I am sick

I’ve been fighting a cold since our first night in Amherst. I know it began about then because I bought some ibuprofen because I was headachey. I almost never get headaches and seldom take any medication, so that must have been the beginning. I got back here to Pittsburgh Wednesday night on Eileen’s Greyhound Bus, another story, and called the doctor first thing Thursday morning. They gave me a prescription for an antibiotic, told me they thought it was not pneumonia, only bronchitis, had me take a chest x-ray and some blood work to check for pneumonia, told me to drink a lot of liquids and sent me home. None of this was remarkable, except for one thing: for only the second time in my life I lost my appetite! Sick as I was, that was the silver lining. I can eat when I’m happy, bored, depressed, sick, well, you name. Nothing stops me. Since Monday, I’ve had some soup, a banana, grapefruit juice and not much else. I’ve lost about eight pounds. Now, if I could just figure out how to continue eating, or not eating, this way. Unfortunately, I’m feeling better; I finally got hungry again.

The tests confirmed I did not have pneumonia. Neither the doctor, nor I, thought I did. She told me to call in for the results today. I asked what would change if I had it. Answer: nothing. They would just want me back for follow-up. I keep wondering why I needed the tests. I would certainly come back if I wasn’t beginning to feel better. I think we as taxpayers, and I as patient, pay a lot of extra money for confirmation of the obvious. Or is this just one more example of our "cover your ass" culture?

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