“So, how do you suppose this happened?” the nurse at Urgent Care asked me.
I blinked a couple of times, then shifted my eyes to the left, then the right, hoping I’d find the answer to her question on, say, the Yes You Can! Quit Smoking poster hanging on the wall.
“How did this happen?” I repeated, more to myself than to her. I knew I couldn’t possibly be thinking straight after the nearly 24 hours of heaving that had brought me here in the first place, but…could this nurse possibly be looking for an explanation of how one catches a gastro-intestinal virus?
Suddenly, the words began streaming through my head. And if I could have mustered the energy, my reply would’ve went something like this: Well, you see, I’ve caught a virus, probably from that guy who insisted on shaking my hand yesterday at the seminar…
And it wasn’t even sarcasm at that moment. It was just plain delirium.
It wasn’t until much later — like four hours, an IV and one anti-nausea shot later — that I realized what she was really asking me. That nurse wanted to know if my symptoms were the result of, you know, a little “overindulgence” on my part. Yup. That’s right. She was asking me if I was hungover!!!!
Now, wouldn’t that be something — we’re talking me here, Ms. Responsible Mom-Wife-Writer — not just hungover at 4 o’clock on a Thursday afternoon — but so much so that I’d actually landed myself in this small, sterile, cold, tiled room at Urgent Care?
I’d have laughed hysterically had I not been so ill.
And the kicker? As she was about to release the plunger on the shot she said, “You know, this is going to hurt some. You’re going to feel a pinch and then a stinging sensation.”
When I didn’t respond — just give me the damn shot already, I was thinking! — she repeated herself, as if I was both hungover and deaf. That’s when I told her that this little itty-bitty shot was a walk in the park compared to the double mastectomy, reconstruction and chemo I’d been through.
Funny how a few words completely changed her perspective on the situation…