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Ruby-throated

Sunday started early with a call from Mary Kaye, who was in town for the holidays, telling me that she was cutting her visit short because her family members were being either indifferent or jerks and she was tired of being trapped in the house. I agreed to pick them up at noon and then went back to bed and talked to Esteban, who offered to let MK and her girlfriend Kathy use his Concorde. We had breakfast and then I was off to pick up the girls. We came home quickly so that Esteban could look at Kathy’s laptop, exchanged gifts and then were off to lunch and then gave Kathy a whirlwind tour of the highlights of Green Bay, which lasted longer than you would think. Kathy and MK were interested in seeing a movie, except that I hadn’t seen Meet the Parents nor Ocean’s Eleven, so wasn’t interested in seeing the sequels. I didn’t want to be a sequel killer (TM Kathy) so I left them to their own devices, went home and wrote for several hours.

Later, they called and said they had been to the casino and MK had won $600, so yay gambling! We celebrated by calling Fern and meeting her at our favorite supperclub, which was five minutes shy of closing. They let us order, though, probably because I heaped flattery upon the bartender as soon as I walked in, and we ate the fastest lobster dinner I’ve ever seen. We wanted to hang out, but only the bartender was left, so we let her close the joint and planned to rendezvous at a bar in town. Except that when we got there, the bar was closed too. The prospect of finding anything to do at 10 pm on a Sunday night in Green Bay was too dismal and Mary Kaye was tired, so we called it a night.

I stayed up very late because I didn’t have to work the next morning and I was on a natural high from the joy of sitting with some of my favorite people on this earth. Even though we may not see each other for many months or years, it is incredibly comfortable and refreshing to hang out with people who have known you since you were an awkward adolescent. As opposed to being an awkward post-adolescent, I guess.

On Monday morning, I woke up with a sore throat. It didn’t seem like anything major, but when I had my cranberry orange toast, I could barely swallow it. Also, I had a headache that just wouldn’t stop. I had planned to do some after Christmas shopping, but could barely get myself motivated to even attempt the ever-constant pile of (fucking) laundry and felt achey and tired. I half-heartedly tried to clean up the blackened mess of the stove and countertop but then when it wouldn’t come clean, my only recourse was to lie down in bed. I think at some level, I realized that something was up, because before I laid down, I undressed and put my pajamas back on. I watched Tivo for about fifteen minutes, got exasperated and finally acquiesced to falling asleep. Which I did for many many hours. I would wake every hour or so, check the clock and decide, nope, not done sleeping yet. Esteban hovered above me at one point, making sounds that somehow meant he was leaving to fix someone’s computer, so I grunted at him and fell back asleep.

I woke up when I was shivering too much to maintain unconsciousness, so I got up and put on my excellent thermal socks. The exertion of that act was overwhelming and my teeth were chattering. My throat felt as though it had a handful of nuts and bolts that I swallowed around. I put on a sweater and wandered into the living room. It wasn’t quite 5 pm so I called my clinic. The answering service said that a nurse would call me right back. I sat in the living room and shivered and then took the phone back into the bedroom with me. I didn’t want to go to the urgent care clinic in the hospital if I could get a standard appointment, but it wasn’t looking like I had much choice. Finally at 6, the phone rang and the nurse told me to go to the lab at the hospital. She was very specific about that’ not the clinic, just the lab, where they would take a throat culture and then she’d talk to me again by phone. Whatever. I called Esteban’s cell and asked him if he wouldn’t mind driving me. Then I started my car (love that auto start!), put a pair of pants on over my pajama bottoms, put on my long wool coat, gloves, and my fake Burberry scarf from London, and then sat in the recliner and tried to stop shivering.

Esteban arrived almost immediately and in a very jovial mood that perfectly clashed with my cranky ‘My God, I’m dying’ outlook. I asked him to grab water from the breezeway for me, but each and every Dasani was a lovely blue solid brick of ice. I moaned and made hissy noises, but he offered to stop at a convenience store and get one for me, so the prospect of the ride to the hospital became bearable once more. We got to the hospital, I hopped out of the car and Esteban waited for the valet, who looked like he was going to fetch the car but then must have decided against it, so then he parked the car himself. I went to check in and was forced to spell my name four thousand times to someone who didn’t speak English and then there was much conferring on the phone with the lab, who apparently was not expecting me and was not interested in my Weetabix-brand phlegm samples. After about ten minutes of ineffectual phone calls, I was getting surly from the overall lack of urgency, until finally Esteban grabbed my hand and said ‘No problem, we’ll just go to the clinic then.’ So we did.

Esteban worried that he wasn’t going to be able to get out of the gated parking lot, since he hadn’t waited for the valet, but I assured him that in my mood, I would urge him to Punch It Chewy and bust out of there. Shiny Happy People, I was not. Had I just gotten in the car and gone to the clinic in the first place, I would have been there at 5.

We were escorted to a room and left to our own devices. The examining table was too short to use as a bed, so I pulled up a chair and rested my head on the pillow. A very grumpy admin in a truly hideous Christmas sweater (complete with frolicking beaded elves who seemed to be break dancing across her matronly bosom) came in to get my information and then once again we were left alone. Esteban spent the time suppressing the urge to write graffiti somewhere in the room and I wiled the tens of minutes convincing myself that I was actually in another dimension that was a hundred degrees colder than the one everyone else seemed to be in. Perhaps I was actually in space? Perhaps this was an elaborate dream before dying, like in The Ox Bow Incident or something?

Finally, there was a knock on the door and in walked Howard.

Fucking Howard.

I was primed to go off on his ass about the time that I had the Death Throat and he declared it Not Strep and then sent me on my way with a cough syrup prescription when in actuality, I needed Z-packs before the Death Throat was vanquished by the rebel alliance (yeah, I don’t know what’s up with all the Star Wars references either). However, he took a look at my throat, noted that it was ‘pretty red’ (why thank you, I chose the color from Ralph Lauren Home) and agreed that my 100 degree temperature and other symptoms were textbook strep. He decided not to do a throat culture and just wrote me a prescription for antibiotics and also a Get Out Of Work Free card for Tuesday and Wednesday if I needed it. Which would have been splendid, however, as I was going to be the only person in the office on both of those days, I had to haul myself into the office regardless.

As soon as we got home, I went back to bed and Esteban made me his extra-special chicken and stars soup (which is made on the stove rather than in the microwave, so it tastes better somehow) because I hadn’t eaten anything all day but the cranberry orange toast. Then I watched some History Channel thing about the history of Hell and the Devil. Either that or I was actually visited by the Devil. One of the two. Regardless, it coaxed me out of the shivering tremors into so hot I could barely stand it, and I spent the rest of the night in a clammy sweating mess, waking every half hour or so to take another sip of water to extinguish the fire in my throat.

Best exchange of the evening:
Esteban : Did you use the Chloraseptic on your throat?
Weetabix : Yes, I did.
Esteban : (knowing that I hate that shit and avoid it like the plague) Did you really?
Weetabix :Really.
Esteban : You wouldn’t lie to me about that, would you?
Weetabix : I would indeed lie about that, but remorsefully, I did not lie in this case.

And now, still totally sick. My temperature is hovering at 102 today but hopefully it really IS strep and the antibiotics will start to kick in. Supposedly, if it was strep, I’m not contagious anymore, but I’m not kissing Esteban for the next few days regardless.

On the upside, I have this delusion that I must certainly be shedding five to ten pounds each day, between the no food and all the sweating and/or shivering, so I should be sporting the Banana Republic’s spring line in no time!

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  1. That's My Bix! › Let my Cameron goooooo…… on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    […] with rock stars, seriously) but knowing that my throat only hurts like that for exactly one reason: Strep. I felt lousier as the day progressed, but when I started sneezing and sniffling after work and felt […]

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