Location: Medical Center - The Pit
Date: July 29, 2013
Summary: Ace finally awakes after his savage beating from Major Bludd.
As logged by Ace - Monday, July 29, 2013, 7:07 PM
Medical Center - The Pit
- The base infirmary is a spacious room, with high ceilings, blue tile floors, and plenty of room in which to walk around. The place is brightly lit by row upon row of fluorescent lighting. There are about six beds ready for use, with fourteen more that can be readied if necessary. Each bedside is surrounded by state-of-the-art medical equipment, in addition to the more standard medbay fare like trays of supplies and such.
- Beyond the recovery ward are a pair of double doors leading into the surgical ward itself, which includes six separate operating tables and the best surgical equipment the US government can provide. A smaller room to the side is set up as a biocontainment ward, including an armored window through which doctors can monitor the patients inside.
- While not a place to set someone's mind and soul at ease...it's a place to spend time healing...to watch the large, industrial-grade 12-hour clock on the wall, and consider the virtues of being more careful.
- <OOC> Lifeline says, "OK, just to catch you up from an Ace perspective: the last thing Ace remembers is Major Bludd stomping his face in. In the meantime, he's been in a medically induced coma, etc, you know the details. People have come to visit him, Nightingale's had conversations with him -- you are free to remember whatever you like about those events. People in induced comas can often remember sounds, music, and so on. What Lifers is planning to do is to bring Ace out of the coma and begin trying to explain things to him as they stand now."
- <OOC> Nightingale says, "Ace tried waking up once."
- <OOC> Ace says, "Oh? =)"
- <OOC> Nightingale says, "It freaked poor Dr. Miller out."
- <OOC> Lifeline nods, he began coming to. It happens sometimes o_o
- <OOC> Ace says, "Oh noes! ;)"
Within the last 2 days, Lifeline did the relatively simple procedure of reversing Ace's colostomy, and all appears to be in working order, so Lifeline's decided to see if he can bring Ace back to a conscious state and begin explaining things to him. He's called Nightingale in to be a support person, because even with the toughest constitution, this is a lot of bad news for someone to get in one fell swoop.
Before he does anything else, while Ace is still under, Lifeline rebandages Ace's face so that his eyes are uncovered and untaped. "You ready, Michel?" Dr. Steen asks.
"Ready, Dr. Steen." Dr. Miller replies, standing at Ace's side. She has a pen and notepad with her, so that Ace can communicate with his doctors if he wants to. She places a gentle hand on Ace's hand.
"Please keep an eye on his vitals..." Dr. Steen begins very, very gradually reducing the anesthetic, which will make the waking process much less jarring and disorienting. Even so, Edwin knows it's going to be terrible for Ace to wake up and realize he's got a nasogastric tube AND a vent tube preventing him from speaking or even accessing the lower part of his face.
"Of course, Doctor." Dr. Miller says, keeping both eyes on the monitors next to Ace's bed, her hand still holding the pilot's. "Vitals are steady..."
"Very good. -- Armbruster, can you hear me?" Dr. Steen talks in Ace's ear with slow diction. Getting no response, he continues doing what he's doing...gradually phasing out the anesthetic in small increments. "Armbruster, you're okay. You're back at base. You will not be able to speak. Dr. Miller is holding your hand, squeeze her hand when you can hear us."
"His last EEG showed really encouraging brainwave signs," Lifeline tells Dr. Miller, hoping that the length of time he's had Ace out doesn't permanently damage his ability to carry out his duties. There's just no guarantee, no matter what the scans way. Keeping positive, he continues to phase down the anesthetic gas.
"Blood pressure and heart rate are nominal. No signs of distress." Dr. Miller reports. "Come on, Ace. Time to wake up." She smiles fondly. "Wake up now..." She's optimistic, but that optimism is tempered by years of experience.
Dr. Steen can't help but smile to himself at Dr. Miller's 'mommy tone'. He loves that so much, but can't put a finger on WHY, exactly. "C'mon, Armbruster. The guys want to start up the poker games again."
Ace seems to slightly stir. Was it the mention of poker? ;)
"...Anything?" Dr. Steen asks, his position behind the monitor preventing him from seeing the slightest of motions. "Armbruster, you're back at the base. Just squeeze Dr. Miller's hand if you can hear us. Don't try to get up." He continues adjusting down the anesthetic by increments of 5% every few minutes.
"I think he's starting to come out of it." Dr. Miller notes with a smile. "Ace? Can you hear me? I'm Dr. Michel Miller. You're in the Pit infirmary. You're safe."
Ace moves his hand slightly, and then his head with a slight twitch of his neck. He lets out a low, distressed moan.
"Excellent...Armbruster? Try not to move," Dr. Steen instructs slowly, with infinite patience. "I know it's uncomfortable, but let the machine breathe for you, okay? Just try not to fight it. Can you open your eyes? Try opening your eyes." He continues with the very gradual phasing out of the sleeping gases, and introduction of oxygen.
Ace starts to lightly struggle, twisting his hips and shoulders weakly as his eyelids flutter.
"It's alright Ace; you're safe now. Just relax." Dr. Miller says soothingly. "You're doing good."
Ace's body shudders; he seems still a little delirious and trying to move.
"I'm a little bit afraid he's going to go into tetany," Dr. Steen admits, quickly prepping an injection. "Too much too fast, you know? Maybe this will help ease those muscle spasms a bit." He injects Ace's arm with something to relax painful muscle spasms from lack of movement. "Just nice and easy, okay? Don't try to talk, I know it hurts. We're right here to help you out, okay? Squeeze Dr. Miller's hand if you understand."
Ace's shuddering slows, and he his hand flitters - more of a twitch than a squeeze. His eyes open at the way and look around, somewhat alarmed.
"Shhh, it's okay Ace! You safe, don't be alarmed. That's Lifeline, you remember him, right?" Dr. Miller says, squeezing Ace's hand gently. "He understood you, Edwin. He's panicking a little. Understandable, poor guy..."
"You're in the Pit Infirmary," Dr. Steen explains to Ace. "We recovered you from the fight in Dael, in Syria." He nods at Dr. Miller, deciding that if HE was in a medically-induced coma all summer long, he'd probably want to see Dr. Miller as his first human contact.
Ace looks from Dr. Miller to Lifeline, and seems to force himself to relax. He murmurs around the breathing tube.
"Do you think you can hold a pen and paper, Ace?" Dr. Miller asks, hearing Ace's murmuring.
Ace flicks the fingers of his right hand weakly.
"Armbruster, try not to talk, okay? I know it's really difficult. I want you to try and communicate with writing, or we can do yes/no answers, whichever is easier," Dr. Steen adds to Dr. Miller's offer.
Ace blinks his eyes one long blink in response.
"You are doing amazing. We have a lot of news for you. One thing I want you to understand is that...you sustained a lot of critical damage in the fight," Dr. Steen explains, working up to the Really Bad News. "A lot of it was to your abdomen, but we've done a lot of surgery on you, and so far, everything is going great. I think you'll be able to...function down there, much like you used to."
Dr. Miller places the pen in Ace's right hand, and the pad of paper in his left hand. She doesn't chime in tough, just remaining silent. Lifeline knew Ace better than she did, he knew what to say.
Dr. Steen stops talking, to see if Ace will attempt to write anything. He watches to see if he can still grip a pen, how his muscle control is, etc.
Ace grips the pen weakly, and slowly scribbles something on the page without looking. It MIGHT be the word OK... or a duck.
Dr. Steen nods, taking a few notes down in his iPad -- probably a reminder for him to put out a request for a seasoned physical therapist to work some sessions with Ace to get his small muscle tone back where it needs to be. "Now...as to why I don't want you to talk," he says pointedly. He opens a drawer, grabs a hand-held mirror, and brings it over to Ace. "Major Bludd...pretty much obliterated your face," he says, not mincing words. He brings the mirror up to Ace's face. There's nothing graphic to see; Ace's worst damage is covered over in bandages. From Ace's point of view, however, it's probably disturbing to see eyes, then bandages, two tubes, and not much else. "We're going to have a plastic surgeon coming in to remake everything the way it was, okay? So I don't want you worrying about this, Armbruster, I'm getting the best guy in the WORLD to come in and rebuild your face. You'll get it back."
"We're doing our best for you, Ace." Dr. Miller says gently, patting the pilot's arm soothingly. "Bludd won't get away with what he did to you."
Ace's eyes widen, and he looks back and forth and to the mirror again. His blood pressure goes up.
Dr. Miller pats Ace's arm again, trying to calm him. "Ace, do you know Morse?" she asks suddenly. "Blink twice if you know Morse."
Dr. Steen looks at Ace sympathetically. "I'd be upset, too," he admits. "But you've come a LONG way. You've been in a medically-induced coma for a few months. It's the end of July, now. We've done everything we can possibly do here to get you full function back, but of course you'll still have a way to go before you're back to active duty."
Ace Starts to blink, than reacts strongly to something Lifeline said.
"I know, it's been a long time, hasn't it?" Dr. Miller says sympathetically. "But you must remain calm, Ace. You're safe now." She's gentle with her words. She pats his shoulder. "Now, do you understand Morse, Ace? Two blinks for yes"
Ace forces himself to calm down - even his blood pressure slightly drops. Take that, ninja! He pulls himself together and slowly blinks his eyes twice.
Dr. Steen looks at Dr. Miller, then to Ace. "...If this would be simpler, for now, than writing on a notepad, then by all means communicate that way."
"You're doing wonderful, Ace." Dr. Miller encourages with a smile. "I learned Morse as a young woman, so I can translate, if Dr. Steen doesn't understand it." she says with a small wink at Lifeline.
Ace flickers his fingers in code: "EASIER THAN WRITING"
"Oh, please do translate for me, Dr. Miller," Dr. Steen says with a slight smirk.
Ace flicks his fingers in Morse code, "There are things Lifeline doesn't know"
"I've picked up on that, Ace." She answers with a laugh. "Please continue. You must have a lot of questions."
Ace narrows his eyes slightly, as if he's trying to focus.
Dr. Steen remains in the vicinity, continuing to bring Ace's oxygen level up to where he wants it to be.
"Does that seem to be working better for him?" Dr. Steen asks Dr. Miller, giving Ace a quizzical look.
"I would say so, Dr. Steen." Dr. Miller says. "What is it Ace? Is something the matter?"
Ace flicks his fingers in Morse code, "IS HAWK OK"
"The General's just fine, Ace." Dr. Miller replies, touched that Ace's first concern was for their commander. "He'll be thrilled to know you're doing so well."
Ace flicks his fingers in Morse code, "WHAT HAPPENED"
"What happened?" Dr. Miller repeats, for Dr. Steen's benefit. "After the battle, you mean?"
Edwin doesn't seem too surprised that Ace has asked about Hawk. In the meantime, while Ace communicates with Dr. Miller, he sets about setting up some more substantial parenteral nutrition feeding bags. "Oh, he's asking about what happened?" he asks, as he hangs the bag of liquid nutrition up on the IV pole. "Dael ended badly, Ace. But there were no casualties. Cobra took the city."
Ace flicks his fingers in Morse code, "NONE AMONG LOCALS"
"None among locals." Dr. Miller translates, frowning. "I - I don't know. I didn't hear much news from Dael..." she says, looking over at Dr. Steen worriedly.
"I can ask General Hawk to pay you a visit, if you'd like...?" Dr. Steen offers. His summer's been taken up with keeping Ace alive, running into Bree again, and falling for Dr. Miller. He's a BUSY MAN. He only got called to the Dael assignment when there were broken soldiers to pick up. And at the moment, with Quints threatening to take over the planet, he doesn't remember the last time he even thought about Dael or the status of what was happening there.
Lifeline is busy setting up the now-conscious Ace with a few creature comforts: extra pillows, a nicer blanket, a few items from his quarters including pictures of friends and family...and Dr. Miller is sitting beside Ace, communicating with him through Morse Code by hand.
Slipstream comes striding in. He doesn't speak just yet, nor notice what was going on at first as he glances this way and that, carrying a small cloth bag in his hands with several small boxes in it. his eyes look this way and that, a look of mischief about him, before his eyes spot motion down that way... "ACE!" he yelped finally, blowing his cover entirely in delight of seeing his wingman wake. Everything else was forgotten as suddenly there was a Pilot at the door, although he didn't cross the threshold.. not until the Doctor said it was okay!
Ace is laying in bed, bandaged up and a little atrophied. However, at least he's alive and now awake!
"Well, come on in, Greg," Edwin says with a grin. "I think Ace needs a little normality in his re-introduction to the waking world, but he may be willing to settle for you, instead," he quips. He knows full well that what's going to help Ace out, his BEST medicine, will be the company of friends.
Ace is laying in bed, bandaged up and a little atrophied. However, at least he's alive and now awake!
Snapdragon Blinks when she walks in and sees Ace "what happened?"
"Normal is but a setting on the dryer!" declared Slipstream emphatically as he was given permission to enter. He paused though at seeing his buddy, then states "You look like someone I saw in a museum once. oh wait! It was King Tut! I was told he was quite handsome though when they removed the bandages!"
Dr. Miller is by his side, helping him communicate with the others by translating Morse.
Snapdragon looks around somewhat confused
Ace flicks his fingers in Morse code, "SAME OLD SLIPSTREAM STOP PLEASE SAY HELLO TO HIM STOP"
Dr. Steen grins slightly, adjusting Ace's bed so he can still recline comfortably, yet feel like he's in more of a sitting position.
Ace flicks his fingers in Morse code, "THANK LIFELINE AS WELL PLEASE"
Slipstream understood enough Morse code to get what Ace was saying, grinning quite widely. He caught sight of Snapdragon out of the corner of his eye and started to wave him over, then paused in hesitation, smile fading a little bit.
"Ace says, "Same old Slipstream. Hello." Dr. Miller relays. "And he says Thank You, Lifeline."
Ace is tapping out Morse code with his fingers, since his face is a bandaged mess.
"No need to thank me, Ace, but I appreciate it. Your complete recovery is thanks enough. And we're still working to make it happen...next on the list is going to be fixing that face, I promise," Dr. Steen says, folding his arms across his chest.
"Have you gotten luck getting that doctor in, LIfeline? " Slipstream asks Ace finally, finishing his wave-over of Snapdragon. She'd been here over a year. Practically a joe at this point by manys' standards. "Or do we need to start looking at secondary options? Do you feel okay Ace? Can you see okay?"
"General Hawk gave me his stamp of approval for Dr. Yamashita's involvement," Dr. Steen explains to Slipstream. Then, to Ace, he mentions, "Dr. Yamashita is a colleague of mine from Johns Hopkins; he's a world-renowned plastic surgeon who does remarkable work, using 3-d printer technology to make facial reconstructions."
Ace flicks his fingers in Morse code, "OTHERWISE I CAN BORROW ONE OF SNAKEEYES MASKS"
Snapdragon says, "interesting...I tried to research that idea a few years back. Never could get the idea of 3-D printers past the research board. Glad someone came up with it and followed through."
Dr. Miller laughs at Ace's comment. "You could borrow one od Snake-Eyes masks..." she says with a grin.
Slipstream thumbs up at Hawk, and waves Snapdragon closer. Then he pauses and stares at Steen "... Wait... Three D printing for bone reconstruction?? " he asked, completely and entirely shocked. He twitched once. Was that a nerdgasm "That is... entirely... awesome." he states, mind BLOWN.
Snapdragon shrugs "believe it or not we went the first to think of it...it was practically described in the movie Darkman." She walks a little closer still keeping her distance.
Lifeline nods to Snapdragon and Slipstream. "It's absolutely remarkable what 3-D printers can do. And the parts are drafted in a program, then rendered by the printer. The parts are *extremely* durable -- but just like any parts, they wear out over time. But this is OK, because all that's required when a part no longer works is to...print up another one, basically, and implant it. Very simple procedure."
"...At least, Dr. Yamashita makes it sound like a cakewalk," Lifeline adds with a grin.
"Im' sure a lot of people though to fit, but it never got very far." remarks Slipstream as he recovered finally to this conversation "But that's still pretty cool, whoever 'thought of it' first. Heck, in a way carving a stick with a knife is 'three dimensional printing'. Just a very low sophisticated way of doing it. And if you want, Ace, I have a TIE Fighter helmet you can borrow too. or the Darth Vader one with voice box...
Snapdragon chuckles some and shakes her head
Slipstream waits to see if Ace wanted any of his proffered helmet/masks.
"I don't think Ace wants to be a dark Sith Lord...he probably just wants his old face back," Dr. Steen says with a smirk.
Slipstream EYES Lifeline "A TIE fighter isn't a dark Sith Lord." he points out. "but I haven't gotten a hold of a Rebel Fighter's helmet yet either." he admits.
Snapdragon says, "should see my house....love my complete stormtrooper outfit."
"Wh...what...?" Dr. Steen looks from Slipstream to Snapdragon. This level of nerd dedication clearly mystifies him.
Snapdragon shrugs "what a girl cant be a geek? That's discrimination."
Slipstream points at Lifeline "Do NOT make me duct tape you to the couch and make you watch Star Wars, Edwin! " then to Snapdragon "I'm trying to get them to let me build an Xwing in the hangar and put some spare Conquest engines on it, but they wont let me. "
Dr. Miller is waiting for Ace to say something, but she's listening to the conversation with amusement. "Just spare him JarJar, Greg!" she offers with a grin.
"....." Dr. Steen looks about as lost as when Bree brought him a helicopter made of gold, and a pink outfit.
"Jar Jar was no less annoying than mister 'Whines a lot' droid." points out Slipstream.
Ace seems to be slipping a little in and out of consciousness, and seems very tired.
Snapdragon sighs some "Would never go as far as making an x-wing...but the blasters...they really are not accurate.." She begins to talk and looks at the others "annnd never mind...." She looks awkward.
"only because of poor special effects at the time. Energy weapons are already here." slipstream notes. And used in the original Cartoon too! He then focuses on the pilot again "Did I get all your music loaded up right by the way? I realize I'd never checked to make sure it was charging properly..."
"Well, guys...I think our patient has had enough today. Let's let Ace get some rest, he's got some busy days ahead," Dr. Steen says, eager to get away from Star Wars talk.
Ace opens his eyes again. 'IM OK' his fingers flutter weakly.
"He says he's okay." Dr. Miller translates, patting the man's shoulder gently. "I think he's glad you're all here." Quietly, she asks Ace, "How are you feeling? Any pain?"
Slipstream moves to check the MP3 player he'd left with small speakers to play music for Ace, ensuring it was still working fine and on infinite random loop. "When can we visit again? " he asked Edwin, suddenly anxious.
Ace flicks his fingers in Morse code, "FEEL NUMB."
"Probably sometime tomorrow. This is...all pretty new and overwhelming for him to take in, as you can imagine," Dr. Steen says. "But tell you what. I'll give you a call when we can get a visitation hour going."
Snapdragon begins to walk out.
"New? Its the same old pit and faces." chortles the Pilot, but nods. He watches Snapdragon start to depart "I wonder if they'll ever figure out what to do with that one. She can't stay here forever." he admits. Then back once more, checking his IPod to make sure it was ready "I have nothing else to do until we're shipped out, so I'll be around. lemme know if you need anything right Ace?"
"Numb is expected. We've had to put you on some strong pain blockers." Dr. Miller explains, gently. "If you're tired, get some rest. We'll be here when you wake up."
"Well, 'new' as in, last time he was conscious, the summer had just started. He's lost a big block of time," Dr. Steen explains.
Slipstream ohhs "I should make sure his Facebook is up to date and ready for him to catch up then.' he quips.
"Greg, no pranking Ace!" Dr. Miller chides, but she's grinning.
"I wasn't going to PRANK him. Not until he's ready to find that whoopee cushion in his skystrikers' cockpit." notes Slipstream, folding his arms with a smirk.
Ace seems to be losing track of the conversation.
Snapdragon says, "someone once said that pranks are a sign of appreciation and endurance of the heart. Meh...I don't see it."
A shrug from Slipstream "Since I prefer to prank my friends only a LITTLE bit more than my enemies... " mostly cause his friends weren't as likely to beat him up for it. "I suppose that makes sense. Its like they say in grade school 'Boys who pick on girls means they loooOOOo OoOo ve them."
"Do you need quiet, Ace?" Dr. Miller asks softly. She knew that Ace didn't have a lot of energy. She looks up at Slipstream, and smirks. "So, you're saying I should pick on Dr. Steen?" she asks innocently.
Slipstream notes "You haven't found the spider yet have you?"
"Alright, guys, visiting hours are over...Ace needs a little time to rest. Slipstream, I'll call you tomorrow," Dr. Steen promises.
Lifeline turns, and eyes Dr. Miller with slight suspicion.
Ace flicks his fingers in Morse code, "MAYBE A LITTLE"
Slipstream nods at Lifeline, and after finishing with the MP3 player, grins at Ace and turns to head out "If he gets bored with that playset though lemme know and I can swap it up." he notes on his way out, now standing by Snapdragon.
Snapdragon says, "well this girl has about 10 years martial arts training under her belt...so picking might not be fun...instinct might kick in and that's how tables are broken." She smirks...wait is she being serious or joking? Who knows. "Anyway departing to let the man rest is best interest here."
"I knew it! I KNEW that spider was your doing, Greg!" Dr. Miller says with a grin. She turns back to Ace. "It's important to rest; as strange as that may sound. Now that you're no longer in an induced coma, your body needs normal cycles of rest and awakeness."
Ace tries to nod; thinks better of it.
Slipstream eyes Miller "... only I never put any spider. YOU have a secret admirer." he grinned wickedly. Then he states at Snapdragon "Good way to land back in the brig around here though." in flat tones and then states "I'm heading downstairs for a bit. See you later, Edwin? " he still had that cloth bag, and its mystery cargo that never got revealed.
Ace slips into unconsciousness - non-drug-induced, this time.
"Alright. Thanks for coming by, Slips, Snapdragon!" Dr. Steen really IS happy that Ace got visitors on his first evening back in the waking world, but even so, he's protective of the patient's needs too.
"Good night, Ace." Dr. Miller whispers gently.
Ace's eyelids flicker in his drugged sleep.
"Dr. Miller, you've earned your sweetie badge for the week. I think your sweetness helped wake him back up," Dr. Steen says with a grin.
"You're too kind, Dr. Steen." Dr. Miller says, blushing faintly.
Snapdragon watches Dr. Miller and Dr. Steen talk and she smirks some.
The med center finally quiets, and Ace enjoys his first real sleep in months.