I’m finally getting past the nastiest throat infection I’ve had in a long time, probably due to having a day to do nothing but sleep and experiment with a few new tracks with Eric.
I’d been told at my mental health clinic by a nurse that my painful, metallic-phlegm tasting throat was actually red and yellow and would require antibiotics. I was given a referral to their partnered Medicaid-taking medical clinic downtown. It was cold and rainy yesterday. If I had remained the Catholic I’d been baptized, I suppose it would have been a disappointment for Noche Buena to be so dismal, but luckily for me it was just a typical day’s uncomfortable pain-in-the-ass.
In the doctor’s office I was given the customary first time patient forms to fill out, but a guy in a security guard uniform urgently approached the intake nurse. “Have her do mine first.” he said, dropping another form onto my clipboard. It was for an Ebola screening.
“You’re not gonna put me in a plastic tent, are you?” I asked feebly,making a nervous attempt at humor. The guard just gave me a wordless, expressionless gaze before turning to some of the other waiting patients to hand them the Ebola forms.
There wasn’t really a waiting room, just a few chairs said in the dim hallway between examination rooms. Though the human staff had all been very pleasant, it was clear the city wasn’t going to lavish the type of expense on the clinic itself as they had on the metal detector in my usual place. I chatted with a guy who recognized me from the program,but sparingly, given my throat ached when I spoke. Fortunately, he seemed to understand and didn’t take it for rudeness.
When the doctor finally examined me, he refuted the mental health nurse’s assessment that I needed anti-biotics at all, saying the infection was viral, not bacterial, and wrote me a prescription for TYLENOL. Yeah, you read that right, a thing I could pick up at any bodega or newwstand on my own. Without exacerbated the sickness with extra travel in a cold winter rain.
So overall, the whole thing was pretty perplexing to me. Eric and our other housemate seem to think the point of the whole goose chase was to get as much of that Medicaid co-pay as they could. I don’t know, maybe. All I know is that I never actually got tested for Ebola, and I don’t think anyone else did either.