Sickly Odds n' Ends
Yeecch. I have one of those hearty winter headcolds that could have turned into bronchitis at the drop of a snotty Kleenex.
It stated out innocently enough, with some nasal congestion and a light cough on Saturday night. By Sunday night, I was coughing so hard as I tried to sleep, I actually strained my ab muscles.
Yesterday morning, I knew if I didn't see the doctor right away, I'd be as sick as a dog for the next two weeks. For me, a cold is just a harbinger of darker, much sicker days.
But the trouble is, my doctor is based at a local Army hospital where appointments have to be made a month or more in advance.
That meant the dreaded triage, where you go in and wait.
I arrived at 11 and by 3:30 I was ushered into an exam room, where an LVN took my vitals.
By 4:15 I was turfed to an RN, who lacked the RX power to prescribe what I really needed--some damn narcotic cough medicine.
He tried to palm off some OTC Robitussin on me and I stared at him and said, "Kid, if I thought Robitussin would do it, why would I have waited here for four hours to see a doctor?"
By 4:45, I finally got to see a doctor, who at first interviewed me as if he suspected I was planning to sell the killer cough medicine I was seeking to neighborhood kids.
Sensing his trepidation, I risked tearing another ab muscle by unleashing a series of deafening coughs as he stethoscoped my back. I think his broken eardrums convinced him I was truly ill.
In fact, I may have overconvinced him because he wrote me prescriptions for Entex expectorate, Zithromax antibiotics, two Albuterol inhalers and a bunch of Tylenol with Codeine for the coughing.
I left the hospital as dusk was falling, laden with a bagful of stuff I'd never dreamed of needing for a common cold. I took everything as directed, then watched as all my symptoms faded.
Did I cough as I slept last night? Who knows?
By the way, for anyone who still thinks Bush's war in Iraq is a good idea, I highly recommend a visit to a nearby military hospital. As I waited to be seen, I saw so many tragically wounded young soldiers I wanted to cry.
Iraq is not a place where our troops get simple bullet wounds.
It's a place where crude roadside bombs skin people's faces off. It's a place where healthy men and women serving our country come back without arms and legs.
In the waiting area, CNN was playing on the TV mounted above the crowd,
An excerpt from Bush's latest speech came on, and I watched the crowd to get their reactions. Even the men and women in uniform were scowling and shaking their heads.
They may respect the title of Commander in Chief, but they don't respect the man in office.
We gotta get this guy away from the red button, fast.