In honor of the impending flu season, today I bring you an unpublished blog I wrote a couple years ago when I had fallen victim to its clutches. I had spent days on the couch and was going a little insane and wanted to make myself laugh.
I hope you can all escape the snot and chills that come a threatenin’ this time of year, but if you do find yourself swaddled in a blanket for multiple days at a time, stay strong!
I have the flu and I’ve been sitting in my dad’s recliner since Monday afternoon.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m someone that doesn’t like to go to the doctor and will try to avoid it at all costs. Some might say it’s because I hate the doctor, others might say it’s because I have severe commitment issues and will only go unless I completely trust them, which is rare.
A few years back, I found a good one. She was funny, smart, and talked about kayaking when she gave me my first pap. It was true love. Then she left me. Something about “wanting to start a family.” I call it selfishness, and I’m still not over it. COME BACK TO ME, ALICIA.
Wednesday evening, after I had successfully spent two straight days in the aforementioned recliner, I decided that I might as well go to the doctor. A 102 fever, a nasty cough, waterfalls of snot, and a splitting headache. I was the picture of glamour and sex appeal.
My mom and I strolled into Urgent Care at precisely 8:45 pm. It closed at 9, so we were met with more than a few annoyed glances but a helping hand nonetheless. I walked up to the counter, signed in, and turned to find the closest seat. I was exhausted. I had after all, just walked 100 feet from the car.
“Miss Koehn, will you be able to provide us with some samples for this test. It’s an annual test and it appears as though it’s been 2 years since you last completed it.”
I couldn’t breathe, I looked like shit, and a raindrop of snot was working its way through my nose and onto my face; could there be a better time to test me for Chlamydia?
I was then escorted to a room where a nurse asked me to list my symptoms.
“Persistent fever, wheezing, a cough, and sinus congestion.”
I said this, realizing that 1) both my ears had popped, a phenomenon I had not experienced for 72 straight hours and, 2) I hadn’t coughed or wheezed since I’d been there.
She took my temperature.
“Listen lady, I. AM. SICK. I promise you. I’m not being dramatic, I’m not faking it to get out of work, and contrary to what your coworker might think, I didn’t drive all the way down here just to get tested for an STD.” I told her all of this with my mind of course. Speaking would involve a lot of breathing, and that was exhausting.
Luckily, a doctor still came. He looked me in the eye and shook my hand, my germ ridden hand, skin to skin. (Respect, man.) He reviewed my vitals and listened to me breathe deeply in and out, roughly 1000 times.
Since my fever had reached 102, he ordered a chest X-ray to check for pneumonia. A nurse escorted me through three doors and led me down a hallway to Radiology. There I found a man sitting behind a desk watching Survivor, his waiting room completely empty. He led me through two more doors and directed me down another hallway to the women’s changing room. After stripping down and then robing up, I waited patiently on a cold seat until an elderly Hispanic man took me to the X-ray room.
After snapping a few pictures, he led me back to the changing room and told me to go back the way I came to the doctor. I waved to Survivor man and then found the Chlamydia nurse who led me back to my original room where the doctor was waiting.
He prescribed me the good stuff, saying it wasn’t pneumonia, but it had potential. So, I hopped in the elevator, made my way to the pharmacy and took a seat in a squeaky leather chair, waiting for my name to pop up on the marquee.
There was a janitor sweeping the hallway, and every few seconds I heard a door shut and lock. That’s when I realized I had no idea where my mom was. And maybe it was the snot or all the walking, but suddenly I imagined the worst. My mom, a notoriously good napper, had obviously drifted off in one of the waiting rooms while reading her Kindle. She had left her phone in the car so she didn’t hear me calling and the only janitor with a key to the room she slept in had left for the day. We would spend the night here, me in this chair in the pharmacy that smelled like Pepto Bismol, and my mom unknowingly trapped behind one of the seemingly hundreds of forest green doors.
I wouldn’t go down without a fight.
I glanced down the hallway and decided a door looked familiar. After knocking a few times to no response, the janitor sauntered over to me and pointed to the next door over. Then, in a Kevin Costner, Field of Dreams esque tone, he said: “If you knock, someone will come.” Chills ran down my spine, either from awe or the second wind of my fever. I nodded in thanks and then he vanished into thin air. (Just kidding, though he did move fast.)
In the end, my mom was saved, I got a goodie bag of drugs, and I didn’t have Chlamydia. I’ll take the wins where I can get ’em.