I am never sick– at least not in a viral sort of way. Moan and groan — I have the crud. It must be the coronavirus. I’m going to die! Don’t touch me! I’m contagious! I wore a mask, I stayed home, I did everything right. Just my dumb luck. Some people go out to eat, go on vacations, party with friends and yet I’m the one that gets sick. Life is not fair!
It happened pretty quickly. One evening my throat started getting sore. It hurt all night. By morning it was a sure thing. My head felt like a boom box, and my throat was a roaring fireplace. Nothing helped, not Tylenol, not Hall’s menthol cough drops, not salt water gargles, none of the usual home remedies.
I figured if I was sick enough to die, I was sick enough to go to the doctor. Of course, you can’t see a doctor when you are sick. You have to have an appointment and by the time he can see you, you are no longer sick.
So … enter Convenience Clinic. Yes, the one on the corner down near where Walmart used to be. The Convenience Clinic had real doctors in its former days. Now clinics have nurses playing doctor. And they are everywhere, mini clinics even in drug stores. I guess real doctors don’t want to waste their time treating sneezes and runny noses.
At this point I was not particular. I just wanted to see someone medical. I must say, the nurse practitioner was very thorough and professional. It didn’t really take a doctor to swab my throat and take my temperature. I think she actually checked me out better than the doctor usually does.
And if it is something really bad, the clinic will refer me to the emergency room saying they are not equipped for serious problems. Bad as I felt, I didn’t need an ER yet. I was shocked when they told me I had strep throat. I’ve never had strep throat in my entire life, never. But I have it now.
“So, how long will I be contagious?” I asked.
“Forty-eight hours after you start taking the antibiotics,” she replied.
“Then it isn’t the coronovirus?”
“No, you do not have the right symptoms, but we will do a test anyhow.”
“So, I guess I am not going to die after all.”
I didn’t want to make everyone else sick for Christmas. I got my antibiotics and went home to be stranded for 48 hours unless my test comes back positive. I suddenly remembered how I had put off my Christmas shopping until the last minute. This is why you shouldn’t do that, I thought, after it was too late.
I declared war on germs and got out my bottle of Lysol. I cleaned anything that hands touch, doorknobs, light switches, telephones, you name it. Strep is caused by bacteria, not a virus, you get it out of the air, just by being close to someone who sneezes or coughs. I don’t know where I got it. But a sore throat is not what I wanted for Christmas. Still, it could have been worse, much worse.
My time is almost up. Three more hours and I won’t be contagious any more. I can go shopping. Thing is, I’m too sick. The crud has gone to my head and I can’t breathe. And my stomach is acting up. I feel worse instead of better. I think I’ll go back to bed.
Santa came early at my house, and if this is my present, I must have been really naughty this year. On the other hand, at least he didn’t bring me the coronovirus.
Copyright 2010 Sheila Moss