place: hospital

Taken in a hospital
Personal photography 2014

Asclepius (Greek: Ἀσκληπιός, Asklēpiós) was a god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek religion. Asclepius represents the healing aspect of the medical arts; his daughters are Hygieia (“Hygiene”, the goddess/personification of health, cleanliness, and sanitation), Iaso (the goddess of recuperation from illness), Aceso (the goddess of the healing process), Aglæa/Ægle (the goddess of beauty, splendor, glory, magnificence, and adornment), and Panacea (the goddess of universal remedy). He was one of Apollo’s sons, sharing with Apollo the epithet Paean (“the Healer”). The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today. Those physicians and attendants who served this god were known as the Therapeutae of Asclepius.

What I Need

What I Need by xaandria
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 47,000
Summary: A joking phrase commonly heard between a surgeon and his tech is “Give me what I need, not what I ask for.” Dr. Novak and his tech Dean will soon learn the impact this phrase has on life outside the operating room.

When a hospital AU is done badly, you hold one hand over your eyes and try not to think too hard. But when a hospital AU is done right, it is a thing of beauty. This one had me from the opening moments, as the surgical technologists gossiped about the latest asshole surgeon to grace their halls. Moments later poor Dean realized he doesn’t have Asshole Novak’s requested 4 inch Weitlaners. So begins the relationship between Dean and Castiel. Although there is a lot of snark in their first meeting in the surgical theater, they quickly transition to friends. They find a rhythm in sharing coffee on Monday mornings, beer on Friday nights and exchanging medical instruments in between.

Dean and Cas’ histories are told through a series of interludes. The interludes were detailed enough to provide context for their choices, behavior and past relationships, but were not so long or so many that they interrupted the flow of the story. One of my favorite aspects of this story was smart!Dean. The characterization of Dean as someone who is an expert in his area and is comfortable and secure in that knowledge was a beautiful call out to the expert hunter we all know. He is still insecure enough to think he is not good enough for someone like Cas, but this is Dean Winchester, what do you expect!

The medical dialog and interplay between the characters is reminiscent of the best of ER. That said, there is a difference between hearing medical jargon and reading it. The author clearly knows the medical world and doesn’t hold back in describing it accurately. YMMV, and it may be too much for some. For me, the realistic medical descriptions were balanced by the snappy dialog, snarky attitudes and increasing sexual tension which buoyed the story along. An appendix with medical terminology, description of surgical procedures and images of the instruments, including the infamous Weitlaner can be found at the end.

Suggested by supernaturallynobel


Note:
Each chapter title has artwork as its header. You will miss this and the images of medical instruments in an ePub.
Fanworks inspired by this fanfic at destielfanworks (other fanworks by title)

Waking up in hospitals.

No one likes waking up in the hospital, it’s often very terrifying and confusing. Thoughts like, “Have I been kidnapped?”, “Did the aliens finally get me?” or “The fucking government man.” run through your head. You just want to know where you are and how you got there. Upon waking up in the hospital I’ve found there are five stages you go through, much like the five stages of grief. This is at least true in my case, I know I can’t be the only one. So here they are!

  • Attempt to escape.

Fight or flight kicks in when you wake up to people standing over you, holding you down, sticking you with needles and saying a lot of words that you couldn’t possibly comprehend just yet. I think that’s a normal, expected, reasonable response to a situation such as this. So why are the EMTs, doctors and nurses always surprised?

You open your eyes and register bits and pieces of your surroundings, you gather a vague idea of what’s around you and what they’re doing to you but you don’t know who they are or why they’re there. So like the bad ass motherfucker from any movie, you dramatically rip out the IV, the vent and any wires stuck to your body. In an instant you’re prepared for battle and a war cry escapes from your lungs! You hear someone say, “Is she having another seizure?” The plan has worked, you’ve distracted them for a moment. This is your chance! You take it, though your efforts are futile and you are quickly captured and strapped down.

  • Denial/confusion.

Now that they’ve got you “secure” the doctors try to tell you what’s going on yet you continue to fight. Fed up, the doctor say’s something like: 

Despite that you’re the one who had been freaking out and fighting everyone trying to help, you’re all:

The doctor explains to you what happened in all that technical medical mumbo jumbo and you struggle to understand. You say things like, “How did this happen?”, “No, not possible I take my meds.” and “Don’t fuck with me doc, tell it to me straight. Are you or are you not in fact an alien?” The doctor will tell you no, though you will remain suspicious.

  • This is the part where reality hits you and you have an ugly cry.

But then you’re like, god damn I fucked up my make up:

  • Anger/boredom. 

The tests that the doctors have to run are really boring and take a really long time. The boredom in turn causes anger because you just want everything to be over. So you just sit or stand there and break things. 

  • And last but not least the, CAN I GO THE FUCK HOME YET, stage.

note: The drugs they have you on will cause you to be incapable of even having a conversation over meals with your hospital roommate. The two of you will probably look something similar to this: 

Stay fucking awesome and try not to seize the day!<3(: