ER
Be Patient

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Be Patient

The ER. Holling arrives. Mark gives him guff about the Mama Corday thing. Holling observes that Elizabeth didn't seem "too amused" and says he and MC probably shouldn't have used Elizabeth's apartment for their liaison, and Mark tells him not to worry about it. Holling says they'll check into a hotel that night, "it'll be easier for everyone," and Mark expresses some surprise that "this is an ongoing thing," and Holling snorts that it isn't a one-night stand, and he gets on the elevator and asks which floor the pulmonologist is on. Mark tells him the fifth floor. Holling stops the doors from closing and says, "I like her, Mark. She makes me happy. Now, I'm sorry if that makes you unhappy --" Mark interrupts with a bemused smile that he didn't say that, but Holling reminds Mark that MC will return to London in a couple of weeks, "and I'll be back on your sofabed. And then we can both be unhappy." He gives Mark an evil smile and lets the doors close. Heh. I love Holling. Mark shakes his head and walks off.

"How many has she slept with?" Kerry asks Carol. Carol says judgmentally that she doesn't know: "Both girls have been going to these sex parties at school friends' houses." "Oh my god, at their age?" Kerry sighs. Carol fulminates about the fact that she told Andrea she wouldn't say anything to Andrea's parents, and that legally she can't. Kerry finds a loophole, saying that Andrea's a minor who needs surgery, and Carol mutters that maybe she can "talk her into letting me tell her parents." Kerry stops Carol and says she understands that Carol doesn't want to betray the confidentiality, "but this is a public-health issue now," adding that at least one of those boys is spreading HPV, so all the girls who go to the parties need to come in for pelvic exams and Pap smears, and whatever Carol tells Andrea, she also needs to call the girls' school.

Okay, sidebar. I don't pretend to know much medical lore. Most of what I know or interject into these recaps comes either from personal experience or from my Stedman's. I've never had HPV, but I do know that simply having HPV does not necessarily lead to cervical cancer, and that many strains of HPV have no carcinogenic risk at all. It's not like the ER writers to indulge in such irresponsible alarmism. And now, the PSA portion of the sidebar, in which I encourage all women sixteen or older, sexually active or not, to visit a GYN or midwife at least once a year for a pelvic exam and Pap smear, for the sake of your reproductive health. It's uncomfortable. It's a hassle. It's yucky. It's also extremely important. Do it. And when you do, ask your GYN or midwife about HPV; don't listen to the tommyrot this episode passes off as information. Okay, end sidebar.

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