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A long belated conversation

Posted on Wed Jan 10th, 2024 @ 3:18am by Commander Samantha Howard & Lieutenant Commander Callie Raven-Grayson

Mission: Hard Earned Peace
Location: Counsellors Office

Dr Samantha Howard knew when it was time, well time had been a week or so ago but she'd tried to push through and finish the mission. It was past time, and she knew it. With a sigh she knew she needed to have the tough conversation, with herself and with the ship's counsellor.

"Computer, schedule an appointment with Commander Raven-Grayson at her earliest convenience"

Callie was in her office when the request came across her computer. She tapped her comm badge. "Callie to Sam, I just received your request, I'm free now if you'd like to drop by?"

"Thanks Callie, I'll be there in a minute" Sam replied, dragging herself off the couch and towards the door. She knew she was exhibiting textbook symptoms of PTSD, something that would need to be addressed before it became worse. Her work was her life and if he had to go on medical leave, she wasn't sure what she'd do.

A few minutes later Sam pressed the door chime, still dressed in her uniform albeit a very crumpled one. It looked as though it had been slept in, which wasn't the case but also wasn't too far from the truth.

Callie was waiting for Sam when she arrived, smiling warmly as she greeted her friend. "Hi Sam, come on in and make yourself at home. Is everything alright?"

Sam stepped inside and couldn't bring herself to meet Callie's eyes. She hated being the one to need assistance, prefering to be on the opposite side of the equation.
"No not really" she admitted as she settled herself in one of the armchairs. "The nightmares are back, my mood has been down and I haven't been sleeping well" she admitted.

Callie nodded as she relaxed back into her seat. "Well you've come to the right place for help, which is a good start." she offered a warm smile. "How long have you been having the nightmares? have you slept much in that time?"

"Sleep what sleep? We seem to lurch from one crisis to the next. Which I admit was exciting to begin with. I became a doctor to help people, to see the universe and do good. Now I'm not sure I can do that well enough anymore" Sam looked at the floor sadly. "I don't perform well on away missions, I second guess my decisions and at times I even feel afraid."

Callie nodded as she listened. “You’re right in respects of the missions, we do tend to go from one crisis into another. As Chief Medical Officer you do have the authority to send another member of the medical staff on away party duty, perhaps it would benefit you to do that for a little while? Just until we’ve got a handle on what’s happening. You know as well as I do second guessing yourself could lead to...unintended consequences.” She offered an understanding smile. “Both you and I know that you’re suffering from PTSD, and we need time to get it sorted out.”

Sam hung her head a little, feeling relieved and concerned at the same time. "Are you taking me off active duty?" She asked quietly as the situation began to hit home. Not that it overly mattered, she felt she would cave under any sort of pressure at the moment. "I wouldn't blame you if you did"

Callie shook her head. “No, I’m not taking you off duty. That would just leave you to sit around and go stir crazy, though for the time being I’m taking you off away team duty unless it’s a matter of life or death.”

Sam didn't know wether to feel relieved or not. It did mean that until she felt more able to cope that she would need to send a replacement on away teams. Not an ideal situation.

"With your permission, I would like to try a daily prescription of lotoradan. It's a moderate strength anti-depressant that I have used in the past during these situations. I do need your authorisation though." Sam understood the implications of taking medication. "This would be in conjunction with regular counselling sessions to ensure wholistic treatment"

Callie gave Sam a questioning look. "If you're truly sure that you want to go the medicinal route then I'll sign off on it. I'll have to make note of it in my log so that the Captain is aware."

"I understand, and I would like to continue with our counselling sessions. I have found in the past that a combination of the two has more rapid results. I don't want to be a burden to my staff, or the crew" Sam admitted, the feelings of failure flourishing again.

Callie reached out her hand and gently rested it on Sam's. "Sam you are not being a burden. We can continue sessions for as long as you feel the need, besides I need my doctor fit and ready for when these two eventually make their entrance into the universe." she smiled as she moved her hand and sat back in her seat again.

Sam smiled, this time is reached her eyes. She loved what she did for a living, the circumstances over the last few mission had her a little beaten and frayed around the edges. "Promise me we'll get through this together?"

"Ohh I promise!" Callie smiled warmly. "I need you to get me through having my babies Sam, I can't do it without you. Both you and Jon."

"I believe we have a deal then" Sam replied, thankful that they had a plan that would allow her to keep working in the meantime.

"Indeed we do" Callie nodded and smiled. "Anytime you need to talk. the door is always open."

"Thanks Callie, I appreciate it" Sam smiled as she rose, "Now I think I have some things to sort out in sickbay before the universe as it knows us tries to make things difficult again." I'll touch base with you in a few days regarding your next appointment."

Callie nodded. "I'll see you then Sam."

Sam headed out of the office and headed towards sickbay with a renewed spring in her step. They had a treatment plan and she would be back to her normal resilient self in not time.


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