The Big 103

So I had a 103.5 degree fever the other day.

I bet you’re thinking to yourself, how is she going to make that funny? And I’m not.  There is absolutely nothing funny about what happens when your body reaches 103.5 degrees.  Your reality bends into this claustrophobic sphere that shortens your limbs, distorts your vision and blurs the edges of your brain until you lose the ability to process or comprehend any information from the outside world.  I’ve heard this is similar to Special K.

But what IS funny, is the stuff that happens around you when you’re sick.

I had a moderate fever the day before the big-103 and thought I had the flu.  Then the next day I woke up to a body in revolt.  Make no mistake about it, I felt awful, but when I took my temperature and read 103.5, it didn’t immediately occur to me that this was a serious problem.

I laid there in bed my trying to remember, “Is 104 when you die or when you’re supposed to go to the hospital?”  Without the mental faculties to use my smartphone to Google it, I mulled it over for about 15 minutes before texting the boyfriend at work.

Now, most of you are reading this going, “You idiot, call an ambulance, get to the hospital.”  But what’s worth stating, is that I hate hospitals.  I hate needles, I hate being sick, I hate going to the doctor– I would rather things just worked themselves out on their own.  If that means I have to suffer through it an extra day or so, fine.  Just keep your blood tests and IVs away from me.

Not shocking, when the BF found out my temperature, he left work immediately to come take me to the hospital, and also not shockingly, I spent the 20 minutes it took him to get here, trying to think of an excuse not to go.  I found one: what if nothing was wrong with me?

Please don’t roll your eyes.

I should at least ask a qualified health care professional what they thought was wrong before spending the money and wasting the ER personnel’s time.  Right?

The BF humored me and we called his health insurance (he has Kaiser and it’s apparently the only company that can afford advice nurses anymore).  The only problem is that they won’t give you advice unless you’re a member of Kaiser (makes sense), so I had to pretend to be Ryan.  With the phone on speaker, here’s how that conversation went:

Nurse: Can I have your name please?

Me: Ryan ____ (I promised I wouldn’t use his full name)

Nurse: I’m sorry, it sounded like you said Ryan.

Me: I did.

Nurse: How do you spell that?

Me: R-Y-A-N.

Nurse: Okaaay.  Uh, can I have your social, member number and address please?

[I gave her the information]

Nurse: It says here that you’re a male.

Me: Yea, I don’t know what to tell you about that.

Nurse: This is a serious problem!  If they think you’re a male-

Me: Yea, I know, look, I’m really not feeling very well-

Nurse: But you can’t have your medical records saying that you’re a male when you’re a female!

Me: I know, I know, can we talk—

Nurse: You need to call customer service to get this straightened out.

[I am now scared she’s going to change Ryan’s sex from “M” to “F”]

Me: I promise I will call customer service after this conversation.  Can I just have you answer my questions?

Nurse: Ok, fine.  What are your symptoms?

Me: High fever, lower back pain, and I was diagnosed with a bacterial infection a few weeks ago in my….uh…

[I look up to see Ryan hovering over me]

Nurse: Where was the bacterial infection?

Me: Uh, it was in my girl part?

[Ryan starts giggling so hard he has to go into the kitchen.  Another thing I should also mention is that I hate the word “vagina”]

Nurse: I don’t see it in your medical records.

Me: Yea, that’s because I went to a clinic—I was out of town.

[At this point, the speaking and the lying on my feet is taking a lot out of me so my voice gets weak and the nurse gets agitated]

Nurse: Okaaay, so when do you want to come in?

Me: Huh?

Nurse: I can’t hear you.

Me: Sorry, so you think I should come in?

Nurse: Well if you feel bad…

[Really?  I could have gotten this advice from the homeless guy outside my apartment]

Me: But what do you think I have?

Nurse: I’m sorry, I’m having a hard time hearing you.

Me (louder): What do you think I have?

Nurse: We have an appointment at 3:40 with Dr. (Something).  Do you want that appointment?

[Here’s where I panic]

Me: Uh, I’m going to have to call you back when I know if I can get there or not.

Nurse: But we may not have that appointment available!

Me: I know, I just need to check—

Nurse: So do you want me to make the appointment or not?!

Me: I gotta go…

So after the most useless phone call in the history of health care, and doing possible damage to Ryan’s medical records, we went to the ER and sat amongst some of the city’s finest and most deranged residents.

To be continued…



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