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New Jersey Voodoo

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House: Tell me what you think is wrong with you in twenty words or less.

John: I've got this rash-

House: Have none of you people ever heard of condoms?

John: It's on my back. I can't even see it; I just know it itches.

House: All right, take off your shirt. I'll use my decades of medical training and experience to open this bottle of calamine... hel-lo.

 

[Later]

House: So! What causes blue skin on a patient whose O2 sats are perfectly normal?

Cameron: Localized circulation problems? Raynaud's phenomenon causes constriction of the blood vessels in the hands or feet.

House: The blue patch is on his upper back. Try again.

Foreman: Bruising?

House: Simple, easy, completely wrong. The guy didn't come in because he can turn his head 180 degrees and see the discoloration; he came in because he has an itchy rash. It's nasty, looks like a crocodile with shingles. Anything else?

Chase: Some drugs or drug interactions can affect skin color. Like Dapsone: it's even prescribed to treat skin diseases.

House: Diseases like leprosy. I'd think he would have mentioned that when a new rash popped up.

Chase: The last leper didn't.

House: Depressingly true. Alright, Chase and Foreman: do a skin culture, draw some blood, see if he somehow forgot being diagnosed with a pre-existing condition of biblical proportions. Cameron, get online and find out if the Blue Man Group is holding auditions. It may be infectious and I've always wanted to do theater.

 

[Later]

Chase: What is the differential for blue scales and sudden homicidal tendencies?

Foreman: He wasn't just enraged, he was delusional. Said we were both ghosts and accused us of trying to take over his life.

Cameron: Lupus can trigger psychosis. [Pause] What? I thought I'd get it out of the way!

House: Has he traveled anywhere strange recently? Contacted anyone else with similar symptoms? Been abducted by aliens or exposed to strange medical experiments?

Cameron: No, no, and no. We asked him all that before he snapped.

House: Even about the aliens? Never mind- he's lying. Something like this doesn't come out of nowhere. Go search his house, and make sure you watch for flying saucers on the way.

Foreman: Not possible; he doesn't live here. All we've got on the paperwork he did in the clinic is an APO address and a phone number for next of kin that goes directly to voicemail. One of the nurses says he told her he was staying with a friend in town but she didn't get a name before they sedated him.

House: Keep calling. In the meantime, wake him up and ask.

Foreman: The man put a chair through the door! He attacked three people after he got past us!

Chase: He tried to stab me with a syringe full of his own blood!

House: Lucky you were in a hospital with doctors and guards and tasers. Look, go to Cuddy's office and tell her you need those manacles she's been saving for Valentine's Day. Once he's chained to the bed you can wake him up, ask him where he lives, and see if he knows how long the building has been infested with radioactive spiders. Go!

 

[Later]

Wilson: Wow. When they said blue I thought they meant cyanosis, not... are you sure that's not stage makeup or something?

House: No, we neglected to include cold cream in our exhaustive battery of actual medical tests. It's spreading: the original rash was a three-inch patch on his back. In the last eight hours a second one has erupted on his right arm and together they've grown to cover almost 20% of his body.

Wilson: So is there a reason you're actually in his room? I thought you'd be working on finding out what it is rather than sitting here watching it. If he wakes up you might be forced to actually talk to him.

House: He's sedated. And I make exceptions for the ones who appear to be turning into the Incredible Nightcrawler.

Wilson: Schizophrenics and X-Men, right. I'll make a note that the human connection is also important when the patient is a mutant.

House: Mutants...

 

[Later]

Chase: You want us to compare his DNA to itself?

House: I want you to take a sample from the site of the rash and compare it to one from-

Cuddy: Doesn't matter.

House: What?

Cuddy: It doesn't matter. The next of kin finally checked his messages, he's ordering us to halt the current treatment and all further testing. Colonel Sheppard is to be kept sedated and on highly active antiretroviral therapy until he can be transferred into the care of his regular physician.

House: Antiretrovirals. We're supposed to give an HIV cocktail to a patient with- he specified the therapy? He knows what this is?

Cuddy: He called it a relapse but neglected to give the details. Probably because he was too busy calling us a bunch of inept witch doctors whose most advanced diagnostic tests consist of slaughtering chickens and reading the entrails. Then he promised to blow our pathetic excuse for a hospital off the face of the planet if the colonel suffers any negative side effects as a result of our ineffectual fumbling. It was a lot like talking to you, actually.

House: I'm more charming.

Cameron: So we just drug him up and sit here?

Foreman: Better that than waking him up again. He almost broke the restraints and all we got for it was his name, rank, and serial number.

Chase: Don't forget when he asked if this was Atlantis.

Cuddy: Drugging him and waiting are all we can do. This Doctor Lam is supposed to be on the first flight out from Colorado, but until she arrives our hands are tied. That means no DNA tests, no immunoassays, nothing. Start the IV and go finish your clinic hours.