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
"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.
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.
I GOT THE DRUGS, I GOT THE DRUGS, I GOT THE DRUGS!!!!
"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!"