Pushing Through
Pushing Through
Summary: Reed gets back on his feet for the first time since the PAS explosion.
Date: 37 ACH
Related Logs: Lifelines, and related.

Private Room Genesis - Deck 13
37 ACH 6285 Souls

This is a private room set up with oxygen and power connections, prepared to house special recovery cases. The room itself is unremarkable, meant for patients to be wheeled in, locked into place and connected to monitoring and support systems. Guards at the door are optional, depending on orders, but the equipment here is normally connected to the monitoring stations in Sickbay.

Reed is sitting up in bed, set of papers in front of him, pouring over them taking a few notes on his handheld now and then.

Zaharis said he'd be back, and he keeps his promise. In his dark blue scrubs suitable for winding down recovery ward halls, the CMO returns to Reed's room after ample time to let the man rest. A light knock precedes the door opening.

Reed looks up, and smiles, "Ah, Doctor." He says, saving and shutting down the computer, then putting the papers away. "We ready for second gear? Any other news around?"

Zaharis has a distracted air about him that probably answers Reed's second question without his having to say a word. He declines to do so vocally, just nodding to the first one with a slight smile. "Ready if you are. Like I even have to be sure."

Reed sets his things aside, then takes in Zaharis. "In a minute. Something I need to know about, or not really?"

Zaharis' mouth thins into a line as he steps up to the bedside, and he looks directly at Reed's face. "I'm not at liberty to talk about it," he replies, not liking to have to say the words. A slight pause. "What I can say is that information's come down as to why we're here. It…will affect Rhea."

Ships at Condition Three, Reed, just went to Condition Two. He looks at Zaharis, lips forming into a clear, tight line. "Is that all you're at liberty to say?" He says, clearly.

Zaharis' dark eyes flicker. Apology, deeper than just for what he's about to say. "Yes. I'm sorry, Carter, I can't right now."

Reed nods once, no hint of chafing at the lack of information. "Then let's do this. You have the robe?"

Zaharis holds up his left arm, over which he's got one of the pool robes as requested. "Order's in for the rest of your clothes, but this'll do. Let's see how you do with sitting up, first of all." He drapes the robe on the back of the chair and motions for Reed to pull aside his blanket. "Let me have a look at your sutures." The catheter, gladly for all, has been done away with. Reed's graduated to bedpans.

Well, thank the gods for small favors. Reed settles back, and draws the bedding aside to give the Doctor access to the operation scar, and the sutures contained there. He's been good, hasn't pushed himself or done anything that would give the sutures any chance to strain or pop. He just lays back, looking at the celing. "This is going to be easier than I thought it would be." He says, thoughtfully.

Zaharis smirks. "Optimism's half the battle, or some shit." He inspects the sutures without actually touching them, and when satisfied he sits down on the edge of Reed's bed, draping the robe on the mattress. He holds out both nailbitten hands at Reed's half-reclined chest height. "Alright, take my hands and start pulling yourself all the way to sitting. -Slowly-. You may not make it all the way up, and that's fine. And if I tell you to stop, then stop."

Reed takes the hands, and begins to slowly pull himself up, taking deliberate, even, measured breaths. His expression is stony through it all, and he doesn't say anything. His body responding in a slow, even motion that seems to be taking Reeds concentration.

Zaharis doesn't give much help, other than a firm grip to keep Reed from accidentally falling backwards. He keeps an eye on the sutures, though they hold perfectly. Go Thad. "Good, Carter…doing good. Breathe nice and slow."

Reed sits upright fully, keeping his breathing even, and regular. He looks to Zaharis, and his voice is clear, though with very little inflection. "Next?" He asks, simply.

"I'm going to stand up. Then I'm going to let go of your right hand and support your back for you." Zaharis tells Reed before he does it, to warn him of the shift of the mattress. Rising to his feet while still gripping Reed's hands, he follows the rest of his own instructions, his arm now bracing some of Reed's weight. "I want you to move your legs over the side of the bed. Again, keep it nice and slow. Any sharp pains, I want you to stop."

Reed nods, "I understand." Reed replies evenly, his concentration placed inward as his legs slide over the side of the bed, then down. He performs this action with deliberate care, though more with an attitude of self testing than pain. And there has to be pain. The tension in his face is present, though it doesn't stop him from moving. "No sharp pains." He says, then he continues his breathing.

No game face is good enough to fool an experienced doctor. Zaharis is watching carefully, noting not just Reed's expression but the tension in his body. "Good. You're doing excellently. Better than I expected. Now we're going to stand you up. I'm going to bend my knees a little here and lower my hand here. The other's going to stay around your back. Since I'm shorter than you, I'm going to put my shoulder under your arm, and I want you to use me for support. Be careful with your weight. Your legs are going to be weak. If you feel dizzy, speak up…I've got you."

Reed glances to Zaharis at the praise, but nothing in his expression acknowledges it. At the instructions, he nods, "Alright." He carefully, and slowly takes his weight on his legs, tension in the muscles, and in his body, though he does regulate the tension with his breathing. Yes, he's in pain, but he seems to have his concentration locked on the pain, locked into the pain, and he is focused completely on the pain. He stands, leaning on Zaharis, though he takes the majority of his weight, keeping his knees from locking up as he concentrates. He gives himself a few moments, "slight.. dizzyness is clearing.. gone." He tilts his head from side to side, neck popping.

Zaharis is ready to sit Reed back down at the note of dizziness, but he pauses as it's declared passing. He's grabbed the robe up with them, a fold grasped in one hand, but he doesn't move out from under Reed's arm yet. "There we go…breath slow, nice and easy…and look at that, you're up on your own feet."

Reed nods, "Yes, I am. Soreness throughout my abdomen. Legs have some muscular strain." He considers. "I'm breathing through my chest, I assume that I shouldn't be breathing abdominally." He looks at the robe, "Let's have that."

"Breathing abdominally won't kill you," Zaharis replies, shaking out his hand behind Reed to unfold the robe. "You're not singing opera, here. Alright, let go of this hand…" He gently shakes the hand that's still in front of Reed's body. "Hold onto the bedrail."

Reed nods, holding the rail and taking the robe, slowly putting it on in shifts, pausing, "More soreness as I breathe abdominally, but nothing sharp." He reports in that same, flat tone, concentration still evident in his features. "Easier than I was preparing for."

Zaharis keeps his other arm around Reed's back, then under the man's forearm as he helps get the robe over Reed's shoulders, then over one arm at a time. His hands are for the most part steady. There's just a few moments here and there where that weird tremor comes and goes, easily lost in movement. "Good thing we hyped it up as much worse to start with then, eh?" He smiles, tugging the back of the robe gently so it sits right on Reed's shoulders. "There. No more draft. The nurses are going to cry their eyes out."

Reed folds the robe over himself, and ties the belt loosely, "I could give a shit about the nurses." Reed says levely, eyes focused on the space in front of him. "And this pain is absolutely nothing. This isn't the pain I'm concerned about." He looks to Zaharis, face grim and focused. "I don't suppose you can scare up some slippers, if we're going to take a walk."

"We're not." Zaharis replies, shaking his head slightly. "Farthest you're going today is to the john if you want to take a piss on your own. Every few hours you're going to do this with one of the nurses, then tomorrow we'll try walking around in earnest. This is enough for one day, you don't want to strain it."

Reed nods, "Well, then put the slippers on order." He looks to the bathroom, then back to Zaharis, "Get a nurse, hmm? I think I could do with a change of sheets while I move to the bathroom."

"Going for the new car smell, eh?" Zaharis twists just enough to grab the little call button, pressing it. Clearly he's not actually letting go of Reed until the man's one step from privacy in the tiny bathroom. "Safari time, let's go." Old man shuffle, activate.

Reed nods, starting to take small steps, keeping his breathing regulated as he moves. While walking, his voice is clear, focused and flat. "Is she at liberty to know?" He asks, apparently focusing as he makes the painful movements to carry him to the bathroom.

Zaharis keeps his eyes on where they're going now. The snail's pace doesn't seem to bother him, his feet taking the same baby steps as Reed's. "I don't know. She may be. The matter is of…personal concern for her." His tone is that of someone that's very aware they're skirting lines.

Reed continues his walking motions, nodding, "All I want to know is how I can best help her when this hits, Doctor." He keeps making his movements, in a disciplined, controlled manner. "What she will need from me, she'll have. I don't care what it is." He says, focusing on the door to the bathroom, as opposed to his feet.

Zaharis keeps shuffling, turning a little bit as they reach the bathroom so he can pull down two metal supports on either side of the commode for Reed to hang onto instead of him. Man's gotta have his privacy. He takes a long time to decide how to phrase things right. "I think…we are on the verge of finding out that confirmation that we talked about once." He finally looks at Reed's face, checking to see if he's being understood.

Reed stops a step from the commode. For a moment, nothing happens, then he straightens slowly, tension leaving his body. His features relax, but his eyes start that burning, overclocked look that he had between the time he left the Pandora and Fotilas announced the destruction of the Colony Worlds. He takes the last step to the commode, and nods to Zaharis. "I'll take it from here, Doctor." He says evenly. The change remarkable, actually, as if the pain were actually lessened, or his tolerance to it just shot up. The image of those brainwave monitors he was on, and the Gamma wave indicator blowing like a pressure valve bursting is inescapeable.

"Leave the door open." Zaharis replies quietly. He waits until Reed's arm is off his shoulder and the man's securely on the support bars before he steps just beyond the doorframe, turning his back. He leans back against the wall, folding his arms. A nurse has come in quietly and gone to the other side of the room, making short work of Reed's old sheets and dressing the bed with new ones.

There's the sound of Reed urinating, which lasts for a time, then stops. then the commode being activated before Reed makes a careful, deliberate turn. "Mmm turning. turn with the feet, not the body, keep torso torque to a minimum." He says in a clearer voice, "Correct?" He asks as he moves to the edge of where he can hold the metal supports.

"Correct. For all purposes right now, you're a block of wood from shoulder to hips." Zaharis turns back around, pushing off the wall. He reassumes his position as a living crutch, very carefully getting an arm around Reed's back and his shoulder up under the taller man's arm. "Still looking good. Put as much weight on me as you need, let go of the bar when you're ready."

Reed is now at his full height, and looks to Zaharis, readjusting his grip on the man to latch onto his shoulder with one hand, "There, that's better, feels better." He says before nodding and moving, using Zaharis as a crutch, but his steps, still slow, deliberate, and careful, are firm now, and it seems his concentration has been replaced with something stronger. Whatever he was working on focusing his thoughts is coming much more naturally, and he's not trying to keep the focus now, he just has it.

The nurse finishes tucking down the last corner of the bed, leaving the blankets folded back. She slides past the two Majors and back out the door as quietly as she came in.

Zaharis doesn't say anything until they're up close to the bed, stopping and turning slightly as his leg touches the mattress. He takes the collar of the robe, sliding it back off Reed and tossing it on the foot of the bed. "Alright, bend your knees nice and slow and let yourself lean back. I'm going to help get your legs up; I don't want you stressing your abdominals."

Reed shrugs, to let the robe come off easier, then nods, "Alright." He carefully moves to sit as instructed, then, using his arms, helps with the action of sliding back into the bed, settling in, carefully. "So, am I on the toothless diet now? graduated up from the IV feed?"

Zaharis kneels down at Reed's feet, getting his legs back up onto the mattress. Sliding Reed's chart up from its metal holder, he flips to a page in the middle and glances it over. "Just about there, I'd say. Stomach and intestines both showing contractions again, enzyme production's good. Yes, I'd say in the morning they can give liquids a go." The page is flipped back down, and he sits down on the edge of the chair nearby. "This is really excellent recovery, Carter. I wasn't sure if you'd even be able to stand, let alone get all the way to the john and back. But I like being proven wrong."

Reed looks at Zaharis, that burning gaze still coming from him. "It's all about looking pain in the eye and saying, 'I've dug worse than you out of my nose in the morning.'" He shrugs, "The rest, I just don't do stupid shit. Remarkable how that works."

Zaharis fishes his pen from his pocket, bracing the chart on his knee. He absently flexes his fingers a few times, trying to calm the unsteadiness of his hands before he writes. Reed's gaze burns his forehead instead of his eyes. "Clearly it's working for you," he says approvingly. Finishing the writing, he sets the pen down and looks back up. "What I said before, Carter? We'll know…I think within twelve hours. Can't be sure. I'll contact you when I know what's coming down the pipe. By then I should be able to do it more freely."

Reed nods "Twelve hours would be good, Doctor. Thank you. The waiting will be the hardest thing. you see, it's really a binary question now, isn't it? Yes, or no. One or zero. You see, I won't let anyone hurt her, even me. So on the one hand, I'm there for her, to be what I am. Hers." He looks at the doctor levelly, speaking calmly. "On the other hand, I let her go to be happy, and have what she wants, and what she deserves, as we talked about. In that case, I do to myself emotionally, what you did to me physically. The procedures are on a certain level quite similar. If it will benefit her, I'll do it." He smiles, "But that's going to be what really hurts."

"Describe it however lets you do what you need to do," Zaharis replies, leaning forward to slide the clipboard back into its cage.

Reed nods, "Twelve hours.." He nods, "That's good for me." He stops that thoughtful nodding. "So, you do what you need to do. I'll do what I need to do, which at the moment is wait." He takes a breath. "What's my rotation for 'Taking the Major Walkies?'"

Zaharis glances at his watch and details off a schedule when the PT nurse will be in to stand Reed up. "That'll cover the next eight hours. By then if you can make it once around the room comfortably, we'll turn you loose for a tour or two of scenic Sickbay."

Reed nods, "Mmm Sounds fun. Do you have any interesting species of injured personnel to view while I tour?" He blinks, "Incidentaly, out of a certain perverse sense of curiosity, what did you do with the intestine you removed from me?"

Zaharis nods. "Still have quite a few from the PAS evac. I'm sure they'd be glad to see you." At the question about Reed's intestine he smiles slightly. Doctors are way too used to bizarre questions. "Lab has it. They're doing an enzyme replication study."

Reed seems to be coming down off that burning intensity of his gaze, maybe the humor is helping him depressurize. He nods, satisfied, "Excellent. When you're done with it, find someone who can sew, and have it made into garters so I'm ready for a massive frak up that may happen in some future date."

"Sure your date will be able to stomach it?" Zaharis puns with no shame whatsoever.

Reed looks at Zaharis, "Well, she better, -I- certainly don't have the stomach for it anymore."

Zaharis smiles, lines creasing at the corners of his eyes. "Touche', Major. I am slain."

Reed tilts his head to one side, "You put up an interesting struggle, Doctor. Any other orders or tips on my recovery?"

"Rest," Zaharis replies, brows raising slightly to punctuate. "That's about the best thing you can do for your system right now. And I do mean get plenty of sleep, not just rest while awake. This PT schedule that I'm putting you on is rigorous, and it will get tiring. Need to give your body the chance it needs to process and strengthen."

Reed nods, "Alright. I'm not planning on doing much of anything else, but concentrating on recovery. And rest, being a part of that, sounds like a plan.

Zaharis nods, with a slight smile. "Alright. And just keep in mind that it may not all go smoothly. The body is so predictable and yet it's not predictable at all on so many things. You may get frustrated or angry, or stressed out, with the progress or with yourself. Don't bottle it up. Find yourself an outlet. If nothing else you can always yell at me; trust me I can take it."

Reed smiles, nodding, "I'll keep that in mind. Also I'll see if while I'm there, if this strange place called a 'Gym' has anything to impart to me in some useful way. I haven't really investigated those kinds of places much."

"Gym. I've heard tales of such a place. Here I thought it was just a fairytale." Zaharis stands up. "Alright, Carter. I need to get some things done. I'll be in touch."

Reed smirks, nodding, "Well, I think I'll get some sleep, in that case. See you later."

Zaharis breezes on out.

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