The November diaries: I was diagnosed with bronchitis today, what’s it going to be tomorrow?

Ah, what it week it’s been. Election Day was exhausting for people of all political affiliations. Yesterday, I learned I had pink eye. Today, I was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection — also known as bronchitis. I spent the previous night coughing nonstop. I coughed so much, my abs are as sore as they’d be after a hardcore Pilates session. At 7:45 this morning, I marched over to Urgent Care for a follow-up visit. I was the first person in the lobby, and because the receptionists are awesome, they waived my copay fee. Sometimes, socialism seems pretty awesome.

Anyway, a different doctor examined me, and while the new one was fast and direct, he lacked the kind of bedside manner I need when visiting a medical professional. I don’t know about you, but candor is everything to me in a physician.

The nurse wasn’t much better, either. After I explained my symptoms, she whooped, “Oh my GOD!” As if that’s music to a patient’s ear. Of course, I am in no position to judge or pick apart these folks. They went to school for this and I have a bachelor’s degree in creative writing. It was just a little unusual for the doctor to pop in, bark at me, listen to my lungs, and defer all his answers to the nurse right before my eyes, as if I wasn’t even in the room.

“She has an upper respiratory infection,” he told her, causing me to step in and ask questions of my own.

That was when he began prescribing me a laundry list of medications. More often than not, I’m skeptical of medication intake, but he gave me all the right things. I’m just relieved my cough is going away, albeit slowly. My throat is ragged and sore from all the hacking and wheezing, but I should be better by early next week. I was in and out of the doctor’s office in fifteen minutes, and right before I left, he said to me, “If you plan on sleeping with someone this week, use a condom because your antibiotics are going to counteract any contraceptive pills you may use.”

“Believe me, there’s no way I’m going near anyone for a while,” I said with a laugh. “Look at me!”

I mean, I haven’t been able to wear makeup in days, I’m getting over cough attacks, and I spent the entire week sniffling and sneezing. I’m not exactly at my finest right now.

Per the doctor’s order, I’m laying low this weekend. It’s hard to believe that just three weeks ago, I was toasting beers with a pack of gorgeous Australians and some of my closest New York friends. Then the weather cooled down, Sandy blasted through the city, and I got sick. Again, I apologize for all the moping. It’s unattractive and off-putting, I know. I just want my old life back, and I often feel winter time robs me of that. Guess that means I need to spend even more time watching Christmas movies and planning for the holidays. Oh, Christmas tree, help me out here.


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