ER
Tell Me Where It Hurts

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Tell Me Where It Hurts

Nathan presents Elizabeth with a man found dehydrated at Navy Pier. He's got pancreatic cancer; as Elizabeth presses on the man's belly, you can see the ugly red roadmaps of some nasty operations. The old man sputters something, but I don't speak Spittle, so it flies right past me. "They said I might have a year with chemo, but I'm not doing too good," he adds coherently. Nathan explains that Spittle had two stints placed in his bile duct to relieve obstructions, but there's probably another one now. Spittle whimpers that, every night, he goes to bed praying that the pain will be gone. "Is there a surgical alternative that will help?" Nathan asks hopefully. Elizabeth says there isn't. Spittle wonders what might happen if they take the Do Nothing approach. Nathan paints the picture; it's not pretty. It looks like a shredded Picasso, but with more innards. Susan enters at this point and offers him some twice-weekly home hospice care until such time as he slips into a coma, at which point they'll throw him out in the back yard and let the autumn leaves be his casket and Mother Nature his coroner. Spittle reminisces about his dead wife's joke that he'd kick off in his Barcalounger watching a football game. "I'm starting to think that's not such a bad way to go," he observes. Hear, hear. Elizabeth smiles gravely. "Does that mean you're no longer interested in further treatment, [Spittle]?" she asks. Spittle nods. Nathan is visibly perturbed, which is pretty much his constant expression, although it's possible the wind changed and froze him that way.

I may have mentioned this before, but my big fear in this world is ocular tomfoolery. I can't stand to look at, think about, or even acknowledge the existence of anything that could in any way pierce or damage the eyeball. It makes me want to regurgigate everything I've ever eaten in like. The movie Minority Report almost made me pass out. So you can imagine the toasty delight in my soul when I saw this next patient: a boy with a shotgun pellet in his eye, the area around which is blackened from gunpowder. Luka pokes at the kid's eye and it actually makes me queasy -- and they could've made it bloodier, too. Ew. "I can't see," the kid, Nick, has the presence of mind to wail. I certainly hope he can't see. Weaver tells him to relax. "Did you try to kill yourself?" she shouts thoughtfully. Nick babbles that "he" didn't mean to do it; we learn that "he" is Nick's little brother Tommy, who was playing with the gun. Nick lunged at him to prevent an accident. Naturally, the gun went off, but as far as I'm concerned, the bullet went nowhere near his face. No. Sorry. It's in his toe. Yup, the toe. And the intense pain is just temporarily blinding him and making his face bleed.

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