I've been sick for 11 days.
I don't mean that I've had a lingering cough that hasn't gone away for 11 days. I mean that, for 11 days, I've barely been able to leave my house or walk to the bathroom without keeling over from coughing. I'm over it. Spencer is really over it.
Five days into this ordeal, I schlepped to Urgent Care where I tested positive for strep. When antibiotics didn't help after five more days, I went back for another visit. I almost cried talking to the nurse. "I'm just not getting any better," I told her. "And I'm so, so tired." As I get older and the nurses get younger, it becomes more humiliating to be vulnerable in front of them. Maybe I was extra sensitive due to "my situation"? Living alone. A single dog parent (yes, this is thing for me). Accountable to essentially no one but my employer. And now, sick as hell. Woe, woe is me.
In the exam room, the same nurse told me she was going to take some samples for flu and mono tests. Apparently there's an option where they prick your finger repeatedly and try to squeeze out enough blood? If that doesn't work, they go for the arm anyway. The finger pricking sounded horrific, so I opted to just go for the vein. Not pleasant, but manageable. After that, I suffered the indignity of her sticking a Q-tip up my nose. (Did I mention she was a cute nurse my age?) "Is your nose wet or dry?" she asked. "Um, I think it's pretty dry." "Yup! Pretty dry. Oh... oh. Wet!" Ugh.
I ended up testing positive for two different strains of flu. At least some justification for feeling like death! They opted to hydrate me with fluids via an IV drip and went into my other arm. So, I got pricked again, sat there for 40 minutes, and watched Ellen on TV -- perfect timing! -- as the clear stuff magically entered my bloodstream. For the first time in ten days, I actually felt better.
Sadly, the best part of my visit was not the IV drip but the nurse cleaning all the blood off my hand and arm. I'm apparently a bleeder, so there was a fair amount. She took those little alcohol swabs and spent time cleaning all the red off my skin. She'd take my hand and gently twist to get to all the spots. A five-year relationship recently up in smoke and, I admit, it was just nice to be touched again, even by a latex-gloved hand.