|Photo courtesy: The Roche Group/Tamiflu|
You see the guy in the bed? He’s got the chills and the floor is littered with used Kleenex. There’s nothing little about being sick.
Welcome to my world. I feel like death warmed over. I got sick some time during the night on Thursday. I woke up with the crud, a low-grade fever and achy all over. I called out sick.
I wallowed in the bed until I couldn’t wallow anymore and moved to the den and wallowed on the sofa. I didn’t have an appetite so I ate very little on Friday. When I woke up Saturday morning I had a full-blown case of the ickies.
This is the weekend before Christmas. It was Saturday and my only option for seeing a doctor was to visit the Urgent Care Center.
I spent roughly three hours waiting to be seen. Meanwhile, an endless parade of the great unwashed streamed through the waiting room. After they registered at the desk, they took a seat near me hacking and wheezing and spewing cooties everywhere.
One guy, that I am not ashamed to describe as a pig, never once covered his mouth when he hocked up a loogie or sneezed. In my disgust, I walked up to the registration window and plucked a mask out of the box and put it on. I stared at the guy for a long time hoping he would sense my outrage. I’m not sure, but I think I muttered under my breath the words, “What a pig!”
After an eternity, the door opened and a nurse called my name. We went into one of the examination rooms and I whined about how gawd-awful I felt. She took my vitals and my temp and walked out saying the doctor would be in soon to see me.
Shortly I heard a gentle rapping on the door and the doctor came in. She asked me what I was there for. I chose to visit the Urgent Care Center at the hospital where my lung specialist and cardiologist are located. My decision was based on the fact that they would have access to my health records. Surely, I thought, seeing my health records would make this part of the process easier. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I answered her question. She decided to have a nurse take a swab of my nose to determine whether I had the flu stating that even though I had my flu shot in September that another strain may have jumped on me.
The nurse who came in was very nice at first glance. She reached into one of the drawers and took out one of those swabs with the long stick, unwrapped it and walked over to my left side. She implored me to be very still. The nurse who looked gentle when I first laid eyes on her turned out to be a variation of Nurse Ratched or Frau Blücher because she jammed that Q-Tip with the long stick up my nose all the way up to my brains. She left the room saying it would be about 10 minutes before the results would be known.
The doctor came back into the room and announced that the results were negative. She did not prescribe any medication. She handed me a record of the office visit upon which she wrote:
“You have a URI, likely viral. Continue your chronic medications as prescribed. Your flu test was negative; I commend you for having your annual flu shot. You may return to work if no fever. Push fluids, frequent hand washing or hand sanitizer. Mucinex may help your symptoms. Follow up at ER or here if not improving, worsening or otherwise concerned.”
I shuffled out of the room, down the hall, out the door, into the parking lot and then hopped in my car. I decided to stop by the grocery store and buy a boatload of Progresso Reduced Sodium Chicken Noodle Soup.
Everybody knows chicken soup is Jewish penicillin; a magical elixir. I thought, “It vouldn’t hoit.”
There's no such thing as too much chicken soup, unless you're a chicken. Maybe I’ll even start speaking in Yiddish just for shits and giggles.
Have a great weekend. Buy stock in Kleenex cuz I’m going through ‘em like water.