Strep, pnumonia, and a double ear infection

I went to the doctor today, because I haven’t been feeling well. Perhaps you will find the humor in my visit, as well…
First, small victory. I lost 1.5 pounds since my last visit. Nurse says “That’s only okay because you’re sick”. Despite my misery, I do a happy dance behind her back.

Interview with nurse, discuss what is wrong. Takes temp, fine. Takes blood pressure. (Am scared!) 118/74! NO way! I haven’t seen that in like 6 years! Do another happy dance, because I didn’t just get lucky last time with 124/80, and Rhonda (my midwife) is not going to kick my ass! (About that, anyway…)

Okay, time for Rhonda. Nurse leaves, and I look around to see all the usual instruments of torture sitting on the counter. Wait a minute…. I have a cold. You ain’t stickin’ nothing up there today!

Luck has it, I was spared.

Rhonda comes in, and looks in my ears. Can’t see in the right one at all, and the left one looks bad. (Wow, I thought only one was infected!) Then asks “have you had strep before?”

“yep” I answer, without thinking.

She reaches for the drawer, which she forgot was child-proofed, and it took a couple tries. Meanwhile, I stare in horror, and finally gasp out “You’re not gonna do the SWAB, are you?”

“Of course I am! If you have a history of strep, which it says you do right here…” points to computer screen (Why did you ask ME then???) “…then we need to test you.”

I stare in horror. She turns and looks at me.

“I swear to God Joslyn, if you puke on me….”

Oh God. I have the most active gag reflex in the history of the world.

“I will try not to. I promise.”

She moves closer.

“You know, the last doctor to do this was Amy, and she was reaching in with one hand, and I was using two of mine to try to pull it back out….”

“Whenever you are ready…”

I smile nervously, grab the underside of the table with each hand, and open my mouth. Swab enters, gets just past the teeth, and I gag.

Now you need to understand, I couldn’t brush more than my front teeth when I was little without gagging. I even now sometimes gag when brushing my teeth.

She steps back. “Shall we try again?”

I nod, giggle nervously, fidget, and finally open my mouth. I stick out my tongue,
swab is quickly inserted….

…and I gag it right back out.

She jumps back as I am sent into a coughing fit. “Okay, I’m going to send my nurse in here to play with you.”

Wow…. Joslyn 1, Rhonda 0.

A few minutes later a nurse enters with a big clear plastic apron, a round pail thing, and a squirt bottle.

Whoa, now, aren’t we going a little overboard here? I’ve never actually PUKED while doing the swab!

Nurse announces that she is here to clean my ear out. Oh joy, never been through this before. I hold the little canister under my ear while she squirts warm water into it. I can hear better and better all the time – AMAZING!

She finishes, and shows me the canister with a chunk of wax floating in it. “There you go! Good job!” She cheers.

I stare in horror.

“THAT came from ME? I cleaned my ears this morning!”

“Aw, honey, that’s nothing! I’ve seen some where I told them to take it home and mount it, they were so huge!”

Okay, that’s a little too much, thank you.

She leaves, doctor returns.

“Oh, you still haven’t been swabbed?” Doesn’t try again herself. Checks my ear, which, as she predicted, was worse than the other. Tells me to enjoy the swabbing, she’ll see me later.

About fifteen minutes later, her nurse comes in.

“Yeah, Joslyn, umm… I’m sorry, but being an OB nurse, I NEVER swab throats. I don’t even remember how to. So I’m waiting for our triage nurse to come and do it.” I nod. “Why didn’t Rhonda do it?”

“I don’t know… I think she was afraid that I would barf on her.”

Wrong thing to say. The nurse looks at me and says “so she wants ME to do it?”

“No, no, I won’t barf really…”

Wow, okay. Wait foreverrrrrrrrrrrrr for the triage nurse. She comes in and is very nice. She is what I refer to as the “cough drop nazi”, who, even though the ER said I could have cough drops the night before, insists that I CANNOT because I am pregnant. I did not tell her that I have one a day, in the mornings, so I can talk.

My throat hurts, okay!?!?!?!

She prepares herself, and I clamp down on the table again. She looks at me and says “what’s that about?”

“Didn’t they tell you?” I ask timidly.

“Tell me what….?”

“That I have the best gag reflex in the whole world?”

“Oh no. Okay, we can do this.” She gets out the ginormous popsicle stick thingy.

Oh God, she means business.

I grab the table. We stand face to face. I open my mouth, stick out my tongue.

Quickly I shut it again.

“Maybe I should tell you about the last time I had this done….” And told her the story of my last strep episode with Amy. She chuckles, and smiles.

“Okay, I’m a big girl. I can do this. I’m going to be a mom. I need to set a good example.”

I shut my eyes, open my mouth, and stick out my tongue. The nurse sticks the swab down my throat. I start thrashing, but she isn’t giving up as easily as Rhonda. I begin to lean backwards, and the next thing I know, she is lying on top of me on the table, and is looking at the swab.

“I don’t think we got enough”

Oh God, are you fucking shitting me?

She leans out the door and calls for backup.

This is becoming a nightmare.

Rhonda stops in to see how it is going. I say “You don’t really need to do this, do you?”

She grins, almost evilly, and says “Hey, you’re the one who came in here complaining of a sore throat.”

Dammit. 1-1.

They lie me down, hold my arms, and stick the swab down my throat. When they finish, they help me sit up, and then they feel bad. There are tears running down my cheeks involuntarily from gagging so hard.

“You poor thing…” they swoon. At least I got some pity.

I have decided that from here on out, if I have a sore throat, I will ignore it. If I cannot ignore it, I will rip it out myself.


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