Knowing that the cards were stacked against me, I set out yesterday morning to get myself diagnosed and treated in the 2.5 hours I had between dropping off the Baby at school and having Thanksgiving lunch with the Girl at her school. My first stop was the CVS Minute Clinic. Whoever named the Minute Clinic was clearly unaware of the meaning of the word "minute." Hour Clinic, Day Clinic, Eon Clinic all would have been more apt names for the nurse's station tucked in the back of the CVS. There were eight names before mine on the waiting list and a sign said that I should calculate 20 minutes for each person. When I realized that, at best, I would be spending the next 1.5 hours in CVS, I beat a hasty retreat.
My next stop was a local urgent care center. Again, this place was misnamed as no one moved with any sense of urgency and no one seemed to care. I would rename it the Slow Indifference Center. Maybe I'm just bitter because they confirmed what I already expected: I had strep throat. This makes me the Benjamin Button of illnesses. No joke. When I was 26 I had shingles, which is a condition most common in people over the age of 60. You can't even get the vaccine unless you are over age 50. Strep throat, on the other hand, is most common in children ages 5-15. When I'm in my 70's I expect to have a terrible case of colic.
The easy part should have been getting some medicine now that I was diagnosed. However, that's not the case when you're allergic to the two drugs that are most commonly used to treat strep throat. You know it's a bad sign when the nurse practitioner asks:
"how allergic are you to penicillin and cleocin?"
Me: "I break out in hives."
Nurse: "But, you don't go into anaphylactic shock?"
Me: "Well, no, but I don't really want to take the risk that I could this time!"She looked irritated and sent me out with a prescription for something that she though might work and instructions to get a new toothbrush and to call my dentist about how to disinfect my lovely bite guard.
When I went to pick up my prescription, I had about 15 minutes before I had to be at the Girl's lunch. Another bad sign: when the pharmacist need to talk with you before she'll fill your prescription. According to the pharmacist, because of my other drug allergies, I had a 25% chance of being allergic to my prescribed medicine. Her suggestion was that I have someone present with me when I take the medicine in case I had a severe reaction and needed assistance. So, I texted Mom who agreed to come over with her anti-allergy kit of Benadryl and an Epi-Pen and stand at the ready when I took the medicine.
In the end, I got my prescription and I didn't have any reaction. Also, Mom wanted to help so she folded two loads of laundry and I ate frozen yogurt for lunch. And, this morning I woke up and only felt like I was swallowing small thumbtacks instead of razor blades, so I think I'm on the mend. I have a few hours left while I'm still contagious, during which time I am available to commit germ warfare Jeffrey Amherst-style against criminals and evil-doers. Have a great day!