Saturday, February 19, 2011

200 mgs Perspective: repeat as needed

Cindy Crawford has her mole. Angelina Jolie has her lips. Me? My trademark is phlegm. What can I say? All the good ones were taken.

For as long as I can remember, I've had a disgusting, rattly, wet cough and perpetual runny nose. I'm Hansel, but instead of crumbs, I leave a trail of dirty Kleenex. My husband is one lucky son of a bitch.

Well I finally got sick of being sick and went to the doctor. After putting it off several decades, you really wouldn't think I had any right to get impatient, but after about an hour in the waiting room, I did. After about an hour and a half in the waiting room, I started looking for the hidden camera. This is a big practice, with eight doctors and a legion of nurses, all holed up behind locked glass doors. I could see into the their mysterious land, but for some reason, they weren't letting me in. Over and over again, smiling nurses would come to the portal and call a name. But never my name, just the names of the other patients, the lucky patients. This happened no less than forty times. Without a shred of exaggeration, thirty patients who came in after me were taken back, treated, and released. While I waited. I am not making this up. I tried my best to keep my sense of humor, asking the receptionists if I'd done something to piss them off, or if I'd score some free drugs for my trouble. But all they could do was apologize and scratch their heads. An hour and forty-five minutes into my wait, I finally had the good sense to get up and walk out. I was only going to my car to see if my book was there, but they didn't know that, so it had a nice dramatic effect. So much so, in fact, that a receptionist chased me out and told me it was finally my turn. If only I'd gone for the book sooner.

Once inside, I was escorted to another room to continue waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Just as my blood pressure was topping out, I began to hear sounds penetrating the wall between me and the adjacent exam room. In the span of fifteen minutes, some poor invisible soul vomited more than I have in my entire lifetime. Loud, violent, horrific, gut-wrenching, intestine-ripping vomiting. I tried to figure out which one of those earlier "lucky" patients it might be. But I couldn't imagine who. Nobody out there even looked sick to me; they all just looked chosen, better off than me.

And right about then, sitting quietly in a chair for two hours didn't seem so terrible after all.


Jomama said...


susan said...

Several years ago I was in so much pain that I went to a chiropractor everyone had raved about. Same experience (minus the vomiting). I got excited when I was called into the examining room, only to wait...and wait.....I finally asked the nurse (who kept saying "just a few more minutes!") how long it would actually be and she told me an hour. At which point, like you, I made a dramatic exit. Except I'd left my driver's license at the front desk and had to go back and retrieve it. THAT hurt.