A public service
At the time of this writing, I am finally feeling like I may recover from the affliction I came down with over 5 days ago. I missed my flu shot this year because I was too busy with business and family issues. Time just got away from me. Not to mention this “stinker” of the flu arrived early this year. True to form, a few days of suffering brought me to that familiar sound in my chest that I fear. I have a propensity for pneumonia. I’ve had it more than a few times so I have to be careful in that regard. I could tell things were going to get even worse so I scheduled an appointment with my doctor. Fortunately my x-rays were clear but upon listening to my chest, my doctor had no problem loading me up with codeine cough syrup and what not. She worked up the prescription on her computer and hit send.
As I walked up to the counter at the pharmacy, I heard someone in the back shout “oh crap, the computer’s down”. The lady behind the counter looked at me nervously, apologized and said there is going to be a delay. “Would you like to wait or come back later?” I was not about to drive home and then drive back on this day. Things were turning bad quickly for me. I turned and walked my pasty body over to the nearest empty chair.
As I sat down next to him I couldn’t help but notice how nervous and agitated he was. He was a medium build guy, balding, about my age, wearing a business suit and he was “healthy”. I sat quietly, trying to suppress my cough out of courtesy. I kept my tissues and surgical mask handy. After about 15 minutes “healthy” man was now a bit red in the face. He whispered an expletive and marched over to the counter. He tersely asks the lady at the counter “What’s the hold up? It’s been over 20 minutes. I’m just here to get my flu shot”… The lady behind the counter suddenly gets that “oh god, we forgot all about you” look and begins to make things worse by stuttering and stammering. I heard her apologize several times and she explained the computer was down during a rush, but it was falling on deaf ears. Matters were made worse when they then handed him a form to fill out. “I could have filled this out 3 times by now” he proclaimed. He verbally brow beat them a bit more for good measure.
As he sat down next to me again with his questionnaire this “healthy” man was now visibly red to the top of his head. He sat there and mumbled under his breath with each question he filled out. My body, on the other hand was in utter chaos. I had been holding back on my cough so my chest was beginning to rattle like an elephant’s growl. My body’s thermostat was bouncing around so much my sweat glands were about to give out from overuse. Every cell in my body was screaming like they had smashed a thumb. I was traveling to the dark side. I was getting grumpy.
After mumbling himself up for another tantrum the “healthy” man looked up from his questionnaire and actually attempted communications with me. I’m sure he was looking for some commiseration. I raised my head up slowly and locked my bloodshot, watery eyes on his. My forehead glistened pasty white as the sweat leached the remaining color from my face. By now the rumble in my chest granted me a voice from the dead. “WHAT EVER IT TAKES!” I growled. The “healthy” man’s eyes nearly popped out of his head as question marks. “WHAT EVER IT TAKES… GET YOUR SHOT!”. I wiped a drip of contagion from my nose with my forearm as I continued to stare him down, in lust of his “health”.
It’s quite possible all he heard was “GET AWAY” because he promptly got up and moved to the little card table where they give the shots. He was much better behaved after that and he looked genuinely happy to get his shot. You know, I do what I can to help.