Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Eye'm All Right...

My own little adventure today. I will assemble this into something that makes sense at a later time.

doctor
old lady
yacking
internet
canadian meds
search engines
time to learn
ebay
yukon
eye

---

Okay, to set some minds at ease, no this list of words isn't for the next Storytelling game. These were quick notes so that I wouldn't forget my amazing, fantastical adventure to the doctor yesterday! It was a thing of joy. Allow me to recount the events:

First, for those who didn't know, my right eye started to leak tears last Thursday on my way in to work. I figured that they were just sensitive to the sun and didn't really think much of it. But it didn't stop and I spent the day constantly wiping my eye.

On Friday, it was still happening. Being who I am, I resisted even thinking about going to the doctor. Can't stand it. Have my reasons.

Saturday it was still leaking and my lower lid was feeling tender from all of the rubbing. But I was going to go to karaoke dammit! Drippy eye be damned! So, I went, sang for a change, and had fun in spite of the idiot DJ and the ciggy smoke. I didn't get home until 1:30 a.m. I had decided earlier in the evening that if my eye was still messed up on Monday I would make a doctor's appointment. Not really meaning a word of it. It would get better on its own.

Sunday my head hurt, my eyes hurt and my throat hurt. There was only a small amount of tearing from my eye so I figured all was well. I finished off the day with a feeling of pressure in my head, but otherwise okay.

I woke up Monday morning with my right eye stuck shut. When I looked in the mirror I saw that the lower lid was puffed up and crusty. I got in the shower and let the hot water wash away the crust but when I was done it was still puffy and had started to leak about as bad as before. I called in to work sick, took a hot washcloth, put it against my eye and fell asleep.

I awoke near noon with the cold damp washcloth still in place and my eye feeling a bit scratchy but no longer puffy. Still leaky though. I logged into AIM®™©, saw Derek online and asked him how work was going. I felt guilty for not being there. I always do when I'm out sick. I'm stupid like that.

I filled him in on what was up with my eye and he told me that I needed to go to the doctor. I didn't want to. It'll be fine, I was sure. He sent me to webmd.com and I followed the symptoms I was experiencing on the symptom doll ("for the records, point out again where he touched you.") and eventually arrived at a page that said, "Go to the doctor. It's not going to get better on its own. Dummy."

So fine. I called the doctor's office to schedule an appointment. Nobody was there. It seems they close the office from noon to 2pm for lunch. I had forgotten this because it had been a long time sine I last went. After 2pm I was able to schedule the appointment for the following day at 2:15pm. The rest of the night was drippy.

Tuesday I woke up with a bit of crust, but no swelling and only a little bit o' leaking. For a moment the thought crossed my mind that I might not have to go to the doctor after all. But no. It hadn't stopped yet. It was just teasing me. I showered and went to work.

As a side note to the day, I wanted to take a fast lunch so I ran down the street to Subway. They were out of bread. They sold 75 sandwiches in an hour and were just finally able to start making new bread. Well, fine. Great. I went out and looked at my options. I settled on Popeye's . A little irony with my lunch. Helps the digestion.

I took off at ten to two in the middle of a rainstorm. Lightning, thunder, tornadoes, hail. God was with me, I could feel it. I arrived at the doctor's with five minutes to spare. There was a lull in the rain, so I hurried from my car staying low to avoid any rogue lightning or tornadoes. At first I couldn't remember which door was the one I needed. I thought it might be the one the old man in the walker was parked in front of and looking disgustedly at, but no. It was the other one that was open. Mocking me.

I got inside and the receptionist had her head down on her desk like she was taking a nap. I guess those two hour lunches really wear on a person. She looked up at me like, "Dude I was dreaming of ponies and you had to go and wake me! Fucker!" but she was actually nice about it in a monotone way. She asked my name, if my insurance information was still correct and told me to have a seat. Someone would be with me shortly.

I think that is the only part of the whole thing that went as advertised. Someone was with me shortly. She was a very sad woman. She seemed like she was wishing that she could dream of ponies for a change. But no, it was her duty to deal with me.

She took me back and weighed me. I asked if I should take off my big, honkin' boots but she said she would adjust for that. Then she slid the weights rapidly around. to her credit she started with the big one set at 200, 'cause I hide my weight well (insert eye roll). She slid the next one all the way to the end and the beam didn't even waver. It may have snickered though. Or it might have been her. I don't know. I was just thinking, "See? I should have taken off the boots." So a quick flip of the big one to the next notch and the beam dropped with the little one still at the far end. Yay me! I'm still a few pounds shy of "fat bastard". She slid the small one back along the beam until it shifted up again, noted my weight in my record as "Hefty fucker" and took me to the examining room for the blood pressure test and to await the doctor. At least this time she didn't whistle when she got the readings.

So, there I sat, waiting for the doctor. I spent some time watching an ant run a dizzy pattern across the tile floor. I considered crushing him, but then decided, "Nahhh. Just because my day is sucking is no reason to take it out on him."

I could hear the doctor speaking with a very old woman and what I assumed to be her old daughter. There was no youth there and I'll tell you how I knew. The very old woman sounded very old and was talking about diseases she thought she might have. The doctor was assuring her that all things considered, she wasn't doing badly. Then the younger old lady started talking. I wasn't TRYING to listen, but hell, I had nothing else to do.

When I really started to pay attention she was talking to him about ordering Canadian medications over the internet. She was saying how hard it can be to find places to order from. He said the same thing I was thinking, "It's not that hard. Just enter what you are looking for in a search engine like Yahoo, Google or...ummm...Alta Vista."

She replied with, "Oh I do! But it can all be so confusing! Who has time to learn it all?" I thought, kids and old people have the time. What's your problem? Just look at the time you are wasting talking to the doctor when you could be polishing up your net skillz, Leave already. My eye is drippy dammit.

Then she continued. And this made me smile. Mom, are you reading this? I hope so. "Oh but have you been to eBay? It's wonderful the things you can get there!" I just rolled my eyes (the squishy one dribbled a bit) and smiled in spite of myself. Mom, don't become this lady. You think we make fun of you now...

The doctor was muttering agreements, and any sane person would have realized they were not the center of this man's universe and there were other people waiting for his attention, but she just went on and on (much like this post) about the Yukon she won on eBay, "The man said he bought it for his daughter and she barely ever drove it because she didn't like the pedals because they were shaped funny and it only had fourteen thousand miles on it, but they are perfect for me and it's wonderful *breathe* and it's amazing the kinds of things you can find that people are selling," etc. until the end of time. I think some loony must have told her that he put a bomb in her and if she stops talking she will explode.

Finally the doctor escaped the gravitational pull of her open mouth and came in to see if I was going to also talk forever. And that is the final proof that there was no youth in that room. A younger doctor would have told her he was a busy man, and would she kindly fuck off toward the door. Good day.

Luckily, as much as I hate going to a doctor, I'm an easy patient. I don't want to be there any longer than they want me to be there. It may lead to a misdiagnosis that winds up killing me, but for now it's expedient.

He asked about my symptoms and checked all of my head orifices, which included some thumping, poking, peeking and popsicle sticks. He put the stick so far down my throat that I gagged. He apologized and said there was some white stuff on the side of my throat that sort of concerned him. We decided that it was the red beans & rice I had with lunch. I know. Made me feel queasy too.

He concluded that the problem with my eye was likely caused by a low grade infection and prescribed some eye drops that I am to take for five days, two drops, four times a day. And that was it, I was out of there. They had me pay my co-pay on the way out, which I thought was unusual. It might be so that if you die during treatment, it's on them. I'm not sure. So. $30 gone.

The only other kick in the ass that day was the dinky bottle of eye drops cost $40. On the paper they attach to the bag it was nice enough to let me know that "You insurance saved you $25.53! Ask us about low cost generic versions of this medication!" Assholes. How about you TELL me about low cost versions of this medication before I shell out the forty FREAKING dollars. I just hope they work and I don't have to go through this process again.

Still drippy after three doses. They burn and make me want to claw out my eye, so that must mean it's working, right? And I can now see a color that I didn't know existed before, so it's not all bad. I've decided to name it "Jingle" to mess with the Christmas songs.

And that's it. Thanks for reading. I'll let you all know if my eye falls out.

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"Boring a hole in the patient’s head creates a door through which the demons can escape, and - viola! - out goes the crazy."