It seems to me that illness continues to find me. Sickness also seems to invade my body when I’m the most relaxed. Take for instance this week: It’s our school’s “Spring Break” and I’ve finally had a few minutes to relax and enjoy life. Before this break I was working 20 hours a week (used to be 40), managing 18 credit hours, and trying to maintain my relationships with friends and my girlfriend. You would expect that sickness would come then, right? Your body is so worked up, stressed out, and sleep deprived that it practically invites disease to make itself at home within your body. Is that how it works out? Nuhuh.
With the changing of the seasons approaching, my allergies have picked up on the gradual increase in warmth and pollen. With that comes the seasonal invasion of sinus congestion; except this time it’s in my ears. Whereas in times before I would have congestion in my nose accompanied by blurry or scratchy eyes, this time I can only hear the sound of my voice.
It’s been like this for almost a week now and I decided yesterday to find a primary care doctor to be seen. A quick search on Google provided me with a number and that number provided me with this response, “Sorry sir, we’re not accepting any more patients until July or August.”
Being the quick-witted man that I am I retorted, “Well, I think my ears will either be better by then or I’ll be deaf due to the horrendous infection that ate away my ear drums.”
Didn’t even garner a chuckle.
She opted to see if she could find another doctor within the branch that might have an opening within the next few days. After a moment of silence she came back over the phone with news that I wasn’t expecting.
“There’s an opening at 2pm today if you’d like it?”
Being the hypochondriac that I am I told her I would be more than happy to fill the spot.
2pm rolls around and I find myself filling out the usual paperwork and then being ushered back to the patient holding room. I entertained the CNA with horror stories of my youthful experiences with doctors. You know, the ones with the screaming, kicking, and crying? Yeah, it’s an understatement to say that I used to hate doctors. Thankfully for these nurses I outgrew that phase.
The CNA fills out the basic information, asks me why I came, what my history was, and if I was single or taken, the usual stuff. She wasn’t very happy to hear that I had a girlfriend. Apparently she’s a matchmaker for her daughter and wanted me to be the next fish on the hook. I just kept swimming, swimming, swimming, folks. What did I do? Swim, swim, swim.
She exited the room full of disappointment and then walked in the Nurse Practitioner who was full of joy. “Quite a contrast of emotions.” I thought as she introduced herself. She was a nice lady: tall, dirty blonde hair tied up in a ponytail. She was all business but she had an aura about her that exuded care. She took a few moments to ask me a few more questions and then told me to talk about myself a little bit. What do I like to do? Where did I grow up? What am I doing now? I suppose that being a new patient requires a life survey.
I mentioned that I love to write, love theme parks, adore long walks on the beach. Pretty much the typical spiel. When I mentioned that I had dealt with depression and anxiety in the past her ears perked up a little more.
“Oh? Tell me about that.” She asked.
“Well, I’ve dealt with it for a few years now, spent some time in counseling, and now I write about it all with the intent of helping other people who have suffered like I have (and still do).”
“That’s great!” She said excitedly “Any thoughts or plans of suicide?”
I was fully prepared to be Baker acted and hoisted off to an insane asylum. Side Note: If I ever did get sent to a Mental Hospital I think I would fully embrace my inner Jim Carrey…
“Hmm, when was the last time you experienced these things?”
“August of 2014, I believe.”
“Any plans to follow through with it?”
“No ma’am. Not at all.”
“Oh, good! And you’ve received counseling so that’s great. Keep pursuing help if you need it.”
And that was that. Phew! Close one.
I did end up mentioning my recent hospitalization due to stress and anxiety which also peaked her curiosity. I explained the reasoning and the overall diagnosis to which she then asked…
“Been prescribed any medications?”
“They prescribed me one but I never filled it. I’ve not had great experiences with them in the past so I’ve tried to manage on my own.” I replied confidently.
“Do you remember the name of the medication?”
“Hmm…I’m not quite sure what it was but I believe it started with an a…Ata…Ame…Oh! I’m pretty sure it was anthrax.”
She stopped typing and looked at me with a very perplexed look.
“What hospital did you say you went to?”
“Novant Health!” I was beginning to wonder why it was such a deal.
“And they prescribed you anthrax for your anxiety?” She asked digging a little deeper.
“I mean it may not have been that but I’m pretty sure.” Yeah, something was up.
“You do realize that Anthrax is a biochemical weapon used by terrorists, right?”
“Oh…Well I guess I’m never going back to Novant!”
Folks, sometimes you just have to learn to laugh at yourself. She and I joked about it the rest of the day and I’m pretty sure I became the talk of the office real quick. I learned my lesson though. If you don’t know the name of a medication, it’s probably best to just say “I don’t know”. It just might save you some confusion.
My ears are fine, probably just allergies. Nothing a little anthrax won’t kill!
What are some of your favorite doctor office bloopers?