MY FIELD TRIP TO HELL

Two days ago, I woke up a seven year old. It was either that, or I woke up in the year 1953. I woke up with a rash. Later, I would be told I woke up with the measles. (But that bit of information doesn’t come until the end of this very long story.)

MY SYMPTOMS

I had a sore throat on Sunday. A bitty one, which gave me this tiny cough, that took place nearly every time I swallowed. It bugged me. It sucked. But I dealt with it. Sunday night, my upper arms started to show small bumps. You couldn’t see the rash, but you could feel it. But we thought nothing much of it at the time as I am allergic to everything.

On Monday, the rash had spread to my lower back. The bumps there were a little bit itchy. But it wasn’t too annoying. I thought nothing of it, still.

On Monday night, the rash was ALL OVER my torso. It had spread to my tummy as well. I began to think something of it.

On Tuesday, I felt like a leper. And so a doctor visit was in order.

MY TUESDAY

I must have called 15 doctors in our area. Either I was ignored and sent into some phone ringing cyber space, or I left messages never to be returned. Finally, some clinic in East Williamsburg said they could see me at 2. I headed over there and am still wishing that I hadn’t.

(I’ll try and give you a condensed version.) I walked into the clinic. Pregnant women surrounded me. They tossed the word

33 Comments

  1. awwwww… poor ms. measles…

    I hope you don’t get the mumps too!

    first in order when you are all better – find a regular doctor. please please.

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  2. I know. I will. I must. The clinic shit has got to stop. It’s no wonder so many (often times poor) people in the country die from so many curable ailments.

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  3. You poor thing!! What a terrible story. I hope you feel better soon. I don’t think people realize just how screwed up our medical system is until they find themselves or someone they care about confronting it like this, and then it’s too late. I remember how relieved I felt when I was able, finally, to program the phone # for my own primary care physician into my cell phone. It’s nice to know that there is an office that can usually fit me in quickly when something is enflamed, drippy, or not functioning properly (or some combination of the three). I can’t imagine putting a sick kid through that (and being a helpless parent who was missing work to do it). Drink fluids and get plenty of rest.

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  4. I love that Google is featuring advertisements about Scabies. ROCK ON! I have hit a new low!

    Charlie, I envy you. Suburbia is where the treatment is, surely.

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  5. You don’t have the measles. You have some sort of viral infection, but it ain’t the measles. The fact that the doc didn’t run labs is just sick. Who doesn’t run labs when an adult presents with retroviral symptoms? Hacks, man…

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  6. yes, i was just thinking that I don’t make that very clear here. I don’t have the measles, we don’t think. The guy I saw merely really needed 60 dollars in cash.

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  7. >Have you visited Africa lately?

    That is the dumbest question in repsonse to a rash i have ever heard.

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  8. Do you want pity or can I make jokes? (i only have 90 minutes of meetings today instead of 7 hours)

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  9. Yes, joke away! Please!

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  10. stupid hacks.

    I had one of those rash viruses a couple years ago. sounds the same. It’ll go away on its own like any other bug. Although I guess it is somewhat rare because I go to a doctor in a university hospital and when I had it he had a bunch of students come in and look at me like the Elephant Man.

    They key to a good city doctor is a recommendation from a current patient – ask around.

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  11. Do you get fevers, nico? I do not. And because I really enjoy self-diagnosing myself, I keep thinking this is merely a “fever” (sans the temperature) and I’m fighting some sort of virus like others do using fevers. I have no idea what I just said. Never mind.

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  12. And I thought my ‘walk-in’ clinic was bad… we’ve got this new TeleHealth thing in Ontario, where you call up a nurse, tell them your symptoms and they say whether you should go see a doctor. You’d think it would reduce the number of people going in to the doctor for a COLD.. but it doesn’t. Still, I’m glad it’s there.

    Don’t forget the epsom salts. And stay away from babies.

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  13. Send me an email with all your symptoms and i can give them a call tonight.

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  14. Yeah – I’m not sure what you just said either, but I’ll blame it on your “fever.”

    I get them, but I don’t think your body replaces one symptom with another – if that is what you mean. Sometime viruses don’t give you fevers. dunno.

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  15. oh, if you haven’t already, don’t google pictures of measles just to see what it looks like. I just gave myself nightmares of spotty kids with black bars over their eyes and a close up of a breach birth that slipped in there somehow.

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  16. Ack! What does being around babies have to do with anything? Cause I’ve been around babies. (amanda checks self for scabies)

    I’m sorry you are sick darlin. Feel better soon.

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  17. Thank god I don’t have any of that!

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  18. feel better soon! It’s always terrible to feel sick, no matter what the ailment might be.

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  19. How is your throat doing? I just hope it isn’t scarlet fever (which is strep). Left untreated you can get rheumatic fever, and that just plain sucks. I used to indulge the most extravagant hypochondriac fantasies. Let me know if you need any more!!

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  20. My throat no longer hurts at all. now, I just can’t stop sneezing. I sneeze like 15 times an hour and usually they come in intervals where I just stand there and sneeze. I think that little dirty juice drinking varmint gave me something.

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  21. Of course, if that diry varmint were a junkie you’d have more sympathy for him. Or have we gotten past that?

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  22. Oh, totally. But if the junkie gets me sick, he’ll have hell to pay. For sure. It’s like NIMBY only the “backyard” starts in or around my bodyline. NNMBY (Not Near My Body, Yo)

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  23. Michele, I hope you feel better very soon!

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  24. I am starting to believe that this is all due to allergies. I’m convinced. Now, I must find out what I am having this reaction to and why it’s so bad this week. (This was an aside)

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  25. Boy, that sucks. Hope you get all better soon. (Makes me thankful I have good health care coverage and a primary care physician I can usually see the same day if there’s something serious. Sucky job; good health care. Tradeoffs.)

    There might be benefits to being a leper. For example, if you were at a poker game, you could throw in your hand. Or, if you were in a hockey game, you could have a face-off in the corner!

    (Now that I’m permanently banned from this site… :-)

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  26. Getting banned from this site is nearly impossible. You’re doing just fine.
    ::writes down IP address::

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  27. It sounds like an allergy to me, with the sneezing and all.
    I went to a fine little walk-in clinic in Greenpoint once or twice. Right there on Manhattan Ave. The doctor I saw was good and patient and had an accupuncture chart on the wall next to his army medic accolades. Have you ever tried this place? Although I did go there once with some violent form of a stomach virus and was asked if i had been to Mexico recently…

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  28. PS: i love the topical nature of your Google ads. Well done!

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  29. Gina, you’ve been to the Greenpoint place? I think next time I will just go there instead. What a nightmare. (Side note: Have mitch pop on AIM tomorrow. PLEASE. I am the worst friend ever. I’ll email him, too.)

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  30. I hope you start feeling better soon – and I’m with Lana, I thought my clinic was bad. Now I feel like a whiny bitch for every moment I complained.

    Here are some questions you should have been asked by the doctor:

    Have you eaten anything new recently? Specifically on Sunday when the sore throat happened.

    Was there anything in your throat like white spots?

    How are/were the glands in your neck? Arm pits?

    Was there any swelling of your tongue, lips, around your eyes?

    The symptoms you are having sound like an allergic reaction to me… it could be something related to red wine too (or that you eat whenever you have red wine—because I believe you had a similar reaction before).

    If you want to find out what you are allergic to there are food lists / diets you can follow that introduce a new food every few days. When you get to the one you have problems with you will have a reaction. Or, you could just keep a food diary and write down what you eat and then how you felt for the next few days.

    I have to do that with the baby when she starts eating solids – so we can weed out any allergies.

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  31. Awww, poor mihow. What a horrible, horrible day.

    Every time my asthmatic daughter sees her pulmonologist, the (very sweet, but paid to ask X number of questions) asks, “Has she been exposed to tuberculosis?”

    And, EVERY TIME, I say…”Umm…not that I KNOW of…”

    Finally, last time, I said, “How would I KNOW that, anyway? Do people with TB walk around with signs on their chests, or do they shout ‘I have tuberculosis!’ wherever they go?”

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  32. ladybug, you said EXACTLY what I was thinking when I read that stupid sign. how stupid is that? I totally agree with you. I was thinking, isn’t that why I am here? So you can TELL me what’s wrong with me? hahha

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