Part of Starbase Bravo: 2401: Mission 1

Doctor, Doctor

Gym, Upper Promenade
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clang, clang!

Joshua grunted as he moved the weights up and down on the machine. It felt good to have all his after mission reports done so early. He brought the weights up, and felt a pop in his side. Joshua dropped his grip on the handle, bringing the weights down with a crash. People in the gym looked his direction as he gripped his side. His wind was knocked out of him and he began to breathe in gasps.

“Are you okay?” Came the concerned voice of an woman.

“I… gasp… don’t… feel…”

“Stay here, I’m going to get help,” the woman fished in her bag for her combadge. “Richter to Infirmary, there’s a medical emergency in the main gym.”

“We’re on our way!” came the response.

It had been a quiet day in the infirmary for Doctor Evan Brooks. He’d had a few appointments earlier in the day, but he’d spent most of the day catching up on his administrative duties, which included checking in on one of the smaller infirmaries located around the station.

“I’ll go,” Evan told the duty nurse as a medical technician handed him a medkit.

The jog to the main gym on the upper promenade was a short one, and he easily spotted a concerned group of people standing around his patient. “Let me through.”

Joshua felt himself being lowered to the ground as his breath came quick. It had been almost two weeks since his ribs were healed at the Ignaus Colony, There was no way… jeez, it was hard to breathe… hard to think… He resumed staring at the ceiling.

Before he knew it, a man in a teal uniform came into his vision. A couple of clicks and the beeping of a tricorder.

“What happened?” Doctor Brooks asked as he scanned Joshua with the medical tricorder.

“He was working on the machine over there, sir,” Richter pointed. “And he started holding his side and couldn’t breathe.”

“She… right…” Joshua said, his breaths coming in gasps. “Ribs… broke…” He attempted to point to his side, but it was more of an arm flop.

Doctor Brooks frowned as he studied the display on his tricorder. “Looks like your ribs were broken no more than two weeks ago,” he announced, “which means they were still healing.” Brooks shut his tricorder. 

“You have a pneumothorax.” Brooks pulled a hypospray from the medkit, pressed the nozzle against Joshua’s chest and activated it. “You rebroke your ribs, which punctured your lung,” Brooks told him. “Air was being trapped between your chest wall and lung, making it difficult to breathe. I’m using the hypospray to remove that excess air from your chest cavity.” With his free hand, he flipped his tricorder open and resumed scanning. Seconds later he pulled the hypospray away. “Breathing easier?”

Joshua let out a gasp, inhaled, and coughed. His heartbeat, which was pounding in his ears, began to slow. Joshua took some small, test breaths. “Yeah, it is.” His voice came out like a croak, “I thought they told me they were healed. Did they miss something? I know they told me to take it easy, but I’ve never been the best patient,” Joshua managed a weak smile.

“An impatient patient? I can’t imagine what one of those must be like,” Brooks joked as he continued to study the tricorder. “It looks like they did a fine job healing you, but with this type of injury we usually recommend avoiding this kind of strenuous activity for three to six weeks, the longer the better, and when you do start working out again, to start light.”

“I’ll stick to paperwork for the next few weeks, got it.” Gym goers helped Joshua into a semi-reclined position. “I did hit it pretty hard to start,” he looked at the machine. “I guess I don’t know my own strength.” Joshua’s breathing became more slow and relaxed. “Any follow-up you’d like? This whole thing has taught me the importance of heeding medical advice.”

Brooks smiled. “They say we learn our lessons the hard way.” He packed away his tricorder and retrieved the hypospray again, loading it with a sky-blue coloured vial. “You’re going to be sore for a couple of days, and I want you to take it easy so I’m placing you on restricted duty. Come by and see me in a few days so I can check that you’re healing properly.” He pressed the hypospray against Joshua’s neck. “This should help with the pain for the next few hours.”

Joshua nodded, “Restricted duty, yes sir. Good thing plants don’t tend to be physically demanding.” Richter carefully helped him to feet. “Thanks doctor,” he said, offering his hand to shake.

“You’re welcome.” Brooks replied, shaking Joshua’s hand. “I’ll see you in a few days.”