Friday, January 25, 2013

Typhoid Maurice

I started coughing Tuesday evening. I thought I had escaped my yearly lung crud from Hades. Really. "That's all." I dug up some cough syrup that saw me through the last bit of lung garbage (probably expired, I know, thx) and took some and retreated to my favorite bed on the planet (because it's actually a bed) and started watching a movie until I dropped off a bit. I coughed. I slept. I coughed. I slept. Ad nauseum (kinda literally).

I felt right awful by morning and decided I might be getting ill. I was summoned by the occupants of the Big Red House for a summit on monthly expenditures and crawled through the door a little before ten thirty and waved the sign of the cross over the electricity co-op bill and took note of some checks written before making my escape again. I worked on balancing the ledger for the day (yes, the day, these people are sneaky) and continued to cough my head off. The formal thought began to form in the back of my mind that perhaps I really was officially ill.

I attempted to stay in good form for the day. I completed my usual tasks and chores. I even patted myself on the back a little bit, but by two o'clock I felt as though I'd coughed up half of a lung and I was thinking of my Wednesday night commitments with loathing. Only a smidgen better than "fear and loathing." Defeated, I canceled my follow-up neurology appointment on Thursday in favor of Dr. Carly the Saver of Persons Dead From Local Flora and Fauna. It's quite a title, no? She's earned it.

When Thursday arrived I when to Dr. C's place. They crammed swabs everywhere. I was flu negative and (drum roll) strep positive. Strep? Strep! It was surprising given I was rolling around so much garbage in my chest and my throat didn't hurt. Even Dr. C got excited about that one. My throat was red, but she thought it could be from the cough, but once I was tested positive she was amazed. She started rattling off the statistics of strep infection in the county over the last two years and, apparently, the last two weeks has eclipsed that of the last two years combined. She set me up with an in-office breathing treatment since she, "really (didn't) like the way (I wasn't) moving air in my lungs," stabbed me with a jump start of steroids and medicated me for everything under the sun: antibiotics, oral steroids, and cough syrup that required a driver's license to take out of the pharmacy.

I was sitting there, though, after I tested positive, and trying to put my finger on this niggling factoid that I couldn't quite access. She asked if I had been directly exposed to anyone who is flu positive. The answer is/was no. But she didn't ask if I had been around anyone who was, OH! I texted (it's a word, now, so you'd best get used to it) Buddy in the waiting room and told him I had strep. Baba had strep just two weeks ago. I should have gotten sick earlier, but it made sense. Then I got this back:

So NOW he tells me his glands are swollen and he has a low grade infection. It's so not funny I can't even muster a single feeling about it at all. Not even the frustrated desire to knock him in the teeth or shove him over the spillway. We have a houseful of people that are immunosuppressed.
This was when I *eversogently* smacked myself in the forehead. You see, when I was a little, little little Dad had an infection in his hip that was almost debilitating. In the absence of all other evidence to the contrary, the diagnostician treated it as though it were strep and he got rid of it. Consequently, my mother and I stopped getting strep throat infections as well. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

About ten years after the hip strep incident, my brother and I started having what you can only call serial strep infections and my mother finally managed to impress upon our doctor that perhaps he should go the way of our previous diagnostician and treat Dad. Which he eventually did. I never got strep again. Until this week. At which point I pulled Dr. C aside and said, "You're not going to believe this, but there is a strep carrier with a low grade infection and seriously swollen lymph nodes in your waiting room." She made "that face," but rather than burn him at the stake, she did a swab test (positive, duh) and medicated him into oblivion whilst shouting to her nurses of tracking all the strep cases, this, maybe on a map, that.

I heard Dr. C scream at him when he tested positive. It was only half as loud as me screaming when I heard her scream. Fortunately, Buddy is mostly deaf.

I'm going to kill you, Typhoid Maurice!

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