CHAPTER FOURTEEN: CONFUSION
Cuddy comes in at . She hands
“I was hoping the dialysis would at least lower his potassium,”
“He’ll have a longer session later today; that’ll help. Some of those numbers are so out of whack that I’m surprised he’s doing as well as he is; wouldn’t even expect most patients to be lucid.”
“I’m not sure he is,”
Cuddy smiles too. “That’s our House—a true diplomat. But he’s right; you do look exhausted. I think that—”
“Give it up,”
Cuddy smiles again. “Exhausted and cranky! What I was going to say was, I think I’ll call Housekeeping, get a cot brought up from Peds. Figure it’s easier to bring in another bed than it would be to convince you to go find a couch.”
“You’re right, and… I’m sorry I snapped. Thanks. For the coffee, and the cot, and… just, thanks.”
“Hey,” Cuddy says gently, “I understand.” And he knows she does.
There’s a sound from the bed, and they turn to look at House; his eyes are open, and he’s looking at the paper in
“I know. I’ll increase the Lasix, see if that helps. I’m also thinking of calling Chase in; bring him up to speed, get his opinion on the meds.”
“I’ll go call him then, and I’ll have the cot sent up. I’m not putting it in here just to crowd the room with more furniture, by the way. I expect you to use it.”
“Yeah. About that. I’ve also arranged for the kitchen to send up your meals. Breakfast should be here soon. I hear it comes with coffee.” Cuddy gives his arm a squeeze, and leaves the room before he can even try—again—to express his gratitude.
Before sitting back down,
“Yeah, I know. But you’re not putting out much. Let’s try a few ice chips, okay?”
House nods, and reaches out his left hand to attempt to take the spoon.
A nurse comes in to get a set of vital signs and drain the urine bag. “How much?” he asks her.
She holds up the cup. “Less than 200cc,” she tells him.
He looks at his watch. “About 16cc an hour. Better than nothing, I guess.”
She smiles sympathetically. “If you need anything at all, Dr. Wilson, you just let me know. We’ve been trying to stay out of your way; Dr. Cuddy said you’d be seeing to most of Dr. House’s needs yourself, and she asked that we bother you as little as possible. But I didn’t want you to think we were neglecting him—or you. Just buzz if you want something, okay?”
“I appreciate it, Judy. We’re fine for right now, but if you could check on when my coffee might be arriving, that’d be a big help.”
Five minutes later, Judy returns carrying a large, steaming ceramic mug of fresh coffee.
“Just made a fresh pot in the nurse’s lounge. And I figured you needed some serious caffeine; those styrofoam cups hold about two teaspoons!”
Judy laughs. “Oh no, not at all! The man’s an ogre. But I’ll never forget what he did for that kid, Jesse—you know, that leukemia patient of yours. Must’ve taken him hours.”
“Oh yes, Jesse Beele. I remember… House consulted on a stubborn infection we couldn’t shake. But you’ll have to refresh my memory; it’s been a while.”
“Good heavens; I’d have thought that a kindness that big—especially coming from Dr. House—would be something you’d remember!”
“Dr. House asked me why Jesse was always crying, so I explained how his folks lived so far away, and they couldn’t miss any more work without losing their jobs, and they had all those other kids to worry about. So then he said, ‘So why the hell don’t you distract the sniveling brat?’” Judy and Wilson both laugh. House moans and turns his head at the sound, and she lowers her voice.
“I told him that the only thing that made Jesse happy was country music, and we couldn’t keep it on because Jesse’s roommate, that kid in traction, hated it, and screamed every time we turned on the radio. So then Dr. House muttered something about ‘Pediatrics, God’s Own special Hell on Earth,’ and he stalked off. The next night, he came down to Peds and tossed an iPod at me, said someone had left it in the lobby. Told me to give it to Jesse, said it might buy me a few minutes of peace and quiet. I checked the playlists; it was all country music. Over three hundred songs on that thing!”
Judy leans forward and whispers, “I was gonna let Jesse use it for the night, take it to Lost and Found in the morning. Couldn’t figure out why he hadn’t turned it in. Turns out, wasn’t lost at all. Guess he forgot about the GH engraved on the back.”
Judy looks one more time at House;