Hi, all. I was watching the irritating, but entertaining hosptial drama "House" on tv last night, and it spent a good amount of time focusing on this patient that possibly had lupus nephritis. It turned out by the end of the show that the guy didn't have lupus, but as they tried to diagnose his strange symptoms, a whole lot of information was given about what happens to someone who having a severe lupus flare with skin, lung, CNS, and kidney involvement. It was pretty horrid, but they always overdo things on tv. But then again, I have heard some wild stories of what can happen from posts on this board, too. I was riveted to the tv for the entire show, as this patient was the main topic being addressed. Just an fyi, folks. Bye!
Well, one reason I find this show "House" irritating, but yet entertaining is that the namesake of the show, one Dr. House, is this abrasive, unsympathetic doctor whose only job seems to be supervising this team of doctors that try to diagnose the weirdest of the weird cases. It just seems to me that the writers of the show go over the top with the diagnoses, making them so strange, yet in the end so simple.
Back to the question... it turned out the man who they thought had lupus was being poisoned by his wife with a gold compound that is used to treat arthritis. The gold stuff used to be widely used in the United States decades ago, but is no longer in use here, so nobody even thought it was a possibility. The deal was, the wife got a supply of it while she and the husband were in Mexico, where it is still in use and widely available. They did keep coming back to the trip to Mexico, since the husband fell ill soon after their return, but at first they thought it was some sort of heavy metal poisoning from some pottery the couple picked up while in Mexico. (Hey, didn't I read in Dr. Wallace's book that there is a gold compound that has been used to treat lupus, too?)
They were able to catch the wife "purple-handed" once they figured out she must be the source of the poison. Those who handle this gold compound get a residue of it on their hands and when this comes in contact with certain other chemicals, it turns a bright purple, like the color you would get on your hands from the old mimeograph copiers. (Remember those? I do.) The good Dr. House simply wet his hands with the other chemical, walked up to the woman and shook her hand, and there she stood, her fingers all purple. Gotcha!