Start All Over Again

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Heathen: C | Grade It Now!
Start All Over Again

Abby is about to attend to a man with chest pains, so Carter calls med student Mooney over to help; simultaneously, Doris calls out to Susan, who dashes to the incoming gurney. "Love your hair!" lies Doris, who recognizes Susan from The Good Old Days. They're all smiles. "My brother could be dying here!" protests a man following them, dismayed that such idle chatter has supplanted medical jargon. Personally, I prefer it. The other day I used "thrombolytics" in a sentence and had to force myself to shut up for an hour just as punishment.

Susan wheels the man into a trauma room and announces that he isn't responding to Narcan. The brother swears that the two of them were just talking when it all happened. He's not aware of any medications in his brother's system. Stanley -- one of the med students -- hovers over Haleh's shoulder and watches as his guru conducts an examination. Carter probably isn't averse to impressing Susan at the same time, since he's all grown up now. He rattles off a series of words like "disconjugate" and "deviation," which, put together, rule out a structural lesion. To what, I don't know. Susan orders chem panels and tox screens and a head CT. She tells the brother it's too soon to know whether the patient had a stroke. I'll call these brothers Little and Large -- Large is the patient. Carter jargons that the abrupt onset of this coma-like condition suggests a seizure or even cardiopulmonary anoxia. He's pretty sure this last one will make Susan's heart flutter. Haleh can't believe the junk she's hearing, and is totally aware of Stanley's presence behind her, all of which contributes to a pretty hilarious facial expression of disbelief commingled with even more disbelief. "Don't let him die," Little orders Susan. "No tremors, asterixis, or myoclonus suggestive of metabolic encephalopothy," Carter multi-syllables. This last combination of words actually ripped off Susan's bra and wrapped it around Carter's neck. "I'm trying to listen," she says, leaning toward Carter and fighting for position near Large. Haleh offers to fetch a portable chest. "Ask Professor Carter," smirks Susan.

While Abby supportively stands nearby, Mooney haltingly asks Mr. Stegman -- okay, I cheated and peeked ahead to get his name -- about his abdominal and chest pains. They're all the questions that a soulless form would suggest that one ask. "How would you describe the pain?...Stabbing, burning, or tearing?" Stegman can't believe that there's a damn difference. I'm not sure I wanted to know that all those kinds of abdominal pain exist. Abby snaps on some gloves, and Mooney grabs a vial of nitro spray and tells Stegman to open up for a dose of medicine under the tongue. He administers three quick sprays. Abby is shocked. "Nitro times three," protests Mooney. "At once?" Abby gapes. Stegman's monitor bleeps his health away. "I don't feel so good," he underplays. Abby reclines him and promises to counter his dizziness with a kicked-up flow of oxygen. His pressure is 80 over 60. "Is that bad?" frets a panting Stegman. Abby tries to soothe him, swearing that he didn't get the wrong medicine and that this reaction just happens sometimes. Subtly turning around for confirmation of the kid's name, Abby plasters a comforting smile on her face and insists that Dr. Mooney is one of the hospital's finest. And he is -- if you're judging a mullet contest. He's cultivating a doozy. "I'll go write my note," he stammers, backing out of the room. "You do that," Abby says, still trying to stabilize Stegman.

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