December 18, 2009

Melodramommy Meets Urgent Care

As I write my first post, I'm already feeling the effects of the NyQuil I added to my own sippy cup tonight in efforts to combat what I think has been a lingering sinus infection. Here's a story for you of the drama from just today:

So, having my sleep disrupted the previous night from coughing, which made my voice sound a weird mix between an adolescent boy and my great aunt who smoked 30-years-one-too-many cigarettes, I determined that I would finally go to the doctor. The problem was that the weather forecast predicted a snowstorm; not the most enticing conditions to venture out to the doctor, keeping in mind I'd be lugging my 2-year-old girl and 10-month-old boy. Long story short, I find myself at an Urgent Care. Surely, it being a closer drive and not requiring an appointment would get me in and out in time to make it home before the snow. NOT SO.

I get there, lugging in my long double stroller with both canopies engaged to act like shields against any lingering viruses in the air.  I intentionally sit myself on the furthest side of the waiting room, as far away from the pale young woman whose frown greeted me at the door. As I sit there, waiting and waiting, all I can think is: Ms. Receptionist, can't you see I have a crying baby whom I am trying so hard to keep away from all these sick people. Can you call me into the room already? Then, an older looking Hispanic man goes into the restroom and begins a series of flushes that announces to all, stomach flu.  By the third flush, all I can think is GET OUT OF HERE. Six flushes. He walks out of the bathroom, feet dragging, and walks up to the water fountain, which is only 10 feet from me and the stroller, and rinses his mouth out in the water fountain! As I hear the man swishing the water in his mouth, all I can think is, PLEASE tell me this man isn't dancing his post-vomitose tongue in the water fountain where people are going to drink! And PLEASE tell me this isn't happening so close I can hear it!

As I'm listening to this man's clunk of spit hit the metal rim of the fountain, I am so horrified as the reality of this man's stomach virus germs are within reaching distance to both my baby and me!  The secret, silent, germaphobic alarm bells were sounding before I even walked in the room, you can imagine how they sound now!  For a moment, I envision and relive one of the most dramatic, scarring motherly memories that occurred only 7 months earlier when my non-potty-trained toddler endured SEVEN DAYs of vomit and diarrhea that made me give her showers, with yellow, elbow-high rubber gloves to rinse off the remnants and made me feel like I was driving a de-sterilization Nazi camp--keep in mind I also had a 7-week-old infant I was desperately trying to keep healthy and away from the threat. After that passed, we did have second bout of the stomach bug, one that only lasted two days a person, but went through my ENTIRE family. So, here a few months later, is it any wonder why I might be just a little overly sensitized to the possibility of a third GI manifestation!

So I wait for the man to take a few steps to my left, the door is on the right, and I gracelessly grab the stroller, quickly ask for the receptionist to return my health insurance card, and sprint out the door, pushing the stroller with one hand and retrieving the disinfectant wipes out from my purse with the other hand and had everything wiped down before I even reached my car. SAFETY! Upon returning home I washed my hands for so long that I actually have some dry skin cracks on my knuckles. I'm sorry but, sinus infection or not,  I'm not about to stay in the waiting room with my little baby boy when there is a man walking around with a stomach virus, spewing his germs in the fountain next to me.

The moral of this story for all you melodramommies out there:  just don't go to an Urgent care. Avoid it at all costs. And if you do go, wear a radioactive protective suit that covers head to toe, perhaps one with its own oxygen mask and tank, and wear that--don't forget to put one on baby too. But don't bring your baby and don't go unprotected.  And finally, if you should ever be that person who has the stomach bug and is in the urgent care, PLEASE don't be rinsing out your mouth in the public water fountain, ESPECIALLY if there is a woman with a baby next to you.  You think she doesn't hear, but in reality she is listening with every hair on her head standing, head tilting, eyes squinting, stomach pitting, heart palpitating, hands gripping the stroller, and it might take her all day and even blogging about it to get over what you just traumatized her with--that is IF she's lucky.

Well, I'm struggling to stay awake. The NyQuil has set in. Until next time.

Posted by Laura

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