Friday, August 11, 2006

The miracles of modern science

Tuesday, 8:00 a.m.: Kinda sore throat, general feeling that I’ve got a cold

Wednesday, 3:00 a.m.: HOLY CARP I’M GONNA DIE!!!

Wednesday, 3:15 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Writing of Last Will and Testament, incessant whining, popping Motrin, Advil, Tylenol, hot tea and anything else I can think of that might make my sore throat stop hurting so much. Fever. Chills. Trying to figure out how I could kill myself without a) expending any effort or b) negating our life insurance policy.

Wednesday, 3:15 p.m.: Official diagnosis of strep throat. Prescriptions given for antibiotics and codeine. Pediatrician called and Captain Adventure accused of being the infectious agent of doom.

Thursday, 3:00 a.m.: Still wishing I were dead. Not sure whether the codeine is helping or just adding ‘queasiness’ to the list of symptoms. Hating myself for not realizing that Captain Adventure so obviously also had strep throat. What kind of mother am I, anyway?!

Thursday, 6:00 p.m.: Drank soup, decided I’d probably survive. Gave the codeine a miss in favor of a nice hot cup of Theraflu and an early bedtime.

Friday, 6:00 a.m.: Hey. I’m going to live after all!! How cool is that?!

Modern science is amazing. The last time I had strep throat, they did the throat culture and sent it off to the lab, gave me antibiotics ‘in case’ and then called me a few days later to affirm that yes, I had strep. This time, they did the swab and set it in a little pregnancy-test like tray. Badda-bing, badda-boom: two lines means yes, strep is present. Two bold lines tell the good doctor that I’ve got a red-hot case of it. No messing around with ‘minimal treatment until confirmation’, oh no! He jumped straight for the antibiotics and the codeine. Hot diggity.

I still feel ‘eh’, but compared to yesterday? I feel great!! Which is also astonishing to me. In my memory, having strep throat is a week-long ordeal of lying around wishing my mom would quit trying to help and just let me die in peace. The last time I can remember having it as an adult, it was five days (and one emergency room trip) of wretchedness. And trying to run my mom off, because naturally she came to the apartment to help.

She’s a good mom. I only hope I’m a good enough mom to drive my children batty when they’re sick by insisting on fluffing their pillows and changing their blankets and constantly popping in to ask if they’re sure they don’t want {soup, tea, soda, water, popsicles, a sandwich, a trip to Monte Carlo}.

As much as I loathe modern medicine, there are times when I am amazed by how well things work These Days. I remember well taking the sulfurous penicillin choke-a-horse sized tablets for ten days. I remember wondering what kind of sadist would create a tablet that big for someone whose throat was swollen all but shut and hurt so badly the idea of swallowing air made their soul shrivel up and die inside them.

But now? Little capsules of amoxicillin, which turn all slippery when they hit water, tasteless and easily managed even when death was certainly nigh.

With any luck, by the time I’m old, they’ll be able to do tests that currently require {shudder} blood by having me spit into a cup; and test for cancers and stuff by waving a Star Trek-style wand around; and do surgery without messy old knives and sutures and stuff.

Shoot. If they can get me (mostly) through a strep throat episode in only two days, anything is possible...

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