The doctor was the age of my great-granddaughter.
“Oh, it’s just a cold. Drink plenty of…”
Two days and 150 ounces of Pellegrino later, I try a different Urgent Care.
This time, the doctor pushing a computer table into the room, eyes glued on the screen, was older than me.
My hacking cough must have clued him that the patient was in the room.
“Karen Hasse, H A S S E, is that correct?”
“I don’t know doctor, I am Edith Andersen.”
“You are not Karen Hasse?”
For a second, I wonder if I have forgotten my name. I hear chanting of small children, eat-it, eat-it. I am sure of my first name, anyway.
He picks up the clipboard next to his computer bringing it closer to his eyes. “I have the wrong one,” he tells the chart as he walks out of the room.
Back in the room, reunited with his computer, “Edith Andersen?”
I cough for a minute, long enough for him to key Edith Andersen into the computer. His operating speed is less than zero Hz so it can not be measured.
I lay back on the bench.
His phone beeps. He pulls it out. “Flood warning. That can’t be right.”
Speaking to the ceiling, “I hope the flood doesn’t arrive before we’re done.”
He laughs and looks up at me for the first time.
He asks questions and prepares to feed the answers into the computer. Before I answer, I keep in mind where the keys on the keyboard are located.
“Diabetes in your family?”
Brother, the right answer, has seven letters, requires both hands and six of the ten fingers. Dad is one hand and two fingers. “My dad has diabetes.” Sorry dad.
His beeper goes off. The beeper is under his white coat (this is how I knew he was a doctor) and he has only a small slit to slide his hand inside for it. “This never beeps,” he informs me. As I fight falling asleep, I wonder, why he is fibbing.
He washes his hands and announces, “There are no paper towels.”
“There is a tissue box next to the sink,” I say.
Rummaging through a drawer, he finds a gizmo to his liking, he moves in my direction. How can a tongue depressor look like a weapon? I know the answer to that.
Each time he looks into another sinus cavity he makes an “Ha!” sound. Ears. “Ha!” Throat. “Ha!” He steps back and announces the diagnosis, “You have a rip roaring sinus infection,” his smile is as wide as the ocean. “Everything is infected.”
“And no flood,” I say as I lay back down on the table. The spelling of the medications will take a while to key into the computer.