This morning I got up, took a shower and then crawled onto my sofa and napped for an hour. I was achy and tired and dizzy and sweaty and cold. When I finally had some strength, I grabbed my phone and called my doctor to make an appointment for later in the day. Then I took another nap. It was a little past ten when I finally made it to the office, all of my symptoms properly tucked beneath pressed pants and a wool cardigan.
By the time noon rolled around, I’d already taken two cat naps on my gel wrist pad.
“Lunch?” my dad’s partner asked as he passed my desk and flagged a take out menu in the air.
I was in the middle of nap number two.
“Huh?” I responded as I worked my way to an upright position and dragged the back of my hand across the corner of my mouth.
“Go home,” he suggested.
“I’ll have a grilled cheese off the kid’s menu. I’m going home after I see my doctor. It’s in two hours.”
“Really? Grilled Cheese?” he asked. “Didn't you spend this past weekend indulging in fine wine and caviar?”
Yeah, see this is what happens when I’m sick. I lose my appetite. My mouth tastes like a watery nickel and I end up craving a random assortment of food. Hence why when I went to Acme last night to fetch some Nyquil, I ended up also buying orange juice, Tollhouse cookie dough, a gallon of mint chip low fat ice-cream, chocolate pudding, two packages of bunny Peeps and three packages of eggy breakfast sandwiches. The only thing I’ve opened is the medicine. My stomach turns just thinking about everything else.
A coworker fetched lunch and I patiently nibbled through the grilled cheese. My bites were small and my swallows were slow as I struggled to avoid further aggravation of already angry tonsils. At two o’clock, I gathered my things and went across the street. I checked in at the reception desk and then settled in and waited for my name to be called. A half hour passed. I was shivering and sweating and was thisclose to curling up on the industrial carpeting of the waiting room just for the sake of taking a nap.
Eventually an overweight and over cranky nurse showed me back. She was unpleasant times ten, so I made an extra special effort to breathe on her. Then the doctor came in and introduced herself. She had a thick build, cropped short hair and attire that probably came from the Macy’s men’s department. She reminded me of a BDOC* from my Smith days. My mind wandered back to the tree lined paths and ivy covered buildings of campus as the doctor poked and swabbed and asked questions before momentarily ducking out.
“I have good news and bad news,” she announced as she came back into the exam room. “The good news is you don’t have strep.”
“What’s the bad news?” I asked.
“You don’t have strep,” she replied with a shrug. “I’m sending off another swab for a more detailed inquiry but for time being, you simply have a virus. Take some motrin for the fever and swollen tonsils. Gargle with warm salt water, drink tea and get lots of sleep. Your body just needs time to kick it.”
I hopped off the crinkly paper trying not to touch anything the next patient might come in contact with. I stopped at CVS and bought the suggested medication. And then I went home. I pulled off my work clothes, pulled on my pajamas and crawled onto my sofa. I tucked my fleece blanket around me, adjusted the angle of the pillow and let my achy body melt into the cushions. I rested my head back, let my heavy eyelids fall shut and drifted off to sleep. I awoke once to stretch out my left leg and again to roll onto my side. And that's when I realized that I wanted him here. With me. Listen, we all know I can manage solo without a hitch but that doesn’t mean it’s my first choice all of the time. Especially when I’m under the weather. When I want someone to rub my back and tell me it'll pass. When I want someone to calm me and soothe me. Okay, confession, and when I want someone to fetch a big bottle of chilled apple juice.
*Big Dyke On Campus