Part 19: Episode 4-1: Money TalksThis is the single episode I named the thread for. I hope you enjoy it.
This is Mr. McHale. His hands are shaped suspiciously like feet.
Valerie: Well, yes.
McHale: Can you please take a look at my son? He's been complaining about a terrible stomach pain!
Valerie: You brought him here? We don't accept emergencies or walk-ins.
McHale: I heard this hospital is famous! And it's so big! There must be someone who can help.
Valerie: Well, there's no point arguing about it. I'll take a look at him. What's your son's name?
McHale: Oliver. Oliver McHale.
Episode 4-1: Money Talks
Markus: He's throwing a fit because his operation isn't expensive enough.
Valerie: Are you serious?
Markus: Yeah. His friend just had a hernia operation that cost $40k, and he doesn't want to be outdone. He's 11 years old, and filling the role of a trust fund brat perfectly. I guess it wasn't enough for him that his father pulled some strings to get him into this place. He's the son of some big shot, and neither of his parents have the time to bring him here.
Valerie: So, how much are we charging him?
Markus: About $30k. The operation will be performed in a deluxe suite. Not bad for a case of appendicitis, huh?
Valerie: What a coincidence! I'm seeing a boy with the same condition.
Elena: Excuse me, Dr. Blaylock. I have a message from accounting… They say to transport your new patient somewhere else. It seems the family can't afford the treatment. Since Caduceus isn't normally open to the public, they don't know how to treat situations like this.
Too bad this government-funded hospital doesn't have government-funded health care.
Valerie: How much is it going to cost?
Elena: Well, the family doesn't have health insurance, so at least $10,000.
Valerie: But transporting him now will put his life at risk.
We'll move to plan B, then: die quickly.
Markus: Unfortunately, money talks… Even when it comes to health care.
Elena: What do you think? Should I have him transferred?
Valerie: It's a tough decision… Markus, have you given your patient his bill yet?
Valerie: About your hospital bill… the total will be $30,000.
Chandler: I can't lose to someone like Jimmy! His dad is just the president of some little company! I want a premium upgrade! Bring in, like, ten doctors!
Valerie: I'm afraid we can't do that, but there might be something else we can do. If you'd like to make a donation, we can increase your bill. How does $10,000 sound? That would bring it up to $40,000.
Chandler: But that's the same as Jimmy's! That's still not high enough! I'm way richer than he is!
Valerie: Well, we could add $2000 more and make it $42,000.
Chandler: Well, I guess that's okay. My daddy gives me whatever I- Owwww! My tummy hurts! Hurry up and fix it!
Markus: We have the best room reserved for you, so let's get started.
Valerie: Well then, the donation will be transferred from the hospital to the Oliver McHale fund. Elena, prep for surgery. We have two appendixes to remove.
Thus, the moral of the story is that Reaganomics work.
Incidentally, how the hell is Scrooge McDuck worth less than Richie Rich? Forbes is written by idiots.
The appendix, a tube with one end closed hanging off your colon, is more specifically called the vermiform appendix. It tends to get infected, and is not thought to have any function in the human body, so it can be safely removed. The most common disease of the appendix is appendicitis, in which the appendix becomes inflamed, as is the case in this operation.
So basically, we're cutting it out. Easy stuff.
Markus: Pretty sneaky, Val. I'm impressed.
Valerie: It still counts as a donation, so it's not going to cause us any problems, right?
Markus: It'll be fine. It's in both their best interests, anyway.
Elena: Well, let's begin the conference.
Elena: The first patient, Chandler, has acute appendicitis. It appears to be in its early stages, so the operation should be fairly routine. The second patient, Oliver, seems to have the same condition, but in an advanced state. It looks like he's been trying to hide his symptoms.
So why aren't we treating him first? Because video games have a difficulty curve. That means you have to do the harder parts later, even if it makes no logical sense.
Markus: This is going to be two operations back-to-back, so let's be quick.
It's only fair that the one who secured the funding do the operation. Or is that UNfair? Either way.
This operation has two parts, with the first being a tutorial on the procedure, and the second being a more difficult version.
Step 1: Inject the sedative. You'll need more than one syringe.
Step 2: Scalpel. Easy to understand.
Step 3: Tying two wires around the appendix. The instructions are a little difficult to understand here, but all you need to do is hold A and move the pointer away from the organ until you get an OK.
Step 4: Excise and remove the appendix, and seal the wound with a patch. With that done, you can move to the real operation.
Valerie: What's his condition?
Elena: He complained of severe pain, then went into shock!
Markus: Don't tell me… his appendix has burst!
Peritonitis is the inflammation of the peritoneum, which lines this part of the abdominal cavity. It can be caused by the appendix bursting.
So, the appendix still needs to be removed. Until it is, pus will form, and inflammation will form from the pus. There is a bonus for time, and for number of pus pools formed. Since pus and inflammation take time to deal with, these two requirements are linked. Markus has the easiest time here, since you can use his Touch right away and get rid of the appendix quickly. My strategy for Valerie is a little different, and I didn't get the requirements this time.
Some strategies hold in either case. Raise vitals before going in and go for the appendix before anything else, only draining the pus you need to. This is a little harder than it seems, because you can't do any wire-tying or cutting if there is any pus touching any part of the appendix, regardless if that part has anything to do with where you're working.
Pus will stop forming as soon as you remove the appendix. At least, the game tells you it does. In reality, it seems to keep forming until you actually place and gel the patch. I wasted a bit of time learning that in this run. I like to use Val's Touch here, since the existing inflammations will drop vitals quickly, and you're probably low by now. With this, you don't need to spend as much time raising vitals while trying to fix everything.
Just deal with everything and it's over. Elena remarks that it's lucky the kid didn't wait any longer to get treatment, although it's also true that he'd be even more lucky if we'd treated him first.
Markus: I never thought such a simple operation could put me on edge like this.
Valerie: I think we all learned something from this operation.
I needed more than 3:20 on the clock, and under 15 pus pools. There are a number of places where improvements could be made, but using Markus is the most sensible start. Of course, if you're an even bigger completionist than me, you'll want to do it with both doctors.
This is actually amazingly good for having missed that much bonus.
McHale: But I thought this hospital didn't treat normal patients.
Valerie: Well, it was an emergency, so this was a special case. Thankfully, an anonymous donor paid for your treatment fees.
As well as $2000 extra. I wonder where that went.
McHale: I can't believe how fortunate we are! The donor must be an angel!
Valerie: Yes, well… please so to getting your son health insurance so he can get the medical help he needs.
McHale: Ok, I-I will. Thanks again.
Oops! Turns out it's either that or eat.
Valerie: You're welcome. Take care, now.
Elena: You're very good with children, Dr. Blaylock.
Valerie: Thanks. I did some volunteer work for an orphanage. …How about you, Markus? Who were the lucky beneficiaries of your time?
Markus: I… didn't do any volunteer work.
Valerie: Really? I thought that was a requirement for all doctors.
Next time: road trip!