Is There a Doctor in Da House?

The answer is: Yes. In fact, he’s been “in da house” since Monday. Sick. Out of commission. Down for the count.

It didn’t used to be that way. In my younger doctor days, I would often work through “the crud” because I was convinced that I was indispensable and that my patients would go blind if I wasn’t in the office. So I would trudge in, snot dripping, coughing, wheezing and croaking from the inevitable laryngitis that would set in after a few days. I was careful and often wore a mask, but still, put yourself in my patients’ shoes. I had no trouble getting my patients to open their eyes on days like that. Their deer-in-the-headlamps stares (they were convinced a walking Ebola virus bomb was walking toward them) were more than ample enough to complete the exam.

These days, I’m more aware than ever that I am “but dust” and hardly indispensable. Life, death, sight, and blindness go on, even if I’m not there. Those with urgent needs might miss me, but they find others who can help. And if their needs are not so urgent, they wait until I come back. Come to find out, most people are patient and sympathetic when the doctor gets sick too.

I made it through an entire winter exposed to who-knows-what without getting sick, but spring allergies felled me. They fired up while I was in Searcy, Arkansas last week (must have been the beautiful blooms on the Harding University quad), and by Monday, the thicker-than-normal mucous secretions in my nasal passages and sinuses began to replicate bacteria rapidly. The infection spread to my left ear, and drainage carried it to my bronchial passages and eventually my lungs. By the time I made it to my primary care provider yesterday (his life and career were nearly ended by a dangerous infection several years ago, so he knows better than most), my lungs were starting to sound “soupy,” the earliest stages of pneumonia.

He fussed at me a bit for waiting too long to come in (I deserved it) and prescribed some kick-a$$ drugs (woo-hoo!). And he told me to rest. For a fourth day in a row. “Yessir,” I gladly complied.

Lenten Lessons? When you have a touch of troublesome asthma like me, don’t mess around with “the crud.” Get it treated, because you’re probably not going to be able to get over it on your own.

And stop acting like you’re a superhero, all immortal and indispensable, because you’re not. You are mere flesh and bones, ultimately the same dirt you walk across each day with your fragile feet of clay.

  1. ME

    Thanks for not blaming Casa de Elrod.Get better soon.

  2. Mike the Eyeguy

    Thanks. I seem to be on the mend.

    My stay at Cada de Elrod was not to blame. Although I was mildly traumatized by the state of dress (or lack thereof) of a certain proprietor at 5:30 AM. I should probably count myself fortunate that you thought to grab your bathrobe.

  3. Kristi

    Feel better. I can only suggest not thinking too long about middle aged men in bathrobes. But I’m not a doctor.

  4. Mike the Eyeguy

    Kristi, I think that’s sound psychiatric advice.

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