Thursday, June 05, 2008

This is how old-fashioned I am.

I have one of those diseases that you only hear about in 19th century novels, such as:

rheumatism, gout, dropsy,
tonsillitis, consumption, pleurisy,
dyspepsia, scarlet fever, chilblains,
biliousness, croup, dipsomania,
apoplexy, the pox, lumbago,
bubonic plague, bloody flukes, yellow jack, gleet, calenture, scurvy, wens, whooping cough, marthambles, and leprosy.

OK, I'm not a leper, and it's not scurvy, either.

I have acute tonsillitis. Weird, right?

A couple of days ago I woke up in the middle of the night with a killer sore throat. Yesterday I went to the clinic at Walgreen's. I thought it might be strep. I wanted a diagnosis and some drugs as soon as possible.

"But Poppy," I hear you thinking. "Why didn't you go to the doctor?" Well, I didn't want to fuss. And to be honest, I can't even remember my doctor's name.

But I do sort of have a doctor, I guess. I know where his office is, and if I went to his building, I could figure it out. But I was way too sick to go wandering around a medical building trying to figure out which doctor's name sounded familiar so I could call him and make an appointment.

And even if I did know his name, with my symptoms (very sudden onset, swollen lymph nodes) they'd want to test for strep. I'd have to go in. And get tested. And probably end up at Walgreen's anyway.

Yes, I realize that I am LAME. This is just pathetic. All we hear about these days is America's healthcare crisis, and all the millions of uninsured people in this country, and here I am spoiled rotten with all kinds of insurance and all the access to Botox and Retin-A that any one woman could possibly be said to need--but I can't be bothered to go to the doctor.

But guess what? The clinic at Walgreen's TOTALLY ROCKS. The nurse practitioner was really nice. The clinic bills directly to insurance. And when you get your prescription for amazingly powerful antibiotics, the pharmacy is right there. It's one stop shopping. And hey, Walgreen's has much better magazines than a doctor's waiting room.

So that was actually pretty cool.

But. It occurs to me that I am not getting any younger, and it's a little ridiculous to take my kids to their pediatrician, dentist, and orthodontist appointments while the only doctor's name I can remember is my ob/gyn, and his main office is 15 miles away.

I mean, an annual pap smear can not be considered regular medical care. Also, putting your fingers in your ears and saying "la la la la I can't heeeeeaaaaarrrrrr you!" is not a mature response to conversations where the word "cholesterol" and "longevity" get bandied about.

And now that I've outed myself to the internet, I feel like such a loser. I mean, there are millions of bloggers with all kinds of medical problems ... I bet they go to the doctor.

I mean, even if I'm not on any medication and even if my blood pressure is 107/70 ... I should probably have a real doctor, and not just an ob/gyn.

Plus I like my ob/gyn, but he has a relentlessly dirty mind.

I mean, if I even bothered to call him and tell him that I had a really bad sore throat, he'd ask me what I'd been doing to get it. And then he'd be disappointed to hear my answer, which would be either "hanging around my kids' school" or "exposing myself to the falling damps" depending on how 19th-century I was feeling.

Which these days, is a lot. Let me tell you--I had the greatest time putting that list together.

But anyway, you'll have to pardon me, internet; I'm indisposed.

And I'm going to make a few phone calls and find myself A DOCTOR.


  1. Can I call in sick to work if I have marthambles?

  2. I think with the Marthambles, you need to be quarantined. Better go with dyspepsia.

  3. I feel so old fashioned ... I used to get tonsillitis alllll the damn time.

    My fav old timey disease is consumption. It makes me want to cough delicately into a lace hanky and then drop dead.

  4. My mother used to threaten us with Leukomonoposis
    I don't see it there...
    I think maybe she made it up?

  5. I'm so old fashioned, I got my tonsils out when I was 4. Back then, tonsillectomies were practically prerequisite to starting school. You know, like those newfangled sugar cubes we ate that were supposed to make us not get polio.

  6. Wow. I could have written this post myself with two exceptions:

    *After CHRONIC tonsillitis (Ha! Beat THAT!)the big bad doc yanked them out when I was 10.

    *I do not have a clinic in my Walgreen's (but boy, that would be VERY helpful).

    I don't go to the doc unless I'm dying and I've never had my cholesterol checked. My bp is never above 105/65 (usually lower) so I must be doing something right. I have insurance that most folks would kill for.

    Eh. Them new fangled doctors are overrated. You and I could just go down to the apothecary and he'll whip something up for us. ;)

    Feel better soon!

  7. Leeches. I think you need to be bled.

  8. I'm with blackbird.

    After 10 years of having insurance and no doctor - because every one I'd gone to was HORRID - I moved halfway across the country and found the best doctor in the WORLD. Makes a huge difference. I squishy heart my doc.

    My youngest is having his tonsils and adenoids out this summer. Had mine out at age 6. It's out patient surgery now.

  9. And here I thought you were going to tell us you have the "vapors"...

  10. I will confess here that I had scurvy in college and it SUCKED big time. Now I'm pretty obsessive about taking vitamins and eating lots of fruit.

  11. Yeah, I had that tonsillectomy as a kid too. In fact, the doc put both sibs and I in the hospital and yanked them all out at once. Standard for the time period.

    I had pleurisy once, in my early 30's. More painful than childbirth, I swear.

    And I had a friend who was in the hospital around the same time, with one of her kids. They both had scarlet fever. Seriously.

    We tend to think, because we don't see these things much anymore, that they are gone for good. Not so.


Gentle Readers:

For the time being, I've turned off comment moderation. Please don't spam; it's not nice.

xxx, Poppy.