Monday, November 10, 2008

A sick body is a prison...

There has been a revolving door of illness in my household over the last couple of weeks. Once one malady ends another begins. I suppose the moral of the story is: If you yawn around a sick baby, he will sneeze directly into your mouth. Keep alert.

Yesterday, I finally went to see a doctor. I don't really have much of a primary care provider and the office I normally go to was closed (as the voice on their outgoing message was so pleased to tell me. Why do they have to sound so judgy?). So, I opted to go to one of those privatized Starbucks urgent care centers.

I walked in from the newly descended winter weather, and the place was almost deserted. I'm not sure what I expected. It's not as though it was Cook County Hospital at 2am on a Saturday morning, with an ER full of accidental stabbings or Tylenol PM over doses. It was a dreary Sunday morning, and the two women behind the desk appeared more than a little peevy that I was interrupting "The Omen" on FX.

I sat with the paperwork the scrubbed blond had handed me, the satanic music from the second rate remake filled the room.

The area was awash in greys and blues and burnt umber. I stared off for a second. "This room is exactly what the brain feels like when the body is sick. Bored, doing only as much as it has to. Waiting."

Illness not only slows the body, but it dulls the mind. The last two weeks have been a real struggle to get anywhere, like my brain is in a car with fogged up windows. Words don't come easily. Connections don't get made. The brain, in the driver's seat, just curses to itself, wiping the damp from the windows with its sleeve in the hopes it won't run up on an embankment or into another car.

About an hour later, I was sent home with a prescription for antibiotics and the cold comfort diagnosis of "It's probably just a virus...Here's the prescription just in case. Sorry." The doctor was nice enough, but just like everyone else there, he was merely a part of the franchise. The Health Barista.

I'm feeling a bit better today. I am cautiously optimistic about my recovery...Until then, my brain will chug along in its beat up '77 VW, with an AM radio, narrowly missing a light pole or stop sign. If you see me coming, tell your brain to drive carefully.

And don't let babies sneeze in your mouth.

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