Gideon's Crossing
Clinical Enigma

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Blue Christmas

Previously on Gideon's Crossing: The doctors all contributed to accidentally killing a patient named Mr. Porter through a series of miscommunications and small accidents. Porter's wife was understandably upset. The hospital lawyer advised Ben to keep the details of the death to himself to avoid a lawsuit. Ben promised to tell Mrs. Porter everything that happened anyway.

Ben is called to Max's office. Max informs Ben that there's been "a request for medical records in the Porter case." Ben says that this is "the sound of the other shoe dropping." Ben wants to offer Mrs. Porter a settlement, since they killed her husband. Max insists that he died in their care, which is unfortunate, but that he's saving lives and careers. Ben thinks it's "splitting hairs" and "semantics." Ben's beeper goes off, and the number is from Vermont.

Cut to Ben telling Sid and Ollie about a patient who almost died last night, and was stabilized for the four-hour ambulance ride to Boston. Ollie thinks the guy must live in "East Cupcake," which must be the television-censor-approved version of "East Buttfuck." Which reminds me of a little story. When I was in high school, someone snuck into the social studies teacher's room and wrote "East Buttfuck" on the map, around the area of Siberia. The teacher pulled down the map without looking at it, and we all giggled for about ten minutes before he figured out the problem. Hey, when you're fourteen, that's high comedy. Anyway, Ben treated this patient years ago for "myeloma" (cancer of the bone marrow), and it was in remission. Apparently not so much anymore, and they're not sure exactly what's wrong with him. Ben tells Sid that the guy may have to be put on a respirator. As the paramedics wheel in the patient, he's sitting up and reading the paper, looking fairly healthy. Ben greets him as "Larry." Larry says his condition improved on the ride down, and he doesn't really need the oxygen anymore. Ben looks around like, "Well, what the hell do I do now?"

Stiles walks into Boies's office. Boies asks where she's going, and asks her to stay and help cover. Stiles begs rather whinily to be allowed to go home and sleep, since she's been on for many days. Boies tells her to go home. Suddenly, Stiles is all, "No, I'll stay, really." Boies keeps telling her it's okay to go home. Stiles keeps insisting she'll stay. She stays.

Ben walks into Larry's room and says that his doctor is confused by Larry's changing health -- one minute he's "ashen" with labored breathing and fever, and the next he's "ready for the Boston bloody Marathon." Ben calls Larry a "clinical enigma," then asks about the time Larry contracted malaria in Senegal. Larry says he also contracted dysentery in Venezuela. Ben says Larry's immune response is low, and they'd like to see if it could possibly be a tropical disease of some sort, which means more testing. Larry says he's tough and can handle more testing.

Boies treats a woman who has had numbness and tingling in her hands and legs, headaches on one side, and difficulty speaking. Boies thinks they might be "transient ischemic attacks," or a series of small strokes. There is a little girl playing in the room, presumably the woman's daughter. The woman is surprised, since she thought only old people had strokes and she's 35. Boies asks about past drug use, or heavy alcohol use, but the woman insists that she doesn't even smoke cigarettes and only has the occasional glass of wine. Boies asks her to be candid. The woman, Lucinda, says that she used to drink in junior college, like everyone. Boies reveals that he's never been drunk or hungover. Lucinda can't believe that he's never lost control, since she feels like her "whole life is out of control," but insists that she hasn't gotten drunk since the birth of her child ten years ago. Boies smiles and says they'll get a CAT scan and find out what's going on. Lucinda starts breathing heavily, and everything goes slo-mo as she falls to the side and has seizures. Boies keeps asking if she can hear him, and the little girl calls for her mommy.

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Gideon's Crossing




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