Mother Earth laughs naively as House does a few more ribbits. And then: "You know another really good business? Teeny-tiny baby coffins!" Mother Earth's smile fades in record time. House adds that breast milk only gives babies antibodies for the first six months of their lives. After that, you're taking your chances. I have no idea how accurate this is, and I'm not going to take a stand on it at all, since the last time I said anything about breastfeeding, it sparked a round of angry emails from the natural mothering community, who have sex with their husbands while their bed-sharing children snooze only inches away, but found my comments on long-term breastfeeding objectionable. House says that when drug companies see that parents like Mother Earth would rather let their kids die than spend forty bucks on their vaccinations, "prices will drop really fast." The way Hugh Laurie delivered that line was just awesome, by the way. He delivers all his lines well, but this one was especially great. House ribbits for the baby again, who isn't laughing this time because even babies know that House is a mean, mean man. "Tell me what she has!" Mother Earth exclaims, distraught and tearful. "A cold," says House. Yeah, a cold and a round of vaccinations. Surely Mother Earth shouldn't doubt Dr. "Love My Pills" House when it comes to advice on whether or not to medicate. Personally, I have mixed feelings about vaccinations. When it comes to deadly/debilitating diseases like polio or rabies or smallpox where the benefits far outweigh the risks, I'm all for them. But when it comes to stuff like chicken pox, I mean, that's like a rite of passage for a kid. Your entire class all gets it at the same time, everyone stays home soaking in oatmeal baths for a week, and then you all come back and compare scabs during recess.
The Cottages meet House outside the clinic with the news from Dan's surgery. It went fine and Dan is in recovery, but they took a sample of cerebral spinal fluid while they were in there and tested it -- and found oligoclonal bands and a raised IgG index, which are markers for multiple sclerosis. House asks why three people had to come and tell him this. The Cottages explain that they do everything together, and also they aren't sure if Dan actually does have MS, since he doesn't have the lesions associated with it. Foreman points out that Dan has only had MS for two weeks; the lesions could show up in time. Cameron points out that six months' worth of symptoms are required for a "definitive diagnosis," according to the McDonald criteria, although everything I've seen says it's actually twice that. But then, I'm not a doctor and I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, so take that for what it's worth. Foreman says the VEP (visual evoked potential) indicates slowing of the brain. Cameron says that, without lesions, they can't be sure. House says that if it is MS, it's rapidly progressing, so they should treat as soon as possible in order to extend Dan's life, such as it will be, and McDonald criteria be damned! "Break it to the family, I'm going home," he says.