PHD #263: Physician, Heal Thyself
Physician, Heal Thyself
Summary: Ximena takes care of Cameron when she discovers that he hasn't been taking care of himself.
Date: 16 Nov 2041 AE
Related Logs: Not Out of the Woods - Ground, The Walking Wounded, Lost in the Shuffle
Cameron Ximena 
Recovery Room - Deck 10 - Sickbay - Battlestar Cerberus
A much more quiet area of Medical, this elongated room is also lined with beds. Each is similarly outfitted with privacy curtains as necessary and even the paint on the walls has been lightened in an attempt to help lift spirits. Chairs are readily available all over the place so that visitors can pull one up to talk to the patients during their recovery. Near the entrance, visiting hours are posted with a very conspicuous 'No Smoking' sign.
Post-Holocaust Day: #263

Two days out from the escape from Aerilon, and the activity in sickbay has yet to diminish. But that doesn't stop Ximena from coming in, yet again, during her off duty hours to try to get an appointment with the civilian doctor. Perhaps the third time will be the charm. She's spent her last two attempts waiting in the holding tank while the real patients were seen to. And it hasn't improved her mood. Still, she's not so far gone that she's actually snapped at anyone…yet.

Cameron had just fallen asleep when one of the nurses had come into the recovery room to shake his shoulder, informing him that one of the patients in sickbay was specifically requesting to see him and apparently would see no one else. Once, twice, now her third attempt and would Dr. Adair be so kind as to see her? For almost a minute Cameron blinked and blinked again before the words penetrated his mind and he sat up again. His right arm is throbbing, but he dare not ask for another injection from one of the nurses, as he's run the gamut of them now. Slipping his right hand into his pocket, he nods and rises, walking slowly out after the nurse to the waiting room. When Ximena is pointed out, however, his attention sharpens and he crosses over to her, pushing back his tousled hair, his clothes rumpled and bloodied as he crouches down next to her and peers into her face, his expression a mixture of confusion and worry. "Ximena… are you alright? What's wrong?"

Ximena pulls out a small pad of paper, reading it over, a list clearly written there, in her light, feminine script. "Muscle spasms in my left leg, pain in my back, and headache right between my eyes." A nod, as she checks the list, once and then twice, "Right, so…I think I should definitely be seen. And I wouldn't mind a bed near one of the private showers. Because that would just make it easier for me to get in and out." Yes, she sounds completely serious. She also seems to have come with her backpack and other pockets and pouches on her chair full. She takes her time, looking over the man, noting, not only his condition, but the state of his clothes, hair and general demeanor, "Sooner rather than later, please."

He blinks again, staring at her without comprehension, his mind spinning her words around and around in her head before he asks, likewise in all seriously, "On a scale of one to ten, with one being barely noticeable, and ten being lying on the floor crying and screaming unbearable, what level of pain are you having with this symptoms." He apparently is taking her completely seriously, which perhaps in and of itself speaks of just how exhausted Cameron is. There's no room in his brain to parse humor or sarcasm or witty banter. Rising up, he walks to the main desk, picking up her file and then turning to gesture that she should follow him, making his way down to one of the open examination rooms and opening the door for her. He's moving completely on autopilot.

"Right now, about a five, but it's about to get close to a ten if we don't get this handled soon." Ximena waits until Cameron's retrieved her file, and lead her to the examination room, before she continues, "Finally. Do you know how long it took for me to come up with a list that wouldn't have them rushing me into an exam room immediately, but not make them tell me to take two painkillers and come back in the morning?" Ximena promptly shifts around in her seat, showing no signs of any sort of pain or impairment. Instead, she pulls out a small bundle of…yes, Cameron's own clothing, which she turns back to hand to him. "Can you shower and change yourself, or do you need my help in there?"

With the door closed and against his back, Cameron just blinks again, his features screwing up in concentration as he asks, "Wait, what? Why…. wait, you're not in pain? You're not here for medical attention? You just wanted to…." and here his gaze drops down to the bundle of clothes that she's offering him, blinking once more before he finishes, "… you just wanted to bring me… clean clothes??" His own are covered by the lab coat, hiding the blood stains from his work down on Aerilon and his own injuries. He rubs at his face, as if doing so will somehow magically make this all make sense again. "I…. I… wha… why didn't you just say you had something for me? They would have let you through if you said you had something for me… I think. Probably. Yeah. Wait, what?" His hands takes the clothes, his head turning toward the door as he rumbles, "I don't think I can take a shower, but I suppose I can sponge off in here well enough and get changed…." His lips finally curve into a crooked, if tired smile, as Cameron notes, "If I need your help getting showered and changed, then I should definitely NOT be treating patients…"

"I'm sorry, Dr. Adair is quite busy tending to the wounded, and does not have time for casual visits. You're just going to have to wait." Mena manages a passable impression of a stodgy corpsman. "I got that the first time I came in. I'm sorry, but we need to treat the more severely injured patients first, you'll probably be waiting quite a while to see him. I got that the second time I came in to see you." Mena continues to hold out the bundle of clothing, settling back into her lap once he takes them away from her. "A shower would be better, but I suppose I can settle for that." Mena wheels herself over towards the sink, having been in here often enough, or in sickbays very much like this one, to know where they keep the supplies. She allows the water to warm as it runs out of the faucet, as she gathers up a basin, some sponges and towels and some soap. "I also brought you some food to eat, since I don't imagine you've had time to do much of that either."

His lips curl slowly, sweetly, as Cameron points out, "Well, aren't you a crafty creature… so sneaky and deceptive." But in truth, he is deeply touched. After days of taking care of others it's a powerful thing to have someone who has gone to this much trouble with the sole intent of taking care of him. He won't sully the moment by insisting that he can't. He can and, more importantly, he needs to. Stripping out of the lab coat, Cameron tosses it into one of the laundry containers. His tank top is a bloody mess. He arches his left hand over his shoulder, gripping the fabric to pull it up and off. There's a bandage on his chest, another wrapped around his right arm. Perhaps another reason he declined to take a shower. He leaves his pants on for now as he crosses over to where she is and dips a sponge into the basin of warm water, squeezing out most of the excess. "I'm sorry that they gave you trouble. I'll inform them in the future to allow me to decide when I can or cannot take a visitor."

"I have my moments. I'll take it as a compliment." Ximena, once she has everything ready, moves out of Cameron's way, after returning his smile, giving him ample room to take his bath, such as it is, though her eyes narrow, first at the sight of the blood he's covered in, and then in response to the sight of his bandages, all of them looking the worse for wear, "I'll look at those when you're finished eating." Once Cameron begins his bath, she wheels around, moving off to a corner where she can face the wall and give him as much privacy as the room allows. She doesn't even peek a little bit. She does, however, reach into this pouch and that, to bring out the containers she stored the food she brought for him in. With no easy way to carry things around and make it look innocent, she took to stashing and hiding. Sneaky engineer. "I wasn't sure what you would want to eat, but I figured you wouldn't want some MREs or protein bars, so I tried to get as much fresh as I could." And there has, thankfully, been quit a bit of fresh food coming up in fits and spurts during the stay on Aerilon. "They were doing their job, you shouldn't be too hard on them."

Eyes that were at first weary and worn once more sparkle with a hint of humor and pleasure as Ximena makes her pronouncements. One brow lifts as Cameron counters, "Oh you will, will you?" He does smile wryly as she turns around and faces away from him, noting mildly, "Such decorum from a woman who once reminded me that there was only one head for us both to shower in, and that I should be able to handle that. Since, as your doctor, I'm going to see you, how did you put it? "In ways no man should ever see a woman?" I think it's only fair for you to get a little back." It does feel good, though, to wash off the sweat and blood that was on his skin beneath his clothes and coat. He removes his pants, though his legs are in better shape, with no injuries and only bloodstains where the blood soaked through his clothing. Once clean he dons a new pair of pants and leaves his torso uncovered for the moment, pouring out the dirty water and adding in fresh before roughly cleaning his hair, a towel wrapped about his head as he rubs and rubs to dry it off, taking a seat before noting wryly, "It's safe to turn around. Our respective modesties are intact." He could have sworn that all he wanted was to sleep, but being clean, the smell of food, has Cameron rousing more than a short nap ever could have. Slinging the towel over his left shoulder, his slips his right hand into his pocket again to give his arm a rest, crossing over to Ximena as he asks curiously, "What did you bring?"

"I've been trained in the basics of first aid. It's required of all members of the military and especially for marines who need to be able to provide field medicine in the absence of a proper corpsman in combat situations." Ximena stows everything on a nearby table, while she waits for Cameron to be finished with his bath and give her the okay to turn around. "And perhaps in other circumstances, I would look to my heart's content, but I don't think this is the right time or place." Once he does, she pushes the over the bed table in his direction. "I brought stew, and fresh bread, and two slices of pie and some fresh berries. I hope that you're not allergic to anything in there, but in case you are then I brought you a trip to your very own emergency ward." She is trying to be cheerful, really she is, but Cameron's injuries clearly have her worried.

"Stew…" Cameron breathes the word as if it were a precious as a prayer, picking up the bowl and breathing the scent of it in deeply before sitting down and picking up a spoon to dig into it. The first bite has him closing his eyes with a soft sigh of pleasure. They open again slowly and find Ximena's silver irises, murmuring softly, "This is the best stew I have ever tasted…." It probably has more to do with the fact that he's not eaten anything that wasn't dry as dust and packaged for almost three days now, but at this moment it truly is the most delicious thing he has put into in his mouth in what seems like ages. He chews slowly, relishing each bite, his eyes flickering open to catch one of her worried looks, a smile touching his mouth as he assures her, "I'm fine. Really. Nothing a little rest won't take care of just as soon as things here calm down once more." He shakes his head, popping a few berries into his mouth and again taking the time to savor them, assuring, "I'm not allergic to anything it seems, so no worries there…" He uses his left hand to eat, allowing his right one to rest, his palm resting against his thigh.

"There's another bowl, if you want more, or to save for later. Elpis helped me to get it." Yes, she did just admit to using your daughter to cute her way into two servings of a very precious commodity. But she's certainly not sounding as though she's at all ashamed of doing it. Once Cameron's eating, Ximena returns to the cabinets, pulling down more supplies. Antiseptic, gauze, fresh bandages. "But I'm very glad that you're enjoying it. I thought you might lie something warm and filling. I bet they've just had rations down here for you." She does true to her word wait for him to complete his meal, eyes carefully assessing, weighing his movements, the way he favors his right arm. "I'm not a doctor, but I know one thing for a fact. Nobody gets any medical attention, when the doctors have worked themselves sick or injured."

Chuckling softly, Cameron shakes his head and laments, "And now you've made Elpis a part of your shady plans? Oi. If it weren't for the fact that it benefits me so greatly, I would have to think of some suitable punishment for you both. As it is, I'll probably just kiss you both instead and be done with the matter." He lets out another soft sigh as his head bobs. "Warm and filling is exactly what the doctor would have ordered if he had know that delivery was an option." He does eat slowly, taking his time, but he leaves the pie and the second serving of stew for now, offering Ximena his right arm, since she seems so desperately eager to do something. "I had a nurse bandage it up. The bullet when all the way through, didn't nick any major arteries," he assures her softly. But Cameron doesn't fight this. Whether that's because he's too tired to, because for once he wants to be taken care of, or because he knows that Ximena won't take no for an answer is anyone's guess. Most likely though? All of the above.

"Elpis has been a very good and generous and helpful little girl. And a sterling accomplice." There's definitely a smile there, "And she's doing very well with the small group that have been watching the children. She understands that you're healing people, and she knows you'll be home as soon as you can." Ximena begins to work at gently removing the bandages, carefully peeling them away to avoid causing anymore damage, "Delivery is always an option. I am never so busy that I could not find the time to bring you what you needed." Even if she'd have to finagle her way out of engineering to do it. But she doesn't say that aloud. "You know…I have known many drug users in my time." Don't ask. "I have known them to shoot up in their arms, between their toes, under their feet, even in their eyeballs, to avoid track marks, but I have never known anyone to shoot up into a hole in their arm." While it's not one of those cartoony see-through holes, as you sometimes see in old animated stories, it is jagged and unstitched and surrounded by puncture wounds from the use of needles. Probably painkiller. "Now, we're at a ten." Ximena goes about cleaning the wound as best she can before she puts a temporary bandage around his arm, and wheels her way back and towards the door. And after that, she doesn't waste any time at all. No longer soft, or sweet or companionable, she sounds, as she must once have done, like a marine, a very angry, purposeful marine. "I need a corpsman in exam room three immediately. The doctor is injured and needs medical attention. Now."

Chuckling indulgently, Cameron has to agree, "Elpis is, indeed, all of those things and more." He's pleased that the little girl, his adopted daughter, and Ximena get along. Though, in truth, Elpis tends to get along with most people. She is eager to love and be loved. He does look relieved at Mena's reassurances as he leans back slightly and confesses, "I was worried. She doesn't tend to sleep well if I'm not there, and she often gets withdrawn and depressed. I'm glad to hear that she understands and is doing her best. Thank you," Cameron adds, "for involving her in your little scheme. I'm sure it felt good to her… to feel useful, even if for such nefarious purposes as getting a second bowl of stew." As she strips away the layers, the bandages start to become more and more spotted with blood. When she reveals the wound, well, Cameron wisely does not look at either it or her. But at her imperious command, Cameron rumbles, "Mena, it's fine. Really. Yes, it needs some stitches, but it's nothing serious…." He blinks in bemusement then as he asks belatedly, "A ten?" Takes a moment for him to realize what she means before he shakes his head and offers jokingly, "It's not an anger meter, and this is nowhere near a ten. A five at the most." Okay, well, maybe a six since the painkillers have worn off again. "If you just give me a shot, I'll be good to go. Heck, I can do it myself…"

"She understands that you are trying to help the people on the ship, the way that you helped everyone on Aerilon, and she's proud of you. Very proud." As proud as any blood daughter would be of her own father, the little girl, to outward appearances, fully accepting Cameron as her parent. "They've been trying to keep her as busy as they can, helping with the smaller children, helping to sort laundry, and small things she can do." Ximena looks back, briefly, before she pushes her way a bit further out of the exam room, looking left and then right along the 'passageway', "Really? Because MY anger meter sure feels like a ten right now. And I will most certainly not get you a shot. But if someone does not come within the next 30 seconds, I swear I will sew you up myself and then tie your arm to you, so you can't move it."

"Ximena," Cameron replies, putting on his most reasonable 'doctor' voice. "I watched while Marine after Marine got shot, sometimes even knocked down, only to get back up and shoot back. Most of them had three or more hits by the time we pulled out of here. This," he notes, pointing to the hole in his arm, "is comparatively nothing. They did their job no matter what the cost. Now it's turn for me to do my job. I'm not going to do any irreparable damage, and if I need to shoot myself up with painkillers to get the job done, then so be it. And when it's all over, I promise you, I will cut back my hours and take it easy." He holds up his hand, offering his smallest finger as he tries to cajole her the way he has managed to cajole Elpis on occasion. "Pinky promise."

Ximena turns, not coming back into the room, but now that she's facing Cameron he can see just how angry she is. "You, Cameron Adair, are not a Marine. Marines are a commodity, ones that can be expended, if needs be. Ones can be replaced. YOU are also a commodity. But unlike a Marine, YOU cannot be replaced. A marine with an injury can continue on to do his duty, because relatively speaking, a Marine's job is to do the crudest, bluntest work there is. To kill or be killed. YOUR job is to heal. Even the smallest injury to YOUR body needs to be properly tended, rested and monitored. Because more than simply being a doctor, you are also a surgeon. You cannot afford even the faintest possibility that your motor functions might be impaired. Your job should be to recognize that you are the most precious commodity this fleet has. Your life, your health, your wellbeing trumps everyone else in this fleet. Because without you, we will not survive." She turns her head, calling back into the hall, in the tone of voice that would make even the hardest of drill sergeants proud, "Corpsman!"

The extent of her anger takes Cameron off guard, his body actually recoiling slightly as she turns back to him and dresses him down like the Marine she once was. He blinks in the face of her words, clearly not perceiving himself any more important than anyone else, his brow creasing into a small frown. He takes a breath, thinking carefully before replying, "I would not put myself at risk. If I had been shot in the hand, for example, I would indeed have had the injury attended to immediately and worked one handed if I had to in order to not risk greater injury. But this," he notes, gesturing to his arm, "is nothing more than…. an inconvenience." He frowns harder, countering, "I am not the most precious commodity on this ship. My life, health, and well being does not trump everyone else. We need people of all different skills to be able to survive. There are people as important and more important than me. Far more important…." But his words drift away as she calls out loudly once more, a Corpsman rushing in, eyes wide as if expecting to find the room covered in blood or something. "Y-yes, sir?"

"Tell me who will birth our children, tend to our illnesses, treat our radiation poisoning, our cancers, tend to all of the ways in which our body can break down, if not for a doctor? A corpsman can only do so much. The fleet needs you, Cameron. We are nearly what….5000 people and growing by the day, with less than perhaps a dozen doctors to tend to all that remains of humanity?" Inconvenience? "Hardly, it's something that needs to be tended to." And despite Ximena's anger, it never seems directed at Cameron specifically. "Don't ask me to choose between you and the rest of the fleet, Cameron. I don't think you'd be happy with the answer." Once the corpsman arrives, she turns to the young woman, her tone modulated. "Corpsman, please attend Doctor Adair, he needs stitches in his arm, and something to support it. Also, a prescription of painkillers. And two hours of uninterrupted sleep when you're finished. Please and thank you." And now she does come back into the room, fully willing, it seems, to accept Cameron's own anger at her.

Cameron is anything but angry. Surprised would be one word for it. Flabbergasted would be more accurate. It isn't the first time they've disagreed, and Cameron is sure it won't be the last, but that doesn't bother him either. "The Fleet also needs mechanics and pilots and soldiers and weapons experts and chemists and scientists and so many other things that cannot be easily taught or learned," he counters softly as the Corpsman takes one look at Cameron's arm and frowns, clearly agreeing with Ximena's assessment and quickly setting about to properly patch up the bullet wound. Cameron does, however, get his desired shot of painkiller despite Mena, the shot given before the Corpsman starts to carefully stitch up the wound. As she works upon his arm, Cameron quietly holds out his left hand to Mena.

Seeing the Corpsman immediately get to work tending to Cameron's injury seems to soothe Ximena's ruffled feathers, and she finally comes back into the room, allowing the door to close behind her. As though her job were not done, she's almost rather meek, as she wheels herself over around to Cameron's left side, using the lift on her chair to put her at the same height as Cameron, still sitting up on the bed. Her hand, however, does settle into Cameron's, and to her credit, she doesn't even try to look over the Corpsman's shoulder at what the woman's doing. Truthfully, her own medical training is such that the closest she could get to stitching him up would be what she did for herself after her own injury, which would be to glue his wound shut. Not appropriate. "I didn't get a chance to look at his chest." Blink. That SO did not come out right. "His bandage there, I mean."

Cameron lets out a hearty laugh at that slip of her tongue, assuring Ximena earnestly, "That is nothing more than a flesh wound. Promise. Cross my heart and hope not to die." He would have made an X over his heart, but his left hand is currently occupied with holding Mena's, and he doesn't put it past her to hit him if he tried to use his right. "I think a bullet must have ricocheted off of something and just skimmed me. Startled the hell out of me, but didn't do any real damage. It's properly bandaged and everything. Super simple." It barely takes the Corpsman any time to stitch the wound closed. Two stitches on the entrance point, three on the exit, and then she's wrapping it securely and supplying Cameron with a sling. All done, she turns to Ximena and offers her a salute, noting in turn, "Thank you, sir," and gives Cameron a look that seems to say 'you should know better' before departing and leaving the pair alone again. "So," he murmurs, mildly cowed by all the attention and fuss. "Now you want me to rest I believe?""

"Thank you very much, Corpsman. I am sorry I raised my voice." Once the Corpsman has put everything to rights, Ximena nods, looking much relieved and nearly back to her usual self. "As long as she's cleared you, I'm alright with it." She does slip her hand out of Cameron's. but only to lower her chair and go hunting for some blankets to keep him warmly wrapped in. Sickbay is cold, and that's no joke. Once she has them back in hand, she motors her way back over towards the bed, "Yes, I want you to sleep, at least two full hours." Even she knows Cameron isn't likely to get more than that, given the number of patients. "I can go, if you'd prefer to sleep alone."

Slipping down from his perch, Cameron crosses over to where the rest of the clean clothes Ximena brought him are lying. He pulls on a t-shirt and a sweater over it, putting on the sling obediently and slipping his arm into it. "Can't sleep in here," he notes, since who knows if the exam room will needed. "But I've marked myself a cot in the recovery room," he promises as he picks up the stew and pie, putting them back in the bag they came from to eat later. His head tilts to one side as he asks, "You don't have anywhere you need to be?"

Ximena moves, once again, to give Cameron room to move as he needs to to get himself dressed and ready to go. Only once he's put himself to rights does she return to join him. "Not for a few more hours. I came as soon as I was off duty." There's a long moment, when she's silent, before she speaks again, "Cameron, you know I'm not angry with you, don't you?" She's not going to apologize for steamrolling him into taking care of himself, but she clearly doesn't want him to be upset with her.

Shaking his head, Cameron replies, "I know. Frustrated with me, perhaps, but not angry. Not really." He hunkers down next to Ximena and then, before he realizes what he's going to do, he lays his head upon her lap and replies, "And I'm not angry with you. It's just… rare. That someone wants to take care of me. I'm used to always being the caretaker." Glancing up at her, he confesses softly, "It would be nice…. if you stayed until I fell asleep. It won't take long at all, but it would still… be nice."

Ximena doesn't move away from Cameron, and the surprise, of having him lay his head in her lap is a brief thing, before her right hand rises, finger combing through his hair, gentle, soothing. "I wish you could see how precious you are, Cameron. The fleet needs you." Half a breath "I need you. You're so important. You don't see it, maybe, or don't want to see it, but I do." Soft grey eyes meet his darker blue ones, and she offers a smile, "I'll stay and guard your sleep, and I'll be here as long as you need me." Well, "Or until I have to leave for my shift." But he'll probably be back awake by then.

Chuckling softly, Cameron shakes his head and notes, 'Careful… the last thing you want is a doctor with an inflated ego or a God complex. Everybody is important. I can't be more important than other people. That's… a risky way of thinking." He nuzzles against her thigh, though of course she cannot feel it, before rising up once more and nodding. "I'm only asking you to stay till I fall asleep. I… I would just like your company for a bit longer…" And with that Cameron opens the door and heads out, making his way toward the cot he set up for himself at the far end of the recovery room where the lights are off and the patients are few. Settling himself down on his left side, he pulls a blanket over himself and then reaches out a hand again, taking one of Mena's lightly, thumb slowly rubbing over her knuckles as he murmurs, "I'm glad you're so sneaky and that you came…." his eyes slowly closing as he yawns and shifts slightly to get more comfortable.

"It all depends on if you are the type of person to allow yourself to have an inflated ego. If it makes you feel any better think of it as your profession being what is precious and not you." Though clearly, she doesn't agree with that sentiment. Medicine, after all, is as much about the heart and the mind as it is about the technical skill and book learning. But she will say no more for now.

There are few benefits to being a paraplegic. But one slight one, might be the ability to avoid your legs 'falling asleep' on you. And so, once Ximena has followed Cameron over towards his cot, and he's settled in, she lowers herself out of her chair, using her hands to tuck her legs beneath her, so that she can lean against his cot, "I will stay until you're asleep. I'll be right here." Her hand settles easily into his and with her body properly and comfortably positioned, she settles in to guard his sleep. "I will always come when you need me, Cameron. Sleep now, and know that you're safe."

His smile is sleepy and soft as his eyes flutter open to gaze at Ximena's face. Slowly Cameron blinks, his finger squeezing hers as he mumbles softly, "My hero…." without an ounce of sarcasm. But he was right when he told her it wouldn't take long. Insomnia gets trumped by 72 hours without sleep and as a result, once Cameron closes his eyes, his mind and body are taken under in less than a second, his frame releasing and his fingers going lax.

Ximena, seems, and indeed is, quite content to watch Cameron fall asleep so quickly. The faster he sleeps, the longer he has before they will inevitably wake him. And true to her word, she remains by his side, even after he drifts off, and there she will remain, until such time as she has to leave to return to her duties. And in the meanwhile, she's content to sit, and watch and protect him. And if perhaps in that time, for a time, she rests her head on the cot by his chest and drifts off herself, well, it's all in a day's work.

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