Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Going to the doctor's with a cold is like looking out the driver's window into the sunglassed-eyes of a cop.
I just hate it.
I know from the get-go that he's (yes, I know there are female doctors, he's just easier, otherwise you're into that whole awkward he's/she's her/him crap that gave me the heebie jeebies in high school) going to listen to my chest and tell me, "It's a virus. I'm not giving you antibiotics. So go away."
It always happens to me.
Whenever I get sick my mom says, "Get to the doctor," and I'm, like, I'd rather drink a quart of cleaning fluid. When I was really sick after Christmas I needed more time in bed but my boss sorta asked me for a doctor's note for HR and the thought of going to a doctor drove me to work faster than flying phlegm.
I've been sick since Christmas Eve. This is seriously the worst cold I've ever had. But I toughed it out and was starting to feel better – until yesterday when I started feeling worse again.
Today I have a fever and everything aches and I'm coughing up a lung and it feels like a fat troll is sitting on my Vick's-coated chest.
Which makes me mad.
I'm like, furious at myself. "I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M GETTING SICKER!" ARRGGGGHHHHH!
I was so mad that I decided enough was enough and went to the walk-in clinic.
Right away, I'm on the defensive.
I'm talking to the receptionist behind the desk and I picture her in a cop cruiser putting on its lights in my rear-view mirror.
"Breaker 1-0. Warning to Dr. Daabak: there's a suspicious-looking 50-year-old white female with a shiny red purse headed your way. She may be seeking antibiotics. I repeat, she's a drug mule."
After wasting an hour of my life reading old magazines, I am ushered into the inner sanctum of the doctor's office.
Strangely, I hardly cough.
It's like when your car is making a strange noise and when you take it to the mechanic it shuts up.
I try to hork up a bit of phlegm just to make it sound good.
The doctor rushes in, wearing a nice watch and nicer cologne.
"So?" he says.
I imagine him in those reflective sunglasses, a motorcycle cop helmet on his head. I give him my spiel, tell him how sick I've been. He listens to my chest and I know it's clear. Yes, it was wheezing this morning but now it's christly clear. He looks in one ear, but not the other. And he doesn't even look down my throat.
I want to tell him, "Geez, I brushed my teeth for you and everything."
It's all in his hands now.
He sits down on his chair and looks torn.
He's like the cop trying to decide if I'm gonna get a ticket.
"Well," he says, "you don't have pnemonia  pmenomia pneumonia."
"That's good," I say.
"Have you considered that this might be a new virus on top of the old one?" he looks at me like I'm a drug addict trying to get antibiotics so I can snort them as soon as I get back in my Neon.
Or maybe use them like a suppository.
I look at him blankly.
"I don't know," I sigh. "All I know is I feel like crap and it's getting worse. I. Am. So. Tired. Sometimes when I cough I almost pass out."
He says, "Well, if it's a new virus, antibiotics won't help."
He looks at me. "Do you smoke?" he says accusingly.
"Did you get a flu shot?"
"Yes," I said. Wanting to add, "a fat lot of good that did, eh?"
He stares at me again, deciding, deciding.
It's all in his hands.
The power.
His pen hovers over the script pad.
He stares at me some more.
Am I going to get a ticket? Am I going to lose points? Am I going to be able to snort penicillin in a few minutes?
He sighs and scribbles something down on the paper, then hands it to me like it's something dirty.
"I don't know," he says, still sighing.
But I don't care about his angst.
"Thanks, doc!" I say and launch out of that room waving the script in my hand like I just won a lottery.
When I cross through reception and head towards the exit I feel like yelling, "START THE CAR! START THE CAR! START THE CAR!"


  1. Weird.... usually I find Doctors can't wait to toss some kind of prescription at you. I find they're kind like drug pushers... where it's like normally you don't really need anything but they give it to you anyway for the extra money they make because they get a cut from the pharmacy that you buy it from.

    But maybe that's only with the fancier drugs that Pharmaceutical Companies get Doctors to push by offering free "Information seminars"(aka vacations) to the tropics to find out about their new super awesome drug, that no longer has the "Chance of death" side effect and now just causes "anal leakage" which if it happens you may as well just wish you were dead anyway!

    However... Congrats on getting what you need and having a Doc that isn't big on pushing the drugs!

    Get Well Soon Mrs. Webster!

  2. Really? See, I NEVER get the pill-pushing doctors. I ALWAYS get the hymie doctors. Where do you find the pill-pushers? Where? Where? (I need my next fix)

  3. You hit on a sore spot of mine Cathy. In February of 2010, I came down with a horrendous sore throat. I couldn't eat, sleep or swallow easily. It was the most painful thing I'd ever felt. Doctor 1 did a strep test and when it was negative he sent me away saying it was a virus. Doctor 2 (after 48 hrs of it getting worse)did another one. Negative - no drugs. By day 4 I was running a 105 degree fever and so dehydrated I had to go to the ER. They pumped me full of IV fluids and Doctor 3 said my throat was the worst she'd ever seen. She prescribed Vicodin for the pain so I could drink and sleep but refused to give me antibiotics. The next day I was jaundiced and went back to the hospital. Doctor 4 assessed me like I was a new patient and said "has anyone considered this might be a really bad lower sinus infection and not a throat infection at all? Finally, antibiotics. I was better in 48 hours but had liver damage from too many pain killers over the course of the illness. It took until August of 2010 for all of the symptoms of the liver damage to go away. So, yes, I think they are WAY too strict about the antibiotics. I know the whole resistance thing is a bad deal but the alternative if they are wrong is worse.

  4. Aw Gen, I'm sorry to hear it. To think you could have lost your liver, and possibly your lift, because doctors wouldn't give you antibiotics. It's crazy. I'm glad to hear you're feeling better, though.
    (Yeah, they'll give you highly addictive painkillers but not antibiotics... so stupid.)

  5. That is a solid month of being sick! I'm glad you finally scored with your pharmacy connection. I'd never thought of cop/doc thing before but you are right. I think I'd rather get the ticket than visit the doc. Get better soon!

  6. This reminded me a little of your story that I read in audio. I felt a little sorry for them/you all - wanted to tuck you in and give you that lifetime supply of cough syrup you were asking for on Twitter.

  7. I hope you are starting to feel better. its been painfully dull without your chuckles and laughter on all the days you have been ill. There is nothing more frustrating than going to your doctor feeling like you are on deaths door and the symptoms miraculously disappear. When my son Eli was little, not even two yet, he was suffered a terribly bout of croup. We drove all the way to Huntsville, (I was living in Kearney at the time) at 2 in the morning. The doctor laid him down and listened to his chest, looked in his ears and eyes and did note that there was a fever as I recall he gave us the all clear and as I picked Eli up to go he started the cough that had sent me to the hospital in a panic inn the wee hours of the morning. I looked in the direction the doctor had left by to see he had spun around and was coming back. He listened again and could see now that my son was fighting to breath. He was in a tent in short order. and we spent two days with my sleeping in a chair beside his bed. It is scary how many stories are out there of people being sent home after they have been assured they are fine. Only to die a day or two later.
    YOU know how you feel. NEVER feel it is your imagination and who gives a rats ass what the doctor thinks about you. They are human and not infallible. I firmly believe that there is nothing wrong with going to see your doctor, Cripes.. we have lived long enough in our own bodies to know when something is not right. I know there are people out there who have this need for the attention or for some psychological reason think they have everything going around, and I know you are not one of them. I have been worried about you.
    I am glad you went and that he gave you something for it. Feel well soon

  8. Oh, I wish I could rush over with some homemade soup. I hope that virus hits the road soon. Feel better.

  9. oops!! you'd think I was illiterate when I look at my typos and grammar or lack of it. NOT.... or not much anyway

  10. I've never seen that commercial. HILarious! As was your post.

    I don't know what's going on because I've had the sicko virus since Christmas, too. Mine is just like a mucky cold that won't leave, but worse is this dry cough. I. Cannot. Get. Rid. Of. This. Thing. I sleep with a cough drop in my mouth.

    I hope you feel better soon.

    And flying phlegm? I have a seriously awful story about that, believe it or not with me being the victim of some of that nasty. But we won't talk about such things.

  11. Thanks for your kind comments on my post about the passing of my sweet Jackson!

  12. I'm so with you on doctors...
    Everyone asks me if I've gone to the Dr. What for? It's a virus. I never get a pill pusher, even if I'm half-dead.
    I hope you're feeling better by now!

  13. Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa (ninjiom-hk.cwahi.net) may be another choice. i know alot of people use it, its also non alcoholic, though it's effectiveness is not as good as alcohol based cough medicine, but it's still good to use on not so serious sore throat.

  14. I’ve tried all sorts of coughing syrups, believe me, but none of them helps. Even though Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa www.geocities.jp/ninjiom_hong_kong/index_e.htm does not eliminates the cough I like to stick to this chinese syrup I’ve been taking since I was a kid: Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa. My grandfather is chinese, so I guess my mom got the advice from him. I was really surprised when I found that chinese market selling it here in Belgium. It does have a refreshing, soothing, sweetening effect…as long as it lasts…then back to coughing mode.


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