What little I know about medicine I read recently so don't assume anything I write about medicine is true. I research the best I can and there are sure to be some errors.
When Cameron woke up the next morning, she was alone. For a second she panicked. She looked around and looked in the bathroom and bedroom. Then she was the note on the coffee table that she picked up and read. 'Went to work. Told Cuddy you'd be a little late. You can wear some of my clothes. Love you. 13.'
Cameron smiled and sighed. She folded the note before going back to the bedroom to get dressed.
Thirteen sat alone in the diagnostic office. House was apparently still at home sleeping which given the circumstances was normal. Taub was getting coffee and Kutner went to the cafeteria to get breakfast.
The door opened and Thirteen looked up to find Cuddy. "I thought you were going to take the morning off."
Thirteen shrugged, "I didn't need it."
Cuddy nodded shifting the file in her hand, "Do you think you can handle a diagnostic class? Dr. Daniels had a family emergency."
"Sure," Thirteen nodded.
Cuddy walked over to the desk in the corner and scribbled down something on a sticky note. "Here's the room number and how long the class is."
"Anything specific I should cover?" Thirteen asked, standing.
"Um," Cuddy went through the file in her hand, "I doesn't say in here. Just…wing it."
Thirteen smiled slightly, "I think I can handle that."
"Thank you," Cuddy nodded and walked off.
Thirteen left a note on the whiteboard to the guys and went to the class. Luckily it was in the lecture hall they'd been in during the 'games' so it only took a few minutes to get there. She pushed open the door and forty med students stared at her.
She walked over to the desk, set her coffee down, and leaned back on it. "I'm Dr. Hadley. Everyone in this hospital calls me Thirteen." She stepped up to the chalk board and started writing symptoms.
After a few rounds of diagnosing, Thirteen wrote more symptoms on the board.
She turned back around and looked at the class. "Chorea, agitation, slurred speech, forgetfulness, tremors, seizures, and chronic fatigue. What does the patient have?"
"Alzheimer's," a guy from the back said.
"Anyone else?" Thirteen asked.
"Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease ," a woman on the side said.
"Huntington's," another man in the front stated.
Thirteen wrote the three diseases on the board. "Okay, so the outlook for the patient isn't good."
Cameron walked into the diagnostic office to find Taub and Kutner sitting at the table. "Where's Thirteen?"
Taub pointed at the board not looking away from the news paper he was reading.
Cameron looked over at it and read, "I'll be in the lecture hall - 13."
"She's teaching a class," Kutner told her.
"Oh," Cameron nodded, "Thanks." She walked out.
"Pick one," Thirteen sat on the desk, "Which one does the patient have?"
"There's no way to know without blood work," a woman in front stated.
"Good," Thirteen smiled, "What else could let you know?"
"Patient history," a man in the back added.
"Better," Thirteen stated, "The patient's mother died with she was nineteen. That's all you've been able to figure out since the patient is incoherent. And you only found that out by going through her wallet, finding a picture and looking up her mother's obituary. You also got that it was a long illness from the obit."
Cameron slipped in the back door without Thirteen seeing her. She sat in the desk in the back and stayed quiet.
"From that," the woman in front said, "It's probably Huntington's."
"Okay," Thirteen nodded, "What do you do after deciding that it's Huntington's?"
"Do the test to confirm," the woman answered.
"Who wants to tell the patient?" Thirteen asked. No hands were raised. "Someone has to tell the patient."
The man in the back raised his hand.
"Tell me I have Huntington's," Thirteen crossed her arms.
The took a deep breath and said, "We've done blood tests and confirmed that you have Huntington's Disease. It's a genetic disease that affects-"
Thirteen held up a hand. "She watched her mother die of Huntington's. She probably already knows how it affects the body and mind. So do you just go up to her and say, 'You have Huntington's'?"
"No," the woman said, "You tell her about the therapy and the medicines that help."
"We can make you comfortable?" Thirteen asked, "That's what she wants to hear? Does anyone know the suicide rate of Huntington's patients?"
"Seven percent," one of them said.
"But it's estimated that the suicides are underreported," someone else said, "The total estimate is twenty-seven percent."
Thirteen stood and put her hands in her pockets, "Okay. So we have someone in a category with twenty-seven percent chance of suicide and we tell her the best we can do is make you comfortable."
"You could tell her it's not that-" the man in the back went on.
Thirteen cut him off, "It's not that bad?"
He quieted down and sunk in his chair.
"You're dying. Slowly and painfully, but it's not that bad," Thirteen crossed her arms and tilted her head to the side.
"What are you supposed to say?" the woman on the side asked.
Thirteen paused then spoke, "Right now, she's standing on the roof of her apartment building with a bottle of prescription anti-anxiety medication and sleeping pills. A lethal mixture. The bottle's open and the pills are in her hand. What's going to stop her?"
"How'd she get on the roof?" the man asked.
Thirteen sighed frustrated, "She's in the hospital. She swiped a bottle of pills while the pharmacist wasn't looking. What's going to stop her from taking them?"
"You tell her that she still has time left," the woman in front said, "That there are people who love her and want to spend as much time with her as possible. Her family, friends, spouse."
Thirteen smiled, "Exactly. When you're diagnosed with a disease like Huntington's you can feel like you're all alone. No one can understand you. No one knows. But a loved one shows up and brings you back. They let you know that you're not alone. It make the whole ordeal seem bearable." Thirteen checked her watch, "That's time. Class dismissed."
The students walked out and a few stopped to thank Thirteen before leaving.
"Nice lecture," Cameron finally spot from her seat at the back of the hall.
Thirteen looked up and smiled, "How long have you been there?"
Cameron stood and sauntered down the stairs, "Ever since you diagnosed the patient with Huntington's."
Thirteen took a sip of her coffee and nodded.
"Have you ever thought about teaching?" Cameron asked nearing Thirteen, "You're a natural."
"I thought about it," Thirteen shrugged, "But I love my job."
Cameron took Thirteen's hands and swung them, "So do you wanna have lunch with me?"
Thirteen smiled, "Of course."
Cameron closed the gap between their lips and savored every second of the kiss. After a long, drawn out kiss, Cameron pulled away smiling. "I love you." Cameron felt great every time she said that to Thirteen.
Thirteen beamed, "I love you too."
Cameron's smile faded and she looked at the ground, "Where are the pills?"
Thirteen reached into her pocket and pulled out a prescription bottle. "Alprazolam and Benzodiazepines."
"That's why you were on the roof?" Cameron asked gently, looking into Thirteen's eyes.
Thirteen slowly nodded. "Then I saw you."
Cameron reached up and stroked Thirteen's cheek then pulled her into a long embrace. Cameron was at a total loss for words.
A beeping sound broke them apart. They both checked their pagers.
"I'm sorry," Thirteen told Cameron.
Cameron smiled and quickly kissed Thirteen, "It's okay."
"I'll see you at lunch?" Thirteen asked.
Thirteen handed Cameron the prescription bottle, "Can you drop those by the pharmacy on you way back to the ER?"
"Of course," Cameron smiled and dropping the bottle into her pocket.
Thirteen gave her one last lingering look before slipping out the door. Cameron leaned back on the desk and wore a big, goofy smile. She loved the way she felt when she was around Thirteen or even thinking about her.
Cameron pushed off the desk and walked out the door to return the pills and go back to work.