Friday, March 21, 2008

The nurse lifted her flashlight up to my mouth and peered at the back of my throat, which was red and swollen and covered in big white patches like lichen on a moist red log. She gave a wiggle of glee and practically danced back to to the counter to pick up a sealed package, crowing, "I'm gonna have a positive! I'm just going to do a strep test here, so that can cook while you're waiting for the doctor. But that looks pretty bad, so it's probably going to come back good. And not that I want you to be sick or anything, but since you are..." The nurses must be keeping a tally of positive strep tests, since being really sick is totally in this season.

I might have told her that, no, she was working with me, so the most obvious option is never the correct one. That even though it walks like strep throat and quacks like strep throat, it's probably not going to be strep throat. But that whole passageway had swollen shut two days before, making all speaking incredibly painful and muppet-sounding, and anyway she'd find out in a few minutes, so why ruin her anticipation? Instead I just gurgled around a couple of giant cotton swabs rolling around my uvula.

And of course it isn't strep throat, because why have something that can be cured by antibiotics when it's so much easier to get something harder to get rid of. The doctor walked into the room, took one look at my tonsils making lumps on either side of my neck like the bolts on Frankenstein's monster, and an alarmed glance at the inside of my mouth, and prescribed a cocktail of painkillers and anti-inflammatories.

Really, I don't think the trip to that awful strip club was worth getting an epic viral infection in my throat, but that's what I'm blaming it on. Rather than, you know, crowded parties full of strangers, too many late nights, or kissing boys.

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