Friday, July 20, 2007

Back to the Sketch Pad

WHEN WAS THE last time you got sick? I mean really, really sick that you can't even go to the bathroom and pee without causing pain in yourself.

About six days ago, I found myself awake at the most upsetting time in the morning, half naked and my body was trembling terribly I can't put it in words.

Doctors are supposed to tell a patient if he's okay and not the other way around.

I thought I was just having a bad case of sleeping without a shirt. As soon as the sun blinded my eyes on a Friday morning, I got myself up to the same daily morning routine of heading to work even if I was already feeling bad and high on paracetamol. Later that day, the fever took a toll on me. I was already wearing a jacket on top of another jacket besides the fact that I was also working under the cold shudder of an air-conditioning about a meter away from my head. So I guess that made the matter worst.

My eyes felt like they're about to fall off and my knee caps were on the verge of collapsing when I decided to have myself checked by the company clinic.

They took two basic measurements before they let me inside one of the cubicles where the doctor was sleeping waiting. One nurse immediately embraced a cuff around my arm, put her stethoscope and pumped air into it before releasing it gradually. Then she took the digital ear thermometer and pushed it gently into my left hearing organ. The clicking sound signaled that my temperature is gauged and ready to be announced soon.

"36.7 degrees po" said the nurse-wannabe who appeared to be a student and is actually on her task to completing her time being an apprentice.

"Ha! Seryoso ka ba?" my cheek was flushed with red when I mumbled these words.

Later on, I was already sitting inside a four walled box with the top side exposed and conversing with the doctor, like I was being judged for a crime and penalty was being cooked for dinner. She asked me if I was feeling okay. I told her I have a fever.

"Pero wala ka naman lagnat oh, 36 lang yung temperature mo eh", she muzzled these words like a painful shot right in my face.

Then, she prescribed me to take ascorbic acid once a day for the colds, and continuously eat paracetamol tablet for the fever every four hours. And if ever the fever doesn't subside, she advised me to better have my blood tested for a possible dengue virus infection. She let me out without touching any part of my body nor use any instrument to hear my heart beat, or check my eyes and throat, the way I expect doctors would do to a feverish patient.

Sunday. If I was kid, I would be filling the pail of tears because the needle suddenly has transformed into an enormous child-eating monster. But I am no longer a kid so this description fitted that of the boy who almost pulled his mother's arm and turned it into a missing Lego part of some mannequin, when she helped the nurse draw drops of blood from his tiny finger. When it was my turn, it was fairly easy as if I just wore away an ant bite. They used a sharp lance powered by a spring launcher that appeared much like a ballpen.

However, I thought that was the end of it. Later on, the doctor in the emergency room persistently asked if my eyes were yellow colored, or if any of my friends had told me my eyes are not as clear as white but resembles that of a ripen banana. She really thought they were not as white as they seemed, so she told me I'd better take the Hepa test. It automatically meant another trip to the laboratory but this time, with the syringe woman.

She wasn't as lovely as I've thought her to be. She was silent and too damn busy with her paperwork that if I interrupted her from her peace with her writing all sorts of lab results (and who knows what else), I might have awaken a sleeping fire breathing dragon. I kept my silence instead and waited.

Judging by her looks, I thought she have a light hand. Because for the first time in history, I have to endure the most painful injection of a needle in my right arm. I tried to sound like it was nothing but it was really painful as if my bone was just pressed with its tip sans the pain reliever. I wanted to cry but I couldn't. I must have forgotten how to leak my tears when pain consumed the rest of my body.

The results were up few hours after lunch time and thank God all tests yielded negative. I don't have a Dengue. My blood is free of Hepa. Not even the common UTI was spotted in my system. It turned out that I have a severely infected and swollen tonsils.

I went home and spent the next 3 days recuperating and rediscovered the fun in reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Thanks to that defective digital ear thermometer, I re-learned a new few things:

  • Don't sleep naked and without any cover while the blower is fanning your back.
  • Syringe, when injected by a careless woman in white robe is a pain in the ass.
  • Digital ear thermometer must be calibrated over time especially when it is being used in a clinic whose patients go beyond a hundred every day.
  • Doctors are supposed to tell a patient if he's okay and not the other way around.

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