" Blink blink. "Really?" Her voice betrays how incredibly hopeful she is. "What sort of degree of sight do you think I'd have after the procedure?"

"Well, I'm not an optometrist, but I would hazard a guess that you could be restored to whatever your quality of vision was before the radiation started the cataract formation, or close there to? The surgery is relatively straightforward. I am a surgeon and though as I said, not specifically a optometrist, I think I can do what is needed." There's a heartbeat before he notes, "and of course, if there's a specialist available, well, then so much the better. I'll check in with the CMO to see if we have the proper equipment for this sort of surgical technique and get back in touch with you in, say a week?"

After another moment, "I brought on board quite a few plants, food and medicinal, with me from Aerilon, which I believe she is taking care of now in the hydroponics lab," Cameron adds with a smile that she can't see, but can hear. "She seems, indeed, a most kind and thoughtful individual. I look forward to helping with the effort."

Rose clasps her hands together, staring up at Cameron's face with all the adoration and sunshine she can muster. "You, Dr. Adair, have just made my day. You are my hero," she practically squees. "I can't wait to tell Andreas. Yes, please, do get back to me! And, incidentally, I think there's a plan regarding medicinal plants… you may want to discuss that with Major Cavanaugh, of the Marine Corps. Her office is up at 'sechub'." She seems pleased with herself that she used some of the abbreviated lingo that the military folk use; sechub, meaning, of course, 'security hub'. "Thank you, Doctor!"

Chuckling softly, Cameron replies, "Well, that's a lovely thing to hear. But don't count me a hero till the job is done." His head tilts curiously, but his pen softly scribbles as he echoes and jots down, "Major Cavanaugh… good to know. Thank you!" But clearly Cameron hasn't gotten hang of the lingo yet as he asks in confusion, "Sechub?" Rising up, his chair scrapes against the floor in mild protest as he assists Rose to her. "Well, like I said, don't thank me yet. You can thank me when you can see my face. That seems only fair, don't you think?" Escorting her back out again, Cameron points out, "It would be better to get them cleared up sooner than later. There can be complications if one allows cataracts to linger and continue to develop. I'd rather avoid those complications and get you back up to snuff. Besides, who knows? Perhaps your work with algae will prove essential to our survival. I would hate to be the one to hold you back by further delaying treatment." His voice, though slightly teasing, holds a hint of earnest truth in it. None of them know what skill or ability could at any moment mean the difference between survival and destruction.

"Sechub is their term for their office space, and I think it's where they coordinate the ship's military police," Rose explains as she walks and talks with the good doctor. And she blushes at what he suggests. "Well, part of my dissertation was the use of biofuels and algae-based solutions for military use, including in conjunction with hydroponics, but I hadn't actually had a chance to defend it in front of a panel. Hopefully my ideas hold." Once they reach the exit, she turns to face Cameron, still smiling. "Thank you again, Doctor. I thought today's visit was going to be just another vitals-and-phlobotometrics exercise. You've put a smile on my face. I'll speak with you soon?" And, as she steps backward, she unfolds her whitestick with a practiced snap of her wrist, and begins her way out.

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