Fantasies and Realities: Episode 18

Dr. Tavis hastens down the path to the Sime Center, clutching his little black bag. He was summoned by Bibi to look after a patient, which is no more odd than some of his other interactions with her.

Bibi is glad to zlin him coming and opens the door for him.

Tavis: Good evening, Bibi.

Bibi: I'm glad you could come right away. A man came in to donate and afterwards his heart stopped. We started him up again, and have him resting in the treatment room. He's a long term alcoholic who's stopped recently, but with substantial damage to most organs.

Tavis: You... started him up again?

Bibi: Yes. By chest compression, and mouth to mouth resuscitation. My Donor helped me.

Tavis is a little ~~ disappointed ~~.

Tavis: Oh. I heard about some interesting technique a channel did to restart a heart while I was at the medical association meeting. I guess there's a reason why techniques that sound too good to be true usually are.

Bibi: Oh, some high-rated channels can do that. It's a kind of nageric shock that sometimes gets the heart going. Unfortunately, I don't have the power or precision to manage it.

Tavis: I see. I guess not all channels are equal?

Bibi: Definitely not. There's a wide range of innate ability. We're trained to work with what we have, and expand our capabilities as much as we can in our first year, when it's still possible to do so.

Tavis ~~ considers ~~ this limitation.

Tavis: I think I prefer our system, where with a suitable application of effort a doctor can learn almost any specialty he chooses. As a practical matter we have our limits, too, but they are far more of our own making.

Tavis: What is the current condition of this donor of yours? And is he a patient of mine?

Bibi: He's a farmer from Gumgeeville named Ralf. Presently he's resting. I gave him some willow bark tea and a little poppy syrup to keep him calm. My Donor is with him.

Tavis: I don't have many patients from Gumgeeville -- they're too poor, and I'm too far away. But I'll be glad to see the fellow.

Bibi: Good. Come with me.

Bibi leads Dr Tavis back to the treatment room and signals Dolmada that she can take a break.

Tavis follows Bibi through the Sime Center.

Dolmada leaves Ralf's side silently, since Bibi doesn't seem to want to speak.

Ralf has been drifting in and out of sleep, and doesn't really notice the changing of the guard unless someone does something to get his attention. He's not really in pain, at least not specifically; he feels sort of bad all over, mostly.

Tavis goes over to the bed and takes Ralf's wrist to check his pulse.

Tavis: Hello, there. I'm Dr. Tavis. I hear you haven't been doing well.

Ralf: Wasn't, no. Better now, I think.

Ralf's voice is slurred, but no more so than it was before.

Ralf: That other woman there said Bibi saved me.

Ralf gestures to where Dolmada had been.

Tavis: Yes, she did.

Ralf: Y'a friend of Bibi's? Y'know, a ...

Ralf grasps for the word "colleague", doesn't find it, gives up.

Tavis: I consider her a fellow medical professional. Which can be useful, since there are no other doctors in the area.

Ralf: Yuh. Thass -- that's -- why I'm here, y'know.

Ralf makes an attempt to control the slurring with some success.

Tavis: You came here for medical assistance?

Ralf: Well, to donate. But not what I meant.

Ralf's thinking is slow.

Ralf: I mean, with a doctor, I mean a reg'lar doctor, I would have died?

Ralf isn't any too certain.

Tavis: Possibly. Hajene Bibi hasn't yet had time to brief me completely on your condition. You would certainly have died if you'd been back in Gumgeeville, however.

Ralf: Hmmm.

Ralf thinks.

Ralf: Don' wanna die. Stopped hating myself for shootin' m' b'y.

Tavis nods with ~~ sympathy ~~.

Bibi does too.

Tavis: We will both do what we can to delay that as long as possible. Has your heart bothered you before?

Ralf: N-no. Don't think so. Maybe a little ache sometimes-like. But when I was drinking -- told you I stopped drinking?

Tavis: Yes. How long ago was that?

Ralf: Don't remember. Maybe a few weeks?

Tavis: I see. You were saying that when you were drinking...?

Ralf: I didn' pay much attention to pains, y'know? Heart, or ... or foot, or whatever.

Tavis: I see. Do you have family that should be notified where you are?

Ralf: Not'ny more. Had to shoot 'im, see.

Tavis: You have no wife?

Ralf: Sure, gotta wife. Told 'er I was going to donate, make money. Wives all for making money. Guess I get no money now, though. Being taken care of, that's gotta cost.

Bibi: I did take your donation, Mr. Ralf. You'll be paid for it.

Tavis: I'll see that your wife is notified where you are. That way, she'll have a chance to get used to the idea before you see her again.

Tavis: Now, what has Hajene Bibi told you about your condition?

Ralf: M'heart's too big, she says.

Tavis: Yes, from all the drinking.

Ralf: Yuh. Should get better now I've stopped, she says.

Tavis: Slowly and incompletely. But with care, you can live a while yet.

Ralf: And then I kick the bucket, eh?

Tavis: We all do, sooner or later. It's what we accomplish before that happens that counts.

Ralf nods slowly.

Ralf: Doc?

Tavis: Yes?

Ralf: How long? Bibi won't say, says she don't know enough about alkies. No drunks in Simeland, she says.

Tavis: Really?

Tavis turns to look at Bibi in ~~ surprise ~~.

Bibi: It's a cultural pattern that hasn't gotten established yet, I suppose.

Ralf: Simes don't get drunk, leastways not easy, Dol-Dolmada says.

Ralf's memory is improving a bit.

Tavis: Let's hope it doesn't spread. Some cultural exchanges don't work out for the better.

Tavis turns back to Ralf.

Tavis: As for you, I can't answer your question until I've had a chance to look you over more thoroughly, and consult with Hajene Bibi. A lot will depend on how well you follow doctors' orders, as well. Now, let me do an quick exam, and then I'll be able to tell you more.

Ralf: Okay, Doc.

Bibi is interested to compare what she can zlin with the results of Dr. Tavis's diagnostic methods.

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