Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Hurry up and wait

Since my store is closed on Mondays, it's usually the day of the week that I make any appointments and complete errands I need to do.

This week I needed to have a follow up appointment at my doctor's office because the over the counter allergy medications I was told to buy just aren't doing anything for this whole sinus thing I've been fighting for months. Not a big surprise, because I really don't think this has anything to do with allergies. But what the hell do I know?

My appointment was for 10:00am, so I got in my car and left the house at around 9:30. I live in a rather unique area in that I am surrounded by water on a long sandbar. I have two options to get where I'm going. I could go about 10 or 15 minutes out of my way in the opposite direction to where I am going and hop on the highway and head back, or I could take the direct route and cross over a shipping canal and get onto the highway. As I usually do, I took the latter route.

Wouldn't you know it? Just as I'm approaching the canal I notice that the bridge is up. It was only half way up, so I figured it wasn't up for one of the large ships, but perhaps some small sailboats. It shoudl be quick. So I waited. And waited. And waited. Hmmm...should I turn around, head back the other way and tack on the extra travel time, or will this bridge come down sooner than that detour would take? I didn't see any boats at all. Looks like they were doing some sort of maintenance on the bridge. Cars were lining up. A few did a three point turn and headed back the other way. Time was wasting. I needed to get to this appointment.

I checked my coat pockets and realized that I didn't bring my cell phone with me so I could call ahead and let them know I'd be late. I thought to myself that I didn't notice the phone where I normally leave in when I go in the house, so I wasn't sure what happened to it. I looked into the back seat, and there it was on the seat. Guess I left it in there on Sunday when we went to visit my folks and totally forgot about it. I then realized that I didn't have the doctor's phone number on me. No problem, I'll just call 411. As I opened the phone, the battery died. Piece of crap. I do have a car charger, but that thing has been broken for about a year and I never bothered to fix it. Communication was out of the question.

Finally the bridge came down and we were on our way. Unfortunately, I was constantly behind some slow ass on the highway, and I could just feel my blood pressure rising. I was screaming at the people in front of me in the lane that said "Keep Right Except To Pass". A lot of good those signs do. It appears that the majority of drivers don't understand English. I made it to my exit, still stuck behind some senior citizen looking for an address and holding me up. Finally, they pull into the left turn lane and I make my way forward only to meet up with the traffic light changing to red. ARGH!!! The killer is that there was NO traffic at all coming from the cross street. We all just waited there for nothing. Finally I got the green light and got into my turn lane and wouldn't you know it, someone pulls his van into the lane in front of me and slows me right down. Another red light. Thanks a lot asshat! It appeared that the guy in the van was going to the same medical centre I was because he made the same turns and was moving along until he saw the mechanical arm blocking access to the lot until one normally takes a ticket from the machine and proceeds when the arm is lifted. He stepped on the brake about ten feet before the arm and froze there. WHAT THE HELL!?!?!? The cheap bastard obviously didn't want to pay the buck it might cost him so he just stays there blocking my path.

I tapped my horn, he finally looked up and saw me there, but I don't think it clicked for a minute. Finally he veered his van off to the side to let me in. I grabbed my ticket, got into a spot and ran inside. 10:03 - not too shabby, all things considered.

I checked in with the receptionist and was told it would be just a minute. I sat and waited until about 10:35 when the doctor came out to call me in. I followed her to her exam room which wasn't easy because as soon as I got up from my chair, she broke into a sprint down the hall turning at the corners leaving me to guess which way she went.

"What's the problem?" she asked.
"I still have this sinus thing going on, and decongestants aren't touching it."
"Have you tried a steroid nasal spray?"
"Umm....no, just the decongestants I was told to take for a couple of weeks, but I really don't think this is anything to do with allergies," I explained.
"Is your nose running?"
"Are you sneezing?"
"Are you coughing?"
"Only to cough up the crud that collects in my sinuses and makes its way down my throat."
"Any trouble sleeping?"
"Only because I keep waking up to cough up this crud that collects in my sinuses."

She shined a light into my mouth and nose, listened to my breathing through her stethoscope that she placed on my back and moved every two seconds, typed up a prescription for Nasonex and sent me on my way. Total time in the exam room: about three minutes, tops.

Off I went. I paid my $2.50 to park, and continued on my way to have my prescription filled. I'm hoping this stuff works for me. I'm sick of this feeling in my sinuses, and I hate this speed-of-sound McMedicine system. What ever happened to the good old days when your doctor actually cared and spent more than five minutes with you?

My doctor has been trying to get me to take Nasonex for years now, but I hate nasal sprays, so I simply refuse the prescription. Sinuses are so fun, aren't they?

And dear God, how did all those Michigan drivers who are usually in front of me get to your neck of the woods so quickly to block you???
About the Nasonex...you're not missing anything. I was told that I would notice a change in about three days. It's been over a week now and I'm still snorting back and coughing up sinus oysters.
When I go back next month I'm going to insist on a swab and a referral to an ear/nose/throat specialist. This is BS, man!

And as for those Michigan drivers...sweetie, they're everywhere! EVERYWHERE, I TELLS YA!
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