Gill's Surgery: Part 1 (Day 4, Late Afternoon)

OOC: Joint Post from Wandering Wolf and Sail

“We’re ready,” Dorian answered as he lifted the surgical mask over his mouth. “Sistah, would yah care tah offah a prayer before we begin?”

Ly nodded and began:
“In a ‘Verse full of pain
May we be relief.
In a ‘Verse filled with suffering,
Let there be enlightenment.
May we be the salve,
To all beings in the ‘Verse.”

“To all beings in tha ‘verse,” Adler repeated. “Let’s proceed.”

“Alright,” Batya said over the cortex link. “Dial your mixture up to forty percent.”

Dorian touched the anesthetic mixture regulator. “Forty percent. “Mistah Gill, tell us how yah feelin’?”

“Okay,” the boy’s voice was muffled by his breather mask. “Doc, am I s’posed to go to slee……”

“And he’s out. Sleep cycle vitals established.”

“I concur,” the anesthesiologist replied. “Clear to begin.”

Dr. Palmen nodded. “Good. Tissue debridement first. Dr. Adler?”

Dorian leaned over the wound. “Sistah Lyen,” he said, “take a scalpel. Yah’ll begin. What we want is fah yah tah trim away all those bits of his torn skin an’ dermal tissue. We need tah expose tha damaged muscle.”

The blade in her gloved hand felt heavy, though the steel weighed almost nothing. Adler had prepped her with what to expect, but the nun was still contemplating the healing in cutting. She remembered how steady her hand had felt in Dorian’s eye surgery. Debridement seemed such a different form of healing. She was to cut away, to make clean the torn tissue in Gill’s leg, but it didn’t look like Gill’s leg at all.

There was a surreal nature to the operating field before her. The human was draped and covered and only the sterile field remained; it was as if this young boy were detached from what she was doing as she cut into his skin. The blade followed an arc around where the wolf’s teeth had broken the skin. Not only was it wide, but also deep. Thankfully, there were words and jargon to distance the one holding the knife from the act they were actually performing: ‘Dermal tissue’ was flesh and skin, another means of distancing the wielder of the blade from the human into which she cut. ‘Scalpel’ was the razor that could just have easily torn the skin they were now trying to heal. ‘Debriding’ was the act excising dead, contaminated, or damaged tissue, so sterile in its pronouncement.

Lyen finished her ambulatory cut, forming a neat oval around the wound. She looked up from her work, unsure how she had worked her way around the bite with such gentle lines.

Dorian tapped the freshly excised area with a sponge to mop away a slight ooze of blood. “Looks good tah my eyes,” he observed of the work. “Dr. Palmen?”

“Good. Yes. We’ll require diametric measurements of the dermal opening..for the tissue graft. But now, let’s debride the Soleus.”

“Yeva?” Dorian asked. “Yah up.”

“Yes, Doktor. “

Palmen spoke. “Ms. Schnabel, there’s not so much debridement of the muscle needed, as the attacking canis lupus was exerting maximum pressure to incise. Also, note the grain of the muscular tissue. We’ll be able to save more damaged tissue, provided it’s in sufficiently large pieces.” For the next half hour, Yeva’s movements were directed by a man who sat at roughly a month’s flight time distant. “Not that one,” he said. “Not enough venous network remaining. It’ll go necrotic. That next piece? Yeeesss, nice, fat chunk of healthy tissue. It’s still bleeding. Good.”

As Yeva worked, Dorian quietly guided his newfound assistant. “Sponge that,” he whispered. “”That piece Yeva just worked...match tha tissue grain tah tha underlyin’ muscle an’ lay it down..”

At Dorian’s direction, Ly’s small hands articulated the instruments to sponge and line up the tissue. It was like a jigsaw puzzle of muscles and tendons. When she took a moment to watch Yeva work as she removed the necrotic tissue, Lyen found herself imagining all the different ways that this muscle was moved or how it might have appeared when tensed. She imagined that she could feel the way the veins and muscles and nerves bound together--how they worked in harmony. And so, as Yeva moved, removing one piece of tissue to the next, Lyen followed behind where necessary to reset the healthy tissue.

Once the last of the muscle tissue had been arranged, Palmen instructed, “You’re doing well, Lunar Veil. Now, cut a piece of Biomesh Number Six to cover the exposed muscle. Doesn’t need to be perfect...we just don’t want it to overlap the dermis.”

Dorian took this chore upon himself, trimming a sheet of the biodegradable saline mesh into a rough oval shape. He laid it upon the open site, lifted it to make some small adjustments, and then set it down again. “Sistah,” he lifted his eyes toward Lyen. “Tha heat gun. Kindly run it ovah tha mesh.”

This part felt particularly strange, planting a synthetic mesh within the body to bind it all together. In her hand, she felt the trigger of the heat gun gingerly before arching her wrist to achieve the correct angle. She had so many questions about this process, but seeing as the entire surgery was on display, they would have to wait until after their guests had quit the channel. The gun moved with ease around the mesh, but Lyen’s wrist trembled at the effort of following the clear lines.

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