Friday, February 11, 2011

A Perfectly Pleasant Day

Happy Monday, everyone! I am finally emerging from a nearly two-week stint with the dreaded crud. My house is slowly becoming a crud-free zone, thanks to some good drugs and Ruanita's diligent use of a Lysol can. I finally relented on Friday and went to urgent care. I was beginning to fear that I would cough up an organ that I may need one day. Ruanita had, in her infinite wisdom, been telling me for several days that I needed to go to the doctor. Did I heed her sage advice? Of course not. Instead, being the martyr we mothers all tend to be, I took Lucas to the doctor instead. When his pediatrician said that she could hear gurgling in his lungs and prescribed him an antibiotic, it finally hit me that maybe--just possibly--I was really sick, as well.

So Friday afternoon, after I picked Lucas up from school, I dropped the kids at my mom's house and headed to the Apple Valley Medical Center Urgent Care. Apple Valley is a little bit of a haul from Minneapolis. However, I like to go there because 1.) They are typically very quick, 2.) their urgent care is open 24 hours, and 3.) it's attached to a major medical center, so if you are in need of blood work or x-rays or other tests, they are able to perform them on site rather than having to send you elsewhere. So I drove to Apple Valley in my crappy jalopy of a minivan and dropped the kids at mom's house.

When I arrived at the Apple Valley Medical Center, there were two people at the desk checking in and the waiting room did not appear to be overly crowded. I was hoping for a quick in and out. I checked in, said that I was being seen for a cough, and was quickly handed a surgical mask. "Please wear this," the woman behind the counter instructed. The two people in line ahead of me were also sporting masks, so I thought, Okay, what the hell, and slipped the mask on. Those of you who do not wear glasses may be unaware of this fact, but a surgical mask and glasses do not exactly go together. Every time I exhaled, my glasses would instantly fog over. I was unable to read my Woman's Day magazine I was trying to peruse. My attempts at making mental notes regarding a divine-looking chicken pot pie recipe were being thwarted by the fog. Eventually, the other two people in surgical masks were called back to the exam area. The waiting room quickly filled with a multitude of people. As I looked around, I noticed that I was the only one wearing a mask. The four-year-old kid sitting next to be snotting and spewing all over the place was mask-free, as was the centenarian sitting across from me making sounds that had me seriously concerned that the ludefisk he ate for dinner was going to fly across the room and smack me in the face. And people were looking at me as though I had the plague.

I was in the waiting room for a extremely long time--longer than I had ever waited at this particular urgent care before. When I was finally called back, I had my vitals checked by a harried-looking nurse and was told that a doctor would be in "when they could get to me." Nice. I noticed a magazine rack hanging on the wall and proceeded to check out their selection. Golf Digest and....Golf Digest. Seriously, people? Aren't you in the business of healing, not tormenting? So I sat and twiddled my thumbs. I noticed across the room that there was a large glass container full of tongue depressors and long-handled Q-tips. For those of you who are unaware, I have a tiny confession to make. I am a tad bit obsessed with Q-tips. Every night before I go to bed, I clean my ears out with Q-tips. Yes, I've been told that you are not supposed to put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear. However, I can't help myself. I am drawn to Q-tips. I find great satisfaction in clean ears. So, I sat in that waiting room staring at the glass jar of Q-tips. Not just regular old Q-tips. Industrial strength Q-tips with long wooden sticks. The Holy Grail of cotton swab ecstasy. I debated grabbing a few. I looked at the jar. And then at the door. And then back to the jar. How would I explain myself if the doctor walked in as I was shoving Q-tips into my purse? Or worse yet, cleaning my ears? I managed to get control of myself and averted my eyes from the Q-tip jar. As luck would have it, the doctor walked in right as I averted my eyes. Whew. Dodged a bullet.

The doctor apologized for making me wait, though she did not appear the least bit sorry. She looked tired. And possibly a bit under the weather herself. She was in the room all of three minutes, tops. She said that I sounded like I had fluid in my left lung, wrote me a prescription for Zithromax and a prescription cough syrup, and I was on my merry way--two hours after arriving at my "quick" urgent care clinic of choice.

I picked the kids up from my mom's house and drove back to Minneapolis. I dropped my prescriptions off at Walgreen's and was informed that it would take about an hour and a half to fill them because the after-work rush had just hit. There was no way I was getting my kids back out to pick up a prescription once I got their whiny butts home. So I left with the understanding I would spend another night un-medicated and miserable. I stopped to pick up Happy Meals for the kids from McDonald's. I was not in the mood to try to cook dinner for them. Sophie and Nicholas asked to see what their toys were, so I handed them the My Little Pony and Tonka truck that came with their Happy Meals. Lucas was in the third row seat, so he would have to wait until we got home to get his prize.

I finally pulled up in front of my house to the sounds of my children complaining that they were hungry. And thirsty. And tired. And wanted to play the Wii. And wanted to watch a movie. We made our way through the snow and ice and into the house. As we were removing our coats and getting settled, Lucas suddenly let out a shriek like he was being attacked. I quickly ran to him to see if there was, indeed, blood loss. He appeared perfectly fine, aside from the ear-piercing sounds emerging from his mouth. So what was causing his sudden outburst? The lovely woman who handed us our happy meals at McDonald's had inadvertently given us two "girl" toys and one "boy" toy, instead of the other way around. Try as I might, Lucas was simply not buying my explanation that the pink My Little Pony with the glitter in her hair was really a super cool defender of justice. An equine superhero. I tried to convince Nicholas--who typically prefers the "girl" toys anyway and who has no interest whatsoever in cars--to trade with Lucas. I even offered him candy as a means of sweetening the pot a bit. Of course, because he knew Lucas wanted it, he suddenly developed an all-encompassing devotion to that crappy little toy truck. As if the screaming and crying were not torment enough, I began coughing in the midst of their brawl. I coughed and coughed. Then I hacked. Then I barked like a seal. Then I peed on myself.

Perfect ending to a perfectly pleasant day.


Anonymous said...

Thank you. I needed that laugh after 8 hours of studying!


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