Ah, my girls. I love them so.
And, incidentally, the best physician’s assistant, nurse, and x-ray technician a person could ever hope to have in charge of their health care.
I was there again today, my clinic. You know you’ve been there way too often when you clear the threshold and the receptionists both greet you by name and ask about that sweet boyfriend of mine—you know, the one who changes my dressings. They can never remember his name but they think he’s just the peachiest guy in town.
A rash. A big, ugly, itchy rash. I reported it earlier in the week to the staff in charge of my butt issues over at the University Hospital—the non-plan-provider staff—via phone. At the time it was only a warm, rosy patch at the base of my neck and they suggested it was a fever rash…completely harmless. I’ve been in much pain and come THIS close to breaking into the Vicodin many a night. I stopped taking prescription pain killers the day after I was released from the hospital because I feared addiction…so, as Nick pointed out, we’ve got enough Vics to kill someone and perhaps we should look into an eBay account.
Contact me if you want to make an offer. The marketing potential completely slipped my mind.
So, with as much discomfort as I’ve had, I considered a blood rash to be feasible as well…all of the muscle cramping and chaser-straining will do that to you. But today…today it was unbearable. It was raised and itchy, and I came to terms with the fact that for the first time ever, I had broken out in hives. My forearms joined the party, and my upper thighs look to be coming around as well.
Quite used to seeing EOB’s and bills filter through my mail, I went ahead and called my clinic, which is now programed into my cell phone. Jason, Wisconsin Jason, not North Carolina Jason, has his doctor’s number programmed into his phone, and I once spent an entire evening with Sarah laughing over the silliness of such a thing. Marinaded with a touch of fresh cilantro, crow doesn’t taste so bad…if you find yourself eating it enough, you might find the flavor grows on you…or, you don’t gag as much anyhow.
So I get a 2:45 slot with Barb, the woman who calls me a couple times a week JUST to see how I am feeling that day…health care professionals genuinely concerned with your health! Magical! I walked through the front door with two objectives in mind. (A) To swipe a box of gloves for Nick’s dressing-changing needs (and whatever else he finds himself needing latex gloves for I guess) as the variety off the shelf don’t seem as good as those we made out with from the hospital. (B) To get rid of the itchy ugliness on my arms, chest, and legs!
So Kathy, Barb’s nurse, calls me back almost as soon as I’m checked in. She takes down all of my information and we chit-chat about what’s happened since we saw each other…last Friday. Kathy calls to see how I’m doing as well…such caring people. I’m in very loving hands. She grabs me a box of gloves—PURPLE! She tells me Barb will be in shortly…
…and so she was. Barb grimaced when I exposed
myself my chest, and asked the standard line of questions—any new soap/laundry detergent/perfume? No…I’m a creature of habit. I haven’t changed soap away from Dove in years, not since I stopped making my own. I am a Tide girl all the way…and perfume? Make mine Crabtree & Evelyn. Though, I am rather proud of a recent change I’ve made in my hair care…gone are Herbal Essences after a ten year stint and newly arrived are the Therappe line from Nexxus…so lovely.
Then, back to the rash now, came the smoking gun. The Augmentin they flooded me with first intravenously and then a twice-a-day-horse-pill week-long regiment. I guess it’s a butt-kicking, bacteria-killing machine from the penicillin family, and it kindled an allergic reaction. Icky. So Barb prescribes three drugs…two pills and a cream. But, I get to the pharmacy to find she’s cancelled the Prednisone. Why? It messes with the body’s response to inflammation…great for treating a rash! Baaaad for someone who’s got an extra cavity on her person that she wants to close up again one day. So Barb calls, explaining this, instructing that I come back next week if the other drug isn’t enough to make the hives go bye-bye.
Barb and I talk more about everything I’ve learned about my messed up genetics in the last month. I tell her about my aunts’ health, and she becomes teary eyed and asks that I keep her up to date on all of them. She agrees that if it is so that I am unable to have children, maybe it’s for the best…maybe these genes don’t deserve another generation to mutate. Just maybe.
I go to leave and Kathy calls to me. “Carol wants to see you! Don’t go yet!” She yanks my arm toward the hall and I come face to face with the woman who made me cry with sentiment at memories of Mom, who drove me personally to Meriter Hospital for a last-minute MRI that Kathy called all around the area to obtain. Carol knows how to hug and I found myself biting my tongue as I said goodbye, for “I love you,” just about slipped out…to a woman I barely know.
And yet I do, I do know Carol. There’s something warm in her eyes, and I find myself wanting to wrap myself in it and wait out the storm. I always teased my mother for loving hospitals so…I hated my stay a few weeks ago. But, I love going to my clinic…I love seeing my care providers…I love feeling like my concerns are considered, like my voice is heard. I love that I feel as though I matter.
How many people can say that?
And, seriously, if you’re interested in those Vics….