Saturday, April 17, 2010

Advances in Medical Science

I've finally had enough of this cough that will not go away, so this morning I went to the Praise Jesus Walk-In Clinic to seek some medical advice.

In my experience the walk-in clinic never has many people there when they first open. Most people who are having medical problems at the crack of dawn are having problems too serious for the clinic. Most of the people with clinic-level problems tend to show up at a more civilized hour. When I show up first thing in the morning, I get to see an actual physician with an MD. Anyone who shows up during a busy time is likely to see the PA*.

I explained to the doctor that I've had this cough for over a week (almost 10 days), and that it keeps waking me up the middle of the night despite my best efforts at mixing OTC drugs (cough syrup + benadryl). I also cough during the day, but I'm willing to put up with the inconvenience. If I wanted to wake up repeatedly during the night, I'd visit my brother and his screaming infant.

Drug-mixing will continue, but now under the direction of a physician. Zyrtec + Nasonex + albuterol + codeine cough syrup (Praise Jesus!). If I'm not any better in four days, I will be adding an antibiotic into the mix.

Now I need to find something to do today that it compatible with my sleep-deprived brain. Going in to the office to do work is completely ruled out, and I am not nearly awake enough, and there is some stupid sports-related event taking place on campus.

As work is ruled out today, I will have to figure out what people who are non-exempt from the FLSA do with their weekends. I'm not sure if I can remember the last time that I had a Saturday where I didn't do any work. But there is no way that my brain is awake enough to do any math, statistics, or computer science. I may head out to the outlet mall, as in the words of Barbie, "Math is hard. Let's go shopping."

*Yes, I know that most PAs can handle most routine things. When I had skin cancer last year, the only MD involved was the pathologist who interpreted the biopsy. The PA declared the spot suspicious, collected the biopsy, burned out the cancer, and did the three-month follow-up. All else being equal, for a routine problem I'd rather see an experienced PA than a brand-new MD. And yet, as I am a beautiful and unique snowflake (and a bit of a hypochondriac), I appreciate it when my intractable and disruptive cough is tended to by someone with a deep knowledge about the human body and who is almost certainly smart enough to have done reasonably well in calculus.