(2016-07-16) Tough Love
Tough Love
Summary: Mon visits Elijah. They talk. Pray you never have to have Mon as your doctor. Machinists with amateur vet training have lousy bedside manners.
Date: 2016.07.16
Related: http://5thwave.wikidot.com/log:2016-07-12-one-poet-short

<FS3> Monica rolls Search: Good Success.

Monica comes in for her daily visit bearing the good Doctor's dinner, a dish of ice cream on the same large hubcap from some pickup truck or other that she's using for a tray, and also carrying a set of adjustable crutches she found in the other Doctor's office. She sets the crutches down and holds the hubcap out where Eli can reach it. "Eat the ice cream first. It'll melt. And you need your strength. I figure today we can get you vertical, get some weight on your feet…er… foot, get your guts happier, all that.

Elijah is laid back in the bed, eyes closed and head tilted back into the pillows. When Monica enters he looks to her, pushing his hands down against the bed to move up more against the pillows. Maybe to try and make it look like he hadn't stayed in practically the same position since she had last been to see him. "Hey Monica…" the doctor offers a weak smile. He was doing better, but that didn't mean things were better. A lot was still on his mind.

Taking the tray, he nods at the instructions and starts to eat. However, at the mention of trying to move around and get out of bed he shakes his head. "I don't think I'm ready for that…quite yet." Brow furrowing he gives her a quick look "…apologies" before taking a bite of ice cream.

You say, "Is the bleeding under control?" Mon has a little medical experience. Even some surgical. But her patients have always been four legged and doomed to the slaughterhouse, so her bedside manner isn't that great."

Another nod is given as his eyes go back to the area of covers over his legs…leg. Right. That would take awhile to get used to. He was still at the point where he kept it covered. It was just too much to process with everything else. So of course the healthy thing to do was ignore it right? "Yes. Still bandaged, but…doing better." He takes another bite of ice cream, gaze moving to focus on the tray.

Monica nods. "Okay. So if you're not going to bleed out on us, we should get you vertical once you've eaten. I mean, when we neutered young steers they were up and back with mom as soon as we let go."

His hand stops with a bite of ice cream halfway to his mouth, but only for a moment. "I'm not a cow…" He takes the bite of ice cream, finishing off the rest before setting the spoon back into the dish. "I don't want to walk today…thank you." Elijah starts in on his other food. At least he was being polite?

Monica reaches out to pat Eli's shoulder. "Okay… let's picture the tables turned. I'm lying in bed, slowly driving myself nuts because part of my body's just… gone. Give me a medical opinion, based on your expertise here. Do you let me lie there and mope, or do you browbeat me into getting up, getting the cardiovascular system warmed up, getting some blood circulating, and some deep breathing, and so on?

Elijah continues eating, but looks up at her slightly as she talks. Sighing, he takes a break from the food to give her his full attention. "Monica." Closing his eyes a moment he takes a breath, letting it out before looking back to her "I appreciate…what you're trying to do. But…stop…" He frowns again "Just…not now…please…?" He had started off sounding frustrated. Upset even. But the end of it just sounded tired. His gaze lowers to land on the covers again.

You say, "Okay. A hospital'd give you twenty-four hours, but part of that is so they can send you home before your insurance runs out. I'll give you today, but I found you some crutches, so unless you're feverish or bleeding, tomorrow's the day, ok?"

His gaze stays focused on the covers, but Elijah just gives a slow nod "Alright." His form tenses a bit before he looks back to his tray. He takes another bite of food.

Monica rubs the doc's shoulder some more. "I know how hard it is, you know?" She gestures toward her face. "You get used to it, but that… shock… that reminder… takes a long time to go away. I've been tinkering with ideas. I think I can make you a decent prosthetic, once you're healed enough to use one. I can't… make you the way you were, but we might be able to patch things up enough so you can get on with your life and what makes it good.

Elijah doesn't move from her touch on his shoulder, listening and continuing to eat for the moment. Then, about halfway through her explanation of the prosthetic, his hand comes to rest on the tray. Suddenly, it's just lifted and thrown from his lap. Across the bed and onto the floor on the other side with a louder crash as food and dishes clatter to the ground. The doctor's eyes are wide and his breathing quickened. "I'm sorry…" Eli closes his eyes, leaning forward away from her touch now as his hands move to grip his hair on either side of his head. "…Please…I can't…just…" No. He had to stay proper. Composed. He had to hold it together. He was the fixer. The healer. He couldn't fall apart. Not like this…not again. "I'm…sorry." His eyes close tightly a moment.

You say, "If you hold this in, it will screw you up inside until you don't know who you are anymore, if it doesn't kill you outright, Elijah. Trust me on this. Been there, done that. It's humiliating. A reminder that you can't fix everything, that you're human… and it hurts, physically and emotionally. It sucks. But like… lancing an infection… it speeds up healing."

The doctor just sits there for a moment, form eventually succumbing to shaking as he silently grieves. After getting it out of his system, at least for now, a shaky inhale sounds as he just speaks in a small voice. "All I keep thinking…is that it should be me…out there. I tried…" A sigh as Elijah sits back up, sniffing and running a hand down his face. "I tried to get him to take me instead. I should have done more. I should have…stopped him…but I didn't."

Monica slips her arms around Eli and holds him. "Eli… you're not a silencer. Seriously, what else could you have done? You resisted as much as humanly possible, and you nearly got killed for it." She holds him and tries to say comforting things, but it's mostly about listening at this point. Making him articulate what's chewing on his brain.

Whether or not he wanted it, Eli doesn't fight against the gesture. It seemed to help though as his form slowly stops shaking and he composes himself a little more. He gives a deep exhale, lowering his head and shaking it. "I could have done more. Bob. Sophia. You. Terry. Any of you…would have been able to do more. Fight him. Shoot him. Anything…" A moment of quiet, "Because of my inability to do ANYTHING…Quin is gone. Now…" he looks to the blankets over his leg, glaring and reaching a hand down to throw them back and reveal the full extent of his healing injury. "Look at me!? I can't even…do the ONE thing I was actually useful for at this camp!"

You say, "Did you talk to him? Did you offer to take care of him? I'll bet you did. That's what you do. That's what you're the best at. Civilization is like that. It works because we specialize. Seriously, could you see me being a successful doctor? I might one day be a half-decent vet if I studied for it. And yeah. You have one less foot to ache at the end of your day. You think that's going to keep you from doing what you do best?"

Elijah just stares at the bed as she talks. At where his leg used to be. None of this was right. None of it was fair…but it was his reality now. He couldn't just ignore it. His leg wasn't going to magically grow back just from him aching for it bad enough. "It just…all seems so…hopeless." Frowning and swallowing, he looks back to her, "I did try to help him. He was hurting…he was scared. I offered to help him…and he still did this. He still took Quinton. No matter what we do or how hard we fight…we'll never stop getting hurt. People will just keep getting…taken…from us…no matter how hard we try to stop it."

Monica nods a little and wipes her eyes. She understands all too well the visceral shock that comes from realizing your body isn't how you left it. That something's been taken away. But there's a deeper current there that's caught Mon's attention. "We can prolong that time. Sometimes. But even in the old world, people got hurt. For reasons that seem mind-numbingly stupid to us now. They got hurt. They died. They killed themselves. It's never been about saving people forever. It's always been about time, and quality of life." She reaches out to take the doctor's hand unless he actively pulls it away. "We can't keep from losing anyone forever. That's like trying to sweep back the tide. All there is. All there has ever been for any of us… is to have as much time as we can, and make it as good as we can. Help each other. Care, even though we know it's a sentence to be hurt unless we go first. I've been alone. It's not better."

Listening to her words, the doctor takes another deep breath…exhaling and nodding slowly. He doesn't move his hand away, letting her take it in her own. "And doing that…helps honor the memory of those we've lost…" Elijah offers her hand a small squeeze, looking back to his injury again. "Thank you, Monica…"

Monica squeezes the doctor's hand. "And the ones yet to come." She gestures to the doctor's leg, or lack thereof. "We can work with that. Your hip joint's still good, your hip muscles are still good. We'll need to come up with a knee joint and probably a spring ankle so you can have a comfortable gait with some bounce back in it. I have some ideas. But even if you had to work sitting down. You'd still be our doctor. And our friend. Ask Gabriel sometime. Humans are the most adaptive species on this planet. We'll make do."

"Sounds like a plan…" Eli says, giving a still tired but more genuine smile this time at least as he looks to her. He then looks over to where the tray of food had been cast to the floor. He frowns, shifting himself in the bed some towards that side. "Well…if I'm going to start anywhere…I guess it should be by cleaning up after myself shouldn't it?" He tries to lighten the mood. It wasn't much and it'd take time and undoubtedly some set backs along the way…but he was trying at least.

You say, "I was thinking more like a shower, if you want to give the crutches a shot.""

Elijah pauses, leaned over the bed, and looks back at her "You're back on the crutches idea I see…" Sighing, he pushes back up to sit "…are you sure?" He was hesitant. Regardless of what he knew medically…it was different being the patient. Being in this situation. He was scared.

You say, "I can keep you from falling. That takes a lot less force than lifting you up outright. If you run out of gas, we'll sit you down and I'll go get my cart and Chester."

"I guess…" Thinking about it a moment, Elijah finally nods. "Alright…I can try…" He shifts himself back over to that side of the bed. Yeah. This definitely felt weird. Trying to move around would be even more so. Still, it was either that or stay bedridden forever. So, why not try?

<FS3> Monica rolls Medicine: Success.

Monica gets the crutches and guestimates the setup, then hands them to the doctor. "Have you used crutches before?"

Elijah takes the crutches, moving his leg to swing over the side of the bed and rest his foot on the floor. "I think I'll be alright…just might need some help getting to the standing position." Looking as his nub, the doctor takes a deep breath. Processing it again. "Right…I'm ready…" He'd then do his best to hoist up into a stand, using his arms as well as pressing against the floor with his foot. Between not being used to only having one set of leg muscles to work with and the fact he was still recovering in general, it definitely took more effort.

<FS3> Monica rolls Strength: Failure.
<FS3> Elijah rolls Strength: Good Success.

Monica holds onto the doctor. He might notice just how rough her hands are. She's not terribly strong, but as she said. It takes less force to keep someone from falling than to lift them. And it's a good thing that's true. From where she is, she can't help a whole lot.

It takes some effort, along with some unstable wobbling, but the end result is Eli standing. Yay! Taking a moment to recover, he shifts his stance some to be more comfortable on the crutches. "So far…so good at least. Yeah?" he looks to Monica. "I'll need to avoid getting the bandaging and other parts of the area wet though…perhaps if I sit in a chair…"

You say, "Mm. Garbage bag? Duct tape? A chair might be safer though. Or we can just get in you into one of the tubs." Monica manages to fall trying to help keep Eli balanced.

"I think I'd feel more comfortable with a chair" Elijah offers, before only being able to watch as Monica falls. "Are you alright?!" He'd have tried to help but that probably would have just ended in more catastrophe.

Monica thpppts. "Fat lot of use I am. Yeah, I'm fine." She gets up and dusts herself off. She looks around for an all-metal chair. Preferably a folding chair.

Elijah is unable to help but chuckle slightly, "Well I appreciate the effort…so thank you." As she grabs a chair he'd start managing his way to the shower. It's a process, but he seems to be doing alright for the most part.

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