The Stint: Act I; Scenes 2 & 3


The Stint

Act I

Scene 2


Ambulance falls away and hospital walls are put into place.

Gemma’s bed has not moved. As the Nurse and Gemma talk,

the walls of an individual hospital room start to take shape.

Phone notifications and text messages are shown in the right

column of the script in bold. Phone notifications and text messages

appear on the projected screen stage left for the audience.


NURSE 1:

Is she pregnant?


EMT:

No..I don’t think so.


NURSE 1:

Date of her last period?


EMT:

Thursday. Not sure which one. But she’s in some really bad pain. Passed out and everything.


NURSE 1:

[Looks over glasses at Gemma] If she’s not pregnant, this isn’t an emergency. Just put her in room nine.


Nurse walks over to Gemma, who is lying on

her side, curled up and moaning.


NURSE 1:

Date of your last period?


GEMMA:

[Groans] Are women just supposed to always know that off the top of their heads?!


NURSE 1:

Two weeks ago? Three?


GEMMA:

I know it was a doozy. I remember thinking I was pregnant just a few days before it.


NURSE 1:

Are you pregnant?


GEMMA:

Who knows.


NURSE 1:

M’am.


GEMMA:

No. I’m not. I just had my period.


NURSE 1:

When?


GEMMA:

Sometime.


NURSE 1:

We are going to get you to a room soon, but I need to take some medical information from you.


GEMMA:

I just filled out a stack of forms in the ambulance. Can you get the information off of there?


NURSE 1:

Afraid not. Those are ambulance forms. I need to fill out emergency room forms. Can I see a photo ID and your insurance card?


The hospital room is now fully assembled.


ER DOCTOR:

Hello Gemma. Hope you don’t mind but I’ve got medical attendees with me to observe us.


In walk 10 doctors who form a horseshoe around

Gemma’s bed facing the audience.


GEMMA:

Do I have a choice?


ER DOCTOR:

Of course not. So, tell me about your pain. Where are you on a scale of 1 to 10?


GEMMA:

Solid 10. I’m in agony.


ER DOCTOR:

Describe what happened.


GEMMA:

Again?


ER DOCTOR:

Excuse me?


GEMMA:

I’ve already told the EMT and the nurse who saw me twenty seconds before you came in. Do you all not talk?


ER DOCTOR:

Not if we can help it. I need to hear it from you.


GEMMA:

Intense pain when I woke up this morning. Threw up a lot. Passed out. Now I’m here and

my side is on fire.


ER DOCTOR:

Would you call it a cramp or a shooting pain?


GEMMA:

Both? I dunno. I think I’m dying.


ER DOCTOR:

You probably aren’t. Give me more details on the pain.


GEMMA:

It’s up high on my back and down low in my crotch. At first I thought I needed to poop.

But then I went to the bathroom and there was blood.

ER DOCTOR:

Your period?


GEMMA:

No. I just had my period.


ER DOCTOR:

When?


GEMMA:

Before.


ER DOCTOR:

Pain, blood, passed out. Anything else?


GEMMA:

That’s the long and short of it.


ER DOCTOR:

I suspect you have a kidney stone.


GEMMA:

What? No, no. I drink so much water. I pee 70 times a day. No way.


ER DOCTOR:

Lay flat on your back.


Gemma lies flat while doctor presses hard on

her stomach. Exaggeratedly hard. Punching,

shaking, pounding. Gemma cries out.


ER DOCTOR:

Oh, does that hurt?


GEMMA:

YES! Oh my god why are you doing that?!


ER DOCTOR:

Just double checking. [turns to address medical students] Relatively healthy 35-year-old mother with possible kidney stones. Low pain tolerance.


GEMMA:

I wouldn’t say low...


ER DOCTOR:

Any surgical history?


GEMMA:

Hip replacement. 20 years ago. Left side.


ER DOCTOR:

Wow. As a teenager? Why?


GEMMA:

I was in a very bad car accident as a child. Killed my hip.


ER DOCTOR:

It happens. Anything else?


GEMMA:

Gallbladder removal. Doctor said my pregnancy caused the gallstones.


ER DOCTOR:

It can do that. Did you birth your kids vaginally?


GEMMA:

Yeah, but it wasn’t pretty.


ER DOCTOR:

Never is. Any other medical issues?


GEMMA:

Low thyroid.


ER DOCTOR:

Being treated for it?


GEMMA:

Yes. I take synthroid every morning. You know, when I remember. Also, um, generalized anxiety disorder.


ER DOCTOR:

And you have a diagnosis from a doctor about the anxiety?


NYT BREAKING NEWS:

Michael Cohen to testify

in public hearing this

morning.


GEMMA:

Yes. Although he said it could also just be motherhood. Either way, I take something for

it. [pauses] Oh, and vitamins.


ER DOCTOR:

A multivitamin?


GEMMA:

Actually, it’s several. I follow Alec Baldwin’s wife on Instagram and she recommended this company that does customized vitamin packs on a subscription basis.


ER DOCTOR:

Do you know what’s in your customized pack?


GEMMA:

Not really. But I also take a vitamin C chewable every day so I don’t get all the colds and junk from my kids. Lately I’ve been taking a lot more because I knew I’d be flying.


ER DOCTOR:

Do you know the brand of the vitamin C tabs?


GEMMA:

Uh, Trader Joe’s?


ER DOCTOR:

[Addressing doctors] We are going to send her for a CT Scan. [Turns to address Gemma

again] We’re sending you for a CT and you absolutely cannot be pregnant for that.


GEMMA:

Ok. I don’t think I am, but I don’t know.


ER DOCTOR:

You think you might be?


GEMMA:

I have a working uterus and two working ovaries. I have a husband who I can’t keep

my hands off of. But he’s had a vasectomy.


ER DOCTOR:

If he’s had a vasectomy, why would you think you could be pregnant?


GEMMA:

You've clearly not Googled horror stories about vasectomies that reversed themselves.


ER DOCTOR:

How long ago did he have it?


GEMMA:

Five years.


ER DOCTOR:

Seeing anyone outside of marriage?


GEMMA:

God no.


ER DOCTOR:

You’re probably fine then.


GEMMA:

Is “fine” good enough for a CT scan?


ER DOCTOR:

Yep. [Addresses circle of doctors] Alright, we’re done here. Radiology will deal with her and then she’ll probably get passed to urology. See? ER is the way to go. We get paid to defer and refer.


Group of doctors laugh and file out of the

room. Nurse enters room.


NURSE 2:

I can tell you’re in pain.


GEMMA:

I’ve been saying that for an hour.


NURSE 2:

We tell pain not by what a patient says is pain, but by how they act.


GEMMA:

Oh? [doubled over, labored breathing] How am I acting?


NURSE 2:

Like you’re in a lot of pain.


GEMMA:

And can you do something about it?


NURSE 2:

Of course. I’ll get the meds now. But also, have you contacted your family?


GEMMA:

[Looks at phone. Text illuminates on screen, still unanswered] Yes. Waiting to hear back from my husband. I only have 14% battery.


GEMMA: In an ambulance.

Not sure what’s going on.

Passed out in class.

Millie’s leotard for gymnastics

is on the stairs.


NURSE 2:

I’ll get pain meds in you and then we can wheel you out to the waiting room where we have a complimentary charging station.


GEMMA:

But I don’t have a charger. I passed out in a classroom and was taken with only what I had on me!


iPhone:

Low Battery


NURSE 2:

Oh, that is a dilemma. [Nurse leaves the room]


JOHN:

Just got out of meeting.

Calling now.


GEMMA:

No I don’t have

enough ba


Phone rings.

JOHN calling

GEMMA:

Hi.


JOHN (off):

Okay Gemma, give me facts. How much pain are you in?


GEMMA:

I don’t even [sob] have [sob] a phone charger.


JOHN (off):

What has the doctor said?


GEMMA:

K-k-k-k-idney stones. The pain...it’s worse than it was in labor.


JOHN (off):

I’m checking flights now.


GEMMA:

No...I’m going to be out of here today. I’m waiting on the nurse to give me pain meds, then I’ll go for the scan and then they will release me and I’ll be able to go back to class and make my flight home tomorrow.


JOHN (off):

Gemma, you might need surgery.


GEMMA:

No. [pauses]. NO. They never mentioned that.


JOHN (off):

Ok, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to call your parents—


GEMMA:

NO! There’s no need. Seriously. The pain is bad but nothing like this morning. So I’m

probably on the mend.


JOHN (off):

Gemma. You are thousands of miles away and in a hospital!


GEMMA:

My battery is too low [sobs], I’ll have to call you back when I have more charge.


JOHN (off):

Do you have a charger?


DAVE: Are you okay?!

Everyone in class is

freaking out and

Prof Mallory won’t tell

us what’s going on.

Give us an update!


GEMMA:

[sobbing wildly] No...


JOHN (off):

Can you text a classmate to bring you one? Or ask a nurse for hers?


GEMMA:

Yes, yes, I’ll try all that. But for now I have to conserve. Love you [hangs up phone before he can respond]


Nurse enters with exaggeratedly large

syringe. Gemma is thrashing, crying,

hysterical.


NURSE 2:

Ok, we’re going to get you feeling better. I’m going to get your IV going and this

medicine is going to get you relief.


A quiet moment while nurse inserts IV. Gemma

still thrashing but keeping her arm still

for the nurse. Nurse stands, pulls up big

syringe and flicks it with her fingers and

then injects it into the IV line.


GEMMA:

Ooo...ahh...I feel...shiny.


NURSE 2:

It’s the good stuff.


GEMMA:

[giggling] That ER doctor was a bitch.


NURSE 2:

Yeah.


GEMMA:

Wow...look at the ceiling! It’s all the way up there.


NURSE 2:

That’s the meds talking.


GEMMA:

You’re pretty.


NURSE 2:

Thank you. [Lifts a clear plastic cup] I need you to get up and pee in this.


GEMMA:

[giggling] Pee....


NURSE 2:

Gemma, I need you to focus.


GEMMA:

Okay, okay. Will you come with me?


NURSE 2:

I think it’s safe to say you can’t be alone. Man, you really took to those meds.


GEMMA:

Now, I haven’t waxed or trimmed or shaved. So don’t you go judging.


NURSE 2:

I’ve seen worse than whatever you’ve got going on down there.


GEMMA:

The Amazon!


NURSE 1:

[Puts down the side of Gemma’s bed and Gemma rises up to be helped] Ok, go slow, you’re

loopy as hell.


Lights dim.




Act I

Scene 3


When they rise again, Gemma’s bed is in

front of a large round ring—the CT scan. The

technician stands beside Gemma.


TECHNICIAN:

I hear you’re from out of town.


GEMMA:

Oklahoma!


TECHNICIAN:

Wow. Bet you didn’t expect to be in the hospital while traveling.


GEMMA:

Nope! [giggles] But then I didn’t expect to be in the hospital while home either.


TECHNICIAN:

Good point. So Gemma, we can’t give you a CT scan if you are pregnant. Are you pregnant?


GEMMA:

The working theory is...no.


TECHNICIAN:

Date of your last period?


GEMMA:

Earlier this month?


TECHNICIAN:

Are you telling me...or asking me?


GEMMA:

Your call!


TECHNICIAN:

Ok, are you completely naked under the gown?


GEMMA:

Nope!


TECHNICIAN:

Bra?


GEMMA:

Yes, but it’s got no metal. No plastic.


TECHNICIAN:

I need to see it. Just to be sure.


GEMMA:

[Dramatically rips open front of gown revealing a high coverage bra that is beige

and has large straps.]


TECHNICIAN:

Damn! That thing looks comfortable!


GEMMA:

You have no idea. I love this thing. It looks like scuba gear doesn’t it?


TECHNICIAN:

It’s just so...I don’t know. I’ve never seen anything like it.


GEMMA:

It was advertised to me on Instagram.


TECHNICIAN:

I want to try it! I mean, we’re practically built the same.


GEMMA:

Ooo..would we say that?


TECHNICIAN:

Let me get a pen and have you write down the brand for me.


GEMMA:

[claps] Sure!


Gemma writes on a pad of paper while Technician

continues to inspect Gemma’s bra.


GEMMA:

Here you go! [hands over paper and pen] I also have a discount code. But it’s in my email....


TECHNICIAN:

I’ll write down my email for you! You can send it to me later.


GEMMA:

Deal!


TECHNICIAN:

Ok. I need you to roll onto your stomach.


GEMMA:

[Rolling over] Boy I am just feeling no pain.


TECHNICIAN:

Drugs can do that for a person. Now, hold your breath while I take the image. [Walks behind partition with small window looking out on Gemma]


GEMMA:

How long?


TECHNICIAN:

[Walks around partition] No, Gemma, you talked while you should have been holding. Hold your breath now. [Gets behind partition]


GEMMA:

Now?


TECHNICIAN:

[Walks around partition] Gemma. You keep messing up the image while talking. I’m going to say “hold your breath.” When I do, hold it. Then I’ll tell you when you can breathe again. Ok. Hold your breath.


GEMMA:

[Giggling] Can I still breathe through my nose?


TECHNICIAN:

[Yelling] HOLD YOUR BREATH!


GEMMA:

[Dramatically inflates her cheeks]


TECHNICIAN:

[Walks out from partition] Alright, Mama. We got it. I see from the image you’re no stranger to the OR.


GEMMA:

I’ve had so much surgery!


TECHNICIAN:

Yeah...a full hip replacement? What’s the story there?


GEMMA:

One of extreme trauma! [thrusts her pointer finger in the air]


TECHNICIAN:

I assumed. But you seem to be okay now.


GEMMA:

Well yeah, these meds make all the badness fade away.


TECHNICIAN:

I know you’re scared Gemma...


GEMMA:

Well sure. I’m in a hospital when I should be in class. I’m in New York when I should be in Oklahoma. I’m away from my family when I should be with them. I’m in pain when I shouldn’t be. I mean, well, technically I’m in no pain right now, which is good, but also confusing. If I feel this good, I shouldn’t be in a hospital.


TECHNICIAN:

That’s the thing about pain meds though. They work so well you don’t realize how bad

a shape you are in. You’re right where you need to be, Love.


GEMMA:

I know I’m in pretty bad shape. When I peed in a cup earlier it looked like creek water. Brown as mud. That’s not good.


TECHNICIAN:

No m’am. That’s not what you want to see come out of your body.


GEMMA:

[sighs] Now what?


TECHNICIAN:

I’m going to wheel you back to your room. You’ll wait there for the results. I’ll send

your images down to radiology and they will see what’s going on. This is a great

hospital. You’re in good hands.


GEMMA:

Thank you. Don’t forget to give me your email so I can send you the discount code

for the bra. It’s like 20% off or something.


TECHNICIAN:

Oh yeah! [Moves to find pen and paper]


Lights dim.




ACT I, SCENE I

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