Something wasn’t right. And no it wasn’t the fact that less than 24 hours earlier, a dentist was pulling two teeth out of my mouth. I woke up the next day and felt fatigued. As I got up to do my morning routine, I noticed a bit of a cough developing.
“What the hell is going on?” I quickly grabbed my inhaler and took a puff of sweet relief.
But as the day progressed, the cough was getting worse…and I was using my inhaler more. I started to feel light-headed and my hands started to shiver. I looked outside and saw the bright sun shining into the store.
“It’s freakin’ 90 degrees…why am I so cold?”
I popped a couple of pills in my mouth and waited for them to do their job. I noticed that it took a lot more energy to do the simplest of tasks. Yes, I barely exercise….yes I love food…but I wasn’t this weak. I needed my energy because I had a busy weekend ahead of me. And by sunday night, my voice felt weak and more “kermit the frog-gy” than usual. This was not a simple bug that I could get over it. That’s one thing I have noticed in this whole “getting older” process.” It takes a lot longer to recover from everything. And I don’t necessarily help myself by replacing daily vitamins with Skittles or M&Ms.
Every day that passes by I realize how “mortal” I am. When you are younger your body defies logic…you can stay up all night and eat twinkies and ho-hos…and still get an A on that test that you didn’t study for. But, when you get older, just one twinkie flips your body inside out. I discover new weird pains in my body.
“What? Why does THAT hurt?” I haven’t used THAT in a while.”
I never do anything to prevent anything. I am an asthmatic so I am constantly living on the edge from one asthma attack to another. But, this day was another reminder of how stupid I am.
My breathing was laboring. I was choking on every cough. I couldn’t lie down to sleep because I couldn’t breathe. And the chastising began:
“Geez…see? You dont take care of yourself and look what happens? Can’t breathe again…and can’t see a doctor for another 9 hours. How are you going to sleep? Just lay here and cough the night away?”
I felt helpless. It seemed like an eternity til the moment when my doctor’s office opened. I called right at 8:30.
“…*pant…pant….deep breath…short breath..* Hello? …..I need….*short breath* to see….*cough cough COUGH COUGH* a doctor.”
The receptionist knew the situation was dire.
“How far do you live from this office? Only 10 minutes? Get here now.”
I put on whatever articles of clothing I could find and looked in the mirror.
Gray wool sweater…and blue Nike running pants. Definitely not Next Top Model type stuff and more like a dad in his 50’s going out to water the lawn. I didn’t care, I needed a breathing treatment ASAP.
I pulled into the doctor’s office and they took me right in.
“Daniel….please step on the scale….ok, step off.”
“Wait, how much do I weigh? That can’t be right…cause you know…im wearing this hat. And these shoes are really heavy, plus this wool sweater….this sweater alone is probably like 15 pounds. I mean, wearing this is basically lifting weights. Can we try the scale thing after all of this…”
She pointed to a room and told me to wait. A few minutes later a man came in and asked me the usual questions.
“Ok. Daniel…so let’s take off your shirt so we can check on your breathing.”
“Wait what? The whole shirt, what if I untuck the shirt so you can slip the stethoscope in there…and you know.”
“No, it’s best if we take off the shirt.”
I took off the heavy wool sweater….and the shirt underneath and sat there. I felt so naked. The doctor continued his checking of my breathing.
“Ok…deep breath. One more…deep breath”
I kept looking at myself and my exposed chest and belly.
The doctor left and I reached for my shirt.
“Oh…no. Keep that off.”
He left and came back with two other people. Two people who were assistants, each with their very own stethoscope.
“Great, more people to see my belly.”
I had three stethoscopes on me in various spots.
A few minutes later, they left and closed the door. Again, I reached for my shirt.
“Wait, I’m sorry. Not quite yet.”
And this time 2 more people came in, a total of 5 doctors and interns, each with their own stethoscope.
“See, listen right here in the bottom right quadrant of the left lung…it’s moist.”
I looked behind them and the door was left wide open….and the whole lobby completely filled stared as 5 doctors turned my flabby chest and belly into a learning session.
“Yes, it’s pneumonia, you are gonna need time off of work.We need to get you on antibiotics.”
I said nervously…”Do we ALL need to be in here?”
“Oh I am sorry, yes. These are students and this is a learning opportunity.”
“Well, I’m all for learning and everything…but now the whole office has LEARNED about my issues with pneumonia and from what they see, all the cake and cookies I eat.”
One doctor looked at the door and quickly closed it.
“Thanks, I guess. I think I might have ruined those people’s days…they can’t un-see what they saw.”
Today’s one word daily prompt is “Natty”, and that means clean and fashionable. Now, I wouldn’t consider what I wore to this doctor’s office as Natty, but if you know me, Natty is the complete opposite of how to describe me.