Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sick Day

My throat has been hurting over the last few days. I didn't mention my sore throat to anyone, because I failed to negotiate any sick days into my mom contract, so I was hoping it would magically get better. Each morning I'd wake up hopeful, then I drink some water and feel like I was swallowing razor blades. Here's the thing about being a stay at home mom: you can't get sick. I know, I know, that's not realistic because everyone gets sick. But, if you look at the facts, you'll see that I'm right.
You can't get sick because first of all, you have no time to visit a doctor. When I call my regular doctor I can't ever get a same-day appointment. I find this to be ridiculous because after a few days you'll either be better or you'll be hospitalized, so what's the point? Your other option is a doc-in-the-box, but during cold and flu season you'll wait for two hours to be misdiagnosed. So, just forget about going to the doctor unless you are truly at death's door, and, in that case, just skip the doctor and go right to the ER. Second, if you think that you'd feel better if you just lay quietly on the couch watching HGTV and Bravo all day, think again. There is laundry and dinner and drop-off and pick-up and when the kids get home, they'll want to watch Dora or Wild Kratts or Spongebob and they'll jump all over you and whine about needing juice or pretzels or they'll clog the toilet or knock the pictures off the wall while jumping on the bed. Things will get out of control fast. You know it's bad, when this starts looking like your best option:

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!



  1. Hey.....don't forget working moms! We can't get sick either! The hard part about being a sick mom (working or SAHM) is that mom duties don't suspend for the time you feel bad....and the back up team is, well, let's just say not adequate. No rest for the weary, so to speak. Rest when you can and feel better!

    1. You are so right! I should have just said "moms." I was thinking that the logistics of making it to the doctor might be easier if you have regular childcare, but then you have to fit it in with your work schedule. I'm going to lobby someone for one extra hour each day to take care of these things that always fall through the cracks because you don't have time to deal with them. You in?

  2. here's where i think having a full-benefit job out of the home is ideal. drop kids off at school, call work to tell them you're sick, and voila! 6 hours of uninterrupted daytime TV, bubble baths, and naps. and you still get paid. honestly, i don't have to have any physical symptoms to avail myself of the "sick day" benefit at work.