It's getting harder and harder to find the medicine in Grey's Anatomy season 7. The doctor drama is getting thicker while time spent with patients takes a back burner, but episode 9 finally threw us a bone.
After two months of watching the residents run around like they're afraid of their own shadows and Cristina Yang quitting, Meredith Grey and Alex Karev are finally starting to act like the overconfident surgeons they were when this series started.
Finally, a reminder of why we started watching this show! I'm even beginning to like Dr. Stark, the evil new pediatric surgeon.
He's a jerk who doesn't seem to care about much more than his dinner reservations -- he took Meredith to town for calling him in to actually, gasp, look at a patient. She needed him -- all the other attendings are out at the bar drinking to celebrate McDreamy getting a major grant for some Alzheimer's research. But Stark lit a fire under her mamby pamby "oh, I'm so happy I'm married, but so depressed because my best friend isn't cutting people open anymore" behind and forced her to turn to Karev for help.
Go Meredith! Get angry!
The little boy Stark glanced at before heading back to eat some tiramisu had serious stomach pains, and his mom was a nurse. She wasn't letting Meredith off easy, and now she was mad enough to do something. After running a host of tests to make sure she had her bases covered (in case she did have to call Stark in again), Meredith realized he had a perforated ulcer. Karev's advice? Call Stark, but don't wait.
These ulcers can get tricky. Surgery for standard peptic ulcers -- painful sores in the lining of the stomach or first part of the small intestine -- has largely been abandoned. But an untreated ulcer can burn through the wall of the stomach. That's the "perforation," and it will allow digestive juices and food out of the stomach and into the abdominal cavity.
It causes extreme pain and has been rumored to have killed people like Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien and famous spy Philip Agee.
Letting the kid's stomach contents continue to leak out into the abdominal cavity would be like watching his slow death. Kind of the way we've all felt watching the residents fall away from medicine and into their soap opera.
It's a medical drama, people, we needed them to care about medicine again! Cut to the operating room, where Grey and Karev find the perforation, fix the kid, all while the nurses continue to call Stark over ... and over ... with no response.
When he finally shows up post-op, he's raving at the residents for opening up a patient without his say so while Chief Webber smiles from outside the room. He should probably fire Stark, but he knows he's getting his residents back. He's happy. They're happy.
Now, a two-week break for Thanksgiving. And we'll see if Cristina Yang will return to the fold. But at least there's finally real surgery back in Seattle Grace.
Image via ABC