I remember getting sick for the first time as a freshman in college. It was the flu. I had a roommate named Charles. He was a Junior. And although he tried to nurse me and attend to my needs, I was miserable. Being away from your mom or all your familiar home comforts while sick is the worst.
I get Strep throat at least twice a winter. I’ve gotten so good at detecting the early symptoms, I know I have it before any of the tell-tale signs develop. The odd thing is I don’t really get sick, sick. I don’t get fever, or sniffles or any of that. My throat gets those disgusting sores and my lymph nodes swell that’s it. One would never know I had it. I should have gotten my tonsils out while in the States. But I didn’t.
Last night, while on the Internet, I got that feeling. Damn! I tried to wish it away as maybe I was screaming lately. But no, this morning, there was no doubt about it.
On the way to school I called the insurance agent, promptly, and she made an appointment for after school.
I came home and fortunately Caroline was available. So we planned on meeting so she could go with me. Ozurgeti has a pretty new hospital on top of a hill overlooking the town. Once there, the charades/ pointing/ use-what-words-you–know game commenced. (That’s why it’s good to bring a friend along. Two clueless people are inevitably better than one.)
We finally got to the right doctor. She spoke little English, but enough to get through. We had to go back upstairs to start a history profile document. (I now have a medical history document in Georgia… I’m in the system.) Talk about staring! I literally saw people stop in mid stride/ sentence and punch their friend to get their attention. While waiting for them to get the forms together, Guess who we saw… Dato, Brooke’s host brother. That guy is EVERYWHERE.
Back downstairs to another doctor who actually checked me out. I am the biggest pansy at the doctor’s office. I hate getting stuck with needles, but I can do it. I HATE the mouth swab thing where they put the Q-tip in the back of your throat. I have a wicked gag reflex. The doctor wasn’t too happy… they rarely are.
She then wrote out a prescription for me. Told me to go to the pharmacy and I should be good to go.
At the pharmacy, the first thing the lady does is point to the paper and motions that she doesn’t have one of the medications. Ugh. I call the doctor and have her talk to the pharmacist. I thought they had it all resolved, but the pharmacist again points to the paper and says she doesn’t have it. Okay. I can’t do anything but shrug. Then as always, the lady behind me speaks descent English. She interrupts, “They don’t have this medicine, but they have an equally effective one.” Great!
I pay. I go home.
The host mom and grandmother are in the foyer. So I tell them I went to the hospital and show them the medications. They read it and tell me when to take what. By this time I’m spent. I go straight upstairs and crash.
I woke up with an increasing pain in my stomach. And when I went downstairs, they got out the thermometer and found I had a fever. Yikes! I must admit, I was feeling shitty. They both went into hyper mom mode, trying to ask a thousand questions. The host mom finally settled on a pill that I took.
And now… I am feeling fine. Well, I still have Strep.