Friday, March 16, 2007

Going to Boston

As you might have read in Jim's blog I had to go to Boston for a consult.
I was not too avid about that when Cuddy told me Massachusetts General Hospital asked for my help and a doctor would phone me in the course of the morning.
So I sighed and went to tell Jim who was busy with a patient and just nodded at my information. I don't think he really heard what I said.

During my first cup of coffee my phone rang and I recognized a number from Boston. The ominous doctor from the Massachusetts General, obviously.
I took another sip of coffee and answered the phone.
"Hello? Dr. Janosz Poha."
"Oh...I'm sorry...I must have dialed the wrong number..."
That drongo (as Chase calls such people) did not seem to know Ghostbusters...
"No problem", I grinned.
A few seconds later the phone rang again and I decided not to fool him again.
"House!", I barked.
"Good morning, Dr. House, my name is Dr. Tristan Calough from Massachusetts General Hospital."
"..."
"Um...yes...we...I would like to ask for your help. We have a strange case here."
"..."
"Are you still there, Dr. House?"
"Yipp! I'm here."
"Erm...okay...we think it might be Ebola, but we're not sure. So please...consider this information as confidential."
"Of course."
"So, is it possible for you to come to Boston? A ticket for you is deposited at the airport."
I sighed and remembered Cuddy's glance when she told me about that. If I would not go this would mean 5 more days of clinic duty. Not very tempting to say no in this case.
"Yes. It's possible."

So I tried to tell James again who absentmindedly nodded while talking to a patient, took a cab home, packed my backpack with a few things and took my motorcycle to the airport.
As Dr. Calough promised there was a ticket deposited for me and the flight would be short.

Short but annoying. The seat behind mine was occupied by a little boy who kicked against my seat all the time.
My glance did not prevent him from his employment, neither did my death stare.
The moment I could not bear this anymore I looked over my shoulder and hissed "Stop it! Otherwise you'll suck your meals through a straw for some weeks!"
Ooooh, the remainder of the flight left me in perfect peace.

At Boston Airport there was a man in his thirties awaiting me, darkhaired and rather handsome.
"Welcome to Boston, Dr.House", he said. "I'm Dr. Calough. Thanks very, very much!"
I raised an eyebrow. "Don't thank me so soon. I didn't do anything at all so far."
"But you're here and offer your help", he smiled and guided me to a black Chevy.
He babbled and babbled and babbled on our way to the hospital and I contented myself with uttering some social noises but was not really listening to what he said.
What I understood was that they were really concerned about that patient and had no clue so far.
This promised to be rather challenging and I hoped for some good work for my brain.

When we arrived everyone was ever so happy to see me (I'm really not used to this) and there were even some doctors who heard me lecture at Baltimore Hospital.
(And some of them knew that youtube video Cuddy had deleted...but this is another story...)

The first part of the day passed by with several cups of coffee and the discussion and explanation of symptoms which was not as satisfying as I had hoped. (The coffee was good though.)
The patient had fever, headache and muscle pain, maculopapular rash, diarrhea, chest and abdominal pain and he kept vomiting. Besides that he responded poorly to fluid infusions and rapidly developped pulmonary edema.
So far, so bad.

The next part was more interesting...Jaundice, delirium, organ failure, and extensive hemorrhage told me it was Marburg virus. (It was the severe bleeding from bodily orifices which made them think it was Ebola.) Helpful for the staff of Massachusetts General Hospital but not too good for the patient, 'cause the treatment options for Marburg are limited...
There is no cure or vaccine for this deadly and infectious virus. Victims usually die within a week.
Okay, that was not my problem though - I packed my things and wanted to leave.

Dr. Calough turned out to be very thankful and invited me to dinner first.
A nice Chinese restaurant, me very hungry, a good saté...
This sounded tempting.
I sent a text message to James telling him I'd come home in the late evening and off we were to the restaurant. (I did not know that my cell crossed Jordan. It did not send the message.)
It all began fairly nice. Dr. Calough was not as annoying as I first thought and we had a quite interesting conversation during the first course (Wan-Tan Soup).
The second course proved my undoing...

I ordered spicy chicken with a saté sauce and was very looking forward to it. The first three bites I chowed were delicious and I went "Mmmmmmmmmmmmmh" with a broad smile.
That smile vanished oh too soon when I began to feel odd and had respiratory problems accompanied by an increasing heart rate and fear.
"I....mnm...I...", I began to stammer and Dr. Calough looked at me in concern.
"Is everything okay?", he asked and grabbed my hand over the table.
I managed to shake my head and whisper "anaphylactic shock" and "please phone Dr. Wilson at PPTH" before I passed out.
Who had thought that they made saté with cashews instead of peanuts?

The next thing I can remember was waking up in a hospital bed nearly a whole day later. I was told I got rescue breathing as a first aid measure by Dr. Calough (ukk!) and epinephrine and intubation later during transport to hospital.
I felt really crappy but insisted on going home.
Finally they let me leave and at home it became perfectly clear that no one had phoned James. They just told him I was 'indisposed'.
Well, because of that (and the fact my cell refused to send him the text message) my first welcome at home was a bit icy...

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He did not know Poha???

March 17, 2007  
Blogger Dr. James Wilson said...

A bit icy ... yes - I am sorry though!

I hope I made up for it now.

@Anonym: No, he really did not know Poha - what an idiot!

March 19, 2007  
Blogger Dr. Gregory House said...

Oh yes, hun, you did!

March 19, 2007  

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