Homework Part 4
Episode 3.5 - Welcome to Paradise
Location: Superintendent's Office
Timeline: MD +3
Admiral Farley sipped his coffee, seated on his couch and stared at the PADD with the Arcadia's personnel list. His eyebrows shot up when he saw the newest arrival. A Ferengi doctor. Something stirred in his memory. He knew a Captain Foster who'd adopted a Ferengi child years ago. It had to be the same person. Smiling, he tapped his combadge.
=A= Admiral Farley to Commander Foster =A=
=A= Foster here, Admiral. Howe may I be of assistance? =A=
=A= Doctor do you make house calls for cranky old Admirals on phased retirement?=A=
=A= It would be my pleasure, sir. I can be there in... ten minutes. =A=
It was a conservative estimate, but Isbee found she was occasionally having trouble finding her way around the ship. Her duties hadn't permitted the usual exploration she liked to undertake when serving on a new vessel, and she though she could move quickly, she still had short legs. She grabbed a medkit and updated the duty nurse on where she was headed. Then she stepped into the corridor and consulted a wall panel in an effort to locate the Admiral's office. She was relieved to see it was only five decks below, but she still kicked herself into high gear as she made for the turbolift. Phased retirement or not, it was bad form to leave an Admiral waiting. Also, the name Farley was vaguely familiar, though she couldn't seem to recall if they had every met.
Seven minutes later the doctor was standing outside the superintendent's office. She took a moment to collect herself, taking a deep breath and adjusting her collar, before pressing the door chime.
"Come in," the Admiral called. He was laying on his couch when the doctor entered. He waved at her with one hand. "Commander, I am glad to see you." It was clear from the grimace on his face that he was in some pain.
The doctor was at his side, kneeling on the floor and opening her medkit, before she'd even started to speak. "What seems to be the problem?"
The Admiral couldn't help but be embarrassed. "Oh it is just my back. Sometimes it goes out on me and it hurts a bit. It will probably be better tomorrow." He chuckled weakly. "Had a bad shuttle landing once, well a crash to be honest. Never been quite the same since."
"I see," Isbee nodded as she slowly guided the probe of her medical tricorder along the Admiral's side, focusing on moving up and down the length of the spine. She fought back a small smile while conducting the scan, recalling a running joke from her med school days. She could remember her instructor like it was yesterday: 'Whenever a patient tells you their back 'went out', I want you to look them square in the face and ask them just where in the hell their back went. It's still there, of course! Hence the dangers of self diagnosis...'
The doctor was not about to use that line on an Admiral, even if she did sense he could appreciate a good joke. In truth, pain was no laughing matter, and while she wasn't above mixing some humor into her bedside manner this just didn't seem like the time. "Well, there is certainly some inflammation, mostly along the lumbar region. Do you feel any pain along either of your legs?" She had set aside her tricorder and deftly inserted her right hand between his back and the couch, gently continuing her exam by touch.
She had deft hands, he thought. Most of the doctors he'd dealt with were brutes. "No. My legs are fine." He winced as she touched a particularly sore spot in the middle of his back. "What do you think? Is it fatal?"
"Afraid not," Isbee joked, giving in to the playful banter. "I am going to want to take a small blood sample, just to be thorough, but I think an anti-inflammatory and rest will see you through the day." She returned to her medkit and loaded a hypospray with a dosage of naprosyn. "Do you have any allergies, Admiral?"
"Paperwork, my wife's meatloaf and people without a sense of humor. Medically, I have no allergies." He sighed as the hypospray hissed. "Thank you, I am sure that will take care of it. Why can't doctors solve the pain of getting old?"
Isbee readied a second hypo to take the needed sample. "May I see your arm please? That's it just relax." Another hiss and the blood was collected. "As far as getting old... well, that's one of the great medical mysteries, I suppose. There are the cautionary tales of those who pursued such results only to increase their pain and suffering, and sometimes taking others with them." She thought back to the various case studies she had reviewed in her Medical Ethics coursework. "I suppose, if you're inclined to be philosophical, maybe there are simply some things doctors shouldn't be able to do."
The Admiral grunted. "I suppose. Still, now that you have saved me from a horrible end on my own couch, perhaps we can discuss the real reason I invited you here? I've actually got a number of requests for you. First, I know you are getting settled in but I have 108 cadets who will require medical screening within the first six months they are on ship. I know it's a hassle and I know they had exit screening, but it is part of the process."
Sitting back on her legs, the CMO thought over Farley's request. "I don't think that will be any problem. Arcadia has extensive medical facilities and staff, and we're open every duty shift. We can schedule in advance so all 108 don't show up at the same time, but we can easily accommodate that number within the one month, maybe two."
"That is more than acceptable, doctor. Thank you. And that brings us to my last request," he paused. "Well, not last, last. That wouldn't do wonders for your reputation." He grinned. "So part of my assignment is making sure the cadets receive working knowledge about what life is like outside of the academy. I'm asking each of the staff officers to give a lecture about their specialty. Things like how did you choose it, what is different than you thought etc. Just a fun talk. What do you say?"
"I say count me in," Isbee smiled. "I'd be more than happy to speak about the ups and downs of Starfleet medicine. And I'm more than willing to accommodate any required field work - classrooms have their place but nothing can top hands-on experience."
"Hmm. Sounds like you are reading my mind. I didn't know you had the lobes for that," the Admiral said. "I was thinking about eventually placing a few interns with different departments, pending the captain's approval. I will put you at the top of the list of guinea pigs. You have been very accomodating, Doctor. Thank you for everything."
"It's been my pleasure, Admiral," Isbee smiled, appreciative of the compliment. She secured her supplies and stood. "How's the back?"
"Better. But I think a nap is in order. Medical purposes only, of course." He closed his eyes and within moments, was fast asleep.
Isbee quietly left the office so as not to disturb her patient. It was safe to say she had already grown quite fond of the Admiral, even after such a brief conversation. He felt sort of like a grandfather, and that thought was more comforting to her than she expected. She was also excited about working with the cadets - she loved to teach and was glad to see her new posting would grant her the opportunity to do so. She began the journey back to sickbay, her mind already busy debating topics for her guest lecture.
Rear Admiral Gregory Farley
Mobile Academy Director
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Lieutenant Commander Isbee Foster
Chief Medical Officer
USS Arcadia NCC-89015