touch me! Iím contagious! I am never sick -- at least not in a virus
sort of way. But, Iím sick.
Moan and groan Ė I have the crud.
Actually, I have strep throat. Yes, you heard me right. Isnít strep
throat something kids get?
It happened pretty quickly. One
evening my throat started getting sore. It hurt all night. By morning
it was a sure thing that I could not go to work. My head felt like a
boom box, and my throat was a roaring fireplace. Nothing helped, not
aspirin, not Hallís cough drops, not salt water gargles, none of the
usual home remedies.
I figured if I was sick enough to
stay home from work, I was sick enough to go to the doctor. Of course,
you canít get in to see a doctor when you are sick. You have to have
an appointment and by the time he can see you, you are no longer sick.
SoÖ enter Convenience Clinic. Yes,
the one on the corner down near where old Walmart used to be. The
Convenience Clinic had real doctors in its former days. Now clinics
have nurses playing doctor. And they are everywhere, mini clinics even
in drug stores. I guess real doctors donít want to waste their time
treating sneezes and runny noses.
At this point I was not particular.
I just wanted to see someone medical who could prescribe drugs. I must
say, the nurse practitioner was very thorough and professional. It
didnít really take a doctor to swab my throat and take my
temperature. I think she actually checked me out better than the
doctor usually does.
And if it is something really bad,
the clinic will just refer you to the emergency room saying they are
not equipped for serious problems. Bad as I felt, I didnít need an
ER. I thought it was a virus, or the beginning of a cold. I was
shocked when they told me I had strep throat. Iíve never had strep
throat in my entire life, never. But I have it now.
ďSo, how long will I be
contagious?Ē I asked. I had already missed one day of work.
ďForty-eight hours after you start
taking the antibiotics,Ē she replied.
ďThen I canít go to work
ďNo, do you need a note for
ďNot unless Iím out more than
I didnít want to go to the office
and make everyone sick for Christmas. I got my antibiotics and went
home to be stranded for 48 hours, suddenly remembering how I had put
off my Christmas shopping until the last minute. This is why you
shouldnít do that, I thought, after it was too late.
I declared war on germs and got out
my brown bottle of Lysol. I cleaned anything that hands touch,
doorknobs, light switches, telephones, you name it. Of course, strep
is caused by bacteria, not a virus. You get it out of the air, just by
being close to someone who sneezes or coughs. I donít know where I
got it. But a sore throat is not what I wanted for Christmas.
My time is almost up. Three more
hours and I wonít be contagious any more. I can go shopping. Thing
is, Iím too sick. The crud has gone to my head and I canít
breathe. And my stomach is acting up. I think I feel worse instead of
better. I think Iíll go back to bed.
Santa came early at my house, and if
this is my present, I must have been really naughty this year.