Monday, January 19, 2009

Doctor Time

Luckily I didn't have to work today, so I figured it would give me one more day to recuperate from my influenza. I seriously thought I should be better by now, so I was starting to worry about it over the weekend. For all I know, I could have pneumonia or something, and be on the verge of dying. Then again, it could be just a bad cold. How am I supposed to know? E listened to my chest as I breathed in and out, and said I didn't have a death rattle, but then I started to cough and couldn't stop. And nothing has stopped my sinuses from producing an endless flow of mucus. Sorry! But it's what I've been living with for a week now.

E has had a few sinus infections, so I asked her how I would know if that's what I had. She said that if I just never get better, then that's probably what it is. Also, all the descriptions of sinus infection on the internet seemed to match my symptoms. So, after a week of not getting better, I decided to find a doctor. But I've never seen a doctor here, and even though I have health insurance, the thought of searching through lists of doctors names and calling them all to see who could see me today made my head spin even more than it already was. I mean, who decided that sick people should go find the doctor? I think the doctor should come to me. I'm sick. I don't want to get out of bed, get dressed, get on a crowded bus or subway, trek through the snow on a freezing day to find a doctor, then wait in a waiting room full of germs, then have to go wait in line at a pharmacy for my medicine. I want the doctor to come to my bedside and cure me!

However, the nice thing about New York City is that there are pharmacies on every street corner, and a couple of them happen to have doctors in them. E told me about the Duane Reade Doctor Walk-In, where you just go, first come first serve, and see a doctor about whatever (non-emergency) problem you have. So I decided to go try it out. Luckily, they took my insurance! And although I did have to wait for about an hour, it was really easy. The doctor felt my sinuses, listened to my graphic descriptions of mucus, and prescribed an antibiotic for me. He said I don't have pneumonia, which is great, but my sinuses are no doubt infected, which is why they are performing on overdrive. The drugs were expensive, but at this point I just want to get better, and I have some baby-sitting money that I was saving for just such an emergency, so I'm really coming out even.

As I waited for my prescription to be filled, I stood at the second-floor window of the Duane Reade and watched fat snowflakes falling thickly on the gray city. It was a day to be curled up by a fire or laying on a tropical beach somewhere instead of sniffling in the candy aisle of a drug store. But illness is luck. We can't choose a lot of the things that happen to us, we just have to grin, bear it, and try to make the most of our situations. I'm thankful for my body, and for its general good health. I'm thankful (after listening to Radiolab) that I don't have a botfly in my head, or a terminal illness. I'm thankful for modern drugs and a job that provides me with insurance and money to live on. I'm pretty happy... but I'll be even happier when the mucus finally stops!

1 comment:

Jennster said...

You actually described the last virus that went around here! The Non-stop muscus express is what we were calling it! I spoke to a few blogger buddies on the phone at the high point of it and they could "hear" your graphic description!

Hope you have a speedy recovery! But don't forget to get some Zinc and first defense for the next creepy bug that comes up and maybe you can head off the sinus infection part!