Wednesday, February 13, 2008

advice nurse, my ass...

Folks, I’ve been having, as deemed by Kate, “a shitty week.”
This is kind of a gross blog post, but bear with me.
I’ve had this thing on the side of my right foot. It’s like this weird infected patch right under my ankle and is probably the result of wearing ghetto ass ballet flats with no socks.
How they failed to mention this in my Most Eligibles listing is beyond me.
I was raised under the medical theory that if you ignore something, it’ll go away. For 30 years, this tactic has worked. But weird foot thing wasn’t going away. It’s been getting worse. Joe made me promise that if it wasn’t healed in a week, I’d go to the doctor. It’s been over a week, so I told my mom about it and the other night, announced over dinner, “Oh, mom and dad. You’ve got to look at my foot!”
My mother, who once famously sent me to school with chicken pox and told me it was fleas from our new cat was expected to say, “Oh, that’s nothing. I had that once. Throw some Neosporin on it and it’ll go away.”
Mais non.
“Oh Bethy. You should get that checked out.”
What? Who are you? Shit.
So at this point, my heart starts beating rapidly. What the fuck is this on my foot!?!?
At work yesterday, theories abounded, really because I had to call up Kaiser and detail my malady to the “advice nurse.”
Barbara, the advice nurse sent me into a further tizzy. “Well dear, I don’t know what to tell you. It could be a staph infection. It could be a fungus. It could be ringworm.”
Ringworm?!?! Sick!
My voice may have cracked as I made the appointment for this morning. Oh god, they’re going to amputate, I know it.
The gals in the office were like, “Wait, lemme see.”
So I plopped my disgusting limb up on the conference table.
“I think it’s a staph infection.”
“Are you nuts? That could kill me.”
“Just go to the doctor. You’ll live.”
“Maybe I should go to the Emergency Room?”
“No way.”
“What if I’m dying!”
I drove myself home last night, convinced me and my foot were the most disgusting creatures alive. This is the shittiest week ever and it will culminate with a wooden leg.
I was convinced.
Joe brought home wine and we spent the evening commiserating in the kitchen. He even offered to come to the doctor with me for moral support and to help me mock Ghetto Permanente. But my appointment was early and I can do this shit by myself, I guess.
I got up and showered, doing all I could to convince this new man doctor I was not as gross as my foot might lead him to believe.
I go to the Kaiser on Geary at Divis, a gigantic 7 story box that apparently houses the doctor for every geriatric Chinese person in San Francisco and the glamorous Sugarbowl Bakery and Café.
Are you jealous of my awesome life, yet? Just wait.
So I march myself up to the 4th Floor, where I check in with a lovely woman who was wearing the same jacket as me.
“Oh my god, I love the Gap. Don’t you love the Gap?”
Lady, I’m probably dying and it’s 8am. Can we not talk about the Gap?
So pay my co-pay and take a seat, pulling out my Willie Brown book and trying to convince myself that maybe someone on an internet chat room for single disabled people might one day find me and my inevitable prosthetic foot mildly attractive.
All of a sudden, a tiny woman shouted across the empty waiting room, “Erisabette Spaaswoo!”
Yep. Right here.
The first thing they do at Kaiser is weigh you. It’s the rudest possible welcome. Then they take your blood pressure. Well, uh, my heart was racing like crazy and I just had to stand on a gigantic digital scale where the size of my ass was projected onto a screen. I might be a little high on the BP today, bitch.
With brisk silence, she showed a thermometer in my ear and hissed, “Forrow me!”
In the little examining room, I took a seat on the table.
“You heah for reason?”
“Yeah, I’ve got this weird thing on my foot and it’s not going away and it’s starting to freak me out and…”
“You smoke?”
“Oh, well really only socially or in my car and I shouldn’t I know and I’m trying to…”
“You wait heah!”
Alone in the examining room, I scanned the walls covered with fliers detailing all of the possible things that are probably wrong with me. Oh god, does HIV or cervical cancer show up on your foot? Probably.
In a surprisingly short time, a middle aged man walked in and introduced himself. We chatted for a bit and turns out, he’s from Mill Valley and reads my favorite political columnist. With a calm foreign to me, he examines my foot.
“It’s not a staph infection. So you can relax about that. I’m pretty sure it’s an infected rash. What shoes are you wearing?”
“Cheap ballet flats that are gross.”
“Yeah, you need to wear socks.”
He prescribed me some anti-inflamatory cream, told me it’d start getting better in a few days and would be gone in a couple of weeks and drove home the whole socks argument.
“So I’m not dying?”
“Beth, you are not dying. It’s excema. We have drugs. And it will go away.”
“Awesome. Let the healing begin.”
He sent my prescription down to the pharmacy and told me it’d be ready in 15 minutes.
“Great, I’ll go to the Sugarbowl Café and get coffee.”
He patted me on my shoulder and sent me on my way.
Hazzaa! Oh, glorious life! Isn’t every day on this earth a blessing! My foot will heal! And I won’t have to troll disabled singles websites!
Down at the Sugarbowl, the place was hopping. Apparently, every single elderly Asian wanted a taste of the old country and was lining up for dim sum. I ordered a coffee and a toasted bagel. I was handed a cup of coffee and told to wait for my bagel.
So I waited. And waited. And fucking waited.
Finally, this woman behind the counter doing nothing screams at me, “Why you wait?”
“I ordered a bagel like, 10 minutes ago.”
Cue screaming in the kitchen. She grabs a bag of bagels, throws it in the toaster and then at me. “Solly about bagel!”
I should have ordered a pork bun.
I made my way over to the pharmacy, where I was horrified to find “Spotswood, E” on display in big, bold glowing letters. I guess my prescription gross foot medicine is ready, everyone within a block.
Standing in line, I wonder what medicine everyone else is picking up. You can pretty much tell by looking at them, I think. And they all looked a hell of a lot worse than me. A patch on my foot might be totally disgusting, but at least it’s contained to one tiny area. Unlike these freaks.
It took longer to get a goddamn bagel than it did to get my Triamcinolone Acetonide, and I hightailed it out of there before I came into contact with something infections from the carnie folk surrounding me.
I really hope this hit works because getting pretty fucking sick of having the grossest right foot in the free word.
I hope I’ve sufficiently grossed you out this morning. I refuse to suffer alone…


Anonymous said...

Spasswoo? That's good.

Becky said...

See, I told you that is was just a rash and not a highly contagious, fatal staph infection!

Anonymous said...

greg said...

this is probably one of the most accurate and yet also entertaining accounts i've read about going to the doctor in a while. and the Culture Blog entry was awesome too!

Jules said...

Ghetto Permanente is so true. I went there for an ear infection (though I was convinced I had gone deaf) but instead of just prescribing some anti-biotics the young male doctor (who thought he was the KP equivalent of George Clooney but actually looked like a cab driver) asked me if I performed regular breast exams - wtf? Oh, and would I like for him to show me how? AS if.

Back to you - glad you get to keep both feet - so much better for dating as you said. And you have the perfect excuse to buy new shoes. Get some good ones!

seany said...

Awesome, hilarious post. I feel ripped off; my visit to the doctor yesterday was totally uneventful. But then again, I'm using the high falutin' Palo Alto Medical Clinic.

Worse, they never figured out what the probably was. I have a sore throat and it's not a cold, it's not the flu, it's not strep and it's not mono. So it's some no-name viral infection. Or maybe it's cancer. Whatever.

Petunia Face said...

Yeah, I had to have my baby at that same Kaiser. You think it's rough getting treated for a stanky foot there? Try getting sliced open C-section style as you notice the stains on the ceiling above your strapped down dividing body.

Rebecca said...

I had the same nastiness on my toe. It was gone in 2 days with the magic cream.

Anonymous said...

This is the funniest thing I've ever read for free.
You're a female David Sedaris!

Nicole said...

I have absolutely never commented on this blog before, but Miss Spotswood, you are hilarious and I want take you home and feed you chocolate fudge brownies while we paint each other's toenails.