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> "it's Never Lupus!" What's Your Differential Diagnosis Of House?
chachaheels
post Mar 24 2007, 08:19 PM
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Oh, no, I am familiar with Oliver Sachs--but I was thinking the bias on House was way more "TV writer" generated than Sachs-generated.


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mouse
post Mar 24 2007, 11:53 AM
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well to be fair in sacks' and in house's version what's halted is the deterioration of the brain...the women continue in the heightened state they've reached, without any of the further grave effects and actual debilitating brain damage that syphilis would cause. i do agree with all your points but i don't think it was really treated that way. sure, the love letter was a little over the top, but she has been a bit brain damaged and that's exactly the kind of thing a thirteen year old girl with hormones raging might do. house actually treats her pretty kindly (for him)--rather than saying "you're too old for me and it's ugly", he says that he doesn't think brain damage is something to base a relationship on, and he jokes, in his mean dry way, that she's doomed to a life of pleasure from now on.

i don't know if you're familiar with oliver sacks--i would imagine you would be, but your post makes me think you might not be--but all of his writing is true. it's not a metaphor for stifling women's sensuality, it's a neurobiological rarity.

i do agree with you about disease phobia needing to be overturned, though---while i would prefer myself to go without ever getting any diseases, it would be nice if we stopped making pariahs of those who do have them.


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chachaheels
post Mar 24 2007, 07:41 AM
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That's probably my favourite episode of them all, Mouse. I get a sinful pleasure out of the way syphilis actually opens life up for this woman...the idea that a disease is something that may, in fact, play a kind of healing role in itself rather than being something terrifying to us all (there is a big pornography about this kind of disease phobia out there, and I like to see that shit overturned wherever possible).

The episode makes me think of all the old feminist ideas too: the way the world sees a woman who undergoes the kind of transformation that's brought about by the disease in the episode...well, it's telling. We just can't deal with a lady who's been undemanding and unaware for so long suddenly realizing how rich a sensuous life can be. Now she wants pleasure in her life--sex, sense, experience, sensuous existence. And that's terrifying, in a world where all the older ladies should just be nice grey grandmas with a set purpose and a benign and complacent lack of desire for any sensual interaction. God forbid a woman should want sex for the sake of sex alone--especially if we can't pigeon hole her into the whore category cause she looks so sweet.

So we give her a disgusting illness like syphilis, and load her "awakening" with all the ugliness that disease attaches to the new person she's become. And then have everyone scramble to make sure they can halt that awakening ASAP.


But maybe I read too much into this kind of stuff.


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mouse
post Mar 23 2007, 09:34 PM
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dude!! this was a rerun but i'm absolutely tickled pink that they stole a story from oliver sacks!!! the episode with the old woman who starts getting all horny and appreciating music and colors and whatnot more and it turns out she has syphilis--is stolen almost verbatim from oliver sacks' "the man who mistook his wife for a hat"! thinking about it, though, i'm suprised they haven't used sacks' books for more storylines.


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chachaheels
post Jan 10 2007, 09:05 PM
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I'm a little peeved at the writers of the show just because there are a ton of the dropped story lines, suspend-your-disbelief phenomena (sure, everyone knows there's a perjury but no one in that court cares enough to do anything about it...yet House is charged with "contempt of court"...?

They have a great looking star, lots of sturmunddrang, and the thrill of a detective story...and then they slack off about the rest.


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mouse
post Jan 10 2007, 12:01 PM
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ok ok ok.......whaaaaat? i only caught the last half of this episode but seriously.....what? i did not expect any of that. possibly my least favorite episode? all that fuss about the tritter storyline and then to just drop it like that......and the perjury....not quite believable. especially the way it was IMMEDIATELY dropped and not investigated further, though it was obviously suspicious.

though i didn't really believe house was taking the rehab seriously.

oh, i'm so confused.

but maybe that's a good thing.


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chachaheels
post Jan 9 2007, 09:30 PM
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I'm not sure he has a lot of power (he routinely sabotages his own power, like one of those people who has to create conflict in order to feel motivated)--but he does have a lot of license. Anyway I just watched his PRISON episode and Cuddy perjured herself to save his ass, so now House is in for it.

I have always thought prison to be a good place for House. House Goes to the Big House. Kill me now.

Yes, it would be true that he'd be something of a MarySue if all he did was pleasantly and compassionately interact with his coworkers and treat his patients with the utmost respect and civility...but I'm sure some happy medium could have been found.

Anyway, Holmes' reasoning is deductive, which isn't really the way I'd define "genius" (deductive reasoning amounts to being able to make lucky, though often educated, guesses). House is too; he's really just skilled at the trial, error, observation technique (which is why his patients have to almost die every episode before the educated guesses get closer and closer to what's really going on).

He sure is cute, though.


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doodlebug
post Jan 9 2007, 06:26 PM
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Honestly, there are so many doctors - mostly male doctors - who do act like they are little genius-gods who rule the universe, that House isn't really a big stretch. I think his flaws are what makes him interesting instead of just hateful. He is a flawed person, and they show him as that. It would suck if he became like a perfectly recovered Ebeneezer Scrooge or something within the first few seasons (that would be like if they gave Ugly Betty a makeover in episode 1x06...and then what next?)...instead they show him struggling with many of his demons.

Plus, I love some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth. He inspires me to say what's on my mind more often! biggrin.gif

Sherlock Holmes was quite a bit the same way. Okay, he wasn't a doctor. But he was arrogant and had a diamond-brilliant mind. He had a serious injection cocaine addiction. He was a loner. He was probably manic-depressive. He was really bad with people, possibly a misanthrope of sorts, although he could turn on the charm at will, if it served his needs. He felt that extraneous conversation and socializing often got in the way and were a waste of time - he felt he had More Important Things to Do, but he was often blind (or just uncaring) as to how he made people uncomfortable by cutting to the chase. He also just plain didn't have patience with civilities he thought were pointless. And he had zero patience for stupidity and people who exhibited morally-corrupt base motives. At the same time, he was a very open-minded person who didn't pass the same kind of judgements that were passed around in "regular" (Victorian/Edwardian) society. He not infrequently acted as a judge within his own "higher law," letting people escape legal persecution after committing crimes he believed were moral or justifiable. He could see through anyone's false fronts. And he treated everyone equally, whether they were a king or an impoverished lady or a shopkeeper or a street urchin. Holmes was a deeply, deeply flawed character, but a fascinating one, with a great deal of humanity underneath it all, and it's no surprise that people are still reading the stories and still making movies about him...and stealing his personality full-scale for a TV show about a doctor!


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mavin
post Jan 9 2007, 05:34 PM
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chacha- i definitely agree that House, or a person like him, would need to stay away from the patient to be any help. I think that is why he has a good team under him. I am always amused when House goes in to see a patient and they are all, "who are yoooou?"

It is weird that he is the best doctor that hospital has. He has so much power there. Makes you wonder if some of it isn't his genius. Does he have blackmail pics of Cuddy??
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bunnyb
post Jan 9 2007, 08:41 AM
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Hehe, everytime I see my avatar now I'm going to think of Hugh! mmmm.

House is a genius, which is why he has his own team and such a renowned position and, yes, he is an asshat but I think it is a good representation of the flaws and vulberability of a talented individual and that success isn't everything.


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chachaheels
post Jan 9 2007, 05:36 AM
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Well, Mavin, it's possible that someone like House could help a patient...as long as he stay as far away from that patient (interaction, touch, whatever) at all times; and is possible restrained from having access to the patient. Just my opinion. I'm also not certain that all there is to it is "solving the puzzle". People aren't just puzzles, and they aren't just a disease that has to have a name to be curable. And doctors have to have a sense of this, or they'll be exactly what you describe: House without the cuteness. And fired.

And I think an addiciton is going to muddle a thought here and there. Perhaps dislocate a priority or two. You know.

What does it say about the other docs if an addle-pated, self-centred, lame, and transgressive guy who can come up with the names of rare diseases in a pinch is the *star* of the entire medical system?

For now, suspend disbelief and chant "Cute but psychotic. It all evens out" and think of Hugh.


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bunnyb
post Jan 9 2007, 04:11 AM
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Jesse Spencer (Chase) and Jennifer Morrison (Cameron) are engaged! Awww.


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mavin
post Jan 8 2007, 08:35 PM
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Mmm... House. I have been in love with Hugh Laurie since I first saw "Blackadder" on the telly. Mmmm... wub.gif

Is it also weird that I love that he is addicted to Vicodin, my drug of choice? (No, I don't abuse it, I take it as needed for a chronic pain condition, but still!) Altho, all this addiction stuff on the show really nags at me. If he is in serious pain all the time, what does it hurt to let him be addicted? He isn't going to resort to stupid stuff if his dr (who should be giving it to him) prescribes it...

Chacha- I think it is completely plausible that House would be of help to the patient. He doesn't care about the individual, just the puzzle. It helps to distance yourself in a hospital setting anyway. I don't think of each person when I am making their meds up at work. I think of them by their admission numbers. Mean, but honest. So many coworkers get upset when patients die and they never even knew them.

And besides, I had this one dr who was totally uninterested in my problems until he couldn't explain what was wrong with me. So House, without the cuteness. I also didn't like his techniques and didn't go back. If he had looked like House, mmmmm...

OK, stopping now. Waiting for tomorrow night.
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chachaheels
post Jan 4 2007, 04:57 AM
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Ha!!

If you're in Hamilton, however, you can get your patient to spring for some quickie diagnostic testing in Buffalo, however. The patients would all have to be extremely wealthy and loaded with transportation options in the Canada version.

For me, the whole "House" premise falls apart on the fact that there's no way such a demeaningly transgressive and violently egocentric "doctor" could be of any help to a patient: he has NO respect for them as living animals, let alone people. I'd never want anyone like that to come anywhere near me even if I were near death. He's a great example of what never to do.


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chani
post Jan 3 2007, 08:06 PM
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Hubby and I find House very entertaining! We know doctors like that - you'd never want to be their patient unless you were really, REALLY sick and then you'd just pray to wind up on their roster.
When I trained with a particularly good example (whose nickname was "keep 'em alive clive"), the answer was also never lupus . In Hamilton Ontario if you didn't know what it was, it was Sarcoidosis. Someone was making jokes about a House episode based in Canada where he demands a spinal tap, but we can't do it for a week because there are no beds and the MRI takes 6 months and we can't give that medication because it hasn't gotten funding approval from OHIP.
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chachaheels
post Jan 3 2007, 05:54 PM
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Doodle, did you catch the similarity in their addresses too? The House/Holmes parallel is no accident. But I never hated Holmes quite as much.

I used to read the recaps on TWoP in the first season, and I loved it when they called his underlings "the Cottages".


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bunnyb
post Jan 3 2007, 05:32 PM
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I forgot Cynthia Nixon's role!

House as Holmes - I love it! I knew there was a reason I loved reading the books ... and vice versa.

He's a lovable asshole. Maybe cos he vexes us so but we want to "save him" (we're all Camerons rolleyes.gif ). I so identify with treehugger: wishing we could say the things he does. It's true, there's no bullshit from House, he says it like he sees it ALL the time and we all wish we could sometimes. He is so incredibly non-PC that it's hilarious because it goes so far beyond all boundaries and he breaks all the rules...

The last ep was interesting as he actually hurt Cuddy with his wounding words about motherhood whereas any other time she knew he was never completely serious.


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mouse
post Jan 3 2007, 05:17 PM
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you know, i kind of feel like the idea house is based on--brilliant doctor, fearsome addict asshole, everyone begrudgingly in awe of him--should be totally old by now. we SHOULD be bored to tears. but somehow, we're......so not.

also, i looooved cynthia nixon's turn as the munchausen patient.


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treehugger
post Jan 3 2007, 05:03 PM
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The Tritter storyline is way annoying, but I'm betting they're setting it up for some delicious House negotiations. I'm thinking Tritter's going to come up ill with some weird disease that only House can diagnose....and of course, he will be completely evil about it......

"oh, you MIGHT have lupus....we need to give you a spinal tap to find out...but first of all, you have to sign THIS....."

Or maybe House leads him to believe he's going to die and it's really something stupid non life threatening.

I am sure Tritter pays in the end. I bet he gets sick from his nicotine gum, or something.

Oh, and yes. I like the character of House. But I'm sort of twisted. He never ceases to amaze me with the things that come out of his mouth, and I find myself wishing I could be like that.


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doodlebug
post Jan 3 2007, 04:20 PM
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Oh, grooooooaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnn.....

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