Friday, July 11, 2008
Along Came A Spider
Apparently, Miss. Muffet and I have something in common. An affinity for curds and whey, you wonder? No (What the hell is curds and whey, anywhey?). Never mind. That is not the bond we share. Spiders. Spiders like us. They sit down beside us. And, in my case, they bite.
The side effects of spider bites are unpleasant at best. I will spare you the gory details of the half-dollar-sized, oozing, blistered, necrotic lesion in the middle of my stomach. Although it is pretty, it is the headache, nausea, and dizziness that make the whole experience an event to remember.
I swear I must have been bitten by a tarantula. If I did not feel so utterly horrible, I would be spraying the New Digs from top to bottom with caustic chemicals to rid the place of all eight legged creatures-- both real and imagined.
I felt like a weenie when I called Dr. Feelgood, (my family doctor) for an appointment. Who has to go to the doctor for an insect bite? The sarcastic receptionist confirmed my three o’clock reservation (And my assumption that I am a weenie) to “have the doctor take a look at my boo-boo.” As if most appointments she books are for heart transplants? I was too weak to fight back.
One and one half hours of outdated Time magazine articles in a retro 70’s style waiting room full of stinky old people later, it was finally my turn to see the good doctor. The nurse who took me back to the exam room suggested we stop at the scale for a weigh in, which I weakly, but politely declined.
“I feel bad enough already. My obesity has nothing to do with my misfortune”.
Once we established that throwing away my bathroom scale had been, in fact, a bad idea, she left me alone in the exam room.
I sat on the exam table feverish and miserable swatting away invisible spiders for another thirty minutes. Dr. FG entered the exam room and asked a few routine questions. I was pleased with myself for answering every one correctly and coherently. “I passed the test-- now give me drugs before I die!” It seems the doctor had other plans.
Dr. FG- “Ok, Let’s see it.”
T. - “It?”
Dr. FG- “I need to see the bite.”
T. – “Sorry, I can’t do that. I just need a prescription.”
DR FG- “I can’t treat you unless you show me the problem.”
T. – “But, I already told you it was gross. What else do you need to know?”
Dr. FG- “Why don’t you want me to look at it?”
T.-“Because it is ugly and because it is July and I have been eating Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream all summer and I have not once exposed the dimpled flesh of my abdomen to the sun so it is the color of uncooked chicken and my birthday is next week and I am a little insecure about getting older and if your face registers even the slightest hint of revulsion I seriously believe that I may have to be hospitalized for anxiety, so really it would be best if you just handed over the drugs before my head explodes, don’t you think? “
Dr. FG- “Show it to me.”
T. – “Fine dammit.” (I averted my eyes so I wouldn’t have to see the look on his face).
Dr. FG- “Well it does look like a spider bite, without pathology there is really no way to know for sure. There is another possibility…
T. - Possibility? What possibility? Oh, my God Possibility. Of. What!?” (I think I have mentioned my propensity for hypochondria before).
Dr. FG- “Because of the location, it makes me wonder if you have shingles. If this spreads to the lower quadrant then we will know that it is not a spider.
Seriously? After the good doctor informed me that shingles were most common “in patients over sixty,” I think I blacked out. And the "lower quadrant?" -- Surely, he was not suggesting!
Dr. FG- "Are you under stress? Stress can cause shingles"
T.- Under stress? Let's see, I have a gaping wound on my aging body that could spread to my lower quadrant. I am apparently overweight. My house is infested with spiders. I have been swatting at imaginary insects for three days. I have a fever, my head hurts and I may have a disease that usually afflicts people(almost) twice my age. To top it all off my birthday is next week. You tell me!
Dr. FG- Happy Birthday.