T’rifoshe walked out of the Caverns after going to check on Kassia. All that ended up happening was Kassia ranted and raved while she paced. It was a couple of days after she’d declared the Caverns off limits to the Candidates and majority of people and the behavior he’d seen that he’d seen in previous times of her life had only escalated. Gentle prodding had gotten him yelled at, but he got enough out of her to find out that she wasn’t sleeping or eating properly.
Her problem was well above his pay grade. Nor did he think she’d listen to him if he continued to try. He knew one person that she would listen to.
((Kasheth, contact K’ren, he needs to come down and check on Kassia.))
The bronze was more than happy to oblige, reaching for the HAD. ((Mine needs you to look at Foreth’s.))
K’ren paused in what he was doing, and started collecting up his things. ((Is she unwell? Do I need bring a stretcher or…)) He could assess when he got there, but time was often important in Healing.
Kasheth conferred quickly with His and then replied, ((He’s worried about how she’s acting. He says she’s been like this before and you’ve helped.))
Ah, that put a different complexion on things, and K’ren made sure he has some of his more...calming medications at hand ((I’ll be there shortly)) he promised as he made his way towards Kassia and the Caverns.
((Thanks,)) Kasheth said.
The guards let K’ren right on by. Inside he’d find Kassia pacing. Every once in a while she stopped to mess with the papers on her desk and start cursing, before pushing them away and starting pacing again. She was wound tight and ready to lash out.
“Kass?” K’ren asked as a way of alerting her to his presence. “You seem a little...worked up over something. Can I help?”
She turned to him with a rather ugly expression. “I’m fine!”
“In that case, shall we just have a nice cup of something and a talk? “ K’ren said in a soothing tone. She was very volatile from the looks of things but that could be a reaction.
“I don’t need anything,” she said, still pacing. “What do you want to talk about?”
“I wanted to talk about how you are. I haven’t seen you drop down to my office recently, and I miss our chats,” he said as innocuously as possible. “So I thought, as you are busy, I would visit you..and Kass, I have to said you look a little upset about something.
“I’m upset about everything!” she snapped. Her words came out rapid fire. “I feel like...like everything wants to explode out of me. Like ants are crawling on me and I can’t sit still or sleep or anything. And then those stupid Candidates and people attacking and gold eggs and there will be Weyrlings and...and...” She reached around to yank furiously at her braid.
“Kass… Kass, you need to stop a moment and sit down. I want to check your pulse and your blood pressure,” he said trying to keep things calm as he got closer. He was trying to do that carefully. “It’s hard to do that with someone pacing.”
Kassia stopped beside him and for a moment it looked like maybe she’d take the hitting choice, but then she went to sit down. Her leg bounced and her hands moved constantly as she balled and unballed her fists.
He took her pulse, taking note of her breathing, her pallor. Her pulse was racing, her blood pressure high. “Okay Kass, we do have a bit of a problem here.”
At first the words didn’t seem to penetrate, then her eyes widened. In a flash anger turned to fear, though the anger was still underneath. “What? What’s wrong? I said I’m fine.”
“Your blood pressure is high enough to give me concern,” he said. It was most likely from the agitation. “I think I need to give you something just to bring it down. It can be dangerous in your condition.”
Kassia eyed him for a long moment, the anger returning and suspicion along with it. “I don’t want to sleep,” she snarled. “You’re going to try to make me sleep.”
“No, I’m going to give you something like the tea. The tea didn’t make you sleep did it?” K’ren said. “Besides, I want to talk to you so sending you to sleep would not be a good way of doing that.”
There was a long moment where Kassia regarded him suspiciously.
((Take the tea, Mine,)) Foreth urged. She’d been watching in the background with her own concern. Another dragon might have been more upset by her rider’s reactions, but they both had their moods. That didn’t mean that she wasn’t worried at the strength of her lifemate’s actions.
“Fine,” Kassia snapped out.
It wasn’t too hard to brew up a batch of a stronger version of the infusion. He made a show of sipping a cup of it himself as if testing it and he could tell he was being watched as he did so. “Here we go. It is just calming and relaxing but you need that.”
Kassia took the tea, but stared at it a long time like it was something that might try to bite her. Another mental nudge from Foreth had her finally lifting it to her lips. She took a small sip at first, then seemed to like it as she finished the drink.
“It’s pretty nice. I use it after Fall sometimes to help wind down a bit,” K’ren said. “Thank you for that. You’ll feel it just take the edge off in a little bit.”
She grunted doubtfully but as time passed she began to slow down. First her hands stopped balling and then her knee gradually stopped bouncing. Her breathing slowed and finally to really take note that he was there and not just a target.
“Not feeling sleepy? That’s good,” K’ren said. “Let’s go back to my original question. How are you feeling Kass? It’s fairly evident that things aren’t right at the moment.”
Kassia’s eyes darted away like she didn’t want to talk about it. She reached back and tugged her braid as Brogan came over and laid his head in her lap.
“There’s a lot going on,” she said a bit evasively. “Everything makes me angry.”
“Everything? Do you start angry and look for reasons to justify what you are feeling?” K’ren asked.
“Just because I’m angry, doesn’t mean other things don’t make me angry,” she said, starting to get worked up again. “Why shouldn’t I be angry when Candidates step onto the Sands without permission? When Candidates are disrespecting me? When I have gold weyrlings coming and don’t know how to prepare? When people tell me to go to bed?”
“Okay, lets see then if we can reduce some of this anger for you,” K’ren said. “It is vital for your health, and that of the baby that you have lower blood pressure and become calmer. I know it’s hard so maybe we can reduce some of those stresses. So, I’m assuming all Candidates are banned from the Sands? And disrespecting Candidates have been handed to the Candidate Master for discipline. What do you need to prepare for with regard to gold weyrlings?”
“Lesson plans, waiting to see what problems they’re going to cause.” She threw up her hands. “They always cause trouble and there are two of them. And my goldriders aren’t ready for taking on the responsibility.”
“Then perhaps they could take on some of the responsibility?” K’ren suggested. “As a Mentorship which means you don’t have to do the day to day lessons, and save yourself for the things only you can do. Your other riders could teach them care and feeding. Kass, I don’t want the stress to make you ill because then your goldriders will have no choice but to step up.”
“I don’t want these gold weyrlings getting messed up,” she said. “The last two twin eggs the dragons died and while they were alive they were problem rivals. Tyne had major Impression Anxiety. I don’t want that happening again. I’m trying to stop it.”
K’ren nodded. “I understand that, but being stressed until you are ill will mean you won’t be able to help at all,” he said. “Kass, I know the Eggs are very, very important, but so are you and your child. Your pulse and blood pressure are high enough that it could be dangerous. Now, I want ou to continue to be able to help them, but you might have to change how you do it, or you will have to go on complete rest. Kass, I don’t want you to go through a miscarriage at this stage.”
That stilled her. Memories of her past two miscarriages went through her. Both had been traumatic in their own ways and last had been especially bad.
“I...I...don’t want that,'' she said quietly. “I don’t want to keep feeling...like this.”
“Will you allow me to help you?” K’ren asked gently. “I promise I will do everything I can to enable you to help the gold weyrlings and deal with this situation, but my priority is you and your health. So if I give you something, I am not trying to stop you - I’ll explain anything I give you as well.”
Kassia hesitated and then nodded slowly. “I know...I haven’t been myself.” And that was a hard admission to make. Part of her wanted to hold onto the energy and fast thoughts and maybe even the anger. But the other part of her hated the jittery feeling that nothing could stop and the times the thoughts came so fast she could barely catch them.
“Can we go over the symptoms you are feeling?” K’ren said. “Did you say you were struggling to sleep?”
“I...I’m not sleeping much at all,” she admitted. “At first it was nice because I had so much energy and could get lots done. Then I started feeling jittery and pent up. Irritable and then very angry. My thoughts...I can’t keep track of them sometimes. It’s hard...hard to pay attention. I don’t really feel like eating. That’d mean stopping. Even now, calmer, I can feel the urge to get up and start pacing or yelling if I had half a reason.”
“Okay,” K’ren said thinking over the possibilities. “Is it similar to anything you have experienced in the past?”
“Yes, it’s been a while. I know you had something...I don’t remember what. I just stop getting sleep and sometimes this happens. It happened during my last pregnancy, but other times, too.” She hated admitting the weakness. There were few others she ever would have. And she knew she could be in a precarious position if the wrong people knew. No one wanted a Weyrwoman who couldn’t take care of herself. Some secrets needed to stay secrets.
“Mm, yes I think...pregnancy and all the changes that take place in the body can trigger an imbalance for some people if there is a history of that,” K’ren said. “I wanted to check if it felt any different rather than assume it was the same thing. As it sounds the same we can hopefully get this evened out for you. I’ll adapt the doses I think ...it might need to be done on a daily basis.”
Kassia considered. It was a reasonable plan and she’d had appointments with Mariska before. The woman was no nonsense but compassionate and Kassia got along with her. She also trusted the woman to do her job and keep her mouth shut whereas she didn’t know some of the other healers well enough to trust it.
“I’m happy to work with her and whatever I need.” The tea had been working more and more as time went on and though the urge to move was still there, her thoughts were a little clearer. Clear enough to know that the Weyr couldn’t get by without a Weyrwoman who was able to take charge.
“Good. I’ll set that up when I get back,” K’ren said. “I’m going to leave the tea here as that is comparatively mild and helps take the edge off. I am going to put in a standing order with the Kitchens that a tray is brought here to you for each meal if you do not go and get some yourself.” He looked at her seriously for a moment. “They will not stand over you, but they will report to me if it has been eaten. Nutrition is vital for you and the baby. This..” he held up a bottle, “is the stronger medicine you will take when you go to sleep. You will sleep a minimum of 6 hours deep sleep with it...possibly longer. Three drops under the tongue when you are actually in bed.” He scribbled that down as an instruction. “Does that make sense? The medicine Mariska will bring will hopefully help to balance out that out of control feeling and stabilise your mood.”
Kassia nodded, taking in the information. “Thank you. I guess some sleep would do me good. It’s not so deep asleep that I’ll scare Foreth, is it?” She wouldn’t assume he’d give her something like that, but she had to ask.
“No, it won’t. If she shouted loud enough she would get through,” K’ren answered. “If there was trouble I can be reached as well. You need to sleep to be alert the rest of the day. How are you feeling now after the tea?”
Kassia thought about it. “Calmer. Somewhat. I can concentrate now. I still feel a little jittery, but not as bad. What about R’tal? In your opinion does he need to know?”
“He doesn’t need to know the details unless you want him to, but he will need to know you are being treated by Healers as the odds of him coming across Healers with you is high. “ K’ren said. “Would that be all right to share? “
Kassia reached behind her to pull her braid forward again, tugging on it lightly. “I guess. I mean being treated by a healer that deals in pregnancy is reasonable. I can tell that to N’shen. I just don’t know if it’d be good to have...the extra opinion. Or whether that’s getting into dangerous territory. I trust him, but...”
“I’ll leave it that he would need to ask you,” K’ren said. “Unless you explicitly tell me otherwise. It’ll not a lie to say that we are keeping a close on one your pregnancy as there are areas for concern...we’re just not saying the specific cause. My other recommendation is to think about means of delegating tasks to even out the stress and allow you to concentrate on the things only you can do.”
“I’m going to give away more of my work,” Kass said. “I just don’t want to be bored either. Not that it’s easy to get bored with Foreth.” She glanced up at the gold who was now pretending to sleep. No point in trying to hide that they were talking to her, the gold always knew. “At least things...are quieter now that she has the eggs to distract her. We’re not fighting as much.”
“She’s of course willing to talk to you,” Kassia said. “Maybe it’s something we can try after all this is over and things are back to normal after the Hatching.” Not that things were ever “normal” around Arolos. “I appreciate the offer.”
“Now , just take it easy for now, and I’ll get a tray of food sent up,” K’ren said getting up to go. “Try and eat something, I think it will help you feel less jittery.”
She nodded. “Thanks, K’ren. It means a lot.”
“Anytime Kass,” he said as he left, hoping that this would stabilise her. He hadn’t been exaggerating - a combination of this and pregnancy could be dangerous on a lot of levels but hopefully with a constant monitoring, things would improve and a crisis averted. Hopefully.