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Tick-Borne Disease – House MD (Fox) 2006

14 Jan

House MD (TV show on Fox)

Safe” is the sixteenth episode of the second season of House, which premiered on the Fox network on April 4, 2006.

The episode starts out with teenager Melinda’s boyfriend, Dan, visiting her at her house. Her mother, Mrs. Bardach, makes Dan wash his hands up to the elbows and when he sneezes, she questions him closely about possible illness, but he denies being sick so she reluctantly lets him go upstairs. Dan, wearing a surgeon’s mask, meets Melinda in her bedroom cleanroom and removes the mask to comply with her demand for a kiss. While kissing her, Dan notices urticaria on Melinda’s left forearm, but when he tries to question the girl about it, she almost immediately goes into anaphylaxis. Mrs. Bardach saves her via the use of an EpiPen, blames Dan, and takes her to the hospital. There it is revealed that Melinda had a transplant heart operation after her chest was crushed in a car accident. Thus, with a compromised immune system she has to be kept in a constantly clean environment.

Suspicions arise regarding whether Dan has been sneaking into her house. House and his team discover that the boy actually did meet Melinda, had sexual intercourse with her and, as a precaution for her safety, has been taking penicillin ignoring that the girl is allergic to it. House chides Dan for being unaware that antibiotics can be transferred during sexual transmission of bodily fluids.

Just when they believe that Melinda is out of danger, she begins to have heart problems, followed by paralysis (steppage gait) and none of the treatments seem to be working. House interrupts a procedure to question Melinda about possible allergens, and they learn that the antibiotic that Dan was on wasn’t penicillin. The anaphylaxis must have an alternate explanation. House believes that all these symptoms have been caused by a tick or other bug, currently injecting trace amounts of venom into her bloodstream. He searches for a tick (a search that had been carried out previously as well), but finds nothing.

During an elevator ride to intensive care, House emergency-stops the elevator and proceeds once again to look for a tick. Foreman, dismayed by the irregular examination, initially goes along. In the meantime, Cuddy and the family are perplexed while waiting for the stopped elevator. When the patient’s condition deteriorates further, Foreman returns the elevator to service. As the elevator door opens, the girl’s family and other doctors are initially astonished to see House, with the patient’s knees spread apart and his head under the covers. The father of the girl (Lance Guest) initially suspects House of perversion, but the doctor is able to hold up the blood-gorged tick which he had found in her vagina. Finally, Melinda’s health returns.

Side stories include House playing various mean tricks on Wilson, including the classic “hand in warm water“, pushing his patience and diplomacy until he files House’s cane making him break it and trip when walking. At the end House tells Wilson that the purpose of his recent behavior was to teach him to react to the unpleasant things in his life, like the recent separation from his wife, rather than just complain about them.

 

*Lyme disease is mentioned numerous times during episodes of House when patients have many medical issues going on.

 

Links:

Tick-borne disease

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0774238/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safe_%28House%29

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Lyme Disease Awareness Month!

1 May

Please take a moment to educate yourself on Lyme disease and be aware that this is an epidemic. Lyme sufferers like myself are going through a living hell and paying for huge medical bills. Lyme is not covered by insurance so doctor visits, meds and testing are not covered. We are all different but most of us do not and cannot leave the house. We live in constant pain and some are even dying from Lyme.

Please always check for ticks or any bites that leave a bulls eye rash. Mosquitoes, spiders, dust mites, fleas  and many other insects can give you Lyme or coinfections. It can also be passed congenitally. Be alert, be aware and spread the news that it is Lyme awareness month. It is time us Lyme disease sufferers get some help and relief. Thank you.

Video One

Video Two

The Field – Where it happened

10 Mar


The Field – 1980’s

Who would have thought that an innocent day of catching lizards in a field would lead to the suffering I live with today. One fine sunny day back in the summer of 1984, my dad and I spent the day doing our usual weekend hobby of hiking and catching critters near our home in Pinole, California. At that time we had no idea of what Lyme disease was and that deer ticks could be so malicious.

I was only 9 years old at the time and eager to get out of the truck and search the fields for a possible blue-tailed skink or a California stripped racer (type of snake). They were very rare but my dad and I had spotted one or two in the past. We grabbed our buckets and set forth to a wooded area that had a small pond a few hundred yards from where we parked.

We spent the day in the heat dodging bumble bees and spiders along the way. We found a few blue-bellied lizards and put them in our bucket. The plan was to release the lizards in our huge backyard we had at the time. We spotted a few skinks which were too fast to catch.

It was a fun day but I remember being exhausted from the heat. We headed back to the truck after a few hours had passed. We headed home which was only about 10 minutes North of Pinole. When I got home my mom suggested I take a shower and cool down. I grabbed a snack and something to drink then waited an hour or two before I did take that shower.

I remember taking my clothes off and looking down only to see a small tick on my pants. I had heard about ticks in the past and saw what they could do when one of my dogs had one drinking blood and feeling up like a small red balloon. Feeling afraid there might be more where that tick came from I took my clothes off in a hurry. I checked my body in a mirror but could not see anything.

I felt around on my head and neck and found a small bump behind my ear. I knew it was a tick! I grabbed the tick and thought I was simply pulling it off of me, but I felt resistance. Little did I know, I had just pulled the blood-filled body, severing it from the head. When I went to throw the tick body in the toilet, I looked down and noticed another very small tick down in my pubic region. This guy had also attached himself to me, and his head was buried. I pulled him out with the head intact and flushed him down the toilet.

Silly me, I was so frightened that I had found ticks on me, but I never told my Mom of this discovery. What might have happened if I had told her.

Late 1990’s

In progress…..come back soon 🙂