Insensitive is a third season episode of House which first aired on February 13, 2007. House wants to treat a patient who doesn't feel pain, and may have his own agenda in order to treat his own pain.
A mother is driving her daughter,Hannah, to the hospital after she has fallen on the ice, but they get into an accident. The mother is unconscious, but the daughter is conscious and calls an ambulance. However, although she says she is all right, we see a piece of jagged metal sticking out of her leg.
Mother and daughter are taken to the emergency room at Princeton-Plainsboro. Foreman treats the daughter and House comes looking for him. House diagnoses the daughter with CIPA, a condition that makes the patient insensitive to pain, but she denies it. He tells Foreman to do a full work up. House has several reasons for thinking so, primarily that the patient didn't ask what CIPA was. To show he's right, he hits her with his cane and she doesn't react.
House asks Cuddy to work on the daughter. Cuddy feels that he only wants to work on her because she doesn't feel pain and he always does. He surmises Cuddy has a blind date. Cuddy allows him to do tests, but no nerve biopsy because of the risk of paralysis.
However, the patient resists being tested. They can't sedate her without her mother's permission, and the mother is still unconscious. House suggests breaking her arm if they have to - after all, it won't hurt her. The patient is demanding to see her mother when House comes in. They have a debate about who has it worse. While she tries to top him by showing her a burn mark on her posterior, he injects her with a sedative so she can be tested.
The tests show no problem, but as Cameron takes her temperature, she passes out. It turns out she has a fever of 105F.
They rule out an infection as a cause of the fever. House still wants to biopsy a spinal nerve. The team hopes that Cuddy will withhold permission. The team discusses how they should proceed, and Chase realizes that her lack of pain is what is preventing them from having a diagnostic clue. He suggests trying to stimulate her pain response until she feels something.
House finds Cuddy with her blind date to ask for the nerve biopsy. House starts giving the blind date the third degree, but he defends himself quite well. Cuddy gives permission for the biopsy.
They test the patient by having her stick her hand alternately in warm and hot water. However, she leaves her hand in the hot water too long and gets badly burned. The patient is more concerned about her mother's surgery. Next, they drill into her head. The patient discloses she's been arrested three times for fighting because she doesn't know when to stop. All of a sudden, the patient feels pain. They stop the procedure, but she runs out of the examination room.
Wilson confronts House about the nerve biopsy. He knows House wants to do it to treat his condition, not hers. Foreman runs in to tell House the patient wants to jump off the balcony railing. The patient loses her balance after complaining she has no feeling in her legs and falls off the railing 15 feet to the floor.
The patient survives with several broken bones and a concussion, but she feels fine. Her paranoia has disappeared, but her organ systems are failing. House still wants to do a nerve biopsy. Cameron thinks it might be a thyroid storm. House goes to Cuddy's house for a consult because she's an endocrinologist, even though there is a specialist on duty. He finds her with her date. Cuddy rules out thyroid storm. Cuddy asks if House likes her.
Cuddy goes back to her date, who is getting ready to leave. He is not leaving because of House, but because he is envious about Cuddy for liking and caring about what she does for a living.
The team is still resisting the nerve biopsy because of the risk of paralysis. Wilson hears about it, and once again confronts House on the theory he is trying to grow pain free nerves from his patient. He accuses House of risking his patient's life to improve his own. House tells the team to biopsy a less vital nerve.
Foreman and Cameron discuss relationships. Foreman notes that Cameron knew when she got married, it would only last a few months. He believes commitment is only important when it has no end date. However, he admits that people who avoid commitment know how important it is.
The nerve biopsy shows a systemic disease, not a nerve disease. Cameron goes to check on the patient's mother. However, House chases after her to get Cameron to help with the diagnosis. Cameron goes to take the patient to her mother, who has just come back to consciousness. The mother apologizes for getting into a car accident. The daughter apologizes for going on the ice and risking injury. The mother has to be taken back to surgery. Cameron notices the daughter is crying and has a terrible headache.
Unfortunately, the pain was emotional, not physical. House asks what condition can cause guilt, and points out B-12 deficiency can cause that. However, the patient has been given standard B-12 supplements after being admitted.
House goes to Wilson with the problem, and says if it isn't B-12, it is probably leukemia. While House is munching on Wilson's lunch, he goes to the patient who is about to be given nitrous oxide. House says the last time she got nitrous, she got the symptoms. House rushes her into an operating room. The patient is crying they are about to kill her, and House grabs a scalpel and starts into her abdomen. She screams, but House figures she is faking. House finds a huge tapeworm in her abdomen and removes it. The tapeworm was sucking out the B-12 as soon as she consumed it, causing her deficiency. Had she not had CIPA, she would have been in tremendous pain because of the tapeworm.
Foreman meets with his girlfriend and tells her he got her an interview for an important job. She realizes he wants to break up with her. He thinks she's angry, but she's upset because she cares about him.
Wilson tells House to ask her for the spinal nerve, but he points out she has no reason to give it to him. Wilson invites House to breakfast.
It's Valentine's Day, and Cameron asks Chase if he's interested in having sex with her on a "friends with benefits" basis because she figures she won't fall in love with him, and they have already had sex.
- Foreman's girlfriend, Wendy, makes another appearance.
- House gatecrashes Cuddy's date with a man named Eric (twice).
- Foreman and Wendy break up.
Needle in a Haystack