Tuesday, March 04, 2008

And I Forgot My Spoon


The doctor's appointment went well. Pete went with me because memory loss and flu symptoms are a match made in Dubuque. In the parking lot, we met Siobhan's cousin with whom she and I were in a radio comedy troupe, and in the doctor's office, Pete and I met another erstwhile comedienne and her 18-month-old protege. Cue the ceremonial dropping of the cow, signifying the end of the sketch.

My doctor is a glamorous, no-nonsense Dutch lady. "You're much too sick to find this funny!" she shouted as I clutched the blood pressure cuff and gasped for breath.


Tata: I'm usually the one still standing when everyone else is sick, so I figured I was due.
Dr.: That's funny thinking. You know those people who after four girls try again to have a boy? The odds are still 50-50. From now on, you get a flu shot, and don't be a hero.
Tata: I still have a headache and - Pete, what's wrong with me?
Pete: Where do I begin?
Tata: Nausea and... oh, my lungs are kicking my ass. I should be better by now!
Dr.: How long does a genuine flu episode last?
Tata: A week? A week and a half?
Dr.: At least two weeks! You're going to be sick for some time to come, and you're just gonna cough, okay?

Properly chastened and coughing up a storm, I allowed as how I understood. She prescribed cough medicine and a rescue inhaler, because flu makes hot house flowers of us all. Then Pete drove me back to work, where today, one of my co-workers has begun to cough.

I feel as if I've really been through something. No wonder dozens of people die from flu every year in the U.S. Thus, we promised the comediennes we'll go on highly athletic bicycle trips in a month or two, with spouses and at least one junior expedition member. I will have gallons of Calamine.


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