San Francisco Snowstorm (1/09/03)

It's snowing in San Francisco. Matt comes across Jules and he knows it's time to talk. But Jules is avoiding him at all costs when it comes to their personal relationship. He is walking quickly down the hallway to catch up to Jules, who's frustrated by a perplexing illness displayed by a male infant.

Jules is getting a bit short tempered with her on-going puzzlement about this 15 month old, especially around Matt.

M: "Jules! Got a minute?"

J: "Not now."

M: "Look," (he puts his hand on her shoulder; she shrugs it off) "We need to talk legal agreement. The sooner, the better."

J: "All right, but not now."

M: "You do realize that without a legal agreement, I've rights." Jules stops and looks at Matt.

J: (sarcastically) "Such as?"

M: (a bit angrily) "Such as? Do you take me for just someone who donated some fluid?"

J: "As I recall, you came after me."

M: "Should you wish to terminate the embryos, you'd need my approval. The same goes if you want to donate the embryos to an infertile couple."

J: "I don't need your approval to do anything! I'm the mother."

M: "And I'm the father of these embryos!"

J: "We'll talk about this later. I've got an infant who's constantly nursing and it's driving me bats as to what's wrong with him."

Jules continues down the hallway, grumbling to herself. Nick walks up to Matt.

N: "That's the second time I've seen a woman walk away angry like that."

M: "Yeah? Who was the first?"

N: "Rae."

M: "For some moments, there are no words."

N: "Hear, hear."

Claire and Harriet walk towards Matt and Nick. The women are in the midst of a deep discussion. Claire's face shows concern, while Harriet's expression is softer. Snatches of their conversation can be heard filtering through the background noise of the hallway.

H: "Every birth is different."

C: "But there was so much blood!"

H: "I remember one of my first deliveries. I was a very scared resident. She went into early labor over a holiday weekend. The baby's shoulder got caught and I didn't know how to rotate the shoulder."

C: "What happened?"

H: "I ended up dislocating the shoulder and breaking the collarbone."

The two women have approached Nick and Matt.

H: Claire, you remember Doctors Slingerland and Kokoris?"

C: (she blushes a bit when looking at the two male docs) "I believe so."

M: "How do you do?" (he smiles at Claire; she doesn't know what to do).

N: "Charmed." (Nick smiles at Claire; she is a bit ovewhelmed and doesn't know what to say.)

H: "I run an extensive obstetrics practice and it's not unusual for my patients to deliver in blocks. If you're feeling pressed, should I not be here, either Doctor Slingerland or Doctor Kokoris can assist you."

C: "I, uh, did notice that quite a few of your patients tend to deliver around the same time."

H: "You know, it's the strangest thing. Either the rooms are full, or they're empty."

C: (to Nick and Matt) "I'd be happy for any assists you two can give."

M: "Not a problem."

H: "Doctor Kokoris can perform emergency c-sections if necessary."

N: "That's what I'm here for."

H: "If you'll excuse us, us ladies need to check on a patient."

N: "Have a good day, Harriet, Claire."

M: "Same to you."

C: "Thanks. You too."

M: (to Nicholas) "Patients do beckon."

N: "Except for mine. Slow surgical day so far despite the snow."

M: "With the snow, I'd think lots of injuries."

N: "In the ER, yes."

The four go their ways; Harriet and Claire off in one direction. Matt goes off in another direction and Nicholas in a third direction.

Jules is sitting in her office, with a woman (Kendra Karlgaard) nursing her baby.

K: "He nurses constantly."

J: "Every baby has different needs."

K: "But there's something different. The women at the La Leche League say he's a barracuda."

J: "Barracuda?"

K: "Means he's greedy about nursing." (she grows concerned) "Do you know if anything's wrong?"

J: (trying to hedge; the woman doesn't notice as she's looking at her nursing baby) "Not all of the tests have come back. The lab is a bit backed up."

K: "Ah, he needs changing. Is there a table?"

J: "Over there." (pointing to a small table in the corner; Kendra places her baby on the table and begins changing him)

K: "It's weird, but Braxton's diapers weigh pounds."

J: "Pounds?" (she gets up and goes over to stand next to Kendra)

K: "Brax nurses hourly and releases so much urine but it doesn't have that ammonia-ny smell."

Jules furrows her brow. Kendra continues.

K: "Is that odd?"

J: "Very odd."

Matt catches a glimpse of Jules in the hallway after her meeting with Kendra but she studiously avoids eye contact. Matt frowns.

Meanwhile, Jackie gets into a fender bender during the surprise snowstorm. She's in the ER--and it's Doctor Howland who is the attending physician.

Jackie: "But I feel fine. Except when I breathe deeply."

DH: "That is a nasty bruise on your forehead. Where were you riding?"

Jackie: "In the back seat. My face smashed against the headrest."

DH: (tech comes in with x-rays as DH is looking at Jackie's chart) "Good thing you're a plastic surgeon. Ah, let's see if you broke any ribs."

Doctor Howland looks at the x-rays.

DH: "Tsk, tsk. You broke one rib."

J: "Only one?"

DH: "Snowstorms tend to bring in a lot of fractures."

J: "So congratulate me. I'm a statistic."

DH: "Don't worry. We'll tape you up fine." (she starts to turn away but turns back when Jackie asks:)

J: "You still mad at Doctor Kokoris?"

DH: "I"d prefer not to speak about him."

J: "He's a great surgeon."

DH: (in a sharp tone) "I know his specialty."

J: (narrowing her eyes a bit) "Do you want me to say hello to Doctor Kokoris for you?"

DH: (very sharply) "No."

J: "What do you have against Doctor Kokoris?"

DH: "He operated on my patient."

J: "Rumor mill has it Doctor Kokoris saved your patient's life."

DH: "Oh? So there's a rumor mill about me?"

J: "That wasn't the case? Did he slice open the intestine?"

DH: "His skill is beyond reproach. It's the way he goes about performing his speciality that bothers me."

J: "I think he gathered as much."

DH: (sharply) "The punishment was appropriate." (the nurse comes into the room with a tray). "Good." (to the nurse) "I'll write a prescription for a mild painkiller."

Doctor Howland leaves the exam room in a bit of a huff.

Nurse Arleatha Dawson: "What's wrong with the barracuda?"

J: (laughing, then wincing in pain). "Barracuda?"

Nurse Arleatha: "Oops. Wasn't supposed to divulge that nick."

J: (innocently) "Why not? It's such a sweet nickname."

Arleatha: (insistent)"What got her into a huff this time?"

J: "I asked if she wanted me to say hello to Doctor Kokoris."

Arleatha: "Ahh. Tactical error. Never mention Doctor Kokoris' name around the 'cuda. But I heard he's quite the bachelor."

J: "Go for him."

Arleatha: "Lift up your arms. I've been trying to catch Doctor Slingerland's eye since I started working here."

J: "How long is that?"

Arleatha: "About three months. Deep breath."

J: "He's been rather distracted by personal problems these last several months. Ouch!"

Arleatha: (finishing taping Jackie's ribs) "That feel better?

J: "Yes."

Arleatha: "Think Doctor Slingerland will come around?"

J: "Matt? He's resilient."

Arleatha: "I might swing by for some advice. I've been wanting to reduce this facial scar."

J: "It's treatable. Come by my office--I mean, Doctor Slingerland's office--for an appointment."

Arleatha: (not disguising her interest in Doctor Matt) "He's an internist isn't he?"

J: "That, British and renegade."

Arleatha: "I like renegades."

Doctor Howland pokes her head into the door. She's looking down at the chart when she says cheerily:

DH: "Ready for your pelvic exam?"

Jackie looks appalled. Arleatha suppresses a giggle.

J: "Uh, do I need one?"

Doctor Howland looks up.

DH: "Oh! Wrong patient. Ribs feeling better?"

J: "They'd feel much better with some pain killers."

DH: "Only a mild painkiller on account of that bruise."

Doctor Howland walks off.

Arleatha: "I think she did that on purpose."

J: "Why do you say that?"

Arleatha: "Because you mentioned Doctor Kokoris. When she gets her 'cuda up, she can be a bit nasty."

J: "You folks have a saying about her now?"

Arleatha: "If you had to deal with her on a daily basis, yes, you too would have a saying."

Jackie laughs, then winces in pain again.

Later that day, Jules is exiting the kitchen as Matt is walking in. They are crammed into the doorway.

M: "We need to talk."

J: (agitatedly) "Later."

M: "What is wrong with you?"

J: "Frustration."

M: "I can see that. Do you want to catch dinner so we can talk when you're calmer?"

J: "Uh, no. I'm going to stay late to see if I can figure out this case."

M: "The infant who nurses a lot?"

J: "Yeah. His urine output is high and it doesn't smell like ammonia."

M: "Diabetes?"

J: "Checked for that."

M: "Came out flat on the tests?"

J: "Yep." (she looks uncomfortable with Matt; he notices and makes a graceful exit)

M: "I've to do a follow-up on my spinal stenosis patient, so I've got to run."

J: "Yeah, later."

Matt leaves. Jules gets herself a cup of coffee. Norman pokes his head in the kitchen.

Norman: "Seen Jackie?"

Jules: "Not today. Check her pager."

Norman: "Must be making snowmen."

Jules: "She'd be happy just to have a date."

Norman laughs, as does Jules.

Harriet is talking to a seventeen year old girl (Vivian Noombi) who was pregnant but denies it. She came in for birth control.

H: "Vivian, you were pregnant."

V: "But I took precautions!"

H: "No, you didn't. Did you get an abortion?"

V: "No."

H: "You had a miscarriage?"

V: "I wasn't pregnant!"

H: "You were, and you know you were pregnant."

V: "Maybe I was. So what? I mean, the baby's not there anymore."

H: "What happened to the baby?"

V: "It was taken care of."

H: "By whom?"

V: "Just someone."

H: "What did this someone do to rid you of this baby?"

V: "There was some suction."

H: "Then you had an abortion."

V: "I didn't go to a clinic."

H: "It was a private abortion?"

V: "Yeah! There's this guy along the waterfront near Marina Green."

H: "And he does some 'suctioning'."

V: "Right!"

H: "Can you tell me his name?"

V: "I don't have to tell you anything."

H: "You're putting your own life and other lives at risk if you don't let someone know where this fellow is located."

V: "He'll get into trouble."

H: "If one of your friends needed 'suctioning', and died as a result, he'd be in a lot more trouble than he is now. What's it going to be?"

V: (worried) "Tylar. His name is Tylar. He changes locations a lot."

H: "How long ago did you see Tylar?"

V: "A week ago."

H: "Why don't you wait here. Did you want me to phone your parents?"

V: "I was emancipated three months ago. Bad family type."

H: (goes to her office door) "I'll be just a moment."

Harriet goes to the front desk.

H: "Norman, call SFPD.

N: "Anything wrong? You're not in...?"

H: "No. Nothing like that. A 'private' abortionist is on the loose."

N: "Aye. Calling now."

Norman is on hold and Harriet goes back to her office.

Later, at the end of his shift, Matt finds himself sitting near a large picture window. Matt is gazing out the window at the thickly falling snow, then has a eureka moment.

M: "Diabetes insipidus! That's why the thirst and massive urine output!"

Matt gets up, and goes off to find Jules. He runs into Norman, who's closing up for the evening.

M: "Norman! Have you seen Jules?"

Norman: "Not recently. A lot of her patients cancelled with the snow. Hills and snow don't mix well."

M: "Can you page her?"

Norman: "That I can do." (Norman pages Jules) "While you wait, check out this site using the new flat screen technology." (he indicates his computer screen with a nod.)

M: "Thanks. Have a good night."

Norman: "You too. Don't let the bedbugs bite."

Matt looks after Norman's retreating back with puzzlement. A bit later, Jules comes to the front desk. She sees Matt and starts to turn away. She turns back.

J: "Matt, I said later. I've this case. You know, real medicine?"

M: (who's been surfing the internet at Norman's desk) "Did you ever consider a rare disease as a diagnosis for the baby?"

J: "Braxton. His name is Braxton Karlgaard."

M: "Yes. Braxton. Lovely English name, means 'Bracca's town'. But seriously, what diagnoses did you consider?"

J: "Everything. I've done absolutely everything under the sun and it's been months since Braxton first came to me."

M: "A referral?"

J: "Eleven times over. Parents finally heard about me through a La Leche League meeting."

M: "Diabetes. Does it mean anything to you?"

J: (angry and frustrated) "Braxton does not have diabetes!"

M: "Diabetes insipidus. I had a case during medical school. Diagnosis drove me bonkers as well."

J: "Water diabetes! I should have known with the thirst, high urine output and the absence of an ammonia smell."

M: "It's a thought. You might want to run the tests." Matt shuts the computer off, stands up and takes his leave of Jules. "In the morning, then. Have a good night."

Jules is left standing in the front office alone.

J: "Damn. I didn't even thank him for helping me."

Jules spies Nick and Matt chatting outside the front doors. Nick nods and he and Matt go their ways.

J: "Wonder what those two are up to?" Shrugging, Jules turns and goes down the hallway to her office.

Snow is still falling the next day. Nick spies Rae exiting the Oncology Ward. He goes up to her.

N: (in an understated tone.) "Rae." (Rae turns, surprised to see Nick). "I'll get to the point. I feel like I'm on an emotional rollercoaster."

R: (off-handedly) "That isn't my fault."

N: (still in an understated tone) "Excuse me? I knew you were married. You knew you were married, yet you accepted an invitation into my bed. You've been keeping me at your convenience."

R: "I am married to Sean."

N: "Don't you think I know that? At the camps, you told me you were unhappy in your marriage. You were the one who accepted my interest in you and in your problems. Now you tell me I was nothing more than chattel."

R: (flustered) "You're not chattel."

N: "You act as if I am."

R: (still flustered) "Look, the thing is, I am in love with you, but I'm married to Sean. And I also love him."

N: "You ordered me back to Greece. That was wrong of you. My being here in San Francisco will not change the outcome of your marriage. Either the marriage will work, or the marriage will fail."

R: (looks down sheepishly). "I know."

N: (his tone goes even more soft) "Being attracted to someone is part of the human psyche. Choosing to develop a more personal relationship with someone not your spouse is a choice you made. You acted on your attraction, and you're married."

R: (irritatedly) "You don't have to remind me I'm married."

N: "Then you need to decide what you want. Do you want to remain married to Sean, or do you want to work on the marriage?"

R: "I don't understand what you're getting at."

N: "There's a fine line between wanting to remain married and thinking you need to work on the marriage because you're trying to spare Sean's feelings. You said you wanted to work on your marriage. You never said you wanted to remain married."

R: (getting upset) "But I also love you."

N: "Rae, you need to make a choice, Sean or me" (he pauses). "I've a post-surgical patient I need to monitor. Have a good day."

Nick walks away, this time leaving Rae flustered. Her cheeks grow hot when she realizes Matt and Claire have been within earshot of the last part of the conversation. Embarassed, Rae leaves.

Letty walks up to Matt, a sorrowful expression on her face.

M: (realizing what Letty is going to say) "No."

L: "Yeah."

M: "Time?"

L: "11:03."

M: (Matt glances at the clock which reads 11:10) "If only she had come in a day earlier."

L: "She wanted to be there for her daughter's wedding day."

M: (with sadness) "Bloody hell."

L: "If it makes you feel better, there was really nothing we could have done. She didn't know the symptoms and blood clots tend to break free."

M: "I know. But still, even with heart disease, there were so many possibilities for her."

L: "Yes, indeed. Sixteen and pregnant, kicked out of her home, finished high school and college while raising twins."

M: "And only thirty seven when she died."

C: "You talking about a patient?"

L: "Yeah. Her daughter was married yesterday in Reno."

C: (shocked; she's not used to dealing with death on a daily basis) "Oh, man. That is going to be tough."

M: (to Letty) "So, who notifies the family?"

C: (shocked) "Her family wasn't with her?"

L: (shaking her head) "No. Averill and Athena and Quinn Imgrund are on their way to Bora Bora via Hawaii. Averill's staying in Hawaii."

M: "Do you know where Averill's staying?"

L: "Not a clue."

C: "What are you two going to do?"

M: (stroking his chin thoughtfully) "You know, when I was on holiday before coming stateside, one of the places I went was to Bora Bora. Tranquil. Beautiful lagoon."

L: "I've seen pictures. You wake up, climb down the ladder and swim away."

M: "You can do the same thing on the Greek islands."

C: "But you still can't notify the family."

M: "They'll be at the Lagoon Resort."

C: (understanding dawns on her face) "So you'll leave a message at the front desk." Matt nods.

L: "Hell of a way to start your honeymoon."

C: "What about Averill?"

M: "Guess his sister will have to tell him."

L: "What will we say to Athena?"

M: "What else can we say? There's an emergency with her mother and she needs to contact her brother and come home."

L: "It's a two days there and two days back."

M: "She might have stopped off in Hawaii."

C: "But wouldn't there be some information in the day planner about where Averill and Athena are going to be?"

L: "Charlotte might have kept that information."

M: "In her purse, most likely. We can check her personal effects."

L: "Thanks, Claire. Hey, later on, let's get some lunch. I want to go over some new reporting procedures David implemented."

C: "Not a bad idea."

L: (to Matt) "You've time to tackle this together?"

M: "Yes. This snowstorm has everyone slowed down."

Matt and Letty take their leave of Claire and go off to deal with Charlotte's Learson's personal effects.

Norman is on the phone explaining that Jackie will be out of the office a few days. Jules overhears.

J: "Why is Jackie out of the office?"

Norman: "Fender bender. Broke one rib."

J: "Our own accident victim!"

N: "It will be easy to get her a date now."

J: "Sympathy date."

Norman: "You women love to abrade each other."

J: "Yeah. Hey, did Mrs Karlgaard return my call?"

Norman: "Not yet."

J: "Page her again, please."

N: "All right."

Jules and Norman look down the hallway when they hear Rae's agitated (and loud) voice.

R: "Look, I don't have time to talk about it...Sean! I said I'd be there...NO! It was only for two weeks a year...I don't know why he came here. I told him to go back to Greece...of course it's, I am not sleeping with him's no different than when you were screwing around...she had the gall to phone me...he approached me at that cocktail party...look I've got to go. See you at three."

Rae clicks off the phone, looks up and sees Nick and Matt watching her, bemused expressions on their faces. Rae is shocked; she walks away. Down the hall, Jules and Norman are watching Rae as well and they catch Matt and Nick's glances.

Matt takes his leave of Nick and goes to the front desk.

M: "Norman, what's my cancellation percentage today?"

N: "Seventy one point four percent. Oh! And Jackie phoned."

Matt raises his eyebrows.

M: "Oh?"

N: "She wants you to make a house call to her home."

M: "House call?"

N: "She got into a fender bender. Broke a rib."

M: "Ah, a well-Jackie visit."

Norman chuckles.

N: "Yeah. I'll tell her you'll stop by after your shift."

M: "Thanks." Matt goes off to his office.

Nick is in the surgical suite when he and Doctor Howland spot each other. Doctor Howland tries to ignore him but Nick won't allow that.

N: "Good afternoon."

DH: (icily) "I see you're back."

N: "That I am."

DH: "Is that all?"

N: "You know you didn't make the correct diagnosis. Why did you denigrate my opinion?"

DH: "You operated on my patient."

N: "Who would have died had I not operated for Triple A."

DH: "You operated under false pretenses. That merited a reprimand."

N: "And what about you?"

DH: "What about me? Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a patient to attend. Abdominal pain. You're very familiar with abdominal pain, aren't you?"

Nick steps aside to allow Doctor Howland to pass. She glares at him as she passes. Nick merely swivels his head to look at her retreating back. Arleatha Dawson approaches Nick.

Arleatha: "Don't fret about the barracuda. She's had her share of reprimands."

N: "Really?"

Arleatha: "Did some digging. Her first year here, reprimands flew left and right."

Nick is about to reply when a patient is brought into the surgical suite.

N: "Gotta scrub. Thanks for the information."

Arleatha: "You're welcome."

Nick goes to the scrub-in room.

Matt is standing at Jackie's front door to her apartment. Matt rings the bell. Jackie answers the door.

M: "House call!"

J: "Come in, come in. Thanks for coming."

M: (stepping inside) "More furniture than I do."

J: (laughing) "Can I get you a drink?"

M: (spying Jackie's prescription on the coffee table) "No drinks with those painkillers."

J: "Coffee, then?"

M: "Tea?"

J: "Only in bags."

M: "Coffee."

Jackie goes to get the coffee while Matt makes himself comfortable on the couch. She soon returns with a tray containing two coffee cups, cream and sugar. She places the tray on the coffee table and sits down with an 'ouch'."

M: (getting up and going over to her) "Let's see that bruise." (he whistles) "Vivid colors!"

J: "Thank you. I can now match my face to my clothes."

M: "No need for make-up then. You seem fine. Who was the ER attending?"

J: "Doctor Howland."

M: "Nick should like that."

J: "I'll bet that too. You want to order Chinese?"

M: (considering) "Thai."

J: "Sounds good."

Jackie phones for take-out.