I’m slowly but surely working my way through the Netflix library.  I like to find old tv series, things I can enjoy without skipping ahead on shows I’m watching with BrightSide, and keep them in my queue for those days when fun is in short supply.  Like laundry day.  I find folding umpteen loads of clothes remarkably depressing, but add some tv while I’m doing it and I’m good to go.

So far I’ve relived all of Scandal, Madam Secretary, Private Practice, The West Wing, White Collar, and Lie to Me.  There are other shows on there I bounce in and out of – Law & Order or The Blacklist are always good for an interesting episode – but these others are binge worthy series.  Ones that are ideal for back-to-back time killers and perfectly portioned for folding a load of clothes (or five).

Right now BrightSide and I are trucking our way through NCIS (and, as a bonus, it turns out we missed a lot of those early episodes so they’re new to us), but my daytime binge worthy series at the moment is House.  Now there’s a show that’s just as funny the second time around.

If you’re a fan of sarcasm or suspenseful medical dramas I sincerely hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy this series.  It excels in both categories.  The main character of Dr. Gregory House is played by Hugh Laurie, an actor I was shocked to learn is actually English. (You know, as in English English.  He has such a convincing American accent on the show that I never would have guessed it!)

At any rate, I do love the characters, but I think the show’s premise is what draws me in.  Each episode is a medical mystery to solve – Dr. House’s team specializes in patients that present with bizarre symptoms or seemingly unsolvable illnesses.  It’s neat to watch the process of evaluating symptoms, diagnosing possible causes, then dealing with ensuing medical crises.

Wow, I look at that paragraph and it just seems…pathetic.  But whatever.  I love the show.

One detail that’s been a kick, though, is that it seems like there’s always a point in each show when sarcoidosis is floated as a possible medical condition.  It’s like an inverse drinking game (you know, if one was prone to doing Jello shots while folding tons of laundry).  Listen closely to the rapid fire patient evaluations – echovirus 11, rabies, liver cancer, cushing’s, leprosy, echinococcosis, malaria, bubonic plague, lyme disease, sarcoidosis – SARCOIDOSIS!!  Drink!!!

Of course, this only works as a drinking game for those interested in doing a single shot since it’s typically one of those throwaway suggestions when the doctors can’t figure out what else could be wrong.  (Interestingly, there was an episode in season five when the actual diagnosis WAS sarcoidosis.  I’m no spoiler, though…you’ll have to watch the series to find it.)

After a certain number of episodes one might feel drawn to find out more about this sarcoidosis…what condition could possibly be the root cause of so many dire illnesses that traipse across the screen?  Well, I was curious anyway, so whether you are or not here’s what I found.

Sarcoidosis is a disease in which inflammatory cells form in various organs, providing a nice wide net for potential patients.  Apparently some people with sarcoidosis don’t have any symptoms at all, but if symptoms occur they’re generic and highly variable based on the organ affected.  Also, it’s a difficult disease to diagnose, providing ample opportunity for X-rays, biopsies, or CT scans (always interesting tests on a tv show).

So I totally get now why sarcoidosis (SARCOIDOSIS!!  Drink!!!) is such a popular option while brainstorming potential diagnoses on House.  So open-ended.  So versatile.

Cool.

And there’s your random bit of knowledge for today.  Sarcoidosis.  The disease that potentially fits nearly all situations.

Have you got a binge worthy show to share?  Or your own random piece of medical trivia?  I believe we should open up comments to both options today…