Sports Medicine (House)
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Keith Gordon|
|Original air date||February 22, 2005|
|Season 1 episodes|
|List of House episodes|
"Sports Medicine" is the twelfth episode of the first season of House, which premiered on the Fox network on February 22, 2005. When baseball star Hank Wiggen (possibly a reference to Henry Wiggen, the protagonist of sports novels The Southpaw and Bang the Drum Slowly) suddenly breaks his arm (a mid-pitch break similar to the one suffered by San Francisco Giants pitcher Dave Dravecky in 1989), he finds out he has a bizarre case of bone loss. House rejects all of Wiggen's denials of drugs and runs him through a battery of tests nonetheless. Movie director Bryan Singer, who is the executive producer of the series, appears in this episode as the person directing Hank in the anti-drug ad during the first scene.
A baseball player named Hank Wiggen shoots an anti-drug commercial but it is not going well. Hank is told to tell the story of his drug-addicted past. On the next take, Hank throws a pitch and his upper arm breaks. His comeback is over.
At the hospital, Wilson tells House that he thinks Hank has osteopenia and that his bones are too thin to be fixed. Since Hank is young, House and the team feel that an undiagnosed cancer is the cause. House notices that Hank put on 20 pounds after spending the previous season in a Japanese league. The doctors suspect steroids. Although the tests are negative, House believes steroids is the cause. He predicts and finds hypogonadism (shrunken testicles), which is a side effect of steroid use. House has them start Hank on Lupron. The medication causes respiratory failure, ruling out steroids once again. Chase suggests Addison's disease, but House thinks the kidney damage is due to past steroid use. House issues an ultimatum to Hank, causing him to admit that five years ago his coach gave him something to cause rapid weight gain, but that he didn't try to find out what it was.
Cuddy resists putting Hank on the transplant list without confirmation, leading Lola to offer to donate one of her kidneys. Tests reveal she is a match, but pregnant, meaning she can't donate. Hank resists Lola's suggestion of an abortion.
Hank's heart starts racing. His T waves have peaked and his potassium is up. Chase and Foreman give him insulin subcutaneously, D-50 glucose and kayexalate to treat hyperkalemia and get the potassium out. They think this will rule out both Addison's and steroids. House and Cameron arrive to find Hank's heart rate dropping precipitously. They have no idea what is afflicting Hank and they cannot stabilize his heart rate.
That night, House observes Hank and notices he is hallucinating. Wilson wonders whether it is digitalis, which would explain the heart rate fluctuation and this new symptom, but not the earlier ones. Hank is not even on digitalis. House pays a visit to Warner (Art LaFleur), the scout that discovered Hank and was on the set of the commercial. Warner tells House that he has a heart condition and treats it with digitalis. When he takes out the bottle to show it to House, he notices that it is almost empty, which is odd, as he just refilled his prescription a couple of days ago. House thinks Hank stole the pills and tried to kill himself with the drug.
Back at the hospital, House lays it out for Hank. He knows what he did and he is scheduling the transplant. Hank wants Lola to have the baby. Making his point, he spills some of his urine bag on House's pants. House will begin treating for Addison's, which will ruin the patient's kidney. House runs into Lola in the hallway and tells her about Hank. When he says Hank will probably die, Lola hugs him, and House tells her she should keep his baby. House wonders why she did not smell the urine that Hank splashed on him.
House tracks down his group. They eliminated environmental causes because they thought Lola was healthy, but she has not been able to smell anything for six months. The group should now consider this couple as a single patient. Their symptoms point to cadmium poisoning. Chase visits Hank to get another urine sample and asks what they should be looking for this time. Hank admits he is still using marijuana from the dealer he and Lola shared in Japan. She quit but he didn't. Chase points out that if there is cadmium in the soil, the marijuana can cause all of these symptoms. Chase puts Hank on treatment for cadmium poisoning. However, House writes on the medical report that it is Addison's disease so that Hank can avoid a drug ban from Major League Baseball.
During the episode, House manages to secure two $1,000 tickets to a monster truck show and wants Wilson to come with him. However, Wilson says that he has to speak at an oncology dinner the night of the show and cannot make it, so House asks Cameron (who has no idea what a monster truck is). During his conversation with Cameron, she reveals that Wilson had canceled his speech weeks ago. When he brings this up to Wilson, he admits he canceled to have dinner with Stacy Warner, House's ex-girlfriend. (In the episode, he just refers to her as "Stacy the constitutional lawyer," and a specific link between her and House, though hinted, is not made clear until the later episode "Three Stories".) Wilson offers to cancel the dinner, but House asks him to go through with it. At the end of the episode, House and Cameron are seen at the monster truck show enjoying themselves.
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- "Sports Medicine" at Fox.com
- "Sports Medicine" at the Internet Movie Database
- "Sports Medicine" at TV.com