CATEGORY: Script-style, episode length fanfiction
RATING: PG-13 because some of the language wouldn't get past the censors. But all of the content would. So there.
SPOILERS: None. Everything's post-Lockdown.
DISCLAIMER: The medical parts? Straight out of the Merck Manual, and straight off Medline.com. But I am not a doctor so don't hold me to it. The religious parts? I'm not Catholic. I had to research Thomas Aquinas. Took frickin forever. The characters? Not mine. Stole them all, except for one.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is a first attempt, so tell me what you think so I can improve it. I live for constructive criticism. Also, a huge, huge thanks to Jacqueline, Andrea, Danielle, and Scott (in no particular order) for their patience and help on the Fanfic that Ate My Life.
SUMMARY: Susan kicks ass, nurses plan a little sumpin-sumpin, Weaver kicks ass, Carter kicks ass. Some Carter/Abby shipperdom, but hopefully not nauseatingly so. No Pratt, no Chen, no Dave, no Cleo, and virtually no Luka. Oh, but there is a pregnant nun.
Previously, on ER:
Lisa Anderson to Susan Lewis - "I'm Lisa Anderson. I'm reporting for duty as peds ER attending." Susan to Abby - "She's so young." Abby to Susan - "They say she's the best there is."
Weaver to Gallant - "You can't graduate without seeing a requisite number of pediatric patients…you may have to postpone your ER rotation until the summer if you don't get those peds patients in."
Carter to Susan - "I want that attending job; I don't know what I'll have to do to get it, though."
Carter and Abby cuddling in a deck chair. Voiceover: Abby - "I like this. Just sitting here with you; it's nice." Carter - "I like it too."
Cut to black screen: By Heart.
Fade up on Susan and Conni are finishing up a patient in Curtain Area 1. Subtitles indicate - 8:55 AM.
Susan ~ Let's get a tetanus update. Mr. Hammill? Mr. Hammill. The man, middle-aged and dressed in a tattered office suit, is covered with wisps of hay and staring vacantly into space. Mr Hammill? You need to start taking your lithium again.
Hammill ~ dreamily I kept telling her…there's a nail in that haystack. But she said to jump in.
Conni ~ Want me to call psych? Susan nods.
Hammill ~ And now there's a nail in me.
Susan ~ Not anymore, Mr Hammill, we took it out.
Hammill ~ Rusting, corroding, inside my leg.
Susan ~ Okay, Mr Hammill. You're all set. Wait here while I get your chart. She gets up and walks with Conni. That Demerol really knocked him out. Call psych and see if they can spare someone for a consult - good luck with that - and get him a new prescription for lithium.
Conni ~ We'll see him again before the week's out.
Susan ~ Well, it can't hurt to give it to him.
Conni ~ So how is it you can tell about…you know?
Susan ~ You watch. She'll come in first, then five minutes later, he's there. It's hilarious. They actually think they're fooling us. Conni and Susan burst out laughing as they approach the admit desk, where Susan erases Mr. Hammill's name from the board and Conni gets on the computer. Abby walks through the door in street clothes, about ready to begin her shift. Susan taps Conni on the hand. Here she comes, it's showtime. Five minutes from now he'll stroll in…hi Abby.
Abby ~ signing in Don't look now, but there's a pregnant nun walking through the doorway. Susan, Conni, and Chuny, who has just approached, look up. I said don't look now…okay, now. They all look at the pregnant nun, who has just sat down in chairs with her back to them.
Conni ~ There's something you don't see every day.
Susan ~ That should be a New Yorker cartoon.
Chuny ~ Maybe we should get a jump on her chart, and page OB. She looks about ready to pop.
Susan ~ In the meantime, Abby can work her up.
Abby ~ What? Why me?
Susan ~ Well, first of all, Carter's late.
Abby ~ a little too casually You sure? Our Carter? He lives and dies by the clock.
Susan ~ He seems to be taking to fashionable lateness rather well lately. Suppressing a giggle. Abby, who isn't really paying much attention as she signs in, doesn't notice the teasing yet. Anyway, you know more about OB than all the rest of us put together…Conni and Chuny nod in agreement…and since they're swamped up there today our friend Sister Sin is going to need someone who can help her out.
Abby ~ How swamped is swamped?
Susan ~ Think the Everglades.
Chuny ~ We've been trying to get the woman in 4 up for the past eight hours, no luck.
Abby ~ I knew that snowstorm nine months ago was trouble waiting to happen.
Susan ~ Well, you know what they say…giving Abby a meaningful look…when you're stuck in a room with someone, things happen. You should know about that. She holds the chart out to Abby, who after staring at her for a minute, grabs it and turns away. Susan calls after her sweetly, Thanks. Conni slaps Susan five as she turns to walk away.
Abby, blushing, walks down the hallway.
Cue music, theme from ER, and credits; Noah Wyle, Laura Innes, Alex Kingston, Maura Tierney, Paul McCrane, Goran Visnjic, Sherry Stringfield, Ming-Na, Sharif Atkins, Mekhi Phifer.
Fade up on Carter, who has just come in and is still in his street clothes, eating a doughnut at the admit desk. Subtitles indicate - 9:05 AM. Credits scroll along the bottom of the screen; guest starring Lily Mariye, Laura Ceron, Deezer D, Conni Marie Brazleton, Ellen Crawford, Kristin Minter, and John Aylward. Guest starring Kathleen Robertson as Lisa Anderson and Linda Fiorentino as Caroline Harmon. Special guest appearance by Kate Hudson as Sister Mary Elizabeth.
Weaver walks up - she is obviously in a bad mood - and sees Carter at the desk with doughnut and coffee, and Gallant walking down the hallway with a bag of food from Doc Magoo's.
Weaver ~ Carter, you're five minutes late. Chuny chokes back a laugh, Conni thumps her on the back. Carter stares at them both in puzzlement.
Carter ~ Sorry, had to get breakfast.
Gallant, a little breathless, hands the bag to Chuny, at the desk.
Gallant ~ Egg and cheese bagel, Chuny.
Chuny ~ Thanks, Gallant. She affectionately chucks him under the chin and walks away.
Weaver ~ Gallant, have you sutured the head lac in curtain two yet?
Gallant ~ No ma'am.
Weaver ~ Well you're not here to run errands for the staff. Get a chart, get a needle, get suture thread, and get going. You can't waste time on an ER rotation.
Gallant ~ Yes ma'am. I'm sorry. He starts off down the hall.
Weaver ~ snapping after him Don't be sorry, get it right the first time. Carter. Get that (waving a disgusted hand at the doughnut) away from my labs.
Carter ~ Sorry. He crams the last bite into his mouth.
Weaver ~ You know, I find it incredible that doctors preach healthy diet and then stuff themselves with the fattiest foods available while on the job.
Carter ~ The sheer hypocrisy of the medical profession. Would you like a piece? She shoots him a disgusted look. Is something wrong?
Weaver ~ snapping No, nothing's wrong, except that I'm tired of keeping tabs on my staff. What do I have to do to get you to come in on time? Especially when we're down three doctors…
Carter ~ Who's out?
Weaver ~ Luka's off and Pratt and Chen both called in sick.
Carter ~ raising his eyebrows and grinning suddenly Really. Both of them?
Weaver ~ Yes.
Carter ~ Must be that 24 hour flu. I think Susan and Gallant and I can pick up the slack.
Weaver ~ Yeah, well I don't see you doing much except eating doughnuts. Carter stands up and knocks over his coffee onto Weaver's labs. Guiltily he hides them under a stack of charts and walks into the lounge to get more coffee. Suddenly, CARTER! What did you spill on my labs? Carter can't help laughing. He sees Abby's coat and walks over to slip something into the pocket as Lewis comes into the lounge. He turns around, feigning that he wasn't messing with her coat, but Susan has definitely seen it and can barely contain her grin.
Susan ~ Carter, paramedics are pulling up with a twelve-year-old, GSW to the abdomen. GCS 2, 2, 1.
Carter ~ Be right there. She nods and leaves for the trauma room.
Cue trauma music as the camera pans with Carter to the trauma room, where Lewis and Gallant are working up the prostrate kid with Lily and another unnamed nurse.
Gallant ~ No breath sounds on the left.
Susan ~ And what does that mean?
Gallant ~ She's put down a lung.
Susan ~ Good. An alarm suddenly sounds.
Lily ~ Asystole on the monitor.
Carter ~ to Gallant What do you want to do?
Gallant ~ hesitating briefly Penetrating trauma, full arrest…thoracotomy.
Susan ~ Excellent. Carter, could you take him through that and I'll get the airway.
Carter ~ Sure. Lily rolls up the thoracotomy tray. Okay, find the fifth intercostals space, right below the nipple. Gallant hesitates.
Susan ~ I need subchrichoid pressure. Carter. Carter reaches over to press on the girl's neck, still giving instructions to Gallant, who quite obviously has no idea what he's doing.
Carter ~ Cut. Go on! Gallant complies. Deeper. You need to get inside the thoracic cavity as quickly as possible. Suddenly, the door bursts open and Lisa Anderson rushes in. She's very young, tall, with brown hair and delicate features, but with the confidence and authority of someone much older. Other than her youth, she's the picture of professionalism, her hair tied up, dressed impeccably in long black slacks and a blue blouse covered by her lab coat. Her stethoscope has a little bear on it.
Anderson ~ Give me the story. She pulls on her gloves and puts on goggles as she speaks.
Susan ~ I thought Dr. Corday was covering the ER today.
Anderson ~ She's not pedes. I am, so you'll settle for me. What happened to her?
Susan ~ Hannah Laramie, twelve years old, GSW to the upper left quadrant, asystole on the monitor for two minutes. We're in the middle of a thoracotomy. Carter shoots Susan a quizzical look, which Anderson notices.
Anderson ~ Nice to meet you, Dr…she cranes her neck to see his ID tag…Carter. Ah, you must be the chief resident. I'm Lisa Anderson. To Gallant. And you are…?
Gallant ~ face intent with concentration Michael Gallant.
Anderson ~ A medical student?
Gallant ~ Yes ma'am. Pointing to the cavity. Clot in the pericardium.
Anderson ~ You're allowing a medical student to perform a thoracotomy?
Susan ~ Our student, our call. Anderson is clearly furious.
Carter ~ to Gallant Okay, what do you want to do? Gallant shakes his head, at a loss. Rib spreader now. Two units o-neg on the rapid infuser. Lily passes it to him.
Anderson ~ suddenly This is ridiculous. Internal paddles.
Susan ~ What are you doing?
Anderson ~ Charge the paddles to five. She pushes Gallant and Carter out of the way and reaches in to zap the kid. Clear. No change. Charge to ten. Clear. The EKG suddenly beeps.
Lily ~ Back to sinus.
Anderson ~ Excellent. Okay, let's move her to the OR. She turns around as the gurney exits the trauma room and addresses Carter and Susan, who are standing there dumbstruck. Most attendings and chief residents know that when patients are in full arrest you don't have time to hold a med student's hand.
Carter ~ Teaching hospital, Dr. Anderson.
Anderson ~ Not on a pedes patient, and not on my watch. The whole point of see one, do one, teach one is that you have to see one first. She turns to Gallant, who is standing with his bloody gloves still on, looking immensely disappointed. Mr. Gallant, since you've started, would you like to help finish?
Gallant ~ startled Ma'am?
Anderson ~ Would you like to observe?
Gallant ~ shooting a look at Carter and Susan Um…yes. Please.
Anderson ~ Well, come on then. Don't look so worried, this isn't your fault. Back over her shoulder…Next time, don't throw your med students off the deep end. Mr. Gallant, if you'd follow me, please. She and Gallant exit.
Carter pulls off his gloves as Susan signs the chart and begins to clean up.
Carter ~ Who was that?
Susan ~ Lisa Anderson. Pediatric surgeon.
Carter ~ How old is she? Susan shrugs.
Susan ~ Old enough to be an attending, apparently.
Carter ~ incredulously You're kidding. In pedes surgery?
Susan ~ And in the ER.
They walk out of the trauma room with Lily close behind.
Carter ~ How'd she swing that?
Lily suddenly jumps into the conversation.
Lily ~ Romano hired her as a dual attending. She's some kind of high-powered intellectual.
Susan ~ interested How did you hear that?
Lily ~ Shirley was down here before, and she told us.
Carter ~ What's so special about her? She seems like a pain in the ass.
Lily ~ She's got all these humanitarian awards for her work in child psych, and her IQ's through the roof. She walks off down a different hallway.
Susan ~ A regular Doogie Howser.
Carter ~ She's a genius? Just what we need. He speeds up and walks away as Lydia comes up.
Lydia ~ Dr Lewis? Respiratory difficulty with productive cough in exam 1.
Susan ~ Yuck. Tell me she's not coughing up a lot of snot.
Lydia ~ Filled two tissues before I got the first BP. But it did stop her from telling me to go screw myself.
Susan ~ How charming.
Lydia ~ She's pretty vocal.
Susan ~ Thank God for mucus membranes.
Cut to the OR. Lisa Anderson and Gallant are just coming out of the room with the patient. Anderson is busily delivering instructions to Shirley as Gallant hangs back, a little wary of the confident young doctor.
Anderson ~ Start the drip of zithromyacin, ten per kilo per hour, and keep a close eye on her temp. CBC and urine culture every two hours.
Shirley ~ Do you want the vent adjusted?
Anderson ~ No, I think we're good. Keep the tidal volume at 45, and page me 911 if her systolic BP drops under 100. Thanks, Shirley. She signs the chart and turns back to Gallant as Shirley follows the gurney toward the recovery room. So, Michael - it is Michael, isn't it?
Gallant ~ Yes ma'am.
Anderson ~ Please, call me Lisa. So Michael, why am I giving zithromyacin?
Gallant ~ Risk of post-op infection.
Anderson ~ Well why not give erythromax, then?
Gallant ~ No need to be that aggressive at this point. She's got no signs of infection and antibiotics that strong can cause resistance.
Anderson ~ impressed You've got a good mind.
Gallant ~ embarrassed, but pleased I have good teachers. Dr. Weaver, Dr. Carter, Dr. Lewis, Abby Lockhart.
Anderson ~ Now, remind me which one's which. I have to start ER rotations next week and I need a heads up.
Gallant ~ Dr. Weaver's chief of the ER…red haired, walks with a cane, about so high…?
Anderson ~ I don't think I've met her yet. And Drs. Lewis and Carter were in the GSW trauma room…so which one is Dr. Lockhart?
Gallant ~ Abby's a nurse.
Anderson ~ Oh, I see. Well, that's good to hear. A good nurse is one in a million. Romano approaches.
Romano ~ Ah, it's the new kid on the block. Anyone stolen your lunch money yet, Lisa?
Anderson ~ I think I'm holding my own.
Romano ~ I'm eager to hear what magic you've been working today.
Anderson ~ None, it's a clamp and run kind of day. Heart arrhythmias, sarcomectomies, and Mr. Gallant and I just closed on a GSW.
Romano ~ looking Gallant up and down I see you're taking on scut puppies from the ER now.
Anderson ~ Combining my two jobs.
Romano ~ to Gallant, as he strides away Count yourself lucky, Mr. Gallant. Lisa, don't forget you get the grand tour this afternoon at three, don't be late. Anderson watches him go, eyebrow raised slightly.
Anderson ~ in a half-amused, half-sarcastic tone Nice guy.
Gallant ~ Dr. Weaver says no one listens to him.
Anderson ~ Really? Someone should tell him that sometime. She takes off her surgical cap and runs her hands through her hair before twisting it up into a bun again. Okay, let's go give the good news to the family, then you can get back to the ER. They start off down the hallway toward the waiting room. You like it down there?
Gallant ~ Yes ma'am, I do.
Anderson ~ It's Lisa. I hated my ER rotation when I was a student. Treat 'em and street 'em just wasn't my style.
Gallant ~ But aren't you an ER attending?
Anderson ~ with a grin Well, sometimes you go where you're needed, right? She opens the door of the waiting room and looks around. Mr. and Mrs. Laramie?
Mrs. Laramie ~ standing up It's just me.
Anderson ~ Hi there, I'm Dr. Anderson and this is Mr. Gallant. I operated on your daughter. Did they tell you what happened? Mrs. Laramie shakes her head. She suffered a gunshot wound; we had to repair some internal injuries.
Mrs. Laramie ~ She was shot?
Anderson ~ Yes, I'm afraid so.
Mrs. Laramie ~ Oh my God…oh my God…my baby…is she okay?
Anderson ~ She's in recovery now, and there were no complications. She'll be just fine. She smiles encouragingly at the mother.
Gallant ~ Dr. Anderson did a great job.
Anderson ~ Well, I think Hannah did most of the work. She's a strong kid.
Mrs. Laramie ~ My God…I told her to stay away from that corner. We just never know who's going to pass through. Someone was shot just the other day, and you think it can never happen to you or whoever you care about…
Anderson ~ I know. Putting her arm around the mother Why don't we go someplace a little more quiet and I can explain what happened and what we did, okay? She escorts Mrs. Laramie out of the room. I'll be right with you, Mrs. Laramie. As Mrs. Laramie waits, Anderson takes Gallant aside. I'll take it from here. They probably need you in the ER.
Gallant ~ a little taken aback Okay. Thank you for letting me help, Dr. Anderson.
Anderson ~ It was nice meeting you. I'll see you in the trenches when I start my ER shifts on Thursday.
Gallant ~ Yes ma'am.
Anderson ~ See if you can find another thoracotomy to get some practice. He nods and turns to go, but she stops him. Oh, and Michael? It's Lisa. Dr. Anderson if you must.
Back in the ER, subtitles indicate - 10:39 AM. We see a young woman. Her name is Annie, but we don't know that yet. She's blond, decidedly messy, with the ragged clothes of a streetwalker, but we also get a sense of desperate vulnerability. She is belligerently staring at Lydia, who is holding out a hospital gown. The camera pans back to show that Susan is there too, standing next to the bed with arms crossed. She and Lydia look completely fed up.
Annie ~ much louder than necessary I ain't putting that on, bitch!
Susan ~ You need to wear it so we can finish our physical exam.
Annie ~ Physical my ass. I have a cough, lady!
Susan ~ Yes, I know. Annie suddenly collapses into a hacking, wrenching cough that causes her to double over in pain. Lydia takes advantage of the moment to stick the thermometer in her ear.
Lydia ~ Temp's 102.4, BP's 90 over 60.
Susan ~ You also have a fever and your blood pressure is low.
Annie ~ Fuck off. She gasps for breath between coughs. Susan listens to her chest as Annie tries to squirm away.
Susan ~ to Lydia Let's get a CBC and a sputum culture, start her on a liter of saline and IV acetaminophen, and order a chest x-ray.
Lydia ~ Pulse ox is only 91.
Susan ~ Makes sense. She's got bilateral rawls.
Annie ~ You're gonna take a picture of my chest? What are you, some lesbo perv?
Susan ~ dryly Yeah, that's it, I can't wait to get your shirt off.
Annie ~ You talk real shit for a doctor. Where'd you learn it?
Susan ~ Same place you did.
Annie ~ viciously Turning tricks, huh. Explains a few things.
Susan ~ not taking the bait I'm not the wasted one hacking up her lung. Annie has no answer for that, and just glares at her.
Lydia ~ You want a psych consult too? Susan shakes her head.
Annie ~ You think I'm crazy?
Susan ~ No, I don't think you're crazy, I think you're a pain in the ass. She scribbles on the chart. Do you smoke? Annie just stares at her. Do you take drugs? Annie defiantly turns away. Lydia turns to Susan, raising her eyebrows.
Lydia ~ I couldn't get anything out of her. She wouldn't tell me anything, not even her name.
Annie ~ That psycho bitch wouldn't shut up.
Susan ~ to Lydia She probably has fluid in her lungs.
Lydia ~ You want O2 by nasal cannula?
Susan ~ Sure, why not, let's get a tube up her nose.
Annie ~ The hell you will!
Susan ~ Hey, calm down, or I'll put you in restraints. Annie stares at Susan to see if she means it, and finally relents, letting Lydia slide the cannula into her nose. Five liters by the nasal cannula, and check the pulse ox every hour. To Annie - How old are you?
Annie ~ muttering God damn Nazis, all of you.
Susan ~ losing patience How old are you? When Annie just sneers at her, she leans over the bed, putting her face right in front of Annie's. What's your name?
Annie ~ What the hell is this, twenty questions?
Susan ~ wearying of the back-and-forth abuse, thrusts the hospital gown in Annie's face. I don't care if you tell me your name, I don't care if you keep acting like a four year old child, but you will put this on and let us do our work, or I'll get security to throw you out of here.
Annie ~ Sounds good to me.
Susan ~ Fair enough, but you were the one who came in here. Act responsible and respectful, or get out. She and Lydia walk out of the room after drawing the curtain around the bed. Annie rolls her eyes, then furiously peels off her tank top to put on the hospital gown. Cut to Susan and Lydia in the hallway.
Susan ~ When radiology's through with that lateral c-spine, get a rush on her chest x-ray. I think she might have pneumonia.
Lydia ~ What should I write on the top of her chart?
Susan ~ Miss Manners. She begins walking back toward the desk, and all of a sudden, Abby comes out of curtain area 3.
Abby ~ Hey, do we have any beds in the exam rooms?
Susan ~ Who needs one?
Abby ~ The pregnant nun.
Susan ~ Oh God, I forgot about her. Put her in exam one.
Lydia ~ With Miss Manners?
Abby ~ Who?
Susan ~ Oh damn it…scratch that…
Abby ~ I need to work her up. The triage nurse said she's been having minor contractions every ten minutes or so. Probably Braxton-Hicks, but I still need to check.
Susan ~ Did you page OB?
Abby ~ Twice, but it's even worse up there now. They said they'd send down Dr. Harmon as soon as she got out of her emergency c-section.
Susan ~ Harmon?
Abby ~ Caroline Harmon. Chief OB resident.
Susan ~ Where's Coburn?
Abby ~ Playing the Angel of Delivery at Mercy.
Susan ~ What's she doing over there?
Abby ~ A mother and baby died in some sort of questionable circumstance, and Coburn's doing the departmental overhaul.
Susan ~ nodding and rolling her eyes Sounds like Janet, always up in everybody's business. Okay, fine. Put the nun in exam one. Abby nods and heads over to chairs. Off Lydia's *look.* What? She and Miss Manners can keep each other entertained.
Lydia ~ This is going to be interesting.
The camera, which was focused on a closeup of Lydia, switches focus to long-range, as Abby walks up to the desk. Chuny is standing there with Randi. Neither notice Abby behind them.
Randi ~ He won't pay if you don't know for sure.
Chuny ~ What do you mean, if we don't know for sure? It's a dead cert.
Randi ~ He might make you fight him for it.
Chuny ~ I'm not gonna take an IOU from Frank. I'll get my brass knuckles out first.
Randi ~ as Malik breezes by I'll start a pool on who'd win that one.
Malik ~ For real? My money's always on my home girl Chuny.
Chuny ~ Thanks, homeboy.
Abby ~ writing on the board I'm putting the nun in exam 1. To Chuny What did you win?
Chuny ~ startled, turns around and replies vaguely Oh it was just from some pool.
Abby ~ I didn't know there was a pool.
Chuny ~ It wasn't really a big deal, but Frank owes me fifty bucks.
Malik ~ starting to sing, half under his breath as Abby finishes writing on the board I got sick this morning, a sea was storming inside of me…baby, I think I'm capsizing, the waves are rising and rising…
Chuny ~ winking at Malik behind Abby's back "Sexual Healing!" I love that song.
Malik ~ Marvin's where it's at.
Abby turns, giving Randi, Malik, and Chuny a suspicious glance, and then goes to help the nun up out of chairs.
Abby ~ Mary Elizabeth?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Sister Mary-Elizabeth.
Abby ~ Sorry…Sister. Would you come with me please? Mary-Elizabeth hauls herself up out of the chair, pressing her hand to her back. I'm Abby. How are you doing?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I'm fine.
Abby ~ leading her down the hallway to exam one Right in here, please. They walk into the room, to face Annie, who, although she has put on the hospital gown, has lit a cigarette and sits casually smoking it right next to her oxygen tank. You can't smoke that in here.
Annie ~ Who the hell are you?
Abby ~ Put it out. You can't smoke in here. Annie, after staring at her a moment, grinds the cigarette out on the metal of the gurney. Who's your doctor?
Annie ~ Some blond bitch. Noticing Sister Mary-Elizabeth, who is staring unabashedly. What are you looking at?
Abby ~ to Mary-Elizabeth You'll be in that bed over there.
Annie ~ getting loud again Great outfit. What are you, some kind of nun?
Mary-Elizabeth looks over at the adjoining bed with fascinated disgust, but takes the bait; a serious mistake.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I'm not a nun yet. I'm a novice.
Annie ~ realizing Oh you are shitting me. You are shitting me!
Abby ~ to Annie Calm down.
Annie ~ What the hell do you think you're doing, sticking me in this room with the only damn Jesus freak in the whole fucking place? Do you keep this room reserved for freaks?
Abby makes Mary-Elizabeth comfortable as Annie raves in the background, and then suddenly turns around.
Abby ~ to Annie Shut up. She draws the curtain, separating the two women. She takes out her stethoscope and listens to Mary-Elizabeth's chest. How far along are you?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ uncertainly It's been about nine months.
Abby ~ Do you know how many weeks?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ shaking her head No.
Abby ~ And how long have you been having these contractions?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ They started during evensong yesterday. Abby looks up at her and sees she's smiling nervously. The priest was halfway through the mass and the pains started in my back. Perfect timing.
Abby ~ with a small, perfunctory smile That must have been awkward. Mary-Elizabeth's smile fades. Abby continues. When did you last have an ultrasound?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I…don't remember.
Abby ~ Okay. a doctor will be in to see you in a minute. Put on the hospital gown, lie back, and try to relax, okay? She starts packing Mary-Elizabeth's stuff into one of the hospital's plastic bags for personal items.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ reaching out to stop her Can I keep my things?
Abby ~ Sure. She places them on the bed. Mary-Elizabeth reaches out and undoes a small cloth bag to reveal a rosary.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Mother Superior said to bring this with me to remind me of my sins. She smiles, shyly.
Abby ~ I'd prefer to forget mine.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ So would I. But I need to remember them.
Abby ~ I'll be right back. She draws back the curtain and walks straight past Annie, who steals a glance at Mary Elizabeth and rolls her eyes.
Annie ~ Jesus Christ. This is fucked up.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ What?
Annie ~ You.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ What about me?
Annie ~ You're fucked up. Literally. She laughs at her own joke, hoarsely, then explodes into a spasm of coughing. The camera fades out on Mary-Elizabeth, who fingers her rosary beads half-heartedly, hurt by Annie's words. Commercial break.
Fade up on Weaver. She's on the phone. Subtitles indicate - 11:13 AM.
Weaver ~ He doesn’t like that brand. She listens to what the person on the other end of the phone is saying. I don’t care how cheap it was, he won’t eat it. Rolling her eyes as the other person speaks. You can be as stubborn as you want about it, Sandy, he isn’t going to eat it. You have to get him the Alpo. As Sandy replies, Weaver can’t help breaking into a smile. Romano approaches and notices her, standing by to listen to the rest of her conversation. He’s called Stinky because he is, not because I feed him smelly dog food. Well, maybe I should get a professional dog-sitter. Did you walk him? Pause. You went all the way to the fire station? You’ll walk his paws off. Beat. Okay. I’ll see you at six. She hangs up and turns around, and immediately gets an exasperated look on her face as she sees Romano.
Romano ~ I didn’t know you had a dog, Kerry.
Weaver ~ It’s not my dog.
Romano ~ Now Kerry, that sounds like a lie. Even I wouldn’t sink that low.
Weaver ~ You were listening to my private conversation?
Romano ~ ignoring her I have a dog, Gretel. Better than a woman any day. She’s always glad to see you and she doesn’t talk. I wish some of the doctors here were as smart as Gretel.
Weaver ~ What are you doing down here?
Romano ~ I’m here to tell you what you should already know, which is that you’re short-staffed.
Weaver ~ Here to help out? I thought ER work was beneath you.
Romano ~ I’m dying of how funny that was, Kerry. I’m not pulling shifts, I’m here to ask you why Mark Greene hasn’t been replaced.
Weaver ~ We’re conducting a search.
Romano ~ You said that three months ago and there’s still no sign of the position being filled. I’m not used to this kind of hesitancy, Kerry. It’s worrying, to be honest with you.
Weaver ~ There are hundreds of national candidates. I’m trying to be thorough.
Romano ~ Well, hurry up. Do eenie meenie meinie moe if you have to, but the money won’t stay open forever. If you need another attending, the place is here and the time is now. And from what I saw, Greene’s not exactly irreplaceable. Weaver shoots him a look of shock and contempt as he walks off. And you should never feed your dog Alpo. It has preservatives in it that are worse than parasites. She stares after him for a minute.
Cut to the drug lockup. Abby has an armful of stuff; IV bags, drug caches, and a hospital gown tucked under one arm. Carter comes in.
Carter ~ Have you seen the IV solumedrol?
Abby ~ We reorganized the shelf. It should be second from the top.
Carter ~ in a low voice, not facing her as he searches for the pre-mixed IV bag Your neighbors keep giving me the evil eye.
Abby ~ smiling, but keeping her voice low If you weren’t so noisy, they wouldn’t. He chuckles. I need to talk to you.
Carter ~ Did I put the empty milk back again?
Abby ~ You did that again?
Carter ~ heaving a gusty sigh Sorry. It’s kind of…automatic.
Lydia walks past, and they snap to attention, each fussing with the various items in their hands. As she moves out of earshot, Abby whispers her next line.
Abby ~ I think we’ve been outed.
Carter ~ all ears now; he turns to face her. What?
Abby ~ Chuny won some money off Frank in a mysterious pool the subject of which no one will tell me, Susan’s making jokes about you and me stuck in a room together, and Malik has been singing “Sexual Healing” whenever he sees me.
Carter ~ Really? I haven’t seen his Marvin Gaye impression in years.
Abby ~ Shut up, this is serious.
Carter ~ It sounds it.
Abby ~ So what I’m thinking is -
Carter ~ finishing her sentence for her We’re the topic of conversation in every exam room on this hallway.
Abby ~ Exactly. What are we going to do about it?
Carter ~ Do? I don’t know. What do you suggest?
Abby ~ I don’t know…I guess we could…
Carter ~ What?
Abby ~ stealing a glance at him Go public…?
Carter ~ eyebrows shooting up Really?
Abby ~ Well, it’s been about three months now. You’re holed up in my apartment, and we’re still taking separate trains to work. As he gives her an *I told you so* look What are you giving me that look for?
Carter ~ Nothing, it’s just that this is coming from someone who last week was Miss Secretive.
Abby ~ Well, maybe I’ve changed my mind.
Carter ~ I hate to say it, but…
Abby ~ Don’t.
Carter ~ teasingly I told you so.
Abby ~ I hate it when you’re right.
Carter ~ laughing So how are we going to do it? Make an announcement?
Abby ~ Ugh. No. Too obvious.
Carter ~ We could get caught holding hands.
Abby ~ Too vague.
Carter ~ Well, I’m fresh out of ideas, unless you want to appropriate the suture room for a little break time - we could sell tickets.
Abby ~ And how would that dispel the rumors?
Carter ~ Well. It wouldn’t. But they’d sure get their money’s worth.
Abby ~ Never picked you out as an exhibitionist.
Carter ~ grabbing her around the waist Ever heard of learning something new every day?
Abby ~ I knew there had to be a limit on how well-informed I wanted to be. She is now laughing again.
Carter ~ So how are we going to do it?
Abby ~ leaning into him for a second, then pulling away I don’t know. I’ll think of something to surprise you. Stay on your toes.
Carter ~ watching her as she walks out of the lockup You know you scare me sometimes, Ab.
Abby ~ over her shoulder You know you like it. She winks at him, he chuckles. She walks out of the lockup, and after walking a few feet down the hallway, passes Malik, who turns around with his sunglasses on…
Abby ~ Don’t even start.
Malik ~ calling after her Baaaaaaaaaaaaaby, I’m hot just like an oven, I need some lovin’…when I get that feeling, I need sexual healing, sexual healing. As Abby walks off, shaking her head. Oh, come on Abby, sing with me. He follows Abby down the hall as Lydia passes, lab results in hand, going into the trauma room, as Carter comes out of the lockup.
Lydia ~ Have you seen Dr. Lewis?
Carter ~ No, not for about half an hour. Try the lounge.
The camera pans back through trauma 1 and into the empty trauma 2, following Lydia through the glass back to the main area of the ER. It takes us into the lounge via one of the doors. Lydia walks in the other door to find Susan, Chuny, and Conni all engaged conspiratorially around the table. They jump and all look up as she comes in, but instantly relax when they see it’s just Lydia. They are all struggling to hold back laughter.
Lydia ~ Dr. Lewis?
Susan ~ gasping for breath, she is laughing so hard I don’t believe this. This is too funny. Toooooooooo funny.
Lydia ~ What’s going on?
Conni ~ Dr. Carter wrote Abby a love note.
Chuny ~ He calls her “princess.” This sets Susan off all over again. Carter’s got to be the whitest lover man in the whole city.
Lydia ~ Where did you find that?
Susan ~ He put it in her coat. I saw him.
Chuny ~ We gotta get them out in the open.
Conni ~ Yeah, but how?
Chuny ~ Want to send them flowers? We could get one of the volunteers to bring them, not tell who it was from.
Conni ~ Oh girl that would be evil…let’s leave them at the admit desk.
Susan ~ They’re having a special on the carnations at the flower shop.
Conni ~ Hey Lydia, you want in?
Randi pokes her head in.
Randi ~ Hey guys, double MVA six minutes out. Some lady drove her car off a bridge.
Susan ~ sliding the note back into Abby’s pocket, all business now How many?
Randi ~ Two majors.
Chuny ~ Awwww man. She and Conni get up to leave. Want in, Lydia?
Lydia ~ Sure, write me down. Could I steal you, Susan?
Susan ~ What’s up?
Lydia ~ Labs are back on the loudmouth in exam one.
Susan ~ What do they look like? She takes the sheet of paper from Lydia to study it.
Lydia ~ Look at the CBC. Her white count’s in the basement.
Susan ~ dismayed Is this a mistake?
Lydia ~ I don’t think so.
Susan ~ Where’s the results of the sputum culture?
Lydia ~ Page two. It’s negative for pneumococcus.
Susan ~ shaking her head It could be viral. Do we have her chest x-ray yet?
Lydia ~ Radiology hasn’t squeezed her in.
Susan ~ At least her fever’s down to 100.6. Now let’s work on her pulse ox…still at 91, even after five liters O2. Damn. Any sign of a name yet?
Lydia ~ No, but that pregnant nun is getting an earful.
Susan ~ the sirens outside are getting strident as the ambulance pulls up. Here’s that trauma…damn it. She speeds up and runs to meet the gurney, shouting back over her shoulder. Draw blood for a T-cell count, and do a tox screen while you’re at it. Increase the O2 to eight liters by the nasal cannula and go SIT on radiology and tell them that if they don’t give me a chest x-ray within the next half hour I’m going to walk her in there myself and let her tell them exactly what she thinks of them. She reaches the gurney, which Weaver is commanding and on which Conni and Chuny are assisting. Pickman is giving Weaver the run-down as Susan approaches.
Pickman ~ Thirty five year old female, aggressor of an MVA. Had a bad day, got wasted and decided it’d be fun to run down a few pedestrians on her way off the bridge. Obvious forearm fracture, no distal pulse, severe scalp lac and contusions from colliding with the steering wheel. Unconscious at the scene, GCS 1, 1, 3, crashed en route and shocked to stable v-tach. They have arrived at trauma 2.
Weaver ~ On my count…one, two, three. They heave her over onto the gurney.
Pickman ~ She’s all yours. Hope the people she smacked into are in better shape.
Weaver ~ Get a cross-table c-spine, lateral chest and pelvis. Let’s page surgery.
Susan ~ CBC, chem. 7, ABG, BA and a tox screen.
Chuny ~ BP’s only 90 palp.
Weaver ~ Check outside, Susan, I’ve got this. Hang two units o-neg on the rapid infuser. Keep those IVs open!
Conni ~ She’s bradying down!
Weaver ~ Crash cart; charge the paddles to two hundred. Clear. She zaps.
Chuny ~ V-fib!
Weaver ~ Three hundred. Clear. The EKG begins to beep rhythmically.
Conni ~ Back to sinus, but her BP’s falling. 80 palp.
Weaver ~ She’s got internal bleeding. Prep for peritoneal lavage. She forces a chest tube into the woman’s chest, then starts the run. There is blood in the clear fluid. Heme positive; page surgery again, stat.
Susan ~ She’s ruptured her spleen. Type and cross-match four units.
Chuny ~ Dr. Corday’s on her way down. She picks up a bag of blood and hangs it up. Type-specific’s here. A neg.
Susan ~ How’s her BP?
Weaver ~ Holding steady at 90 palp. Susan, I’ve got this.
Susan ~ Pulse ox is down to 88. Want me to intubate?
Weaver ~ I’ve got it. She reaches for the tube that Chuny is holding out. Seven and a half ET…she easily slides the tube in…bag her. Go check outside and get Carter to run triage on any other victims.
Susan bursts out into the hallway and catches up to Pickman.
Susan ~ Hey Doris. Doris! Is anyone behind you?
Pickman ~ You might want to watch for any incoming units with the people she hit.
Susan ~ How many’d she run down?
Pickman ~ I don’t know, it’s a mess out there. We couldn’t get through the damn news crews.
Susan ~ News crews?
Pickman ~ Yeah, the crowd she plowed into was on some sort of fundraising walk. The press was everywhere.
Susan ~ Oh great. She passes Malik and calls out to him. Malik! Prep trauma one with extra portable chests and cutdown trays, notify the blood bank we’ll need more O-neg, and set up crash carts and a drug box for any unexpected incomings in exam 2, we might get a whole bunch.
Malik ~ You got it.
Elizabeth Corday comes hurrying through the ER and almost smacks into Susan.
Corday ~ Where’s the MVA victim?
Susan ~ Trauma 2.
Corday ~ Any more behind them?
Susan ~ We don’t know, you might want to stick around to make sure.
The camera follows Elizabeth down to the trauma room.
Corday ~ What have we got?
Weaver ~ Fluctuating BP, boosted with a liter of saline. Possible splenic rupture. Positive peritoneal lavage.
Corday ~ All right, let the OR know I’ll be up in a few minutes for the splenectomy.
Chuny ~ Here’s her tox screen. Studying it for a second. Whoa.
Corday ~ What is it?
Weaver ~ seizing the paper Positive for cocaine, amphetamines, opiates. BA is .202.
Corday ~ She’ll never survive surgery in that condition.
Conni ~ You want a gastric lavage?
Weaver ~ Too late…25 mgs chlorpromazine, IM.
Conni ~ She’s seizing! They rush to restrain the woman.
Corday ~ Lovely. Push mag sulfate, 150 milligrams. Premedicate with 140 of phenytoin. Skeptically, as Chuny and Conni rush to administer the drugs: I wonder if there’s anything that isn’t wrong with this woman.
Cut to Annie and Mary-Elizabeth, in exam one. Abby is there, putting a fetal monitor on Mary-Elizabeth and starting the IV. Lydia is wrestling with Annie.
Abby ~ This is a fetal monitor. Have you ever had one of these before?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ No.
Abby ~ It measures the baby’s heart rate…which is, at the moment…she positions it on Mary-Elizabeth’s extended abdomen and bites her lip as the reading comes up on the monitor…it’s 122. Normal’s between 120 and 140, so the baby’s fine.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ That’s good.
Abby ~ with a smile Yes it is.
Annie’s voice cuts through, loud and strident. Abby continues to fuss with the fetal monitor until it becomes evident that more than one set of hands is required to deal with Annie.
Annie ~ What the hell do you want more blood for? What are you, a damn vampire? You’re damn well sucking me dry!
Lydia ~ We need it for some more tests.
Annie ~ Yeah, what kind of tests?
Lydia ~ A tox screen, first of all.
Annie ~ What’s that?
Lydia ~ To see if you’re on any drugs.
Annie ~ furious You don’t need my blood for that, I can tell you. I don’t do drugs, I haven’t done that shit since I was fourteen. She rips the tourniquet off and snaps it at Lydia’s face. Abby turns around and rushes to help Lydia.
Abby ~ Do you want soft restraints?
Lydia ~ holding her face, where a weal has come up Yeah.
Annie ~ NO!
Abby ~ holding Annie down as Lydia gets the restraints We told you this would happen if you didn’t calm down. They tie her down, and Abby draws the blood as Annie curses and coughs.
Abby ~ to Lydia Are you okay?
Lydia ~ I’ve had worse.
Cut back to the trauma room.
Chuny ~ Drugs are on board.
Corday ~ All right, she’s relaxing; let’s give her packed cells and move her to medicine for observation.
Susan comes back in.
Susan ~ Kerry, there’s at least four others behind her. Two more majors; one of them’s a kid, thirteen.
Weaver ~ Carter can handle it. Do we have any diazepam?
Conni ~ I’ll check the lockup. She exits.
Susan ~ As she puts on gloves and goggles, What’s the deal with this one? Are you taking her to the OR, Elizabeth?
Corday ~ I won’t operate when her barbiturate level is 44.
Susan ~ So? Medicate for it; give her Narcan. She’s already hypovolemic.
Corday ~ She isn’t stable enough for the OR.
Weaver ~ as she examines the x-rays on the patient Her c-spine’s normal; hair fracture on the sternum, but the lateral pelvis is fine. She got lucky.
Susan ~ Status is critical but stable. That’s fine for the OR.
Corday ~ I’ve determined her as an unsuitable candidate.
Susan ~ You’re just wasting blood by transfusing her.
Corday ~ I’ll waste an OR by operating. She’s not going to survive.
Susan ~ The hell she isn’t. To Chuny Move her.
Corday ~ She’s almost bled out; her volume’s at 6 percent under heavy transfusion. There are more critical cases behind her, and one of them’s a child.
Weaver ~ The ethical judgment isn’t yours to make, Elizabeth.
Corday ~ This isn’t an ethical judgment, it’s triage.
Susan ~ You haven’t even seen the other patients yet!
Weaver ~ holding up her hands Wait. Are we moving her to the OR or to medicine?
Susan ~ The OR.
Corday ~ at the same time The unit.
Weaver ~ dryly That helps.
Susan ~ We don’t have time to fight about it. Get her spleen out and worry about the tox levels later.
Weaver ~ extending her hand in a calming gesture Susan’s right, treat the most immediate problem first. Take her to surgery.
Corday ~ giving up, angrily She’ll last about ten minutes on the table.
Weaver ~ Then you don’t have time to argue. Get her up there and get started.
Corday ~ You’re not the one who has to waste valuable time and OR space on a hopeless case.
Weaver ~ We treat everyone here, Elizabeth.
Corday ~ What about the other patient behind her? The child?
Weaver ~ We’ll take care of it. Chuny, page Lisa Anderson.
Corday obviously didn’t get the memo about this.
Corday ~ Who?
Weaver ~ Take care of your patient, we’ll take care of ours. They move the woman out through the doors, Elizabeth flouncing off in fury. Susan turns to Weaver.
Susan ~ The others are about ten minutes out.
Weaver ~ taking hold of the bloodstained sheet on the gurney and pulling it, removing it from the gurney. She uses her crutch busily to push the trash out of the way. Go see if trauma 1 is ready for them and tell Abby we need her in here for cleanup.
Susan ~ Okay. Beat. Thanks for backing me up.
Weaver ~ ignoring the thanks Where’s Michael?
Susan ~ moving on, knowing Kerry has silently acknowledged the thanks Dr. Anderson took him for a GSW repair.
Weaver ~ I promised him a chance at the sternal saw if we needed it.
Susan ~ Well, he’s with Dr. Anderson. Find her, you’ll find him. She walks out, but not before Weaver, signing the chart, turns around.
Weaver ~ Susan. Susan stops. Good work.
Susan smiles briefly and pushes through the door to trauma 1, where a couple of nurses are setting up for the incoming trauma.
Cut to exam one. Subtitles indicate - 11:27 AM. Annie is playing a tape on an antique walkman. It is dying, and she strikes it against her palm every so often to keep it going.
Annie ~ Damn thing. She turns to Mary-Elizabeth. Hey, you. Nun. Mary-Elizabeth, who has been watching the fetal heart rate on the monitor, turns. You got any batteries?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ What do you need them for?
Annie ~ None of your goddamn business.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ No, I don’t have any.
Annie ~ Great. Fine. She turns on the walkman and then, exasperated, tears off the headphones and chucks them across the room. Piece of shit thing. Won’t even play a tape.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ What were you listening to?
Annie ~ getting loud Christ alive, you ask a lot of questions for a nun. What the fuck are you going to do when you have to hear confession? Host a talk show?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I don’t hear confession, that’s the priests. After a beat, she risks more verbal contact. What’s wrong with you?
Annie ~ enraged Nothing is wrong with me! Something’s wrong with you, you’re the one getting ready to pop out a kid. Ain’t nothing wrong with me.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Then why are you here?
Annie ~ I have a cough. A fucking cough. I get in here at nine thirty and they can’t even hook me up with anything to make it better by fucking noon. With a contemptuous glance at Mary-Elizabeth. You’re in worse shape than I am, honey.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ with some spunk I probably am…but I’m not the one screaming her head off. When Annie doesn’t respond, Mary-Elizabeth asks again. So what were you listening to?
Annie ~ with an irritated sigh It’s the Indigo Girls. Now will you shut the hell up?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I like the Indigo Girls.
Annie ~ barking out a short laugh, then turning to Mary-Elizabeth to see if she’s serious. She is. You’re a nun.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ What’s that got to do with it?
Annie ~ Nuns don’t like the damn Indigo Girls. Nuns sing fucking hymns when they ain’t on their knees praying. Or in your case, screwing around.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I was a person before I was a nun. And I like to think I still am.
Annie ~ A person, or a nun?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Both. Beat. What song was it?
Annie ~ Look, sister, I don’t need your pity, I don’t need your friendship, I don’t need you praying for me. I don’t want your help. I ain’t your god damn project. She bursts into a spasm of coughing, hacking, covering her mouth with both her hands. Mary-Elizabeth watches her, pity on her face.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ You need the doctors’ help more, I guess.
Annie ~ with bitter humor as the coughing fit ends. They’re the ones with the drugs. I’ll go with anyone who’ll hook me up with some good shit.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I thought you said you didn’t do drugs. Annie shakes her head in half-exasperation, half-amusement at the stubbornness of the nun. See, I do listen. So what song was it?
Annie ~ It’s called “Closer to Fine.”
Mary-Elizabeth bites her lip for a minute, thinking, then half-smiles as she remembers. She starts to sing, hesitantly.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains…I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains. Annie looks at her now, amazed. There’s more than one answer to these questions pointing me in a crooked line, and the less I seek my source for some definitives…
Annie ~ singing, in a throaty and pretty alto voice …the less I seek my source…
Mary-Elizabeth and Annie, together ~ The closer I am to fine. They harmonize, Mary-Elizabeth on the top part, Annie on the bottom. The closer I am to fine.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ You have a nice voice.
Annie ~ self-conscious now, retreating into her shell of angry words Nah. I screwed it up.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ How?
Annie ~ Smoking. Screaming. When you’re a hooker you’ve gotta make a lot of noise, or they won’t notice you. Then you gotta make them think you’re having a good time.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ at a loss for words Oh.
Lydia comes in. Annie instantly stiffens with resentment.
Lydia ~ They’re ready for you in radiology.
Annie ~ For a snapshot of my boobs.
Lydia ~ No, for a snapshot of your lungs.
Annie ~ Same difference, dumbass.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ She’s just trying to help you.
Annie ~ My ASS she’s trying to help me.
Mary-Elizabeth suddenly experiences an intense contraction. Her face crumples and she grips the side of the bed hard. Lydia instantly snaps to attention, running over to check her.
Lydia ~ Who’s your doctor?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ gasping No one’s…seen me yet.
Lydia ~ Is Abby your nurse?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ a low-pitched moan of pain first, then she replies. Y-yes.
Annie ~ Her nonchalant tone can’t quite disguise that she is worried. Oh for fucking crying out loud. It can’t be that bad. Quit whining. Mary-Elizabeth breathes out slowly through her mouth as the contraction ends. Lydia has timed it.
Lydia ~ How long have you had these contractions?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Since last night. That was the worst it’s been.
Lydia ~ I’m going to get Abby.
Annie ~ Hey! What about my boob picture?
Lydia ~ Sorry, it’ll have to wait. You can be patient, can’t you? She ducks out before Annie can respond. As she is no longer the center of attention, Annie turns back to Mary-Elizabeth sulkily.
Annie ~ So who’s the prick?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ still recovering from the contraction What?
Annie ~ Who’s the prick who put you in this mess?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ a shadow falls across her face Someone. Does it really matter?
Annie ~ in grudging admiration Not really, I guess.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Right now I hate him anyway.
Out of the corner of her eye, she looks at Annie, who isn’t sure if that’s a joke or not. After a minute, they both laugh. Annie coughs as Mary-Elizabeth turns back away, sadly counting her rosary beads. Commercial break.
Fade up as Susan comes up to Abby.
Susan ~ We need you for cleanup in trauma 2.
Abby ~ I can’t.
Susan ~ What do you mean, you can’t?
Abby ~ I have a patient who’s having contractions.
Susan ~ Not that nun?
Abby ~ Yes. Would you do an ultrasound for me?
Susan ~ I can’t, multiple MVA coming in about two minutes.
Abby ~ Do you know who’s free?
Susan ~ Try Weaver. Then, with profound innocence: Or Carter.
Abby ~ Thanks. Carter crosses in front of them.
Susan ~ pointing There’s your guy.
Abby ~ What?!?
Susan ~ For that ultrasound you needed. What did you think I meant?
She bursts through the door to meet the oncoming trauma, leaving Abby, who addresses Carter.
Abby ~ Do you have a second?
Carter ~ Sure. Anything for you.
Abby ~ You shut up; they’ve already guessed enough.
Carter ~ Wait, I thought we were going public.
Abby ~ On my time, not yours.
Carter ~ Ah, I see, a one way street.
Abby ~ Just this once, I promise.
Carter ~ I might need it made up to me.
Abby ~ Hmmmmm, only if you’re good. She winks at him. Could you do an ultrasound on the woman in exam one?
Carter ~ Sure. Is she pregnant?
Abby ~ Yep, IUP, indeterminate gestation but close to term, probably between thirty five and thirty six weeks.
Carter ~ So, have you thought of how to let the world know?
Abby ~ Yes.
Carter ~ Any chance of my being notified ahead of time?
Abby ~ Then it wouldn’t be a surprise.
Carter ~ I hate surprises.
Abby ~ I know.
Carter ~ Come on, Abby, just tell me.
Abby ~ shaking her head emphatically No.
Carter ~ What are you going to do?!?
Abby ~ Stop spazzing.
Carter ~ I’m not spazzing.
Abby ~ Yes you are.
Carter ~ I’m beginning to think you’re enjoying this.
Abby ~ all feigned innocence No…not at all. They’ve arrived at exam one. She’s right in there.
Carter looks through the window and then turns back.
Carter ~ Do my eyes deceive me?
Abby ~ No, you are looking at a bona fide nun. And she’s really pregnant.
Carter ~ This is something new.
Abby ~ Not really. Convents used to be the best brothels in the middle ages.
Carter ~ And they say church immorality’s a new phenomenon.
Abby ~ She actually seems kind of sweet.
Carter ~ reading the chart that Abby hands to him Mary-Elizabeth, huh?
Abby ~ Sister Mary-Elizabeth.
Carter ~ as they go through the door Sister Mary-Elizabeth?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Yes.
Annie ~ Hey, how come she gets a doctor like that and I get the bad-mouthed blonde?
Carter ~ Who are you?
Annie ~ What’s it to you?
Carter ~ to Abby Who’s that?
Abby ~ Please don’t ask. They walk over to Mary-Elizabeth, who is sweaty with pain and fear.
Carter ~ How are you doing today, Mary-Elizabeth?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Sister Mary-Elizabeth.
Carter ~ Sister. Sorry about that. You’ve been having contractions since last night…and has your water broken?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ No.
Carter ~ It shouldn’t be too long now. To Abby How’s her vitals?
Abby ~ Strong. BP’s normal, 110 over 91. Fetal heart rate’s a little on the low side but with good variability.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ to Abby, a note of panic in her voice I just had another contraction.
Abby ~ Okay, we’re going to see if we can get you taken care of. As Carter beckons her aside. Hold on one second.
Carter ~ to Abby Did you page OB?
Abby ~ Swamped. Harmon should be down in a couple of hours; she’s in surgery.
Carter ~ Try to get her on the phone.
Abby ~ We should do the ultrasound first, or we won’t have anything to tell her.
Carter ~ She may want her transferred.
Abby ~ You don’t understand. Your life won’t be worth living if you pull Caroline Harmon out of surgery without having something to tell her.
Carter ~ Worse than Coburn, huh?
Abby ~ Much.
Lydia comes in.
Lydia ~ They’re looking for you, Carter.
Carter ~ Is this the MVA?
Abby ~ Carter…!
Lydia ~ Yeah, four at once. I have to take this one (gesturing to Annie) to radiology and then I’m back in trauma.
Carter ~ Why isn’t transport taking her to radiology?
Lydia ~ They’re all up on OB, running the gauntlet to labor and delivery.
Carter ~ shaking his head What a mess.
Lydia ~ You can’t argue with a baby, I guess. She helps Annie into a wheelchair and pushes her out of the room. Carter begins to exit. Abby follows determinedly.
Abby ~ Hey! Carter!
Carter ~ I’ll be right back, it’s a trauma.
Abby ~ I don’t care, this is a pregnant woman scared out of her mind who hasn’t been seen by a doctor yet and I am not letting you run away from this one. Finish what you start!
Carter ~ You know how; you start it and I’ll be right back and help you finish up. He disappears down the hall to the trauma room. Exasperated, she turns and goes back into the exam room. Mary-Elizabeth looks up at her as she comes in.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I have to wait again, don’t I?
Abby ~ No, I’m going to do your ultrasound.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ You can do that?
Abby ~ Today I can. She unfolds a blanket to lie over Mary-Elizabeth’s legs, and lifts up the gown to expose her belly, then starts the ultrasound.
Cut to the trauma room. Carter comes in to find Gallant working up the patient.
Carter ~ Michael, long time no see. Where have you been?
Gallant ~ I was just catching up on my sutures.
Carter ~ We thought you’d left us for surgery.
Gallant ~ I was back over an hour ago.
Carter ~ Give me the bullet.
Gallant ~ Four F, one of the victims of the MVA. Her daughter’s next door. Came in respiratory failure, responded to bagging but pulse ox is still low. Severe tib-fib, LOC, pupils are sluggish. Tension pneumo bilaterally. She threw a couple PVC’s but stabilized with a hundred of Lidocaine.
Carter ~ What are we going to order?
Gallant ~ Ortho consult, head CT, cross-table c-spine and lateral chest.
Carter ~ Don’t forget the trauma panel, blood gas, peritoneal lavage, and EEG once she’s stable. Nice to know you can still learn something in the ER, isn’t it?
Gallant gives him a look that’s half shame and half indignation.
In the next trauma room, Susan is working on the teenage girl, who is sobbing with pain.
Susan ~ I want a lateral pelvis, and page pedes surgery stat!
Zoe ~ screaming in pain It hurts!
Susan ~ Yes, I know it does, honey…thirty of fentanyl, let’s immobilize her.
Lily ~ No distal pulse in the leg; pressure’s up to 34.
Susan ~ Okay, her hip’s dislocated - call ortho, we’re going to have to do counter traction or the femoral artery’s history. Zoe is still sobbing with fright. It’s okay, sweetie, we’re going to take care of you. Hold very, very still.
Lisa Anderson comes in.
Anderson ~ What have we got?
Susan ~ Dislocated hip, waiting on the lateral pelvis.
Lily ~ CT’s here! They set up and everyone leaves the room. Shooting! They re-enter. Anderson grabs the film and pushes it up into the viewer.
Anderson ~ Yep, that’s a pelvic break. Man, that’s messy.
Susan ~ She’s going to lose her leg if we don’t counter the dislocation.
Anderson ~ Are you insane? It’s right along the midline. You push that bone back in, you eviscerate her. It’s just not stable enough for counter traction. We’ll pop it back in the OR after we stabilize the pelvic fracture. Did you page ortho?
Susan ~ On their way down.
Anderson ~ I’ll wait, then. She walks over to where Zoe is sobbing on the table and picks up her hand. What’s your name, honey?
Zoe ~ It hurts…
Anderson ~ We’re going to take care of that in just a minute, all right? To Lily Fifty of Demerol, IV.
Susan ~ She already had fentanyl.
Anderson ~ How much?
Susan ~ Thirty.
Anderson ~ They won’t contraindicate at that level. To Zoe: You have to stay with me, honey, and you’ll be just fine, I promise. We’ll give you some medicine for the pain. What’s your name?
Lily ~ Pushing meds. Anderson nods.
Zoe ~ I’m…I’m Zoe.
Anderson ~ Zoe, that’s a beautiful name. I’m Dr. Anderson. Were you on that walk in the park today, Zoe?
Zoe ~ Yes…
Anderson ~ Does someone you know have breast cancer?
Zoe ~ My mom…I was walking to help my mom…
Anderson ~ Oh wow, I bet you raised a lot of money for her, didn’t you? Aside, to Lily: Draw pre-op labs, please, a foley, spin a crit and dip the urine every twenty minutes.
Zoe ~ A thousand dollars…if I did the whole walk.
Anderson ~ I’m sure your sponsors will understand.
Zoe ~ tears in her voice again The car just came up…
Anderson ~ I know. Shhh. She squeezes Zoe’s hand. Your mom must have been so proud of you. Was she on the walk too?
Zoe ~ She came, but she gets so tired when she can’t breathe.
Anderson ~ giving Susan a look She was having trouble breathing?
Zoe ~ She told me to go on ahead….she said…she said I was her sunshine.
Anderson ~ I can see why. She winks at Zoe, who manages a little smile. Are you feeling better now, honey? Zoe nods. Good.
The orthopedics consult comes through the door.
Susan ~ Ortho’s here.
Anderson ~ Okay, let’s move her. To Zoe: Zoe, you need an operation because the top part of your hip is broken. I’m going to do it and Dr. Kettleman here is going to help me. You’ll go to sleep, and you won’t feel a thing.
Zoe ~ Where’s my mom?
Anderson ~ I’m going to stay with you until you fall asleep.
Zoe ~ I want my mom…
Anderson ~ I know, sweetie, but she can’t come now. She steps away from the gurney to talk to Susan. I need consent. Where’s the mother?
Susan ~ Next door; she came in respiratory failure.
Anderson ~ Damn. I guess she’s not available to consent then. She signs the chart and hands it to Susan. I need the second signature.
Susan ~ Sure. She signs the chart. I’ll keep an eye on the mother.
Anderson ~ Great, thanks. I’ll let you know when she’s out of surgery. To Zoe: Zoe, another doctor’s helping your mom next door, okay? I need you to do something for me. Will you?
Zoe ~ Yes…
Anderson ~ I want you to count backwards for me from one hundred. I’ll help you. One hundred, ninety nine, ninety eight…
Zoe ~ Ninety seven, ninety six…
Anderson ~ Good girl. Keep going.
Lily ~ We’ve got another one coming in, ETA two minutes. We need the room.
Anderson ~ Ah, well, no time like the present. To the orthopedic specialist: You ready? He nods. How about you, Zoe, you ready? You counting?
Zoe ~ hesitantly Yes…eighty nine…eighty eight…eighty seven…
Anderson ~ Atta girl, you just hang in there. Keep counting! They start putting up the rails on the side of the gurney to prepare for transport. You squeeze my hand if you get scared. To Susan: Good work, Dr. Lewis, I’ll be in touch. To the nurses: All right, let’s go. They head out of the trauma room toward the elevators. Lily looks at Susan.
Lily ~ She’s good.
Susan ~ nodding her head a little grudgingly She knows how to talk to kids.
Cut to the admit desk, where Randi is arguing with a greasy-looking man, Rudy. Subtitles indicate: 1:04 PM.
Randi ~ Take a seat and they’ll be with you in a minute, Mr…
Rudy ~ Delpino. Mr. Delpino.
Randi ~ Whatever. We’re busy, so you can just wait.
Rudy ~ Normally I’m real particular about people callin’ me Mr. Delpino and all…but for you, it’s Rudy.
Randi ~ I’m touched.
Rudy ~ Come on, babe, you know where she is, don’t you? You can’t miss her. ‘Bout your height, blond, sassy as the day is long. Almost as sexy as you.
Randi ~ Doesn’t ring any bells.
Rudy ~ You ever thought about modeling? I’m in that business. Lots of great connections. A face like yours, you could go far.
Randi ~ Never crossed my mind.
Rudy ~ Come on, beautiful, you gonna tell me where she is, ain’t ya…I ain’t got much time and I want to see my baby girl.
Randi ~ Are you bleeding?
Rudy ~ No.
Randi ~ Are you dying?
Rudy ~ Of love.
Randi ~ Too bad. Take a seat and we’ll get to you as soon as possible. Grudgingly, he steps away from the desk. Susan approaches.
Susan ~ Randi, did Lydia get that streetwalker up to radiology?
Randi ~ The one you can hear eight miles away? This attracts Rudy’s attention.
Susan ~ That’s the one.
Randi ~ Yep, they came back to exam one about five minutes ago. Here’s the films. She hands Susan the envelope. Rudy has heard the whole exchange. When someone comes up to the desk carrying red carnations, he sneaks around the desk when neither Randi nor Susan is looking.
Delivery Man ~ Did someone order some carnations?
Susan ~ Oh, good…yes, we did.
Delivery Man ~ That’ll be twenty seven dollars and sixty cents.
Susan ~ For twelve carnations? That’s a little steep.
Delivery Man ~ I don’t make the rules, doc.
Susan ~ with a look of disgust, digging the money out of her pocket There’s twenty seven…Randi, do you have sixty cents?
Randi ~ Do I look like a bank?
Susan ~ Never mind. Chuny walks up. Chuny, do you have sixty cents?
Chuny ~ Oh, the flowers are here! Ay, que lindas!…where’s Conni? She’ll want to see this.
Susan ~ Chuny, sixty cents?
Chuny ~ Sorry, I don’t have any change. Susan looks at the delivery man, who takes one flower out of the little vase and gives her two dollars back.
Susan ~ Hey!
Delivery Man ~ Have a nice day.
Chuny ~ Did he bring a card? Susan shakes her head. Chuny waves down Conni from the curtain area Conni! They came!
Conni ~ What came?
Chuny ~ whispering The flowers.
Conni ~ Oh! Grinning widely This is gonna be fun.
Susan ~ I’m going to put them in the lounge.
Conni ~ I thought we were going to leave them at the desk.
Susan ~ I’ve got a better idea. She winks and goes into the lounge, pulls the note out of Abby’s coat pocket, and nestles it among the carnations, then arranges them artistically on the table. As she exits the lounge, she almost runs headlong into Weaver. Oh Kerry…I’m sorry. Excuse me.
Weaver ~ No, that’s all right, I was looking for you. Could I ask you a favor?
Susan ~ walking toward the nearest viewer to look at Annie’s chest x-rays Depends on what it is.
Weaver ~ What do you think of the state of the staff in the ER? In general, I mean.
Susan ~ Overqualified, overworked, underpaid, and vastly underappreciated. I don’t think we’re all that different from most ERs. Why?
Weaver ~ What I mean to say is, do you think we need another attending?
Susan flips on the viewer and sticks the film up into it, giving Kerry a confused look.
Susan ~ Well, we haven’t filled Mark’s position, have we?
Weaver ~ That’s what I mean. Do you think we should.
Susan ~ Probably, yes.
Weaver ~ Because if you don’t, we could always petition the hospital board to allocate the money for extra equipment, or more nursing staff, or improving our facilities. There was a joint study between the ER and surgical departments in a Milwaukee hospital where the ER got a grant for its own radiology equipment and technician.
Susan ~ Kerry, our facilities are fine.
Weaver ~ Also, I’m worried about spreading the authority around.
Susan ~ Too many chiefs and not enough Indians?
Weaver ~ Exactly.
Susan ~ staring at the film Oh…damn it. Damn it.
Weaver looks at the film.
Weaver ~ Diffuse involvement of the lower lobes, bilaterally. Who’s the unlucky patient?
Susan ~ A young streetwalker, in her twenties; came in anemic and cyanotic with increasing respiratory distress and productive cough.
Weaver ~ Does she know she has PCP?
Susan ~ I doubt it.
Weaver ~ This is pretty advanced. She’s probably had full-blown AIDS for at least six months.
Susan ~ Time to go break the bad news.
Weaver ~ So - what’s your opinion on this attending slot?
Susan ~ Honestly, Kerry, I think we need the doctors more than we need our own radiology suite.
Weaver ~ a little disappointed Well then, would you be willing to sit on the evaluation board with me as we conduct the search?
Susan ~ Why do we need to do a search? We’ve got home-grown talent.
Weaver ~ You have someone in mind?
Susan ~ Well…Carter’s got the experience, he knows this place better than any of us, and he could use the tenure.
Weaver ~ He’s a candidate, but the board wants me to be thorough. She stops Susan before she can turn away. I know you and I haven’t always gotten along, but you’re a respected colleague and I’d like your input. That is, if you don’t mind.
Susan ~ after a pause Sure. Why not.
Weaver ~ Thank you. I’ll have the information in your box by the end of the day.
The camera follows Weaver around to the elevators. Elizabeth Corday steps out of the elevator as Weaver approaches.
Weaver ~ Elizabeth. Corday stops and turns. How was the surgery?
Corday ~ A damn bloody mess.
Weaver ~ Did she make it?
Corday ~ She’s in recovery on dialysis and anticoagulants.
Weaver ~ But she made it.
Corday ~ Yes, she’s alive. Wish I could say the same for some of her victims. She gives Weaver a freezing glance as she strides away; Kerry looks tired for a minute, then presses the button to go upstairs in the elevator. Commercial break.
Fade up on the trauma room.
Gallant ~ Short run of v-tach. More Lidocaine?
Carter ~ No, she’s maxed out. Mg of atropine.
Gallant ~ Multi-focal PVC’s. Pulse ox is down to 87 on 100 percent O2.
Carter ~ Let’s intubate; eight-inch ET tube and laryngoscope.
Gallant ~ Want me to do it?
Carter ~ No, I want you to observe. He quickly intubates, then pulls out the guide wire. Bag her and call respiratory for a vent.
Gallant ~ Pulse ox is not responding; still at 87. The x-rays are here. They put them up in the viewer. Are those nodules in the lungs?
Carter ~ They’re metastases.
Random Nurse ~ Medical records is here. She hands Carter the chart.
Carter ~ Thanks. Shaking his head. She’s had two radical mastectomies; several rounds of chemo. She was nearing the end.
Gallant ~ She has cancer?
Carter ~ nodding There they are in the liver, too.
Gallant ~ Did she have a directive, or a DNR?
Carter ~ Yup. dully Son of a bitch.
Gallant ~ What does that mean?
Carter ~ It means we intubated and we weren’t allowed to.
Gallant ~ What do we do now?
Carter ~ We wait. He puts the chart down. Or rather, you can wait, instead of running off to surgery like last time.
Gallant ~ Dr. Carter. Carter stops. It wasn’t my fault Dr. Anderson asked me to scrub in.
Carter ~ You’re assigned to the ER, and that’s where you stay.
Gallant ~ I know that, but…
Carter ~ But nothing. You’re my student. You do what I ask, when I ask it, and you don’t run off to another doctor the minute the opportunity presents itself. It’s as simple as that.
Gallant ~ I didn’t run off. I went because she asked me. When Carter shakes his head as he strips off his gloves and gown, Gallant continues. And it doesn’t help me learn anything if I can’t participate in a trauma.
Carter ~ We don’t want to give you anything you can’t handle.
Gallant ~ I can handle it.
Carter ~ Not according to the way you behaved this morning, you can’t.
Gallant ~ I’m sorry; the kid threw me.
Carter ~ You don’t have that luxury.
Gallant ~ That’s never happened before.
Carter ~ But it might happen again.
Gallant ~ It won’t. I’ll see to that. Suddenly the monitor sounds. Pulse ox is down to 85!
Carter ~ Bag her; get respiratory now! The nurse dials the number as another alarm sounds. Okay, she’s in v-fib. Charge the paddles to two hundred. Clear. The shock jolts the patient. Damn it. Three hundred; clear. Three sixty. Clear. Again; clear.
Gallant ~ She’s in asystole!
Carter ~ Start CPR, Gallant. Amp of epi, and another mg of atropine. The insistent monitor keeps beeping. Damn it; she’s flat lined.
Gallant ~ Pulse ox is 74.
Carter ~ Hold compressions.
Gallant ~ What?
Carter ~ She’s not moving any air; the metastases are causing respiratory failure. Her brain is soup by now.
Gallant ~ But we intubated her. She has an airway.
Carter ~ We weren’t supposed to. She had a DNR. Hold compressions. Gallant reluctantly stops CPR and they both look at the clock. Want to pronounce?
Gallant ~ Time of death, 13:06.
Carter ~ Try to find her family.
Gallant ~ Her daughter just went up to surgery.
Carter ~ Then get a message to the OR. He leaves the trauma room, and suddenly Abby catches up to him.
Abby ~ Carter.
Carter ~ Not now, Abby.
Abby ~ Yes, now. You need to take a look at this.
Immediate cut to outside exam one, as they round the corner together.
Abby ~ She’s got an intrauterine fibroid.
Carter ~ Are you sure? It’s probably just an extension of the placenta.
Abby ~ No, it’s muscular tissue projecting from the myometrium. It’s pretty big, too.
Carter ~ Well, I guess that explains why the fetal heart rate’s low. They go through the door. Mary-Elizabeth sits up. Annie is asleep, curled up on the gurney.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Sshhh…she gestures to the sleeping Annie. She was really tired.
Abby ~ Dr. Carter’s here to look at the ultrasound.
Carter ~ Have you had any bleeding, or any pain, Mary-Elizabeth?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Aside from the contractions? No…
Carter ~ passing the instrument over her stomach Yeah; that’s a fibroid tumor.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ A tumor?
Abby ~ It’s a growth from the middle lining of your uterus.
Carter ~ turning the ultrasound so Mary-Elizabeth can see the picture See that gray mass there? That’s it. It’s probably pressing on the baby, which is why her heart rate’s a little low.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I have a tumor?
Abby ~ It’s not dangerous, don’t worry. To Carter: You want me to try Harmon again?
Carter ~ Yeah, page OB and see if we can get authorized to start a pitocin drip.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ What’s happening?
Carter ~ Your baby might lose oxygen if we don’t deliver her quickly, so we’re going to try to induce you.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ She? She takes a deep breath. I’m having a girl?
Carter ~ Looks that way. She’s got some strong legs, too. Look at her kicking. He points to the screen as the baby’s limbs flail. Abby comes over to stand next to him, smiling. Mary-Elizabeth watches them both, a strange expression on her face.
Abby ~ She wants out of there; she’s feeling a little crowded.
Carter ~ laughing Ready to seize the world. Mary-Elizabeth gives a hesitant and unsure smile.
Abby ~ to Mary-Elizabeth How about you, Mom? Are you ready?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ avoiding eye contact, she looks over at Annie. Sshh. You’ll wake her up.
Abby ~ understanding We’ll talk you through it. Just try to relax.
Carter ~ We’ll be right back and start the induction, as soon as we get the OB doctor to agree. You’ll probably be holding your baby in a few hours.
Abby ~ How does that sound?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ swallowing hard I - it sounds wonderful. She doesn’t sound sure.
Carter ~ Hang in there, Mary-Elizabeth.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Sister.
Carter smiles sheepishly, and stands back so Abby can leave before him. As they walk through the exam door, he leans down to nuzzle her ear gently. Neither of them notice that Mary-Elizabeth is watching them through the door of the exam room.
Carter ~ Nice catch, Ab.
Abby ~ smiling Thank you. She steals a glance, mischievously, and says Think anyone’s in the lounge?
Carter ~ Want to check?
Abby ~ Yeah…
Keeping an eye out for anyone looking, they go into the lounge. Abby turns around and pulls at his tie, kissing him lightly. Suddenly, she breaks away, having seen the flowers on the table.
Abby ~ What are those?
Carter ~ Carnations.
Abby ~ Who are they for?
Carter ~ Got me. Read the card.
Abby ~ looking at the card They’re for me.
Carter ~ What?
Abby ~ opening the letter You sent them!
Carter ~ No I didn’t.
Abby ~ The letter’s from you.
Carter ~ Confused What? Let me see. He takes it, and then looks in confusion over to where her coat is.
Abby ~ If you didn’t write that, I have no idea who did. No one else calls me princess. Or should I be worried about who’s bugging my bedroom?
Carter ~ No, no, I wrote it - but I left it in your coat.
Abby ~ Did anyone see you put it there?
Carter ~ No, I was alone. It was just before - uh oh.
Abby ~ Just before what?
Carter ~ sheepishly Susan may have seen me.
Abby’s eyes widen in shock.
Abby ~ You’ve got to be kidding me.
Carter ~ tossing the note down on the table Well…you said we should go public, anyway. It was your idea.
Abby ~ Not this way! And if she knows, everyone knows. She turns to go out of the lounge. Carter runs his hand through his hair as the door shuts behind her, then folds up the letter and sticks it in the pocket of his coat. Chuny sees Abby flouncing past, and turns to Conni.
Chuny ~ Think she found the flowers?
Conni ~ Damn…she looks pissed.
Chuny ~ as Carter exits the lounge I think Carter’s in trouble. Abby’s no joke when she’s mad.
Conni ~ Maybe we should back off a little.
Chuny ~ But Malik’s all ready with the Marvin Gaye impression.
Conni ~ He can still do it, let’s just wait a few hours, or Abby might pull a Norman Bates on us all.
They move on toward the curtain areas, and all of a sudden we see Rudy Delpino peek around a supply cart. He walks around it, looking for something; he spots the trauma room, then curtain area 3, then sees exam 1 and walks in. Annie is still asleep, but Mary-Elizabeth looks up as Rudy walks over to Annie and leans over her gurney.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ She was really tired; you should let her sleep.
Rudy pays no attention to Mary-Elizabeth. He reaches out to touch Annie’s hair, tucking it behind her ear, then leaving his hand against her neck. She jumps and opens her eyes, which widen in dread as she sees Rudy.
Rudy ~ Hey babe.
Annie ~ What are you doing here?
Rudy ~ I came to visit my best girl. His hand hasn’t moved from her neck. You didn’t show up at our place of business this morning…
Annie ~ desperately I was sick.
Rudy ~ ignoring her…and I thought, Annie wouldn’t go narc to the cops, would she? No, that’s not like my baby girl. And then I remembered, she’s been coughing a little lately, so I thought I’d check the hospitals. Good thought, huh baby? Because here you are.
Annie ~ Please…
Rudy ~ his hand tightens on her neck, pressing her against the gurney, when he notices the walkman clutched in her hand. He grabs it. What’s this? You been listening to music again, baby doll? Well, well. This is an expensive piece of equipment, isn’t it? I hope you ain’t been using my money to buy these things, because come to think of it, your take’s been down for the past couple of weeks.
Annie ~ It’s cause I was sick…
Rudy suddenly smashes the walkman against the linoleum floor. Annie flinches. Mary-Elizabeth, who has been silent, speaks up.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Leave her alone.
Rudy ~ with a grin What you gonna do about it, sweetheart? You just stay over there and keep your mouth shut.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Get out of here or I’ll call the nurse.
Rudy ~ to Annie, who is still lying as if paralyzed on the gurney She’s got a mouth on her, don’t she? Almost as good as you, Annie. She giving you a run for your money?
Annie ~ Don’t do nothing to her, Rudy. Please. She turns to Mary-Elizabeth, pleading with her. She won’t say nothing. Will you?
Mary-Elizabeth gazes at her, biting her lip, torn by what Annie’s asking of her.
Rudy ~ Oh no, I ain’t gonna touch your little friend there. I got business with you, baby. Sit up. Annie warily sits up and sits helplessly in front of him. He kneels down and picks up the shattered walkman, extracting the tape from it. You been listening to the Indigo Girls again. Well that’s great. You can sing it for me. She sits despondently, not raising her eyes. Sing it for me, Annie. When she doesn’t do anything, he slaps her hard across the face with the tape, leaving the red mark of it behind. You fucking do what I tell you, you damn whore.
Annie’s eyes are filling with tears, and she tries to choke back a cough, but she can’t. As she does, and doubles over in pain, Rudy seizes her by both arms and hauls her upright, then throws her down on the floor. Annie coughs again. Rudy kicks her, and she limply takes it, coughing as she does. He steps on her hand then, and she sobs with pain. Mary-Elizabeth can’t stand it. Annie gets hold of the gurney’s rail and pulls herself up. Rudy looks at her with a strange smile.
Rudy ~ That’s my girl. Get up.
He suddenly punches her so hard across the face that she collapses again, bleeding from her nose and now swollen mouth. Mary-Elizabeth can’t take it anymore. She reaches for the call button to call the nurse. Rudy sees her doing it.
Rudy ~ You stay right where you are. He draws the curtain between her and Annie. Before her view is cut off, Mary-Elizabeth sees Annie’s tear-streaked face as she bleeds against the sheet. Mary-Elizabeth releases the Velcro strap on the fetal monitor, quickly grabs her IV pole, and suddenly stands up and heads for the door of the exam room. Rudy sees her as she walks out the door and comes to chase her, but Mary-Elizabeth pushes the IV pole in his way. Although this rips the IV out of her arm, it knocks Rudy on the head, and in doing so gives him a gash above his eyebrow. He lets out a bellow, but Mary-Elizabeth has managed to attract Weaver’s attention.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Excuse me. Doctor! Doctor!
Weaver ~ Can I help you?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Please, we need help in my room; my roommate’s boyfriend is attacking her.
Lydia turns around.
Lydia ~ What?!?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Someone needs to help her!
Weaver and Lydia instantly starts toward exam one.
Weaver ~ Randi, page security 911 to exam one and call the police!
They bursts into the exam room, where Rudy is pressing his hand to his bleeding forehead. Annie is trying to stand up. Weaver instantly goes over to Annie to see if she’s all right. She and Mary-Elizabeth help her back onto the gurney.
Rudy ~ You gonna help me here? That bitch cut my head.
Weaver ~ To Rudy I’ve already called security, and if I hear another word out of you I’ll have you thrown in jail. To Annie Who’s your doctor, honey?
Annie ~ covering her face with her hands I don’t know her name…she’s blond…
Weaver ~ Okay. She gently pulls Annie’s hands back from her face to inspect her injuries; as Annie winces, she notices that her wrist is held at an odd angle. Lydia, would you get Dr. Lewis please?
Lydia ~ Absolutely. She exits. Mary-Elizabeth stands beside Annie as Weaver attempts to continue the exam. Annie pushes Weaver’s hands away.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Let her help you. She reaches out and takes Annie’s hand. Annie looks at her and relents, letting Weaver examine her face.
Rudy ~ What are you doing to Annie, you psycho bitch?
Weaver ~ turning on him, fury in her eyes We’re trying to assess the injuries you just inflicted. Would you like to hear what you just did? You broke her nose, chipped a tooth, fractured her wrist, and broke her jaw.
Rudy ~ advancing on her Good, the bitch needed it. Running away from me; and me the only guy who ever wanted more out of her than pussy…
Weaver ~ Yeah, that’s right, you wanted to use her as a punching bag. You stop right there! When Rudy gives a sly smile and advances further, Weaver cracks him on the leg with her crutch. She advances on him, backing him into the corner of the exam room, until finally, security comes in to restrain him. Susan suddenly bursts in too, Lydia close behind. Susan, is this your patient?
Susan ~ as she sees Annie Oh my God. What happened?
Weaver ~ Her boyfriend decided to assault her. How did he get in here?
Susan ~ I have no idea.
Weaver ~ to the security guards as she follows them out The suture room’s open. Put him there until we can get the police in here. I’ll get Gallant to take care of his stitches.
Susan ~ Thanks, Kerry. Could you get another couple of security guards posted outside these doors?
Weaver ~ Sure. Be sure you get wrist films. She leaves.
Annie ~ suddenly No police! No cops, please, no cops!
Susan ~ gently, as she checks out Annie’s shattered face We have to, or else he’ll just be released in an hour and then he’ll just do it again.
Annie ~ Don’t call the cops. He’ll just get out and then it’ll be worse.
Susan ~ We’ll keep you safe, I promise.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Annie, you’re going to be fine. You’ll be fine.
Susan ~ looking at Mary-Elizabeth Annie?
Annie ~ streaming tears Yeah, like the fucking little red-haired bitch on Broadway. One who sings “Tomorrow.” Sun’ll come out, and all that shit. It’s such bullshit. She wipes her bleeding nose with the back of her hand. Mary-Elizabeth hands her a tissue, which she takes, wipes her nose and eyes, and then rolls angrily into a ball.
Susan ~ Annie, just sit back. Hold still, don’t try to talk. To Lydia Let’s get a facial and mandibular series, and wrist films. Also, five hundred of lincomycin for the jaw.
Lydia ~ You got it.
Annie ~ What the hell are you giving me?
Susan ~ Just some antibiotics.
Annie ~ I don’t take drugs!
Lydia ~ in a low voice to Susan Her tox screen was negative.
Susan ~ soothingly to Annie They’re not drugs. It’s an antibiotic so that if your jaw’s broken, bacteria don’t get into your bloodstream.
Annie ~ furiously wiping tears away God damn son of a bitch. She winces as Susan listens to her chest again, but doesn’t say anything, so Mary-Elizabeth chimes in.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ He kicked her too.
Susan ~ He did?
Annie ~ lashing out at Mary-Elizabeth You shut up. You butting in, it’s gonna make it worse for me. You think you’re helping and all you’re doing is making sure he messes me up again tomorrow.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ stunned I’m sorry -
Annie ~ I bet you’re fucking sorry. I bet you are.
Susan ~ Annie, did he kick you?
Annie ~ obviously lying No.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ You have to let them help you!
Susan ~ Are you sure you’re not having any pain in your ribs, Annie? When Annie doesn’t answer, she asks again. Did he kick you?
Annie ~ hesitating, looking at Mary-Elizabeth Not hard.
Susan ~ Okay. To Lydia: Add a sternal x-ray. To Mary-Elizabeth Why don’t you get back to bed…what happened to your IV?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ evasively It came out.
Annie ~ with bitter humor She slugged Rudy with the pole.
Susan smiles, a little surprised.
Susan ~ No kidding?
Annie ~ Cracked him right on the head. Shouldn’t mess with her.
Susan ~ Obviously not.
Lydia ~ To Mary-Elizabeth I’ll get Abby in here to restart the IV for you.
As everyone leaves, Mary-Elizabeth settles back into her bed, picks up her rosary, and then suddenly starts crying. Commercial break.
Subtitles indicate: 2:12 PM. Gallant is stitching Rudy’s head lac closed.
Rudy ~ You almost done, doc?
Gallant ~ I need you to hold still.
Rudy ~ I appreciate it. Am I gonna have a scar?
Gallant ~ Probably not.
Rudy ~ regretfully That’s a damn shame. Chicks go for scars. In business like mine, you gotta be smooth, you know? Sexy. They think you got wounded in the war or something, you got ‘em all over you. More than you know what to do with. You gotta be tough too; can’t let nobody give you no shit, you know what I’m saying? Not your girls, not your customers, not no doctors neither.
Gallant ~ Hold still.
Rudy ~ Like Annie in there…she’s one fiery little screw, you know that? Takes a lot to keep her in line.
Gallant ~ It makes you feel so big to beat a woman senseless and break her wrist?
Rudy ~ It’s the only thing she understands.
Gallant ~ You belong in jail.
Rudy ~ Maybe I do and maybe I don’t - I gotta make a living just like anybody else. It don’t matter anyway, I ain’t going to jail. I got enough to keep me out no matter how much bail they set. And whaddya think they’re gonna slap me with just for giving my girl some discipline? They ain’t gonna care. She’s a goddamn whore.
Gallant ~ with contempt I’m done. Keep it dry.
Rudy ~ Thanks, doc.
Gallant ~ Don’t ever come back.
Rudy ~ Hey, if you ever are looking for a good time, I got some girls I think’d be just right for ya.
Gallant leaves the suture room and lets the door shut behind him. Rudy looks at himself in the mirror and smiles at his reflection.
Cut to Carter talking on the phone to Caroline Harmon as Abby watches at the desk
Carter ~ No, she’s only three centimeters, but the fibroid is lowering the fetal heart rate…sure. Absolutely. Well, actually, Abby’s already on board with this. Beat as Harmon speaks. My concern is that the mother should be monitored up on the OB ward…I understand that, but she shouldn’t be down here as high-risk.
Abby ~ quietly, to Carter She’s not considered high-risk, Carter.
He nods, and gestures to the phone so that she can see that that’s exactly what Harmon is saying.
Carter ~ So we can start the pitocin drip? She’s just started stage 2, so what do you think of fifty IU pitocin in a liter of Ringer’s? Okay, I’ll call you back in two hours. Thank you, Dr. Harmon. He hangs up the phone. We’re go for the induction down here. God, it sounds like a zoo up there.
Abby ~ It has been for the entire day. She writes on the chart. I’ll start the pitocin.
Carter ~ She asked specifically that you take the case.
Abby ~ Yeah. OB trusts its own.
Carter ~ under his breath Are you still mad at me? She doesn’t answer. Abby?
Abby ~ shaking her head No.
Chuny goes past, and Carter looks at her, and then at Abby, who doesn’t acknowledge him at all; she heads off to exam one. With a slightly disappointed look, Carter selects a chart and leaves the admit area. Weaver walks up, holding a tissue to her nose. She is sneezing uncontrollably.
Chuny ~ Gazundheit, Dr. Weaver. Are you all right?
Weaver ~ Someone left flowers on the lounge table.
Randi ~ They were a gift.
Weaver ~ I don’t care, get them out of there. She sneezes again.
Chuny ~ That’s serious hay fever. You want some Benadryl?
Weaver ~ No. I want those flowers moved.
Chuny ~ They’re for someone.
Weaver ~ I am aware of that. Carter and Abby already found them, and there’s no reason they still need to be sitting on the lounge table.
Randi ~ she and Chuny can’t believe it You knew about that?
Weaver ~ Contrary to what seems to be the popular belief, I am neither blind, deaf, nor particularly stupid. Those two have been going out since July and as for the flowers, you have been talking about that all day. Indicating a stack of letters and resume forms Those are for Dr. Lewis. Will you put them in her box, Randi? And if those flowers aren’t moved by the time I get back from my meeting with Anspaugh, I’ll put a screeching halt on that surprise party you’re throwing later. Randi and Chuny are dumbstruck.
Chuny ~ Weaver must have ears like an eagle.
Randi ~ watching Weaver walk away I wonder if she knows about my boyfriend.
Chuny ~ You have a boyfriend?
Randi ~ Please, did you really think I was single? Chuny shrugs. Conni comes up.
Conni ~ nodding in Weaver’s direction What was that all about?
Chuny ~ Weaver’s got her eye on us.
Conni ~ Oh no…is she gonna stop the you-know-what?
Randi ~ You should invite her to be in on it. Might stop her from spilling the beans.
Chuny ~ looking at Randi I guess it couldn’t hurt.
Conni ~ Might even help - they wouldn’t suspect her, if you know what I mean.
She, Chuny, and Randi suddenly break out laughing.
Subtitles indicate: 3:00 PM. It’s the surgical floor. Romano is standing with the surgical team as Lisa Anderson comes up.
Romano ~ Lisa, we thought you were going to miss us.
Anderson ~ How could I forget rounds on my first day?
Romano ~ tipping his head cockily to one side Good thing you didn’t. First things first, introductions: This is Ron Kettleman, orthopedics…
Anderson ~ Yes, we met over an unstable pelvic fracture.
Kettleman ~ She did great work. Good to have you aboard, Lisa.
Anderson ~ Thank you.
Romano ~ impatiently…this is Angie Mach, neurosurgery. Anderson greets all of them with a smile and a brisk handshake. Caroline Harmon, OB/GYN; she just came by to meet you and she has to go back to the ward because everyone seems to want to have a baby today.
Harmon ~ That’s certainly true; three sets of twins today, can you believe it? I’ve been in and out of the OR since six AM. Her pager sounds. Here we go again. Nice meeting you, Dr. Anderson. She shakes Anderson’s hand and leaves, checking her insistently beeping pager.
Anderson ~ Pleasure.
Romano ~ continuing Lloyd Janiscek, OMFS. Nancy Langdon, plastics. Jack Kaysen, cardiothoracics and cath lab. Donald Anspaugh, chief of surgery.
Anderson ~ Very nice to meet you, Dr. Anspaugh.
Anspaugh ~ Please, it’s Don. I’m eager to hear about your study in surgical seizure alleviation.
Anderson ~ I’d be thrilled to discuss it with you. We’ll have to get lunch sometime.
Romano ~ And this…as Corday walks up, slightly out of breath…is our trauma surgeon and associate chief Elizabeth Corday. She’s not usually late.
Anderson ~ Pleased to meet you.
Romano ~ Lizzie, this is Lisa Anderson, our newest recruit; pediatric surgical attending.
Corday ~ How do you do.
Anderson ~ I’m just fine, thank you all for the warm welcome. Shall we start rounds? I have a few patients I’d like to present. She leads the surgical team to the ward, starting to give her presentation. Corday hangs back.
Corday ~ Robert. Romano stops.
Romano ~ What’s the problem, Lizzie?
Corday ~ Isn’t she a little young?
Romano ~ Don’t ever let her hear you say that. He walks off in the direction of the retreating surgical staff. You should come listen to her. She’s fantastic. After a moment of mistrustful staring, Corday follows.
Cut back to the ER. Abby comes into exam one and sees Mary-Elizabeth breathing through a contraction.
Abby ~ How are you doing there?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ breathlessly They’re much stronger now.
Abby ~ That’s the medicine working.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I know. I thought I’d already done my penance, but it feels like this is going to be part of the purgatory.
Abby ~ smiling An irreverent nun. This day is full of surprises.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ William used to say that I was the world’s most cynical Catholic.
Abby ~ William?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ He was…she struggles with it for a minute, and then continues…he’s my baby’s father.
Abby ~ Ah.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I keep wondering what William would say if he was here. He used to joke a lot. He had a great sense of humor.
Abby ~ He sounds like a great guy.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ He made me laugh. She smiles, a little sadly. He always wanted what was best for me.
Abby ~ How nice.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ That’s what everyone says, but it was so incredibly annoying - I’d ask him for his opinion and he’d say, “What do you think?” I knew what I thought. I wanted to know what he thought. I guess that was half the problem. I always wanted him to have the answer for everything, like Mother Superior does. But he didn’t.
Abby ~ Nobody does.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ God does. With a little laugh But he’s not telling.
Abby ~ changing the subject How is the convent going to handle it when you bring your baby home?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ after a beat I’m not bringing her back there.
Abby ~ Where will you go?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I’m not keeping her.
Abby ~ stunned You’re not?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I called an agency in Evanston and they agreed to put her up for adoption…and that way I can go back and take my vows. Abby is more than a little shocked. They postponed my vows; that’s why I’m still a novice. Mother Superior said I could continue my initiation after the baby was born.
Abby ~ They threw you out.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Only temporarily…they were nice about it, actually. Then this morning I just came down here myself. I wanted some time to think, and get ready…and so I just left.
Abby ~ You walked, all the way from Evanston?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ No, I took the El. It was just the way things worked out. It actually cleared my head. I had something else to think about, you know?
Abby ~ I would have been pretty upset.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ What do you mean?
Abby ~ It just doesn’t seem fair that they kicked you out of the convent and then made you come all the way down here to have the baby on your own.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ They didn’t do that. I did. Abby looks a little surprised. This is my cross to bear.
Abby ~ It’s not easy to have a baby. Most people have someone to go through it with them.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I think you have that covered. Beat. Thank you for everything you’ve done.
Abby ~ It’s my job. Seeing that Annie is not there, she gestures to the other bed. Your friend finally went for some x-rays?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Do we know what’s wrong with Annie, why she coughs like that? As Abby looks a little confused, she explains. Annie. That’s what she said her name was.
Abby ~ No, I don’t know.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Did you know she was a singer?
Abby ~ No. No, I didn’t.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ She has a pretty voice. Mellow. She looks down at the rosary, still clutched in her hands. Mother Superior says that you have to treat people the same way you treat God. You can’t judge them by what you see or hear or touch - your senses are always going to trick you. You have to know them by heart. That’s why people can surprise you, she says. The same way God can. Abby moves around the bed, checking the IV, checking the fetal heart rate, and unfolding a blanket over Mary-Elizabeth’s knees so she can check the progress of her labor. I think that’s what love is like. To know someone so well you don’t have to see them or touch them or even be in the same room to know they’re always going to be there.
Abby ~ pulling off her gloves You’re still dilated only five centimeters, but fully effaced. Mary-Elizabeth puts her knees down and Abby folds up the cloth.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ What does that mean?
Abby ~ The pitocin is working. Your baby’s in the right position for delivery, but your cervix isn’t open enough to let her pass through yet. The contractions will be getting much stronger over the next few hours.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ quietly, fingering her rosary beads one at a time To love another person is to see the face of God…that’s what Mother Superior says. Tears fill her eyes for a second. Although she didn’t tell me that when I told her I was going to have a baby. She told me I had sinned. And I loved William. I really did. I thought he’d always be there.
Abby ~ I’m sure you did.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ softly Do I have cancer?
Abby ~ No. It’s a benign tumor that grew from irritation to your uterine lining.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Am I going to die?
Abby ~ No. Gently, she continues. It just makes the birth harder on the baby. That’s why we’re giving you pitocin; so the baby can get out as fast as possible.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ the tears are back in her eyes He thought I should have an abortion. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t do it. They spill over as she sniffles, reaching for a tissue. And the irony of it is, it would have been so much easier. I could have taken my vows, and no one would ever have known. I even went to the clinic one day. I stood outside for six hours. But I couldn’t go in. I wanted it both ways. And I couldn’t ever have it that way, so I lost both things.
Abby ~ You had to make a choice. It couldn’t have been easy.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I didn’t know what to do. She laughs bitterly, wiping her eyes. I still don’t know if what I did was right. I don’t think I ever will.
Abby ~ Maybe not…but we do the best we can. That’s all anyone can ask, right?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ No. quoting “Therefore be ye perfect, even as your father which is in Heaven is perfect.” Matthew. Chapter 5, verse 48.
Abby ~ not really knowing what to say, backs away from it. I’ll be back in a few minutes.
Cut to radiology. Susan is talking to Annie as she looks at the face and wrist x-rays.
Susan ~ Good news and bad news, Annie; your jaw’s not broken but he did smash your nose up pretty well, and your wrist is sprained.
Annie ~ I’ve had worse.
Susan ~ I bet you have. She sits down on a chair next to the gurney. How often does he do this? Annie shrugs. Once a week? Twice?
Annie ~ Whenever he feels like it. Whenever I piss him off.
Susan ~ You know - there are shelters where you’d be safe, and you wouldn’t have to worry about him beating you up.
Annie ~ I know those places. Shitholes, every last one of them.
Susan ~ At least you’d be safe.
Annie ~ Bullshit. He can find me here, he can find me anywhere. I do better on the streets. I do better with Rudy. And he ain’t so bad, anyway. Least he doesn’t keep all my money.
Susan ~ But he does knock you around.
Annie ~ He don’t mean it.
Susan ~ He didn’t mean to break your nose? Or step on your hand so he’d crush your wrist? Annie meets her challenging gaze defiantly. One day he isn’t going to stop; he’ll just keep hitting, and you’ll be headed straight for the ICU. You’re taking your life in your hands if you leave.
Annie ~ It ain’t like that. She coughs again. Look, Dr. Lewis, can you just hook me up with some shit so I can go? Anything’s better than being in this damn place all day.
Susan ~ casting her eyes down, searching for some way to keep Annie in the hospital I’m waiting on a few tests.
Annie ~ And my boob picture?
Susan ~ And that. Beat. Annie, I’m afraid you’re probably pretty sick.
Annie ~ I ain’t doing so bad. Just a little tired, and I can’t shake this damn cough. She starts to get up, pushing her hair back behind her ears clumsily and
Susan ~ You’re still dehydrated and feverish, too.
Annie ~ I gotta get out of here.
Susan ~ desperate to keep her there I’ll tell you what - I’ll give you some fluids and IV medication, I’ll run some more tests, and we’ll try to figure out exactly what the problem is. Will you stay until the tests are done? Annie looks at her for a second, and then grudgingly nods. Susan is relieved. Thank you. She exits the radiology room and beckons Lydia over.
Susan ~ Start her on another liter of saline and make it a slow drip. I don’t want her leaving.
Lydia ~ grimly determined Don’t worry, she’s not going anywhere. Commercial break.
Fade up on Weaver in an office. Anspaugh is there, as is Romano, who looks fed up.
Weaver ~ I just think it’s important not to rule out any options.
Romano ~ You must also think it’s very important to stall, Kerry.
Anspaugh ~ Robert, I’ve never known Kerry to stall over anything. Weaver flashes him an appreciative glance. What do you have in mind, Kerry?
Weaver ~ A national search of the best candidates. It’s in the best interest of the hospital and of patient care. A national candidate brings in the research grants and revenue and by screening all our options we give our patients the benefit of our careful review.
Romano ~ Or you could pick from the group you’ve got now and not waste money and manpower on such a cursory search.
Weaver ~ getting angry Is that what your problem is with this, Robert? You think it’s a cursory search?
Anspaugh ~ Kerry…
Weaver ~ Let me remind you that an ER attending worth their salt has the most all-encompassing knowledge of any physicians in this hospital. Let me further remind you that over ninety percent of the hospital’s admissions are done through the ER, and there is no excuse for compromising patient care in any way when we have that much flow.
Romano ~ Which is why we need a doctor, and we need one ASAP.
Weaver ~ Oh, so we should just settle for whatever is available without doing any kind of quality control? She leans forward, challenging Romano with her intense gaze. We lost the best attending we ever had, a colleague and a man we could ill afford to lose, three months ago to a long and painful battle with cancer. I don’t care what you think, Robert, but Mark was not replaceable, and it’s my responsibility to my patients, my staff, and my profession to fill the position as best I can.
Romano ~ beginning to sense that he may be beaten, turns to Anspaugh. What do you think?
Anspaugh ~ shaking his head a little I’m not suggesting that Mark Greene was replaceable. We lost a great colleague. Weaver looks down in her lap. But I’ll tell you the truth, Kerry, I’m for filling the position as soon as possible.
Weaver ~ I’m not suggesting we drag this out. I’ve enlisted the help of another ER attending…
Romano ~ Who?
Weaver ~ Susan Lewis…and both of you will sit on the selection committee. We conduct a national search, narrow it down to eight or ten candidates, and present our selection to the hospital authority by the end of next month.
Anspaugh ~ to Romano I think Kerry’s thought this out quite well; she’s convinced me. But it’s your call, Robert. You’re chief of staff.
Romano ~ cornered and angry Fine. We’ll start the search tomorrow.
Anspaugh ~ rising Well, I have an ileocaecal disjunction to repair, so I should get back to the ward. It was good to see you again, Kerry. It’s been too long.
Weaver ~ shaking his hand Yes, it has.
Anspaugh ~ Good to see the ER’s in such capable hands. Weaver smiles. Anspaugh exits.
Weaver ~ gathering up her stuff, she stops and turns around Thank you, Robert.
Romano ~ You’d better be thanking me. You’ve just put another ton of administrative work on my desk. I hope you’re happy, Kerry. He leaves. Weaver is left to her victory.
Cut to exam one. Subtitles indicate: 6:34 PM. Annie is holding her walkman and half-heartedly trying to put it back together, but it’s hard with her wrist in a cast. Mary-Elizabeth is lying there, her eyes closed, her face tight with pain.
Annie ~ I needed an excuse to get a new one anyway. She looks over at Mary-Elizabeth, who doesn’t respond. Though I ain’t got much money…but it’s fucking awful not to have music. Mary-Elizabeth grimaces. What the fuck is wrong with you?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ in too much pain to take much of this Shut up.
Annie ~ getting angry Fuck you. All I did was ask if you were okay and you fucking go postal on me. Jesus Christ. I thought you people were supposed to be frickin compassionate. She coughs suddenly.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Shut UP! She winces, grabbing the side of the gurney.
Annie ~ You gonna pop that kid now?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ murmuring to herself Hail Mary, full of grace, blessed art thou amongst women…
Annie ~ Are you PRAYING?!?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Hail Mary, full of grace…what do you suggest?…blessed art thou amongst women…
Annie ~ You moron. If you’re having that baby, get the damn nurse. What’s her name.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Abby…
Annie ~ Yeah, her. Or I can find my blond doctor for you. Whatever the hell her name is. Lewis.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Just get someone! I don’t care who.
Abby comes in.
Annie ~ Well aren’t you just a lucky little shitforbrains. Here’s your nurse now.
Abby ~ What’s the matter?
Annie ~ She’s griping because she’s about to pop.
Abby ~ All right, it’s just a contraction. Breathe slowly, in and out. Don’t hold your breath.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ gasping I…feel pressure…
Abby ~ What?!? Mary-Elizabeth lets out a groan of pain and half sits up, involuntarily trying to push the baby out. No. No, lie back down. Breathe out. I’m going to go get someone.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ She’s coming?…she can’t be…she grits her teeth as another contraction grips her, which stops Abby on her way out the door.
Abby ~ Just hold still and let me check, all right? She looks, and shock writes itself all over her face. Oh no…she’s not coming, she’s almost here.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ It happened so fast…
Abby ~ Don’t push!
Mary-Elizabeth ~ It hurts!
Abby ~ I know - just breathe out through your contractions. Don’t push.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I have to! She grits her teeth and grips the sides of the bed.
Abby ~ Oh my God…she grabs a pair of gloves and puts them on. To Annie Go get Dr. Carter. Go on! Tell him…she drapes Mary-Elizabeth’s legs and crouches by the end of the bed, looking to see what’s happening…tell him she’s fully dilated and the baby’s crowning! Annie, stupefied, can only stand still. Abby shouts at her. Go, QUICKLY! Annie runs out into the hallway and looks for Carter, but doesn’t see him. She goes up to Randi.
Annie ~ ‘Scuse me…hey. Randi is on the phone with someone and holds up a finger. Where’s Dr Carter?
Randi ~ to the phone No, we don’t have any information on the victims from the breast cancer walk. No. You need upstairs in media relations. I can’t transfer you, you have to call the main number.
Annie ~ Hey!
Randi ~ to Annie I’ll be with you in just a minute. To the telephone: Didn’t you hear what I just said? I can’t give you an estimate. We don’t do that here.
Annie ~ Just fucking tell me where Dr. Carter is! When Randi turns away, finger in one ear and the other against the telephone, Annie cuts off the phone. Randi whirls.
Randi ~ What is your problem?
Annie ~ I’m looking for Dr Carter; they need him in that room over there.
Randi ~ You’re Dr. Lewis’s patient.
Annie ~ It ain’t ME who needs to see the guy.
Randi ~ He’s at dinner. We’ll page him. Go back to your room and wait.
Annie turns away, frustrated, and then sees the sign that says “Cafeteria.” She looks at Randi, and then back at the sign, and then starts down the hallway. Cut back to Abby, who now has a gown on and is crouched down by the end of the bed. Mary-Elizabeth is screaming.
Abby ~ Mary-Elizabeth. Mary-Elizabeth, listen to me. Listen to me! Mary-Elizabeth looks at her, panic on her face. You’re having your baby, all right? She’s coming now. When you feel the next contraction, I want you to hold your breath and use it to push down.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I can’t. I can’t!
Abby ~ Yes you can. You are! Okay - here it comes - now. Push! Mary-Elizabeth holds her breath and her face contorts in pain as she pushes. Good one! Breathe, and go again. Push! Mary-Elizabeth complies. I see some hair. Two more pushes, and you’re there! Come on. You can do it.
Cut to Annie, who has just come through the cafeteria doors. She bumps into a surgical resident, who looks her up and down. Her bruised face and casted wrist and hospital gown are quite out of place for the cafeteria, where everyone’s in scrubs or normal clothes. She spies Carter at one of the far tables, sandwich in hand, paging through a chart, and determinedly makes her way across the room to him.
Annie ~ Hey. You.
Carter looks up to see Annie, and frowns.
Carter ~ What are you doing in here? You need to get back to your bed.
Annie ~ Don’t fucking lecture me. The desk clerk did that, everybody fucking loves to do that. They need you in my room.
Carter ~ What for?
Annie ~ It’s that nurse; she said to tell you the baby’s gowning, or something.
Carter ~ all ears now Crowning?
Annie ~ Yeah, that’s it. You gotta hurry. She coughs again, and wheezes.
Carter ~ jumping up That’s impossible, we only started the pitocin three hours ago! He stands up and starts running, leaving Annie behind. She picks up the half-eaten sandwich and takes a bite. Cut back to Abby.
Abby ~ The head’s out. Stop pushing! She suctions the baby’s nostrils and mouth. All right, one last time! One last time.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ She’s not out yet…
Abby ~ No, but you’re getting there. You’re doing just fine. Suddenly, the alarm sounds. It’s the fetal monitor. The baby’s heart rate is low; it has gone down to 110.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ panicking, twisting her head in an attempt to see the machine What’s that?
Abby ~ Your baby’s losing oxygen, so she’s dropping her heart rate.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Oh my God! Why?
Abby ~ The tumor probably prolapsed the umbilical cord. Mary-Elizabeth bursts into tears. Abby speaks sternly. Mary-Elizabeth, listen to me. Don’t cry, you’re wasting your energy. The sooner she’s out, the sooner we can help her, all right? Come on, one last push and we’re there. She supports the baby’s head as it turns so the shoulders can come out. She mutters her next line to herself. Where the hell is Carter?
We cut to where we can see him - he’s going at quite a clip down the hallway. As he passes the desk, he shouts to Randi.
Carter ~ Page pedes down here, and get Dr. Harmon down here from OB NOW!
Randi ~ What’s your hurry?
Carter ~ We’re crowning in exam one! He pushes through the door just as Abby steps away from the bed, holding the baby. He pulls on gloves and takes the baby from her. What happened?
Abby ~ She went into labor.
Carter ~ I can see that, why?
Abby ~ I don’t know! But there was fetal distress, the fibroid prolapsed the cord. The baby’s not breathing.
Carter ~ Get a mask and some baby warmers in here!
Abby ~ Wait, wait - I have to cut the cord! They cross-clamp the cord and Abby cuts it. Carter places the baby on Annie’s gurney and listens to her chest.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Is she all right?
Abby ~ One minute Apgar is three!
Carter ~ Let’s bag her. Abby seizes the pediatric bag and squeezes it over the baby’s mouth and nose. You didn’t even call for help?
Abby ~ I did, I called you.
Carter ~ Yeah, you had the junkie streetwalker come and find me.
Abby ~ What was I supposed to do?
Carter ~ You’re not authorized to deliver babies!
Abby ~ Don’t yell at me. She was crowning, there wasn’t anything else I could have done. Standing her ground She would have had it on the floor if I hadn’t done something. As the monitor sounds again: Heart rate’s down to 90!
Carter ~ Damn it! Where the hell is pedes?
Abby ~ You want a pediatric intubation tray?
Carter ~ Yes, go. Get one from the trauma room. Run! He takes over the bagging and she leaves, just as Lisa Anderson comes through the door to the exam room.
Anderson ~ What the hell happened in here?
Carter ~ You’re the pedes consult?
Anderson ~ No, I was down here for a rule out bowel obstruction, but someone screamed for pedes and I heard the call. She spots the infant and shifts into working mode. Oh my. A newborn. What was the one minute Apgar?
Carter ~ Three.
Anderson ~ You haven’t started a line?
Carter ~ Her veins are constricting. We need a cutdown tray.
Anderson ~ No you don’t.
Carter ~ I tried the femoral vein, there was no backwash.
Anderson ~ It’s okay, calm down - the deep veins are the hardest to find on infants. I’ll do an umbilical line. Give me the guide wire. She leans over the baby and threads the wire through the umbilical cord. There, got it. Where do you keep the saline?
Carter ~ First cabinet to the left. Anderson grabs a bag out of it and hooks it up to the IV.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ weakly Please…is my baby all right?
Anderson ~ Give us a minute to work on her, okay Mom? She’ll be fine. Abby re-enters with the equipment. Why an intubation tray? We’ve got an airway.
Carter ~ She’s not moving the air.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ She’s still not breathing?
Anderson ~ Yes she is. Her tidal volume’s higher than the bag; keep up the CPR until we’re sure, and stick a glucose.
Abby ~ Accu-check is 40. Her volume’s better; heart rate’s up to 114.
Anderson ~ That’s about what I expected. Start her on 3 mikes of sodium bicarb in 200 cc’s of glucose water, five percent. The baby’s arms suddenly jerk.
Carter ~ She moved.
Abby ~ She’s pinking up, too.
Anderson ~ All right - we got her back. Nice job, everyone. Who delivered her?
Carter ~ Abby did.
Anderson ~ to Abby I heard good things about you; I see they were true. Oh…here we go, hold the bagging. As Abby stops the bagging, the baby screws her mouth up and starts screaming. Anderson grins. Now that’s the noise I like to hear! She bends over the infant with Carter, smiling. Hello, sweetheart! My, what beautiful big blue eyes, and listen to those lungs! Gently cupping the baby’s head. Oh yes, you need to let everyone know you’re here, don’t you? Yes you do!
Abby ~ Five minute Apgar’s much better. Eight.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ What happened? What’s going on?
Abby ~ To Mary-Elizabeth She made it. Congratulations.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ She’s all right?
Abby ~ She’s beautiful. You did great.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ relieved Thank God.
Carter ~ to the baby I bet your mom wants to hold you, doesn’t she? He smiles over at Mary-Elizabeth, who looks even more upset now than she did a minute ago.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ frantically No! No…I don’t. Please. She looks at Abby, begging her. Please don’t…I can’t.
Abby ~ Okay, that’s all right. Calm down, relax.
Anderson looks from the baby to Mary-Elizabeth, then at Abby, then at Carter.
Anderson ~ Let’s call transport and have them take her up to the nursery. She picks up the baby, who is still screaming, and swaths her in the cloth that Abby’s holding out (all while making soothing noises), then hands her to Carter. Almost instantly, the little girl stops crying. Anderson smiles. You know, I don’t usually say this - but do you have experience with kids?
Carter ~ Not specifically.
Anderson ~ You’d make a hell of a pediatrician. Abby glares sideways at her.
Carter ~ flattered Thanks.
Anderson ~ Well - this baby’s in good hands. If you’ll excuse me, I blew off surgical rounds to cover the ER, so I’ve got to account myself to Romano.
Carter ~ Don’t let him give you too much trouble.
Anderson ~ Oh God, no. There are hundreds like him, they all think they’re special, and they just need to be reminded that they’re not the ultimate authorities every once in a while. Suffice it to say, any trouble to be had, he’ll have it with me, not I with him. Carter chuckles. Abby gives Anderson a freezing glance that she doesn’t notice, and then redirects her stare to her boyfriend.
Carter ~ Thanks for your help.
Anderson ~ My pleasure. Abby looks at Carter, one eyebrow raised, as Anderson leaves.
Carter ~ As he sees the look she’s giving him: What?
Abby ~ Nothing. She goes over to Mary-Elizabeth, who is lying back in her bed, completely exhausted. Commercial break.
Fade up on the admit desk. Randi is on the phone with someone. Susan is at the other end of the desk.
Randi ~ No, don’t bring it inside. It’s a secret, that’s why. Someone will meet you. You’re kidding. Since when do we have to sign for a cake? You’re not FedExing it or anything.
Malik walks past Randi and over to Susan.
Malik ~ Hey, when’s this show gonna get on the road?
Susan ~ As soon as we can all find a minute in between patients. To Randi, who has just hung up the phone. Randi, who put all this crap in my box?
Randi ~ It’s from Dr. Weaver. She said to put it there.
Susan ~ Oh God.
Malik ~ What is it?
Susan ~ Resume forms. About fifty. Jesus. She’s got to be joking. She just has to be.
Malik ~ You helping her hire someone?
Susan ~ I thought she was kidding when she said a national search!
Malik ~ That woman don’t ever kid. He walks away.
Susan ~ exasperated I don’t have time for this. I haven’t even given one of my patients her diagnosis because I keep getting buried under all this garbage.
Randi ~ You really gonna tell Weaver you don’t want to do it?
Susan ~ I already promised.
Randi ~ You could do what the rest of us do.
Susan ~ What’s that?
Randi ~ Suck it up and complain in private. Susan gives Randi a disgruntled glance, tucks the stack of paper under her arm and heads away.
Cut to exam one. Subtitles indicate: 7:09 PM. Abby is checking Mary-Elizabeth’s uterus.
Abby ~ Your uterus is firming up. You’re all clear.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ When do those stitches come out?
Abby ~ In a week or so. You’ll be pretty sore, so you’ll have to stay kind of still.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ That won’t be a problem. My prayer vigil isn’t exactly a strenuous physical activity.
Abby ~ Is that what you have to do next?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ That’s all I have left. The last step. She gives Abby a penetrating look. About the adoption - thank you for understanding. Most people wouldn’t. If you’re a nun they see you either as Mother Teresa or as the vicious missionary they had teaching them when they were twelve in Catholic school. Either a saint or a dinosaur. Abby smiles at this analogy. People don’t think you have feelings.
Abby ~ Anyone who’s just had a baby is going to be emotional. That’s part of it.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I just didn’t think it’d be so hard.
Abby ~ with a sympathetic smile That’s why it’s called labor.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ No…I didn’t think it’d be so hard not to see her. I thought it would be easier if I didn’t.
Abby ~ It’s never easy. Beat. I can bring her down for you if you want.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ desperately No. No, I can’t. It’ll make it worse.
Abby ~ It might make it a little better.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I can’t keep her.
Abby ~ Think about it. You might change your mind.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ I can’t. Abby casts her eyes down. Mary-Elizabeth senses her disapproval and attempts to explain. I - I’ve never made a choice. Not once, in my whole life. I just drifted. It was because I didn’t know what to do, ever. That was what made me lose William. And everything else. I just barely hung on to being a nun because of this. But being a nun is what makes me happy…and I’m so sick of my life being defined by what I don’t do.
Abby ~ It’s as simple as that for you? One way or the other?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ It never was before. But it just feels right having all my cards on the table for once. Like it’s - like it’s me making a decision, not letting the circumstances do it for me. She casts her eyes down. Could I ask you a favor, Nurse Lockhart?
Abby ~ Sure.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Will you give this to my baby before you go home? She hands Abby a tiny rosary, exquisitely made. Maybe this way she can know it was for the best. Will you put it on her?
Abby ~ nodding I’d be happy to.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ Thank you. She pauses, looking at Abby folding up the blankets, and then hesitates briefly before saying what’s on her mind. That doctor…
Abby ~ What?
Mary-Elizabeth ~ That doctor who was just in here.
Abby ~ Dr. Carter.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ You love him, don’t you? Abby blushes, and Mary-Elizabeth gives her a weak smile. I watched you with him. You know him by heart. When Abby doesn’t say anything, she pushes again. Don’t you?
Abby ~ a little embarrassed, but she admits it. Yeah.
Mary-Elizabeth ~ she pauses, struggling to find the right words. Even if - even if I could forget everything and not have had any of the bad things happen - I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t trade my time with William for anything. She looks up at Abby, pleading with her to understand. I loved him…I keep feeling like I screwed it up.
Abby ~ her emotions are dangerously near the surface I’ll be back in a minute for your follow-up exam before we admit you to OB. Ring if you need anything.
She draws the curtain around Mary-Elizabeth and takes a deep breath, then walks out of the exam room and up to the admit desk, where she sees Carter paging through a stack of charts. Everyone is bustling around.
Susan ~ Abby, I need your help on an LP.
Abby ~ One second. She walks up to Carter. He turns and sees her there.
Carter ~ Need another ultrasound?
Abby ~ No. Suddenly, she takes his face between her two hands and kisses him full on the lips. At first he’s completely startled - and so is everyone else - but then he returns it, bringing his hands up to her face as well. Finally, she breaks away.
Carter ~ Was that my surprise?
Abby ~ with a little smile Yeah. Is everyone staring yet?
Carter peeks over her shoulder. Cut to a wide shot of everyone looking. They are most definitely staring, but they’re all smiling.
Carter ~ We’re the topic of conversation again.
Abby ~ Let’s give them something to talk about. They grin at each other, then he leans down and kisses her again, bringing up the chart to hide their faces from the onlookers. Susan starts to applaud, and the others - Chuny, Malik, Randi, Conni, Lydia, and a few other doctors and nurses - join in. Commercial break.
Subtitles indicate: 8:22 PM. Fade up with a walking shot of Caroline Harmon. She’s obviously quite angry. She walks up to the admit desk and accosts Randi.
Harmon ~ Excuse me, I’m Dr. Harmon.
Randi ~ OB, right?
Harmon ~ Yes, I’m looking for Abby Lockhart.
Randi ~ She’s with a patient.
Harmon ~ I have to speak to her about this OB patient, Mary-Elizabeth.
Chuny ~ She’s in curtain two. I’ll get her.
Harmon ~ No, I can find it. She heads over to curtain two as Susan passes by, heading into exam one. The curtain is pulled around Mary-Elizabeth’s bed, but Annie is sitting in her bed, listlessly playing with her broken walkman.
Susan ~ Hi, Annie. Annie looks up. She looks terrible. There are rings of exhaustion around the eye that isn’t bruised black, and her lip is puffy and cracked.
Annie ~ What do you want now? More blood?
Susan ~ No, we’re done with that. Looking at her IV bag Your fluids are all done, and your pulse ox is up to 94. As she disconnects the IV. Do you feel any better?
Annie ~ sarcastically Great. Just great. She coughs again.
Susan ~ I have your test results back.
Annie ~ About damn time. So do you know what’s causing my cough?
Susan ~ Yes, I do. She sits down and folds her hands on the chart in her lap. You have a form of pneumonia that’s caused by an organism called pneumocystis. It’s not normally the type we see in patients suffering from pneumonia.
Annie ~ Makes me special, I guess.
Susan ~ casting her eyes down, then looking back at her patient It’s the defining illness of AIDS. Annie meets her eyes, shocked, and her face registers the numbness and the terror she’s feeling. I did a white count, and your CD4 count is at one hundred.
Annie ~ clearing her throat, and almost choking on the words What’s it supposed to be?
Susan ~ Fifteen hundred. Annie is clearly devastated by this. Lots of things are going to have to change for you, Annie. You need to go on meds, and you need to stop walking the streets.
Annie ~ I can’t.
Susan ~ Yes you can. You’ve got to, or you’re going to infect everyone you come into contact with.
Annie ~ I can take care of it.
Susan ~ No you can’t. Not by yourself. Beat. I got the name of a halfway house that helps people with HIV and AIDS.
Annie ~ I’d be going there to die.
Susan ~ No, you’d go there so you could get the care you need in order to live.
Annie ~ What kind of care are you talking about?
Susan ~ Well, you’d have to see a specialist to work out a therapy program.
Annie ~ Screw that. There is grim determination in her voice. You know what I’d have to do. What kind of therapy you talking about?
Susan ~ There are drugs that you can take. A cocktail of protease inhibitors to lower your viral load. There are even some experimental drugs out. A specialist could give you more information than I can.
Annie ~ shaking her head emphatically No thanks. I ain’t seeing no doctor for no drugs.
Susan ~ They’re your last chance.
Annie ~ I haven’t been a junkie I was fourteen. I ain’t starting it again.
Susan ~ These aren’t those kind of drugs.
Annie ~ You can get addicted to anything if you try.
Susan ~ Would you try?
Annie ~ I don’t wanna know if I’d try. She reaches for her shoes; tall stiletto red heels. After picking them up and turning them in her fingers for a minute, she continues. I don’t wanna give myself the chance to get high again. On anything. Beat. I gotta get out of here. She puts her shoes on. Susan holds out a hand to stop her.
Susan ~ Wait. At least let me run some more tests.
Annie ~ What for?
Susan ~ So I can prescribe some meds that will make you more comfortable.
Annie ~ after looking at her for a minute How many patients you see a day with this?
Susan ~ We don’t get them every day. It’s more like once or twice a week.
Annie ~ See, that’s what I mean…this can only end one way. You know that. How’s it gonna be when I croak?
Susan ~ That’s hard to say.
Annie ~ Come on, quit this pussy evading. What’s it gonna be like?
Susan ~ shrugging I really don’t know. You could come in with dementia, end stage pneumonia, skin lesions, organ failure, respiratory arrest, or something else. A cold could finish you off.
Annie ~ See, you know how this ends. Things go bad for chicks like me. She coughs again. Shit, I’m gonna cough myself to death…she hacks again…I guess that ain’t such a bad way to go. Girls like me, we usually go when some psycho drives by pointing a gun out the window, or we get our brains kicked out by some freak who got wasted and wanted some ass. The bravado fails for a minute; her face crumples a little. A cough looks pretty good compared to that. She gets up and picks up her bag, walking to the door. Over her shoulder: Maybe if I’m lucky I can give it to Rudy before I croak. The attempt at humor doesn’t quite make it. When Susan doesn’t respond, she stops and says, Dr. Lewis…? Thanks.
Susan watches her go.
Susan ~ Take care. Lydia comes in.
Lydia ~ Susan? It takes a minute for this interruption to register.
Susan ~ Yeah.
Lydia ~ We’re almost ready. Beat. You okay?
Susan ~ I’m fine. I’ll be there in a second. Lydia leaves. Susan takes a deep breath, wipes her eyes quickly, and then follows her out.
Cut to Harmon and Abby arguing outside curtain area two.
Harmon ~ When I am paged on a busy day and I come down on an admit consult, I expect to find a patient ready for admission!
Abby ~ She is ready, she just needs observation. She already had the baby.
Harmon ~ She must have had quite an easy labor, then, especially since she’s already gone.
Abby ~ What?
Harmon ~ Exam one, right? No patient. No chart, no clothes, just an empty IV pole and a blanket.
Abby ~ That’s impossible.
Harmon ~ I’m afraid it’s true.
Abby, a disbelieving look on her face, runs to the exam room and pulls the curtain aside. Mary-Elizabeth is nowhere to be seen. She has left a note, however; it’s directed to “Nurse A. Lockhart.” Abby picks it up and taps it against her hand as Harmon enters from the hallway.
Harmon ~ So she left AMA. Be on the lookout for a bounceback, and send her straight up to the OB clinic if she comes in.
Abby ~ dully She won’t come in.
Harmon ~ Is the baby still in the hospital?
Abby ~ She gave custody to an adoption agency.
Harmon ~ Well, find the number and tell whoever needs to be here that the baby’s ready for adoption. And next time, when you page me, make sure you have something to page me for. She leaves. Abby stands staring at the note in her hand. Cut immediately to her on the phone at the desk.
Abby ~ Are you SURE there’s no one there by the name of Mary-Elizabeth?…Do you know any other places that I could call?…She said it was in Evanston…No. No. Thanks anyway. She slams down the phone. Conni is going past.
Conni ~ You trying to track someone down?
Abby ~ My pregnant nun; she left her baby upstairs in the nursery and said an adoption agency was going to come, but no one’s showed and I can’t get a hold of her.
Conni ~ Are you sure Mary-Elizabeth’s her real name?
Abby ~ further distressed by this thought I don’t know.
Conni ~ Well - whatever her own story is - it looks like she abandoned her baby.
Abby ~ Who would do something like that?
Conni ~ Lots of people. Nuns aren’t any different, I guess. She walks off, leaving Abby standing there, lips pursed in anger and sadness. She doesn’t want to believe it, but she obviously does.
Susan ~ Abby, I need you to start a line on June over there.
Abby ~ closing the phone book with an angry thud Sure.
Susan ~ Yikes. Are we not loving our wonderful and beneficent workplace today?
Abby ~ What’s wonderful about it?
Susan ~ Oh, I don’t know…when AIDS patients who are ritually abused by their boyfriends can walk out to certain death, and little girls’ mothers die because some junkie ran them down for no reason…
Abby ~ Don’t forget new mothers walking away from their babies without a second thought.
Susan ~ Right, that too…what’s not to love?
Abby ~ You got me.
Susan ~ I think I’ve missed my daily dose of enthusiasm. She heaves a deep sigh and shelves the chart. I’m going to grab a cup of coffee.
Abby ~ I’ll get started on that line. Susan goes into the lounge and Abby down the hall to the supply cart.
Cut to a shot that is focused on floor level, as we see Weaver’s feet walking along with the aid of her crutch. It pans up so we see her whole body. She is carrying a chart, a grim expression on her face, and is walking purposefully toward where she sees Carter, on the computer at the admit desk.
Weaver ~ Carter.
Carter ~ Yeah. He scrolls down the screen. Did we get the LP results back on the woman in curtain 3 yet?
Weaver ~ Carter, I need to speak with you.
Carter ~ not really paying attention What about?
Weaver ~ This OB fiasco that happened this afternoon. Now she has his attention. I understand Abby also treated that mother.
Carter ~ Yeah. What’s the problem?
Weaver ~ The total disregard for protocol, the reckless endangerment of the mother and the child, and the inaccuracy of the pharmacological management of pitocin, just to name a few things. Would you like to know the reason that she went into labor so fast? The IV bag you gave her had 150 IU pitocin, not 50?
Carter ~ What?!?
Weaver ~ And all your shoddy mistakes compounded to create a disaster. Which, I might remind you, this department can ill afford at any time, but especially not the present. The last thing we want is a struggle with the OB department, and you’ve initiated something that could be the biggest mess I’ve ever encountered. Caroline Harmon called me in a fit just a few minutes ago. I’d like to see you both in the lounge to review the chart, please.
Carter ~ Now?
Weaver ~ snapping Yes, now. She walks off into the lounge. He watches her go, then runs his hand through his hair, and beckons Abby over from where she’s starting Susan’s patient’s IV.
Carter ~ We’re in trouble.
Abby ~ What happened?
Carter ~ Weaver wants to see us both in the lounge.
Abby ~ What about?
Carter ~ The nun.
Abby ~ Oh my god. If I hear anything else about Mary-Elizabeth today I swear I am going to kick something. Harmon was just down here bitching, now it’s Weaver’s turn. She buries her face in her hands.
Carter ~ Well, we couldn’t have done anything besides what we did. We’ll just say that.
Abby ~ So we’re going to beg.
Carter ~ If we have to, yes.
Abby ~ with a sigh Fair enough. Let’s face the music, then. They go into the lounge. Instantly, the entire staff gathered inside screams at them.
Everyone together ~ SURPRISE!!!!
Completely caught off balance, Carter and Abby can only stare at the party and then each other. Everyone is cheering, waving blown-up rubber gloves and sporting party hats. Lydia blows a noisemaker, Lily is decked out in streamers and colorful leis, and Gallant is cutting a large sheet cake. Conni comes over to the stunned pair and tucks a red carnation into Carter’s lab coat and Abby’s scrubs pocket. Susan is pouring everyone drinks into red plastic cups. Weaver, a big smile on her face, waggles her finger at Carter and Abby.
Weaver ~ You thought you were in trouble, didn’t you?
Carter ~ You were in on this?
Weaver ~ You work here long enough, you get to know how these things start.
Carter and Abby can still only stare. Susan suddenly stops pouring drinks and climbs on a chair, gesturing for people to be quiet.
Susan ~ Okay, okay, okay! Pipe down everybody. Don’t worry, we’re being responsible health care workers - this is just sparkling grape juice. She raises her glass of sparkling grape juice. First of all, thank you everyone who made this party possible and didn’t let the secret spill…well done, you guys are getting much better at this…and thank you Kerry for being our decoy. Everyone cheers. Well - Abby beat us to the punch with her little public display of affection…everyone laughs, including Abby, who blushes. Carter takes her hand…but we already had it all figured out, so we just proceeded as planned. We - collectively - are lots of things…crazy, deranged, and masochistic, just to name a few…but at the moment we are so, so happy for you…everyone chimes in enthusiastically, and Carter and Abby both grin bashfully…and we’re excited that you finally stopped dancing around each other and made something happen, because it sure as hell took you long enough…
Chuny ~ interrupting You won me fifty bucks from Frank! Everyone laughs.
Susan ~ continuing…and we are just so completely and totally relieved that you finally gave us all something else to talk about! The rumor mill was really running dry.
Conni ~ heckling her Bring on the entertainment!
Susan ~ In a second! Winking at Carter and Abby Tough crowd…a toast! Carter and Abby, long may they reign! Everyone hoots and raises their plastic cups. Anyway, you guys have had a rough day and the groundlings are getting restless, so I am done. Have some cake, drink some grape juice, be happy. She steps down from the chair and kisses Carter on the cheek, then hugs Abby.
Abby ~ grinning, to Susan I am going to kill you.
Susan ~ laughing You wouldn’t have the guts; I’d win. And it’s hopeless anyway, you know you love me. She hugs Abby again, with a warm smile. Congratulations. Hey, you are going to have to give me all the dirt on this guy.
Abby ~ Oh, there’s dirt. Susan high-fives her.
Carter ~ Hey!
Abby ~ I’m just kidding!
Susan ~ No you’re not. Malik stands up, his hat on backwards and his sunglasses on. Whooooooooo, Malik! She puts two fingers in her mouth and whistles.
Malik ~ All right, y’all…shhhhh…let’s play that music. Lydia cues “Sexual Healing,” and Malik begins his Marvin Gaye impression. “Oh baby, let’s get down tonight…ooooh, baby, I’m hot just like an oven, I need some loving, and baby, I can’t hold it much longer. It’s getting stronger and stronger, and when I get that feeling, I want sexual healing…sexual healing, yeah. Oh baby, makes me feel so fine; helps to relieve my mind.” Chuny and Randi start dancing. Lily and Conni open another bottle of grape juice. Gallant is even dancing with Weaver, who has leaned her crutch against the back of a chair. “Whenever blue teardrops are falling and my emotional stability is leaving me, there is something I can do - I can get on the telephone and call you up baby. And honey I know you’ll be there to relieve me, the love you give to me will free me…” Carter puts his arms around Abby, who smiles contentedly as she leans back against him, and they sway for a minute, in time to the music. “If you don’t know the thing you’re dealing, I can tell you darling that it’s sexual healing.” Malik, still singing, is twirling Susan under his arm. Commercial break.
Subtitles indicate - 10:10 PM. Gallant, in scrubs and a mask, sees Anderson on the surgical floor. He goes up to her.
Gallant ~ Dr. Anderson?
Anderson ~ Michael, hello.
Gallant ~ How was your first day?
Anderson ~ Very…political. I think I made a few enemies.
Gallant ~ Well, everyone in the ER seems to like you.
Anderson ~ Good to know. What can I do for you?
Gallant ~ I treated a breast cancer patient from that MVA this morning…
Anderson ~ Zoe Grant’s mother?
Gallant ~ Yes.
Anderson ~ Oh good, I’ve been waiting to hear about that all day. How’s she doing?
Gallant ~ Actually - she flatlined in the trauma room. Respiratory failure from advanced metastases.
Anderson ~ heaving a deep sigh Oh no.
Gallant ~ Zoe awake yet?
Anderson ~ She woke out of anesthesia but she’s still in recovery and sleeping it off. Beat. Would you like to tell her about her mom?
Gallant ~ I’m not sure I can. I just wanted to tell you.
Anderson ~ I think she’d like you to be there.
Gallant ~ I wouldn’t know how to tell her.
Anderson ~ You don’t have to know how. You just do it. She turns to him, leaning on the counter of the surgical unit’s admit desk. I think she’ll surprise you. Kids are like that - they take things in stride. She may already know.
Gallant ~ How would she know?
Anderson ~ Like I said. They can surprise you.
Gallant ~ after a moment of uncertainty Okay. I’ll try.
Anderson ~ Why don’t you come back up first thing in the morning, when Zoe’s woken up, and we’ll both tell her. She signs the surgical log and closes the book. In the meantime, go home and get some sleep, and I’ll see you tomorrow.
Gallant ~ Good night.
Anderson ~ Good night. She goes through the door to the PICU, and Gallant goes back to the elevators.
In the ER, Luka has just come in. He passes Lily, who’s still wearing her party hat, walking out the door. He goes up to the admit desk, where Susan is in her street clothes finishing her piece of cake. Weaver is talking to Susan on her way out.
Weaver ~ So I’ll get the committee paperwork together and we can start the joint review as soon as that’s squared away.
Susan ~ taking a bite of cake Sounds good. See you tomorrow, Kerry.
Weaver ~ Good night. She leaves.
Luka ~ signing in What happened here?
Susan ~ We had a party for Carter and Abby. She chuckles through her mouthful of cake. It’s a long story. She turns to the charts and hands them off to him one by one. Anyway - here you go. Septic shock waiting on the ICU under observation in trauma one. Rule out appy in three, waiting on the surgical consult. Four year old who likes the taste of pennies in exam one, whenever radiology decides to squeeze him in. Bounceback migraine in curtain one, and eighty-seven year old LOC waiting on sutures and a head CT who we stashed in the suture room. A lot of waiting, wouldn’t you say.
Luka ~ Who’s on tonight?
Susan ~ Haleh, Wendy, and Yosh are the nurses; personnel finally heeded the call and floated us a PA for the night, her name’s Jodie Rankin. Corday’s on call for surgery, Pratt and Chen should be here in less than ten minutes, and Linda Martin’s the moonlighter. Oh, and we saved a piece of cake for you, and some sparkling grape juice. She points out a cup and a plate with a couple of pieces of cake on it. And here’s your ten bucks.
Luka ~ What from?
Susan ~ The ten that Frank owed you from the pool.
Luka ~ Oh, good. Did he pay Chuny too?
Susan ~ He paid her first. She was threatening to take it out of his hide if he didn’t. Luka grins, as does Susan. Frank’s been forking over money ever since he started his shift. I wouldn’t ask him for much of anything - he’s in a pretty bad mood.
Luka ~ I’ll keep that in mind.
Susan ~ Well - my work here is done. Good night.
Luka ~ Good night. She signs out, and as she walks toward the door, Carter goes by.
Carter ~ Headed out?
Susan ~ Yeah, I’m bushed. Aren’t you off?
Carter ~ I am, but I seem to have lost my girlfriend and she has the keys.
Susan ~ I bet she does. Grinning at him as he blushes. I think she went up to the nursery for a few minutes. You might want to check.
Carter ~ Thanks. And hey - great party.
Susan ~ winking at him No problem, it was fun. Good night. She goes through the door, he heads toward the stairs.
Cut upstairs to the nursery. Abby walks into the nursery with Mary-Elizabeth’s chart from the ER. The nurse on call stops her.
Vanessa ~ Can I help you?
Abby ~ I’m just here to check on a baby.
Vanessa ~ Is the mother your patient?
Abby ~ Yes. Vanessa examines the chart, and signs it.
Vanessa ~ I can’t let you take her out; the nursery’s closed for the night.
Abby ~ The mother asked me to check on her before I went home.
Vanessa ~ reluctantly Okay. A few minutes. Her pager sounds, and she checks it. I’ll be back in a minute. She exits.
Abby ~ Okay. Thanks.
Abby walks over to the little bassinet and sees that the baby is sleeping. She gently reaches out to touch the baby’s head, cupping it in her hand.
Abby ~ after a moment of just looking and touching You’re precious, yes you are. You remember me? I’m here to give you a present from your mom. She takes the rosary out of her pocket and stands there with it in her hand. She almost can’t hold back the tears. I’m sorry, sweetheart…I’m sorry your mom won’t be there when you wake up tomorrow, and I’m sorry that we can’t do anything more for you. I’m glad you won’t remember any of these first few days…I’m glad…you can’t understand what’s happened.
Carter comes up to the window and sees Abby there. He stops, peering through the window to see if it’s really her, then comes around to walk through the door and over to her.
Carter ~ Hey.
Abby ~ Hi…she’s sleeping.
Carter ~ Ah, I got it. I’ll be quiet as a mouse. He reaches out and touches the baby’s cheek. She’s a pretty little girl.
Abby ~ She’s beautiful. Seven pounds two ounces, twenty inches long. She gently threads the little necklace around the baby’s neck and fastens it.
Carter ~ What are you doing?
Abby ~ Mom asked me to put it on her.
Carter ~ Mom didn’t want to do it herself?
Abby ~ This was right before she split.
Carter ~ She left?
Abby ~ Yup, AMA and baby-less. Left a note telling me to “go with God.”
Carter ~ Ah. Maybe it’s for the best.
Abby ~ Sure, for Mom. Not for her. She gently tucks the baby’s pink hat more securely on her head.
Carter ~ He watches Abby gently stroke the baby’s cheek, and get her finger caught in the tiny fist. Why don’t you pick her up?
Abby ~ She’s sleeping. Suddenly looking at him, kind of desperately. I’m not allowed.
Carter ~ leaning on the little bassinet You know, I read a paper in med school that said that babies need to be cuddled right after they’re born. Abby looks at him, and then at the baby again. Go ahead, I’ll stand guard. I know you’re dying to.
After a moment’s hesitation, she reaches into the bassinet and gently picks up the baby, cradling her in her arms. The infant is awake now and makes little coughing noises.
Abby ~ Hey, pretty girl…she smiles at the baby. Carter walks over to stand behind her, watching her with the little girl, hands in pockets.
Carter ~ Did the good Sister pick a name?
Abby ~ I don’t know. Check the card on the bassinet. Carter does, and smiles as he reads the card.
Carter ~ Anna Catherine.
Abby ~ How Catholic.
Carter ~ It fits. He sticks out his own finger, and the baby grasps it in a little fist. Hey there, Anna.
Abby ~ She bounces Anna gently. This is Dr. Carter; he helped deliver you. And I’m Abby. Leaning forward to give her a kiss on the forehead. Happy birthday, little one. Fade out on Carter reaching forward and getting smacked on the arm by Anna’s freed fists, pretending to be mortally wounded as Abby smiles, rocking the baby gently. Fade to black screen: Executive Producers - Jack Orman, John Wells, Michael Crichton.