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Such Sweet Sorrow

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Such Sweet Sorrow

Carol tells Mark to let her know if he needs anything and follows Conni into Mrs. O's room to find Mrs. O moaning weakly, "Where -- where am I?" Carol asks Conni to get Kerry as Mr. O tells Mrs. O she's in the hospital, and Mrs. O moans that no, she doesn't want that. Carol introduces herself to Mrs. O and explains that Mrs. O had to come in to the hospital because she'd gotten dehydrated; Mrs. O whimpers that she wants to go home. Mr. O tells her gently that they have to get her admitted "so [she] can feel better," but Mrs. O repeats that she wants to go home. Enter Kerry, who asks Mrs. O, "You want to go home?" Mrs. O nods feebly. Kerry asks, "And you don't want to be put onto any machines?" Mrs. O shakes her head: "No, please -- no machines." Mr. O tells his wife that "they can help you if we stay -- they'll give you something for the pain," but Mrs. O continues saying "no" and "home," and when Mr. O says, "Please, sweetheart," Kerry pulls him aside and tells him that she'll start a morphine drip on Mrs. O, but she thinks he should consider home hospice care for his wife. An ambulance will take Mrs. O home, and a health-care worker will take care of the meds and IVs: "It's clearly what she wants." Mr. O doesn't think Mrs. O can decide for herself, but Kerry thinks she can: "She was very clear. Don't you think she deserves to die where she wants to, at home, with her family, in her own bed?" Carol, listening in, looks down uncomfortably. At last, Mr. O nods, and Kerry says, "Good. Why don't you go tell her? I think it'll help calm her down." Mr. O goes to do just that, and Kerry makes to leave, calling Carol to her side; she mutters that she really didn't need this today and tells Carol to call Social Services. Carol says that "maybe the husband's right" and they could admit Mrs. O for a couple of days to "get her buffed up," but Kerry covers her eyes and groans, "No, no, Carol, please -- not today." "She would go home eventually," Carol argues, but Kerry doesn't want to hear it and tells Carol that Mrs. O wants to go home to die, and they can't keep her there: "I know it's not pleasant, but we have to respect her wishes." Carol contends in a fairly snotty tone that Mrs. O "is in excruciating pain, and we didn't even try to explain the options to her," but Kerry puts paid to that: "Just call and set it up." She crutches away. Carol can't believe that the rays of her halo didn't touch Kerry's stony heart. She makes a sulky face and turns to look at Mrs. O.

Carter comes back into Mrs. W's room with an IV supplement bag and hooks it up, telling her that it should take about twenty minutes and that she'll start feeling better in a couple of days. She nods, and Carter asks Asthma Guy how he's doing; AG reports that he's feeling much better. Carter starts to say something else when he hears Mrs. W gasping behind him, and when he asks if she's okay, she chokes out, "Hard -- hard to -- breathe!" Carter listens to her chest and asks if she's having chest pain; she says no. He asks if this has ever happened to her before, and she pants, "When I -- when I got -- Bactrim." "Bactrim?" Carter repeats, and Mrs. W wheezes that she told Carter she's allergic to sulfa. Carter jumps up and examines the IV bag, then rips the IV out of Mrs. W's arm and rushes over to a cabinet to prepare an epinephrine shot as Mrs. W continues to puff and pant. He calls over his shoulder for Mrs. W to lie down; AG asks if Carter needs some help, and Carter finishes preparing the shot and says shortly, "No, everything's under control," and whips the curtain between AG and Mrs. W closed before administering the epinephrine. Malik bursts in a second later: "What happened?" Carter dissembles, but Malik says, "Somebody hit the call button!" and Carter points in AG's direction as AG pipes up from behind the curtain, "I did!" Malik asks why, and AG points at Mrs. W: "She was having trouble breathing!" Chen comes in through the other door and also asks what happened, and Carter lies that Mrs. W had an attack of hives, so he administered a subcutaneous epi. Malik asks where all the blood's coming from, and as we see a shot of the trickling wound on Mrs. W's arm, Carter says disingenuously, "Look at that -- she must have pulled out her IV." Chen asks why Mrs. W would have done that, and Carter yells, "How the hell would I know that?" and although he tries to temper it with a smile afterwards, his cover is basically blown; Chen takes a step back and eyes him suspiciously. Carter keeps up the phony chuckle for another second or two; Malik gives him the stink-eye. Carter tells Malik to start another IV and give Mrs. W antihistamines, and he listens to Mrs. W's chest and tells her in a falsely confident voice that she "just nodded off for a second there" before reporting "good pulse, good respirations" and preparing to flee the scene. Malik adopts a "whatever" tone and asks Carter's disappearing back if he wants to order fluids, and without slowing down, Carter tells Malik in a strangled voice to give her a liter over an hour. Chen watches him leave, and turns to Malik to say something . . .

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