Sick III

pete rosos

Part III:
Stumble out the door, over to the pharmacy. Grab a bottle of acetaminophen and a cool bottle of whatever-orange-flavored-drink-that-replenishes-electrolites. Wait in line. Watch the pharmacist deal with yet another customer who isn’t quite so sure how all this labyrinthian-pharmaceutical-insurance-coverage-plan thing works. Pins and needles in the throat and in the air in the form of some early 1980’s “Top Ten” hit that most people don’t want to remember. Finally get to the counter. Hand the prescription to the attendant. Can I buy these here too? Slide the pain pills and drink across the counter. “Sure. Do you want to wait here or pick up later?” How long will it take? “About 45 minutes.” I’ll pick it up later. “We’ll text you when its ready.” Thank you. Pay for the meds and drink and leave. Pop open the bottle of acetaminophen, crack the lid of orange-flavored liquid replenishment, and knock back two pills. Pins and needles. Go home. Wait. One hour gone and no text. Wait some more. The doctor was right about the acetaminophen. Try to have lunch with moderate success. Fatigue is still there though (and growing). Another hour passes, no text. Call the pharmacy. Ask about the penicillin. “It’ll be ready by 12:45.” 45 minutes my ass. Look at “things to do” list. Put everything on hold for at least the next two days (thankfully it’s a Friday). Grab a book and read. Reading makes the fatigue grow stronger. 12:45, head back to the pharmacy. Still more 80’s “hits.” Get the penicillin, head home, pop a pill, and give in to the fatigue.

Wake up mid evening. Pins and needles are back. Face is still puffy. Go to the mirror in the bathroom. Add the word “reptilian” to the list of pugilist associative adjectives. Skin surface is now dry and cracked in addition to swollen and red. Give my left cheek a tiny pinch. Yellow pus oozes. Pinch a little harder. More yellow pus. Succumb to secret urge/pleasure of ridding the body of all bacteria laden liquid secretions. Messy. Wash the face thoroughly and promise not to do that anymore. More acetaminophen. Wait for the desired effect. Have some dinner. Soup. Homemade soup. Things are looking better. Wife and kids express their concerns. Reassurance of eventual full recovery is provided. Walk the dogs. The cool night fog breeze feels good on the face. This is heartening. Things will get better soon. Fatigue sets in again. Get home. Take another penicillin. Give in to the fatigue.

The next two days went like this: Wake up. Medicate. Do what’s feasible (i.e. walk the dogs and stay away from family to help ensure the hope on non-transmission). Eat. Read. Sleep. Repeat. Summarizing one’s day into something only slightly more complicated than the instructions found on a shampoo bottle is not nearly as joyless as it seems once strength starts to rear its head again and the pins and needles disapate.. After two days the penicillin rendered the use of acetaminophen useless. My swollen oozy face slowly started returning to normal, although still a bit saurian dry in appearance. I did milk at least one more afternoon of rest because the book I was reading was hard to put down. Although things went back to the same-old-same-old, I wouldn’t trade another day of same-old-same-old for the pulsing drab weight of aching burning ugly that is being sick.

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