I have been sick for well over a week. I told MrSteve that I had malaria. He was skeptical of this, as I have not been out of the country or anywhere near a river, and all the mosquitoes in Chicago have flown south for the winter, or where ever it is that they go. I looked in my throat in the mirror with a flashlight and found that my flesh most closely resembled freshly ground beef. This, combined with a week of hacking up respiratory organs, was enough to finally convince me that I should have a medical professional look into it.
We have previously established, I think, that I am a very lazy person. Procrastination is my main form of artistic self-expression. Because of this I only go to the doctor when prescriptions expire. And since my dad doesn't live here and can't do things like pick out doctors for me, I have no primary care physician in Chicago. This is the circumstance that led me to seek answers at an immediate care clinic.
I sat in the waiting room and checked out the magazine selection. I had my choice of Field and Stream or Sporting News Weekly. I picked up a two week old Sporting News Weekly and thumbed through it. It predicted a Superbowl battle between the Cowboys and the Ravens. This made me laugh out loud.
The nurse called my name and ushered me into a room. It quickly became apparent that English was not her first language. Eventually I started answering yes or no to her questions at random rather than point out that I couldn't understand half of what she was saying. "Are you on any medications?"
"Yes, Tri-levelen and Welbutrin."
"OK, can you spell for me?" I thought maybe I should make more of an effort to find a private practice somewhere. She swabbed my throat to make sure I didn't have strep (which was my primary concern; my tonsils came out in second grade because I kept getting it) and told me that the doctor would be in soon.
Whatever fears I had about the quality of care at this place vanished as soon as the doctor came in the door. He introduced himself and shook my hand. "How are you today?"
"That's a great answer. If you would have said good I would have known you were a liar."
He took a look in my throat. "Good news!" he told me. "You don't have tonsilitis! But you knew that, because you don't have tonsils."
He had me lay down so he could listen to my chest. When I pulled my shirt up he gasped at my belly piercing. "OH MY GOD! Didn't that hurt?"
"Not really, I mean not much. Like getting a shot." He shook his head in dismay.
"Shots hurt. No piercings for me. No tattoos. I told my wife if I die with more holes in my body than I was born with, that's the hole that killed me."
I took my glasses off so he could tap on my head. "Do you wear contact lenses?"
I feared this might be a trick question. "Um, yes. Sometimes. I mean, not all the time."
"Good. You should wear them. You have beautiful eyes. It would be a shame to hide them behind those glasses." I decided he was the best doctor ever.
In the end he decided I had sinusitis, which is really just a fancy word for the entire upper half of my body is filled with snot. I decided this was not nearly as interesting as having malaria. He prescribed an antibiotic, an antihistamine and two cough medications, and sent me on my way.
It wasn't until the desk receptionist checked me out and I turned to leave that I remembered I was in an immediate care clinic and not at my awesome new doctor's private practice. Sitting in the waiting room, sniffling like it was his job, was a pimp in a bright green pimp suit. Green suit with his shirt half open, matching shiny green shoes, mounds of bling and, for real kids, a bright green hat with a feather in it. He had a gold knobbed walking stick laying across his lap. I almost looked around for cameras. I was sure he had stepped right out of a Snoop Dogg video. Pimps need doctors too I guess. It's hard to keep your bitches in line if you keep sneezing all over them.