Here’s a riddle for you:
What’s more fun than taking one of your sick children with you to your doctor’s appointment?
The answer: Taking BOTH your sick children with you to your doctor’s appointment.
December. It conjures up so many happy and fun images. I think it’s because your brain tries to trick you into forgetting all the sicknesses that hit you around this time of year. You just remember Christmas, trees and lights, presents and hot apple cider, Christmas cards that make you wistful and nostalgic, caloric goodies like cakes and pies…but those are just some of December’s offerings.
It all started a few weeks ago. One day, sitting at my desk, I had a thought: hmm, my nose feels funny. And I went back to my work, typing something uber important like facebook statuses and blog posts. Just kidding… mostly.
Then my children began to show signs of The Sick. I crammed vitamin C down their throats and made them nap on perfectly good Saturdays, hoping to stave off impending sickness.
It just didn’t work. Both my daughters have strep, Addie’s version including a lovely red rash which makes her strep more like scarlet fever. But they are now being medicated and are doing much better.
I, however, was not.
Monday, I arrived at work, dragging my professionally clad self to my desk where I sat much of the day with my chin propped in my hand, desperately wishing I could go home and get drunk on Nyquil. At one point in the day, I had to leave for a meeting with a lady who sends me work for child support stuff. It was kind of an important meeting as it would be addressing my role in some upcoming changes, so you know, it was sort of a given that I would need to pay strict attention. Most of that meeting I tried not to look as dizzy as I felt. I stared at the typed agenda she had prepared and heard words filter through my mucus saturated mind…Blah blah blah Defendant blah blah blah child support orders blah blah blah jail time blah blah blah Kearsie blah blah blah. I would blearily look up, nod, clear my yucky throat that felt like I was swallowing lava and attempt to make important sounding comments. I think I tricked them, because no one seemed to noticed I was half dead.
Back at the office, I realized I just needed to go ahead and see a doctor. Which meant finding one that takes our insurance. Which meant lots of brain cells being stretched to their feeble max. Finally I found a doctor, called their office, only to discover I couldn’t be seen until today. I might have whimpered out loud, I don’t remember, but I agreed to it and hung up.
Enter today, where my children had to go with me because they are still contagious and can’t be around other petri dishes, aka children. Although, the rate they are bickering tells me they feel better from their antibiotics.
When you are sick, small details that skip your mind when you are healthy are like giant banners. Like, at the doctor’s office, knowing that as a new patient you will have to fill out a packet of information nigh unto an inquisition and the office clerk would much rather exchange witty banter with the lady who came in to get her prescriptions changed from one CVS pharmacy to another than to just hand over the new patient papers. That grabs your attention. I tried to restrain myself from reaching across the counter and grabbing the clerk’s scrub top and shaking her while screaming, “Give me the durn paperwork, woman!” Or how when you are standing there turning them in and the lady who wants her meds changed over is loudly declaring to the office what idiots must work here and she turns to YOU and asks if you think they’re idiots…that gets your attention. I’m not sure what tactic I would have used if I was mentally 100% but today, I chose the “I am ignoring you, possible mental patient lady” tactic and stared straight ahead.
They took my weight, my blood pressure, my temperature and swabbed my throat, all the while Addie is in entertainment mode. Although, bless her little blond heart, she doesn’t realize what she says is so dad-gummed funny, she’s just being herself. I’m telling you, that kid is going to make me rich. We finally get into the tiny exam room, where my girls have to sit side by side on a small chair and I sit on an uncomfortable stool. But, thankfully, these were smart doctors and they had installed TVs in the rooms and the nurse handed me a remote to find cartoons for the girls. We sit and watch Clifford the Big Red Dog and converse on how there are no big dogs, nor red ones either, and isn’t that so silly. All the while, I am trying to just swallow without showing visible pain.
The doctor comes in, takes one whiff of the aroma that comes off us and tells me that she smells strep. Which, I have to say is very impressive. Maybe she is sniffing something else on the side, but if she gets me magic pills to make the pain go away, I really don’t care what she sniffs. She pronounces me as another victim of strep, writes a prescription and sends me on my way.
I herd the children to the car, drive to Walmart, infecting people left and right, which I totally could care less about at this point, and turn in my prescription at the pharmacy. I’m told it will take 30 minutes, at which I whimper out loud but nod in understanding and shuffle my children off to the books, where we infect several dozen books but keeps them silent and busy.
Here I sit, medicated, still having trouble swallowing but feeling better if only mentally.
Here’s hoping that you, too, are having a mentally healthy day.