Case History[edit | edit source]
While treating her husband Brian, Dr. House’s team stumbled upon Nina, who was hiding in their home. She and Brian were both diagnosed with Q fever and were given doxycycline. Although Brian improved rapidly, Nina soon developed heart problems which developed into a heart attack. The Q fever seemed to be ruled out as it would cause congestive heart failure, not a myocardial infarction. Dr. House thought that the heart failure and hoarding may be caused by the same thing. Dr. Taub wanted to do an MRI. However, Dr. Foreman though it might be exposure to hydrogen sulfide. It caused heart problems as well as the other symptoms that pointed to Q fever. Dr. House ordered them to return to the house to test for it. Dr. Foreman assigned Ms. Masters and Dr. Chase to go back to the house.
The MRI was clean. At that house, Ms. Masters insisted that there had to be some inciting psychological incident that set off the hoarding. Ms. Masters found an old yearbook that showed Nina was a cheerleader - popular, beautiful and gregarious. The test for hydrogen sulphide showed minimal levels. Dr. Chase left Ms. Masters to go through the hoard.
However, Ms. Masters’ digging paid off. She traced the oldest hoard to the bedroom, then the bedroom closet. At the bottom of the closet were unused baby clothes. She asked the patient and her husband about it. They admitted they wanted kids, but were infertile.
Ms. Masters called Dr. House to tell him about the infertility. She wanted to run a full hormone panel on Nina. However, Dr. House reminded her the problem could be with the husband. Suddenly, the team heard the voice of Dr. Hadley, who was with Dr. House in his car. She reminded the team that the problem may not be infertility, but the inability of Nina to carry a pregnancy to full term. The team realized that Dr. Hadley was talking about Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, as it also causes miscarriages. Ms. Masters went to speak to Nina who admitted that she had been pregnant three times, but miscarried on all three occasions. The miscarriages triggered the hoarding, which made her sick as well. Ehlers-Danlos could be managed with treatment of symptoms, but Ms. Masters said that she would need a psychiatrist to deal with her hoarding.