Location: Medical Center - The Pit
Date: September 09, 2013
Summary: Ace gets a new face!
As logged by Ace - Monday, September 09, 2013, 7:45 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 goverment 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.
- Generic Greenshirt Medic
- Psyche-Out's Office
Early morning, around 5 or 6am, Ace was awakened by Dr. Steen and told that the surgery was going to take place right away. Apparently, the timing of getting a civilian doctor into The Pit, coupled with the security surrounding said visit, had to be timed in tandem with getting the doctor a flight from Narita to San Francisco, and then a red-eye from San-Fran to Omaha, respectively. It was quite the ordeal, but as they say, the stars aligned perfectly, and all that was left was prepping the patient.
Once Ace is wheeled into the surgical suite, the anesthesiologist begins prepping Ace's knock-out cocktail.
"This shouldn't take too long," Dr. Steen promises. "When you wake up, you may be in quite a bit of pain. The reason for this is we have to make sure everything is functioning correctly, and that includes the facial nerves, so you *will* get painkillers for that, but it might be really unpleasant at first, okay? Just bear with us. You'll have a face when you wake up." He removes all of Ace's bandages, then the anesthesiologist puts a large mask on Ace, and a few seconds go by before everything fades to black...
...Some time later, a pain reminiscent of a toothache awakens Ace. It feels like his entire face is one big bad tooth that needs to be extracted. The surgical suite fades back into view, revealing Dr. Steen, the anesthesiologist, and Dr. Yamashita looking over him.
Ace starts to struggle a bit, moaning fitfully. He slowly regains consciousness enough to realize where he is.
"I know, I know it's terrible right now, but just bear with it for a short time more..." Dr. Steen feels SO bad for Ace having to endure this much discomfort, but facial nerves are extremely irritable and sensitive things -- and there's only one way to make sure that they still function properly. Dr. Yamashita has what appears to be electrodes on Ace's face, taking readings. "Everything so far looking wicked good there, champ," Dr. Y says cheerfully.
Other than the pain, Ace might notice a few other things...his face feels -- well, it HURTS but it also feels...naked. The feeding and breathing tubes are gone. And his tongue is no longer touching bandages, it seems to be encased in something...he might feel TEETH around them, which is probably a strange feeling.
Ace probes his new teeth curiously, eyes flashing wildly from side to side like a frightened animal.
A monitor begins beeping softly, and Dr. Yamashita checks it out. "Okay, I'm getting total response from the facial nerves! You see, Dr. Steen, he has feeling and movement *both*."
Dr. Steen nods. "Couldn't ask for better. OK," he says, addressing Ace this time, "Something for the pain, I promised you..." He takes a syringe, and injects Ace in several spots on and around his face, blessedly blocking the pain as the medication takes hold. "Now, I want to show you something. No more surgery. We're done." He clicks on a few more overhead lights, then brings a mirror over to Ace. "Take a look." He gives Ace the handheld mirror.
Looking back at Ace in the mirror might as well be his old face staring back at him. A little bit of bruising, some swelling...but it's HIM. No tubes, no missing jaw.
Ace stares at his reflection a moment, but he's too wiped to hold the mirror up to his face. His arm sags, although he at least holds onto the mirror and doesn't drop it. He opens his mouth carefully, tenderly. He closes it again, working the atrophied jaw muscles. He makes a small sound, and opens his mouth again, stretching it gingerly. He tries to bring up the mirror again. Slowly Ace brings the mirror up, carefully, gazing at his new/old face.
Lifeline helps Ace out, holding the mirrow there for him in case he gives out or even passes out. He can only guess the wave of emotions Ace is experiencing. "I know it's been a while, but you are -- physically, anyhow -- capable of talking again. May take some time to get used to how everything feels in there...your vocal chords may take a little time to produce sound since they haven't in some time -- but you are free to work on it, now. And real food. No more nutrition in a bag."
Ace croaks, "Wh... ater..." He mutters to Lifeline, "Snake... Eyes... could... help?"
"Oh, this is the best!" Dr. Yamashita exclaims cheerfully. "This is like a home run!"
Dr. Steen grins at Ace, shaking his head, then goes to get the pilot a glass of water. Dr. Yamashita isn't allowed to leave the surgical suite, so he just sits there like a good version of Dr. Arkeville, happy as a pig in mud over how well things went. "I wish I could take pictures of you, but the soldiers took my camera!" Dr. Yamashita tells Ace, just as Dr. Steen returns and hands Ace the water glass.
Ace drinks the water carefully, dribbling much of it down his face.
"It's going to take some getting used to," Dr. Steen admits, handing Ace a small towel. "Use the mirror if you need to. And don't be surprised if parts of your face are numb from time to time; the facial nerves don't take well to being handled and re-placed, which is why you woke up in such pain. Good news is, that pain will fade over the next few days."
Ace nods slowly. "Thanks... doc," he scratches out with difficulty, swallowing often. "To... both of you." He tries to smile. It takes a moment.
"You're very welcome, and thank you for being a great patient.. I know it's been a terrible summer for you, but I hope this makes all the terrible moments worth it," Dr. Steen says, finally having his moment of feeling like a decent doctor, capable of 'doctor things'.
Dr. Yamashita seems pretty proud, just savoring the moment. "Yeah, sorry I freaked you out with that model. I get so much into my work that I forget it's much more like mad science sometimes, heheh."
Ace croaks, "I.... appreciate... it. Just... little... overwhelming..." He drinks more water, getting a little more of it into his mouth this time.
"I'm sure it is. But I guarantee that the more you use it, the more it will feel perfectly natural to you. Eating is probably going to be a really strange ordeal the first few times," Dr. Steen admits. "But practice makes perfect."
Dr. Yamashita is already being prepped by Pit Security to be whisked back to the airport. After the last security breach, Security is taking no chances.
Ace nods, getting more used to this drinking-and-talking thing, though not at the same time -- he's not a ventriloquist. He croaks, "I really appreciate what both of you have done. It's... it's above and beyond. I can't thank you enough." His voice gets drier and weaker the more in a row he talks. He sips more water, with increased care to get it all in his mouth, like someone just returned from the dentist after getting a Novacaine shot.
"Do you feel like the face...works? Like it's yours? It probably feels strange, and it will for a while," Dr. Steen says. "We'll give you shots for the nerve pain as needed. But now that you're not tied to the sickbed by a ventilator and a feeding tube...seriously. Walk around. Don't leave the base yet, but go visit people. You've been laying down for a long, long time."
Ace nods, sitting up more, and stretching, using his muscles for more than just PT and tapping out messages. He stretches his face carefully, opening his mouth, making various extressions, some of them involving the more-than-occasional wince.
"Oh, and if you're out and you start getting that toothache pain...it isn't your teeth, it's just the nerves acting up. Just come by and I can give you that nerve blocking shot which should last you a little while," Dr. Steen says. "Don't try to tough it out because it'll only make you miserable."
Ace nods slowly. "Don't worry," he comments dryly. "I'm not feeling macho." He is still sitting in his bed.... but now has a face! w00t!
Dr. Steen laughs, he can't help it. "I am so glad you don't feel invincible. Or lucky. It's okay to feel mortal sometimes."
Chance is resting a few beds over. He'd been recovering slowly, but steadily. His fever broke finally last night, the man still struggling to keep food down or weight on, so hopefully this will turn the tide. He lay rather still, although with a rather stressed expression on his face, before with a jump, sucking in a loud gasp of air he sat bolt upright, body seizing stiff while his eyes flew open. "GAH!"
Dr. Steen turns and heads over to Chance. "Hey, you alright? Just...relax, you're in the Medical Center. Deep breaths." He goes over to get Chance some fresh ice water.
Ace croaks, "I actually feel pretty lucky right now..."
Chance in his waking up, had drawn his legs to his chest as he sat there several minutes, his eyes blinking before he shut them tightly. Air in, held it, and he let it out slowly, with a relaxing shiver. "Med center... right, I remember now. Yeah, I'm okay I think... Just a nightmare" he stammered. The voice he heard was also familiar, although he hadnt met Ace officially before this. Keeping his eyes shut once more the man started to lay back instead, then winced as he unfolded his sprained leg "Ow... Is that Ace I hear? "
"That is, indeed, Ace. Ace, this is Chance, one of the newest team members. I don't think you guys ever actually met," Dr. Steen says.
Chance fished for his sunglasses, but he already had opened his eyes to squint about - they seem mostly for 'first wake up augh bright lights' now for him as he finds it and slips them on again, now laing back on his raised bed once more "That's good to hear he's awake so soon! And nice to meet you Ace... we'll shake hands later when one of us can mobilize." he noted, trying to smooth over his shaky wakeup
Ace shakily climbs to his feet. "Nice to meet you," he croaks, still new to talking again.
"So Chance, how's all the aches and pains today?" Dr. Steen checks out Chance's sprained leg.
Chance's leg is still sprained, but doing as well as the rest of him - below average on the recovery curve, but still making progress. He smiles at Ace again and waves to him, recognising him now faintly from the intruder-alert of the other week. "Still achy, still painy. My shoulder burns a bit, but probably cause I jumped waking up. My eyes arent watering, but..." he sniffed, he was plugged up "Yup. Full out head cold."
"For you, painkillers, expectorant, tissues, and plenty of chicken soup," Dr. Steen tells Chance.
"... I know everything on that list but Expectorant, but I'm not going to object either. Mother trained me well." remarked the soldier as he reachs for the box of tissues previously requested, pulling his fallen covers back up as high as they will go and flipping the ocrner bakc over his leg after th inspection. "HOw are you feeling, Ace?"
"Expectorant is...well, you really want to know?" Dr. Steen asks Chance.
Chance pauses at that "... If its going in me I should at least know what it is going to do isnt it?" he asked, carefully. "Cause theres some things that shouldnt be surprises."
"OK, well...expectorants help you cough up mucus," Dr. Steen says with a perfectly serious face...but his dark eyes are twinkling with amusement.
Chance grimaces "... Well, it wasnt what I thought it did, but still.. its better than wishing you could stick a dentist vacuum thing up your nostril." he admits, finshing with wiping said nose and disposing of the tissue as he lay back down "You meantioned soup earlier though.."
"I did! And I'm upgrading your soup to something better than broth, because you're keeping it down. Better food is your reward," Dr. Steen promises.
"SOME of its staying down, but more of it each time if I put my mind to it. I noticed *sniff* If I go to sleep soon after eating I throw up. It just be coming down to willpower." admits the Soldier, looking happy with that diagnosis. Then he smirked a bit "When do I get a poutine?"
"When I have 100% probability of not having to clean up poutine puke," Dr. Steen says, wagging a finger. "Or, when you're well enough to LEAVE here to go eat that mess when I don't have to know about it. Preferably, the latter."
Chance lifts both hands placatingly, one more than the other with a half apologetic grin on his face "Okay okay. Sounds fair to me." he chuckles thickly a little bit, flinching once more as he finally noticed the ice water brought over, and reaches to pick it up to partake "When do I get to depart to recover in my own ed? " he asked curiously, always full of questions~!
"Not yet. I'm still not convinced you're well enough...but when this cold is through with you in a few days, I'll rethink the discharge," Dr. Steen says.
Chance nods acceptingly, although there was the faintest of sighs , but it was a resigned one as he settled onto his back to wait for the soup to arrive, carefully adjusting how his IV drips lay on the bed to be a little more comfortable and less in the way, having jerked them a little when he woke up.
It isn't long before a special delivery arrives from the cafeteria: a nice large bowl of chicken soup, with...a buttery roll!
Chance ooos at the roll, quite happy with the extravagant 'posh'ness of it all, and deinitely falls silent to enjoy it, taking care not to sneeze on any of it and spill on his bedding either as he tucks in happily, at least having the WANT to eat more even if his stomach was still objecting to it.
Ace smiles in amusement, and then looks surprised. "Hey! I can smile again. You rock, doc." He smiles again. His face still looks odd and swollen, but he's definitely Ace again.
"Well...thank you, Ace. It's days like this, when I can deliver on things like this, that I feel like the medical degree was worth it," Dr. Steen admits. "Wish Dr. Miller could've been here to see this."
Ace croaks, "I'm sure I'll be gracing her with my Frankensmile soon enough." He gives Lifeline an awkward version of said smile. "She never knew me when I was pretty." He smirks... sort of.
"You can't make moves on Dr. Miller. Not allowed," Dr. Steen deadpans.
Ace snorts, then has an awkward, painful-sounding coughing fit. Maybe some expressions are too much, too soon.
"You doing alright? Let me know if you feel like you need another shot...you'll probably need the pain blockers for a couple days," Dr. Steen says worriedly.
Ace straightens up, tears streaming down his new face. "I, uh... overdid it a little," he croaks, face expressing pain clearly enough, at least.
Dr. Steen nods, and locates a few points on and around the cheekbones where he's sure Ace's irritated nerves are probably 'getting angry', and he injects them carefully.
Ace sits very very still for this.
"There. Should bother you less. Don't let pain prevent you from using those muscles, because using them is what we want you to do," Dr. Steen encourages.
Ace sighs. "OK, doc. I will, but I'll be careful." He forces an odd but thankful smile.