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Member

181 Posts
10 Threads

Age: 16 (27 April 1878)
Occupation: Fisherman's daughter
Registered: Sep 2019

#1
A man and a girl entered the clinic. The man looked old - older than his actual age - with a bushy beard, dark-brown mixed with grey; a weather-beaten face; and wrinkles of worry, old and recent, making it look like all the strength and joyfuless of youth had been sucked out of him long ago. He was dressed in old patched trousers, and a dark blue gansey with the traditional Whitby pattern, which marked him out as a fisherman. The girl’s upper body was wrapped in a large checked woollen shawl typical of the fisherwomen in this region, but underneath it a pink skirt of good quality cotton was visible, which did not show the same tears and patches as the man’s clothes. Her red hair was tied up on the back of her head, but messy, with some strands falling around her face, or bits of hair standing up. On top of her head, she did not wear a shawl like many fisherwomen, but a fine straw hat, decorated with some ornamental flowers.

As they entered, the man looked around anxiously. “Hello! Is anyone there!? Please help my daughter!” he shouted in a raw voice. One arm was wrapped around the girl and she was leaning against him. Her face was pale and her eyes were shut. Now and then she would grimace. There were tears on her cheeks. As she buried her face into her father’s chest, she knocked her hat off her head and it fell on the ground.
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Junior Member

6 Posts
0 Threads

Pronouns: She/Her
Age: 29
Occupation: Physician and Apothecary
Height: 5'2"
Registered: Aug 2020

#2
There was always work to be done at the clinic, especially since Temperance took on all of the responsibilities it entailed. Between maintaining the apothecary and the clinic, Temperance spent most of her day tending to one of her many tasks. Rarely did she ever leave the clinic, only on the rare occasions where she made a house visit. Fortunately, it was not one of those rare occasions. She was huddled over the counter in the apothecary portion of the building, meticulously labeling the new shipment of ingredients. The sounds of the clinic doors opening in the adjacent room immediately caught her attention. Always alert, she was already making her way towards the clinic entrance when she heard a man call out, she hastened when she detected the panic in his voice.

Temperance emerged through the side doors of the entrance only seconds later. Her hair was pulled back in a disheveled bun, strands of her honeyed tresses escaped the pins that held it together. The gown she wore was simple in a dark shade of grey, with a crisp white apron over it. Before a word could even escape her mouth, Temperance’s gaze was already scanning over the young girl in an initial assessment. There was little that she could glean based on appearances alone, the girl’s ailment wasn’t superficial. Immediately her mind came up with possible diagnoses.

“What is wrong with her?” she asked plainly, her tone unwavering as she retrieved a wooden wheelchair that was located at the opposite wall. Without knowing what was wrong it was best not to risk the short walk into the patient area. Parking the chair before them she locked it into place. “Here, let’s get her into the chair.” She silently offered assistance by hovering over the pair with her hands reaching out, readying herself to ease the girl into the chair.
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Member

181 Posts
10 Threads

Age: 16 (27 April 1878)
Occupation: Fisherman's daughter
Registered: Sep 2019

#3
Alice did not open her eyes when she heard the woman's voice. She was in pain, but more than that, she was afraid. Afraid of losing the child. Afraid of saving it. Afraid of what Tobias would say, what father would say, what would happen next. Afraid that it was her fault and she had murdered her unborn. She clung to her father for comfort and safety, as if that could resolve all problems. She knew it couldn't.

Her father looked up desperately when the woman came in. "She's been having pains in her belly, and she's bled a little," he said, as he let her help him lower Alice into the wheelchair. "She's with child." It wasn't visible, for the girl's shawl was still wrapped around her and she clutched to it for her last comfort. "Please tell me the doctor is in. Tell him to hurry!"
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Junior Member

6 Posts
0 Threads

Pronouns: She/Her
Age: 29
Occupation: Physician and Apothecary
Height: 5'2"
Registered: Aug 2020

#4
Temperance had suspected as much by the time the man confirmed it. Her help was rarely sought after by women unless it was about reproductive matters. Although she could hardly call the young girl before her a woman, it wasn’t unheard of for girls of a similar age to find themselves in a family way. “I see,” she said. With the girl securely within the chair, Temperance picked up the straw hat from the floor.

“That would be me,” Temperance informed him gently, she has learned that it was best to deliver that bit of unwelcome news to men demurely. Displaying arrogance or acting offended often resulted in less than favorable results. Time was of the essence, without waiting for a response she unlocked the wheels on the chair and began to slowly push it towards the doors that led to the patient area of the clinic. “Do you know how far along she is?” Temperance asked. Usually, she would address the patient, but she felt that the girl was in no position to be answering questions yet.
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Posting Freak

891 Posts
8 Threads

Age: 50
Occupation: Fisherman
Height: 5'8''
Registered: Jul 2019

#5
Ben had never met a female doctor before. For a split second he considered asking about her qualifications. But he stopped himself. There was no time to find a different doctor anyway. For all he knew, Alice was not just losing the baby but her own life as well, and he was mad with despair. And so he followed the doctor, wishing he could push the wheelchair or do anything to feel less useless.

Alice sat hunched in the chair, clutching her belly. Her eyes were closed. And so Ben was glad that the doctor addressed him instead. "About twenty-five weeks," he replied. "She's not been eating well for her state, and been very tired. The doctor said she suffers from poor nerves. Hysteria or sum't."
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Junior Member

6 Posts
0 Threads

Pronouns: She/Her
Age: 29
Occupation: Physician and Apothecary
Height: 5'2"
Registered: Aug 2020

#6
Temperance felt the tension within her ease when the man did not follow up with questions, or voiced his doubts, a rarity even in the most harrowing of experiences where people still felt the need to point out the obvious. That she was a woman. Women were midwives, nurses, caretakers but rarely ever doctors. It got to the point where Temperance abandoned the title altogether.

Twenty-five weeks, that was quite late into the pregnancy, but still much too early for a viable birth. A miscarriage would also pose a greater danger to the girl. “I see,” she said mulling over possibilities. The fatigue and nerves were typical, however, lack of appetite was unusual this late into a pregnancy. “Would you please open the door?” she asked softly, using her head to indicate the doors that led to the patient examination area. “What was she doing right before the pain came? Any heavy lifting? A fall? Anything that could have distressed her?” Temperance jumped right back into questioning, trying to puzzle together what could have landed the poor girl in her current condition.

Beyond the doors was a long room lined with windows, sunlight seeping through the diaphanous curtains. There were five metal framed beds dressed with crisp white linen, with dividers between each of them. The rest of the furniture was sparse. There were a few chairs for visitors, some nightstands besides the beds, and cabinets and rolling carts for equipment. Most notably the room was meticulously cleaned, the lingering smell of disinfectant permeated the air.
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Posting Freak

891 Posts
8 Threads

Age: 50
Occupation: Fisherman
Height: 5'8''
Registered: Jul 2019

#7
Ben quickly moved forward and held open the door as the doctor asked, before following her into the new room. "No, ma'm. Safe for walking back from church, but that ain't far. We had just finished Sunday dinner and she got up, and there was blood. And then soon she started hurtin'."

He looked around. He had never been in a room like this before, for even when his wife and Alice and little Lizzie had fallen ill many years ago, they had relied on the chemist, until all had seemed lost, and when they had finally called on the doctor, he had come to their home only shortly and claimed there was nothing he could do. This room looked clean and bright, and for a moment, Ben felt a little bit of hope that Alice might just be in good hands and was going to be alright. Alice herself looked up at the bright windows for a moment, mouth slightly open, and calmed a little.

"Oh, and then there's the fact that she and her husband traveled from around Castleton yesterday." Ben suddenly remembered as he observed the light. "She sat on the cart, but it's a long journey. Ye think that might have harmed her?... Do you need help liftin' 'er into a bed," he added.
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Junior Member

6 Posts
0 Threads

Pronouns: She/Her
Age: 29
Occupation: Physician and Apothecary
Height: 5'2"
Registered: Aug 2020

#8
Temperance wheeled the chair into the room, nodding her head towards the man in thanks. She listened to him as she pushed the chair next to one of the beds, locking the wheels in place. Setting the hat aside on the nightstand beside the bed, she then returned her attention to the girl’s father. “Doubtful, unless there were complications prior to it,” she responded to his inquiry regarding the journey.

By the time the father mentioned a husband, Temperance had already assumed as much considering the state of the girl’s attire in comparison to her father’s. Despite having already made the deduction, it was no less shocking that a girl her age was already married, then again Temperance herself was also a young bride.

“Yes, please.” She accepted the man’s offer of assistance, one setback to being a woman physician was the lack of upper body strength. “We are going to move you onto the bed now,” she spoke gently, warning the young girl before hooking a hand beneath her arm and the other around her back.
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Member

181 Posts
10 Threads

Age: 16 (27 April 1878)
Occupation: Fisherman's daughter
Registered: Sep 2019

#9
The light in the room was comforting, and for a moment Alice half-dreamed that she was back on some childhood day on the beach, the bright sunlight and mild sea breeze caressing her skin, as if inviting her to come and play and explore the beauty around her in childish carelessness. A peaceful smile came over her face and she forgot the pain, and her father and the woman talking. But when the wheelchair stopped and the doctor addressed her, the comforting fantasy was over. She was aware of cramp in her abdomen again and of the threat of losing her child. Would Tobias be even more disappointed in her?

She nodded in reply to the woman's announcement, and felt her father take hold of her from the other side. She let them help her on to the bed, turning her eyes back to the window for comfort as she lay back.

Her father, meanwhile, took her hand in his. "You're going to be alright, lassie." Then he turned his head sharply to look at the doctor. "There's something else!" he remembered. "A couple of weeks... almost two months ago... she and her sister got lost on the moors and ended up spending the night out in the rain before they were found. Almost froze to death. The doctor examined her, and the bairn was still alive, she ended up bein' sick for a few days but she recovered. But perhaps..." he had to stop and gain control over his voice. "Perhaps it did more harm than we knew?"
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Junior Member

6 Posts
0 Threads

Pronouns: She/Her
Age: 29
Occupation: Physician and Apothecary
Height: 5'2"
Registered: Aug 2020

#10
Temperance noted the young girl’s response. A good sign that she was lucid enough to understand, and answer, that should prove helpful during the examination. With the father’s help, Temperance moved her to the bed ensuring she was settled in before moving away to push the wheelchair aside. Once the chair was out of the way, Temperance washed her hands in a basin of water located near the bed, scrubbing away imagined filth with such vigor that she left the skin pink. Her attention returned to the father as he spoke, drying her hands on a clean towel.

Poor girl, she thought to herself as he explained the ordeal she had gone through not long ago. With furrowed brows, she pondered over the possibility of the event being the catalyst for today. “It’s a possibility. It might not be the reason for what is happening, but it could have contributed. As a child, how was her health?” she questioned, moving on to pulling on white sleeves over her arms they fitted from her wrists to her elbows.

Returning to the bedside, she brought with her a cart with an array of tools. “I will need to examine her. You are free to stay, I only ask that you sit on the other side of the privacy screen.” She pointed towards the screen at the foot of the bed, behind it was a chair. “Or you can wait in the waiting area if you prefer.” She noticed the way he held the girl’s hand. He seemed like a good father, at least caring enough to let it show.
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