Such Sweet Sorrow

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Such Sweet Sorrow

Cut to the hallway and a paramedic giving the bullet on the terminal cancer patient to Kerry and Carol. Apparently, the patient -- a Mrs. O'Brien -- hasn't eaten anything except ginger ale in a couple of days; her husband reports that she had an operation for a bowel obstruction the previous month, at which time the doctors discovered that the cancer had spread to Mrs. O'Brien's liver and diaphragm. They wheel Mrs. O, wearing an oxygen mask and a blue skullcap, into a trauma room, and Kerry explains to Mr. O (who, by the way, is played by the same actor who played Mr. Debbie on Popular a couple of weeks ago) that Mrs. O's liver might not be removing toxins from her bloodstream, which could be why she isn't waking up. Mr. O frowns. He has one of his daughters in his arms, and she stares sadly at her mother; his other daughter stands beside him, holding a box. That's two daughters he's got. Got that? Two of 'em? Okay, just checking. Kerry orders tests as the camera pans around the O family; Kerry tells Mr. O that his wife's breathing "is very slow," and they'll have to decide whether or not to intubate her. "Oh god," Mr. O sighs. Carol asks gently if Mrs. O has a do-not-resuscitate order. Mr. O says she does: "She doesn't want any machines." He asks if they can do anything to help Mrs. O. Kerry says they'll give her fluids and see if that makes her more comfortable, and she asks Carol to take the Os to chairs. Carol offers to find the younger daughter crayons and coloring books, and the younger daughter waves and says, "Bye bye mommy." Mrs. O doesn't open her eyes. On her way out of the room, Carol spots the older daughter staring at her mother and tries to lead her out, and the older daughter says without taking her eyes from her mom, "I brought her things. That's my job when we go to the hospital. She likes to have her things with her." We see a picture of mother and daughter sticking up out of the box, then a shot of the nurses working on Mrs. O. Carol asks if Older Daughter can hold onto the box for a little while longer, because there's nowhere to put her mom's things in the trauma room; OD nods absently. Carol shepherds her out of the room; they both turn to look wistfully at Mrs. O as they go out into the hallway.

Back from commercials to Carter entering the room of Mrs. Wyatt -- "pyelo lady" -- and asking how long she's "been experiencing the burning." A couple of days, she says; usually she just drinks cranberry juice to get rid of it, but it didn't work this time. Carter asks Malik about fever, and Mrs. W does have a slight temperature; Carter takes a look at her throat, and just then Yosh wheels in a man who's having an asthma attack. Carter asks Mrs. W to excuse him, listens to the asthma guy's chest for about five seconds, then tells Yosh to put Asthma Guy in bed and give him Albuterol. He goes back to Mrs. W and asks her if it hurts when he touches her lower back, and when she gasps in pain, Carter diagnoses pyelonephritis (a.k.a. kidney inflammation); she asks if that's serious, and Carter makes a "nah" face and tells her she'll be fine. Chen comes in; she heard Carter had two patients, and she offers to help, but Carter says he's got it and asks Asthma Guy if he's gone on steroids before. "Last year," AG says, "for a few weeks," so Carter orders prednisone and continuous nebulizer treatment, then turns his attention back to Mrs. W, asking her when the symptoms started. Chen again offers to pitch in, but Carter says he's fine and asks if Mrs. W has any allergies, and she says she gets hives from sulfa; then Carter leans over to AG and asks which inhalers he uses. Chen looks worried at this juggling act, but she leaves the room, only to stop at the window and look in on Carter; from Chen's POV, we see Carter asking, "Any chance you're pregnant?" and when AG answers, "No," Carter laughs, and in the foreground of the shot, Chen looks apprehensive.

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