i'm telling you, this blog is quickly become all about how shitty my immune system is and how irritated i am with it. after the poop debacle, i caught something else. it started in my lungs and i thought it was bronchitis because i am very good at catching bronchitis, but DAMN the coughing was something else. i went to see the doctor and he was smug and annoying and told me that basically i was a big baby and he'd prescribe something but that he'd be judging me the whole time he did. needless to say, i just continued feeling like shit for another two weeks, until i woke up with a major ear ache. most of the time, when i get an ear ache i just spend some time with a heating pad and some cups of tea and it goes away. this got worse, and was unlike any ear ache i'd had. instead of a dull, throbbing pain that slowly built to an agonizing crescendo, this one felt like someone was randomly stabbing my eardrum with a knife, sometimes over and over, sometimes not for five minutes, then boom! i never knew when it was coming, and it hurt so bad i spent most of time with one side of my face screwed up like popeye. i kept apologizing for looking insane. no amount of heating pad or ibuprofen did anything for it, and finally after spending a whole day at work plugged into a phone and a heating pad and with five cups of tea in varying stages of hotness surrounding me, i went to the urgent care clinic.
the thing about urgent care clinics is that they don't give a shit about you. they don't have to. you aren't at risk of dying, if you were you'd be at an emergency room. they know you probably have a "real" doctor out there that can't see you, or no insurance. they know you're probably a bit annoyed and out of sorts, but you aren't going to become a regular. overall, they have a casual disinterest in you as a person. it's nothing personal, it's just that you know going into an urgent care clinic that the doctor doesn't have any vested interest in you, and that you are a symptom that needs some relief. it's a weird situation, but i know when i go see an urgent care doctor, i'm just looking for something to make me feel better right this second. which is why i was so surprised to hear the doctor say to me, "i think you've had pertussis."
yeah. i had the whooping cough. the whole time my doctor was shrugging me off and making me feel like a retard for (gasp!) seeking medical help for feeling like shit, i was actually sick with something pretty contagious and heinous. i didn't stay home or take care of myself because i felt like such a dope for asking for help only to be told i sounded "fine," i completely ignored my own gut feeling because i'm not-so-secretly worried about being a hypochondriac, and the whole time i'm coughing hard enough to shake loose a filling. i coughed hard enough to pee myself a little. (again! with the bathroom talk!) i kept my whole family up nights with the hacking. i probably gave it to the boychik, who came down with a fever and a beautiful, hacking cough like his stepmom's. i know i exposed the nice lady who sits in front of me at work, and guess what? she's pregnant, making her at kind of a high risk of the whoop being deadly to her and her spawn. then, because the whoop had been left untreated, i got a nice, old-fashioned inner ear infection. that's why the heating pad didn't work, it was way down deep in that ear that was sick. awesome!
this nice doctor at a clinic i thought would give me some pain pills or antibiotics and send me on my way actually took some time to talk to me, did some tests, and told me i really needed to take some time off work. she offered to write me a goddamn note for work if i needed it. she explained what i could expect (three more weeks of coughing!) and what to look out for, and told me she was sorry i'd been sick for so long. she was nice. i felt like a dick for thinking she would treat me like a number, and angry that my own doctor made $97 just by being an asshole. i vacillate between being annoyed with him, and for being annoyed with myself for not sticking up for myself. my ear still hurts too, which is the dickness. i'm getting better though, and if anything, i learned a lesson. you need to listen to your body sometimes, even if it does have a habit of being a jerk. hypochondriacs get sick for real too!