Hey there. You remember me from last year, Mr. Hard Candy Christmas? At that time I was determined to push myself through a bad October and November and, since my family had decided to celebrate Christmas for Jr., I threw myself into the newly anticipated Holiday season with a gusto those who saw my apartment will remember well. In the immortal words of Dolly Parton, from the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, I'd be fine and dandy. It worked pretty well.
Well, flash forward a year, here I am in Venice, California, about to spend this Christmas alone, and praying that the sweat dripping off of my forehead is the damn fever from my strep throat breaking, and not just because the heat in this house distributes unevenly in the grotto. Yeah, that's right, strep throat. I blissfully awoke yesterday to the strain of a burning/cutting sensation in my right jaw and throat. In truth, I knew what it was, but, I told myself it couldn't be. It could. It was.
After a night of crystalline lattice dreamworks--honestly that's how the first full night's sleep works for me, lattices and endless mazes of light all night long--I decided I had to get this seen about, strep can be dangerous, and, I didn't want the second night features, in which the lattice dreams, confusing though they are, turn into blades, buzz saws and other such items, cutting into my jaw and arising from the bed. I'm not kidding. I had this last January and that's how it went.
But, and this is new, I'm here in Venice and I don't know a damn thing about the medical works. Where do I go? A quick iPhone search revealed any number of therapies from acupuncture to holistic healing to alcohol and drug treatment. Yeah, well, I can' risk it, strep's a bacteria and it has certain policies it adheres to, and as much as I believe acupuncture can help in certain situations, I need these strep buggers dead.
So I go online and research, and find a place that looks doable, attached to a hospital, no less. They even advertised "you'll feel better knowing you're just a 10 second wheelchair ride to the greatest hospital ever." I'm exaggerating about the greatest part, not about the wheelchair bit.
Anyhow this place was in Marina del Rey, and for some reason I can't explain, I like Marina del Rey, even though I haven't been there much. So I'm thinking this will do. But I'm also thorough in my research, so I got the yellow pages and did a few searches. And I wound up at a place a few yards away from the other one, but still in Marina del Rey, in fact facing the Marina. Not that I cared, it wasn't about the scenery, it was about ensuring my health. Also this place had the best ad. Or the biggest. I don't know. They had a downloadable patient form so I printed it, filled it out, and took a 5 minute drive to the Marina.
I expect to be there 6 or 7 hours of course, like Midland, but it was only about 2. They were friendly, even jovial. The aide took my blood pressure and then came to do a strep test swab, explaining to me that two double lines is positive for strep, like a pregnancy test, but I wouldn't know about that, but two double lines is positive for pregnancy. Yeah. So I'm thinking, should I be nervous about possibly being the first male to become pregnant? And who's the daddy/mommy?
Anyhow, back to waiting, until a slender Asian comes in, she's the doctor, and I swear she was so friendly that I was, at last, at ease in a doctor's office. Despite the fact that my throat felt like shards of glass were sifting about.
She looks at the test, checks my heart and lungs (A-OK) then feels my lymph nodes and I swear she winced with pain for me. Then she explained the whole say AAAHHH procedure (these people were awesome, seriously, so attentive) but we never got to the AAAHHH. She backed out into the hall to escape the towering inferno that was my tonsils. I'm kidding, but, I think she was across the room. It was that apparent.
She's pretty convinced it's strep throat, the test was positive to boot, so she tells me about antibiotics and I ask if I can just get a shot. She looks a bit taken aback, tells me that the shot doesn't increase recovery time, but I was thinking it sure would save the whole get to the pharmacy wait in line wait for it to be filled be extra sick while I have to wait syndrome. So, yeah, a little pain in the arse for a lot of time saved, I'm cool with that, I'm a tough guy after all.
So, another aide, or a nurse, comes and apologetically administers the shot. She tells me this is how she'd have gone about it as well, the shot instead of drugs, still apologizing for the imminent pain, then after we get everything situated she jabs it in and yep, it's a doozy, but I survive. She still apologizes, tells me to hold on to the cotton, and generally makes me feel really good. All these people were so nice. That or they somehow called my Mom and she told them what a big baby I can be.
I saunter back into the waiting room to pay, a little bit of limping because it was sore, my upper buttockal area, and the aide says "yay it was positive" and I say "yes I'm pregnant" and she laughed and then apologized about being happy that it was positive, but meant was glad a determination could be made and treatment pursued. I doubt she would have phrased it thusly, but we all know I'm verbose, so I just did.
Then I paid and drove home and drank some juices, forgetting that OJ is bad for strep since it digs into the pulpy flesh with citrus power. And it was raining when I left. I got to pay $6.00 to park of course. Then I crawled in bed and sort of slept, throat still hurting, but happy that the penicillin creatures were inside me gobbling away at the evil strep.
Which is great, because Christmas will be here soon, and everyone's gone. I'll be alone as I, for some brilliant reason, thought it would be equally brilliant to stay here for the Holidays. Yay brilliant me.