USS Healy
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The worst patients

Posted on 04 Jun 2018 @ 2:54am by Lieutenant Commander Franziska Ekke MD & Lieutenant Commander Sterek

Mission: Mission 0: The Healy Returns
Location: Counselor's office

The man who entered Franziska's office probably looked like any other Vulcan who had been forced to report to a Counselor out of necessity - stiff, uncomfortable, and evidently not happy to be here, if a Vulcan could ever be described as happy in the first place. He offered a Vulcan salute after she let him in, but did not presume to sit down.

"Lieutenant Commander Sterek," he said, introducing himself. "I understand you received my appointment request."

After returning Sterek's greeting, Franzi stated, "Yes, Petty Officer Bauer made sure to let me know. How may I help you?"

"I have standing orders from my previous counselor to report in to you due to an ongoing condition," he replied. "However, since it is currently under my control, I believe this discussion will be brief."

"Very well." She gestured to the seating—a sofa and an armchair adjacent to the one where she sat—and the replicator. "Please help yourself. I've been ordered to limit unnecessary movement." There was more than a sigh behind her response, which was answered with a quick kick inside her womb. Franzi frowned.

Sterek sat down, electing to ignore the replicator. His eyes darted down to her belly with detached clinical interest before returning to her face. "If you are unwell, I can reschedule. This is not an urgent matter."

"No," Franzi replied, waving her hand. "She's just being disagreeable."

"Very well." He inclined his head in acknowledgement, and then, with typical Vulcan forthrightness, said, "Subconscious control issues, incurred as a result of a traumatic event, caused me to inadvertently operate at a caloric deficit for an extended period of time, causing significant reduction in body mass before the problem became apparent to me. While this has now been resolved, I was advised to report in to the counsellor at my next posting in case the change in circumstances caused this or any other issue to recur."

"I see," she said. "For how long were you struggling with your eating disorder, and when did you seek treatment?"

The Vulcan blinked, his expression showing detached interest. "Define 'struggling with'."

She rephrased: "For how long did it affect your quality of life or cause you concern?"

He paused as if performing a careful translation in his head.

"I believe my day-to-day functioning was impaired for at least six months prior to diagnosis, but it is difficult to be exact. It did not cause me concern."

That statement did cause Franzi concern, but she said nothing for now. "You have described the condition as both ongoing and resolved, which seems contradictory. Could you elaborate on that for me?"

"My apologies. I consider the matter of my nutritional intake resolved. The circumstances which caused my pathological behaviour are still extant." Sterek's expression was back at 'Vulcan Baseline' now. "I believe I have come to terms with the situation, but I also understand that recovery from trauma is not linear."

Franzi nodded. "Sterek, I'd like to have a weekly check-in with you. It needn't be a full appointment, but I'll block the whole hour should you require it. Are you amenable to this?"

There was a very small pause before Sterek replied. "My condition is stable, counselor. I do not wish to waste your time. However, if you believe it is necessary, I will defer to your expertise."

"It's not a waste of my time to look after the crew's health," Franzi said with a warm smile, "and that includes you now."

Sterek didn't return the smile, but he dipped his head slightly, as if acknowledging it. "Very well. Your dedication to your patients is commendable. Perhaps a few regular sessions will satisfy you that I am no longer in any danger."

"I hope that attending to your health would be agreeable to you as well, Sterek," she stated. "Mr. Bauer should be able to find a time slot that works well with your schedule."

"Thank you. I shall liaise with him, and continue to attend to my health in the meanwhile. Unless there is anything else?" He moved to stand - a hopeful little gesture.

The counselor struggled to stand but eventually made it out of her chair. "There's nothing else," she answered, a little out of breath from the effort. "I'll see you around the ship, Doctor Sterek."

Sterek moved to offer assistance. "Of course. I believe it is also appropriate for me to offer congratulations at this juncture. How soon is the baby due?"

"Not soon enough," bemoaned Franzi as she accepted the aid. "She's half human, you see... and their gestation time is a bit longer than Haliian pregnancy. I was not built for this."

The Vulcan's eyebrows raised minutely. "Your discomfort does not surprise me. Do not hesitate to contact sickbay if you believe you require assistance, Counselor."

"Believe me," she stated, "I will do exactly that."

 

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