|Kate Tierney | Hecate (khthonie) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-04-24 13:58:00
|Entry tags:||apollo, hecate|
Bite into the onion
Who: Kate [Hecate] and Lucas [Apollo]
What: Kate doesn’t feel well.
Where: LA County Hospital Clinic, then Kate’s apartment
When: April 3
I knew I should have thrown away those shrimp, Kate thought for the fifteenth time as she hopped up onto the examination table. She had purchased an Argentinean type for the first time, wanting to try to recreate some of the cuisine she’d had while abroad. The smell should have been her biggest warning, but she had given it the benefit of the doubt that it was just a characteristic of that type. After all, why would any supermarket sell bad seafood?
So she’d cooked and eaten it, the taste much better than the smell, and thought she was fine. Within an hour, the symptoms started; she’d had to run to the bathroom and stay in there a while while Scilla and Carrie scratched at the door in concern.
Finally, feeling weak and shaky, she’d poured herself a large glass of water and gone to bed, assuring the dogs she was fine and hoping a good night’s sleep would make that statement true.
Which is how she found herself at the clinic, concerned at the length of time her stomach was remaining upset when surely nothing was left in it from her time in the bathroom, her legs swinging over the side of the examination table as she waited for a physician to see her.
Lucas was at the nurses’ station, making notes in a chart for his last patient, a kid who broke his wrist playing soccer at school, and then picked up the next chart in the pile. Chief complaint - nausea/vomiting. He glanced over the patient intake form and nodded, then headed to the exam room.
His brows rose in surprise when he saw who it was waiting for him, and smiled brightly at the woman sitting on the table. “Hey,” he said brightly, though he subdued his reaction a bit once he noticed that she looked pretty pale and not at all well. “Kate,” he added, remembering her name from the file, “I guess it’s no good to ask how you’ve been since the party; sounds like you’re having a bad morning. You wanna tell me what happened?” As he spoke he turned to a nearby drawer, pulling out a digital thermometer and a mouth guard, waiting for her to respond before turning it on.
Kate blinked in surprise at seeing a familiar face on the physician who entered. Her mind worked to merge the new friendship/co-tenant and doctor identities, the mental process slower while she was still sick. “Oh, hello, Lucas. Or, um, Doctor?” she said, unsure. “I think it’s food poisoning. I did what I could at home, but it’s lasting longer than I expected.”
He smirked with a nod, “everyone's a doctor,” he joked, motioning with the thermometer for her to open her mouth and then sliding it in under her tongue. “Have you eaten anything different lately? New restaurant? Sampling a friend’s cooking?” he asked, taking the thermometer from her after a few seconds when it beeped. He looked at it and nodded, putting it back and disposing of the mouth guard.
Kate moved her tongue and jaw muscles around to remove the strange feeling left from the impression of the thermometer. “I bought some shrimp that smelled fishy but tasted fine, so I didn’t think...well, I guess that’s the problem, isn’t it?” she said sheepishly. “I didn’t think.” She sighed and slumped down, letting the weariness take over. “It was an Argentinian shrimp I hadn’t cooked before in the states but wanted to try again.”
Lucas smiled sympathetically, “we all do it once in a while,” he said. “Well at least you don't have a fever, so it's not as bad as it could be,” he told her. “Have you been having any headaches, weakness, dizziness, dry mouth or muscle cramps?” he asked her. “The most common result of food poisoning is dehydration from all the unpleasant symptoms, and that can get pretty bad if it's not kept in check.”
Kate shook her head. “Just the upset stomach and weakness from throwing up,” she replied, glad that her body had behaved long enough for her to get to the clinic. “I’ve made sure to drink a lot of water, though it seems most of it comes back up.” She smiled weakly. “I tried training my dogs to make me ginger tea, but that hasn’t produced any results.”
Lucas laughed. “Well I can definitely help you with the tea if you like, I'm only a few floors away.” He turned and made a few notes in her chart, and then wrote her a script and handed it to her. “Here, this should help with the nausea, it's a little stronger than gravol and is usually well-tolerated by weak stomachs. This is enough for a week, which should be more than enough.
And I do want you to keep drinking as much as you can, it does help.”
“I will. Thank you.” Kate nodded as she took the paper, so relieved to have something that would help that she almost missed his first comment. “Oh, well you’re welcome to come over anytime, of course, though I won’t be much company for a few days, obviously. I don’t have much to offer by way of food either.” She shuddered, her stomach doing an unpleasant flip at the thought of the cookies and other snacks she usually offered guests, but she knew she’d have to eat at some point. “What would you recommend to eat in the meantime? When I was younger, my caretaker would make me chicken broth when I had a cold. Would that work?” The thought of hot broth didn’t make her stomach tumble as much, which she took as a good sign.
He nodded, “broth is good if your stomach allows it,” he agreed, “the salt and fluid and nutrients are a good mix for someone battling an illness. Keep your other food relatively bland...I usually recommend the BRAT diet,” he said, counting the foods off on his fingers, “bananas, rice, applesauce, toast. Baked skinless chicken is good for protein if you think you can handle it.”
He smiled a little and checked his watch. “I can't do much about lunch, but I'll be home tonight around dinner time, so I could probably bring you a care package if you're not up to cooking. In the interest of keeping you healthy, of course,” he added, in case she thought at all he was trying to insinuate himself on her. He was her doctor, she was a patient. But also a neighbour and, he hoped, a friend.
“Of course,” she said, smiling and not at all averse to having some company while she recovered. Percy had been kind enough to walk off some of Scilla and Carrie’s energy that morning, and having the help had relieved much of the burden of daily routine from Kate’s shoulders.
Lucas seemed genuine in his offer, so she gratefully accepted. “Thank you. Bananas might be good, and the company even better.”
She half jumped, half slid off the examination table. “Is there anything else I should know before I leave? Any questions I haven’t asked that I should have?” Her mother had taught her to pose that question at every doctor’s visit, never knowing what piece of information could be overlooked otherwise. It also worked in law client consultations, though Kate herself didn’t participate in that context.
Lucas put out a hand to gently grip her arm, steadying her in case she fell. He released her once he was sure she wouldn't topple over and smiled, glad that she seemed relatively happy with his advice. “I think you did pretty good, unless you're having any other symptoms you're not telling me about. I promise, I've seen it all, you won't shock me.” He thought about the sense he'd gotten from her earlier, at the party and again here, that she was...unhappy. Missing something. It of course wasn't related to her current complaint, but it was enough to catch his attention.
But Kate shook her head. “No, that’s it,” she replied honestly. “I’m sure this-” she waved the prescription “-will get me through the rest of it. Thanks.” She smiled and walked to the door. “Have a good afternoon.”