3.12.2007

The Very Likely Whiny Little Baby

I visited Madigan three times. Once Saturday, one Sunday, and one Monday. The first day, I had some evil pain in my armpit, and thought maybe I had a small muscle tear from all the pushups I cry while having to do. The PA lady saw my smallpox vaccination and asked if there was a lump. I explained that I had been too girly to palpate it much, considering putting on deodorant made me want to weep like an infant with an ear infection.

So what does she do? She jabs it, guessing EXACTLY where it hurts. She asks if it hurts while laughing a little and I screech, "YESYESYESTHATSIT!" I couldn't stay mad though, because she was really cute. Can I say that on here?

Anyway, it was a badly swollen lymph node, from the smallpox shot. Just have to suck it up. My temperature at the time was 99.7 (Fahrenheit I think). As I walked back to my barracks (yeah, I walked the three miles or whatever distance it was to Madigan Army Medical Center. Some dude from Ranger Batt offered me a ride, which if you ask me, is pretty cool. So I took him up on his offer. Once I was back in the barracks, I rested and lounged a bit, and my temperature slowly climbed. So of course I slept as much as I could.

My roommate left for good (medical discharge, after the arduous 6+ months that process took) Sunday at noon, and I felt a little too shitty to even give him a decent sendoff, but it wasn't such a big deal since we know we're more likely to keep in touch than we would with many other people.

By Sunday night, I had to have a friend take me to the ER. My fever was so high, I literally could not figure out how to sleep. My mind was scrambled, thick gooey paste of overheated stupid blended up and simmered in a big frying pan of suck. I couldn't connect mental images to verbal words. I was sucking, bad. Unable to function. I got a friend of mine to take me back to the ER.

My temperature was 103.7. They gave me some aspirin to break the fever and when I was finally seen (felt like eternity) the same PA lady at first said that fever is likely to accompany the infection from the smallpox. Then she asked if I had throat pain. Why yes ma'am, yes indeed I do, and I don't particularly like it. She looked inside my mouth.

"Yeah.....you've got strep."

Yet again huh? Great. She gave me penicillin and the usual aspirin and ibuprofen.

I woke up this morning feeling intensely rough. My throat hurt so bad I couldn't even eat. I looked at my nasty ass tonsils in the mirror, and they weren't hard to find, you believe you me. They were huge, practically high-fiving, covered in white pus, which I could taste at all times. I'd try not to salivate to keep from enjoying a mouthful of Oh My God That Hurts. I was on quarters, didn't have to work today, but the aid station was closed, so I had to go to Madigan a THIRD time. They never told me what my temperature was, and I really don't care. It rises and falls with all the pills I take. I feel like Keith Richards.

I don't like to seem like an asshole, but when you're sick, some things you really aren't in the mood for. I was grateful for this little boy who was quietly playing a GameBoy. Ignoring my wimpy agony, I silently wished him a prosperous life. A thousand blessings upon ye, child.

But not all little kids are quiet. Some are extremely talkative and out of control. Each word this particular kid spoke was like a vicious shot to the dome from Butterbean. To make matters worse, after I had been waiting for an hour, they had only screened one patient. Eventually things started rolling, but that miserable sense of purgatory returned the way it always seems to.

A tour of schoolkids came through, no idea where they were from. I made eye contact with a few of them. To them, it probably seemed like I was scowling. I was. The NCO leading their tour says, "And this is the Emergency Room. As you can see, its quite busy today." That kind of rubbed it in just a little bit.

After being screened it really didnt take all that long for me to be seen by a physician. He called it tonsilitis. Its always this way. Thats one thing I hate about army health care. You almost NEVER see the same doctor twice (though I DID see the cute PA twice in a row, very nice). So one diagnosis is strep. The other is tonsilitis. And its not the same thing? Hell if I know. I explain to the doctor that I couldn't eat because my throat was re-enacting "300". I'm to continue the penicillin, and now I had tylenol with codeine, which does a great job of knocking me out. Little loopy right now actually. Might explain why I'm jumping around so much. In fact, I think I might have posted part of this earlier.

I bought a bunch of chunky soup, the microwavable kind, and the Cup of Noodles things. I ate half of a Chunky Soup, and threw a little bit of it up. That was a bummer. Had to blow my nose, chunks of beef shooting out all over the place. Thats probably pretty gross.

I've been spending the rest of the day alternately napping and working on cleaning this room and getting everything in order, since I now have my own room. Woohoo! Gotta go to the aid station tomorrow morning at five. Bleh. Hopefully they put me on quarters for another day. Ok, its Whiny Little Baby's bed time. Codeine makes me snore softly. Cool huh?

3 Comments:

  1. membrain said...
    Sorry to hear about your strep throat/tonsilitus/WTF but I see you got your funnny bone chops back. Maybe it's the codeine. And it was Keith Richards who penned the the immortal line: "I wasn't lookin' too good but I was feelin' real well!" So you DON'T feel like Keef. Can YOU climb a coconut tree with a bottle of rum in your hand?

    Well, neither can Keef, but he landed on his head, so that worked out okay.
    julie anna said...
    Damn. Hope you feel better soon. Madigan E.R. sucks. My daughter broke her tiny ankle last year and they had her sitting there for hours in pain before she could see the DR. It's frustrating as hell.

    As for walking, I see Soldiers walking along the roads here all the time (in the rain). I've often wondered if I should be nice and give them a ride. I was just worried it might look bad, but who cares, really.
    hooch said...
    kick ass post

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