So, yes, I am sick. Very sick. My temperature of 101.4 had escalated to 104.0 this morning. It stayed there until my eary afternoon appointment with Doctor Comic-Book-Guy. He took a reading of his own: “103.8, huh? That’s not good. Let me see your throat. OUCH!” Ouch indeed.
I was pleased that he didn’t simply say, “It looks like you have a virus. It’ll take about three to five days to run its course. Get as much rest as you can and drink plenty of fluids.”
Instead he said, “Well, this may just be a virus, but with such a high temperature, you could have an infection, too. I’m going to write you a prescription for azithromycin. It’s great stuff. If a bacterial infection is making you sick, this will take care of it. If you have a both a virus and an infection, this will take care of part of it.” He paused for a moment and thought. “Of course, it could just be a virus, in which case the azithromycin won’t do anything, but it won’t hurt to take it.”
I coughed, and then gasped with pain.
“Oh yeah,” said Doctor Comic-Book-Guy. “Take some vicodin for that cough and sore throat.”
I was too disoriented to argue.
I make the drive between Canby and Oak Grove at least ten times a week. Today it took tremendous concentration. I clasped the steering wheel and locked my eyes on the road. I drove slowly. Fortunately, the vehicle in front of me was also driving slowly. I wondered if the driver was also suffering from a high fever and dizziness.
I took the prescriptions to the Safeway pharmacy, and then wandered the store in a daze. I wanted apple sauce, but for some reason I couldn’t remember where the apple sauce might be. I did, however, find the gelatin and pudding aisle. I thought about picking up some cook’n’serve stuff, or some tapioca, but then I noticed that the pre-packaged puddings were on sale at Ten for $10. (That’s a dollar a piece for those of us not living in la-la supermarket pricing land.) Each package contained four pudding cups, yielding a total cost of only 25 cents per cup. And each cup only had 80 calories. In my fevered state, I felt like I’d found the promised land! I loaded my basket: chocolate, chocolate fudge, banana cream, lemon meringue, tapioca, tapioca, tapioca. When I had finished I noticed an old man standing next to me, staring at my basket full of pudding. I smiled wanly and made my way to the dairy department.
I was struck with the idea that strawberry milk might be the most perfect food in the world. Yes, what I needed was strawberry milk and a donut. And what’s this? The pre-packaged “bake it yourself” Nestle chocolate chip cookies were “buy one, get one free”. What a deal!
That was the extent of my shopping adventures. I had begun to sweat profusely, and my dizziness was changing to nausea. I found a chair and waited for my prescription to be filled.
At home, I took my azithromycin and my vicodin and my St. John’s wort, and washed them down with a swig of strawberry milk. And a bite of a chocolate-covered donut.