“Excuse me for a second,” I rasped, “I need to go get a sip of water.”

She nodded her head, wide eyes following me out of the exam room.

I ran into my office where I chugged some water, then wiped the tears from my eyes, checked my red face in the mirror to ensure no boogers were trying to creep out of a nostril, and walked back into the exam room. 

As soon as I opened my mouth to talk more about piriformis syndrome the coughs came hard and fast again. I held up my finger and pointed to the door. She nodded again, staring in shock.

This time, I brought the glass of water back with me.

“I am so sorry!” 

I was dosed up on a steroid, an antibiotic, and so much albuterol my hands were shaking if I held them out in front of me. I was not contagious at this point but the cough was terribly disruptive when these fits occured a couple of times a day. Aside from the fact that taking off for a cough seems so silly, when the wait time to get in to see me is 3-4 weeks for routine appointments, I simply cannot take off for a week or two for that cough to go away completely.

Somehow, though, a sick physician seems like a terrible advertisement. Like a hair dresser with a bad hair day. Or a skinny chef. They cannot be trusted, can they?

Maybe next time I get sick I’ll try that Vicks Vapor Rub on my feet at night trick that my patients swear by…

(Also, fear not, this was a couple of weeks ago, I am completely better now!)


90 thoughts on “Glassy

  1. (Wipes boogers off blog to make space to type) Personally Victo I find a doctor who is obviously struggling with a malady, to be more human and relatable than one in perfect health.As long as it’s not contagious and you can still advise clearly and accurately, then I see no reason not to practice when you are not well.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I can tell you Vick’s on the feet works for Moo and me, but I’ve done no further trials and can’t prove it always works for everyone. I do think a sick doctor is like a bad advertisement, just as you said. For years I had a sign in my kitchen “Never trust a skinny cook.” But then, germs do not discriminate, do they?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Those coughing fits are horrible and they ALWAYS come at exactly the wrong time. At least you managed not to have the ‘coughing so hard you gag’ incident occur…or the added bonus of peeing your pants while coughing so hard and gagging incident’ either. At least I hope that didn’t happen

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I’ve been in doctor’s office waiting rooms where they make you wear a mask if you have a cough. Which seems ridiculous, because I understand that the coughing stage is not the contagious stage of a cold. But the sneezing and dripping nose stage is. I wouldn’t be nervous to be your patient if all you were doing was coughing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad you’re better. There’s nothing worse than going to work and hanging on to a professional presence when sick.
    I had an appointment with my doctor some time ago. She was as sick as you sound here. I felt sorry for her and wanted to give her a hug. Of course, we are not that close. ❀ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think most of us can handle the fact that our doctors are human and might catch a cold or the flu, and we trust the doctors to know enough not to see patients while still contagious. The day I saw my GI surgeon and got sent to the hospital ASAP for my colitis, I thought he looked a little pale. Imagine my shock when some other doctor came to see me in the hospital the next morning and explained that my GI surgeon was out of commission with a “very, very bad flu.” I felt a little guilty making the poor guy see me the day before when he, himself, wasn’t feeling well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Coughing fits are the pits. Vicks Vapor rub I rub on my chest, not my feet. But you could do feet and chest. The trick is to leave it on all night. Very hot shower in am. Hot toddy of: half lemon, 1-2 tbsp. of honey and about half oz. of whiskey in hot water. Drink that at night and before you go to work. This all worked for me unless I had severe bronchitis. Sometimes home remedies work along with inhalers and antibiotics. Oh and 2G cough syrup that I’d take to work with me. Might work and might not.:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Uggh. That forever cough is the worst. I volunteered to help serve Communion at my church last weekend and managed to hold it off until I was done, but then headed straight for the ladies’ room to hack my lungs out. I swore everyone who entered was thinking about how I had just served her a boatload of cold virus along with her bread and wine.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Ha! I’ve had this conversation with many parents and as my boss used to say – kids are little germ buckets. If you think about this from a Darwinistic perspective it is apparent that your statement is not only right but kids are designed to promulgate the more virulent viruses. Kids are bioltically intimate with all the other kids in their school and all their brothers and sisters and parents. So one kid actually represents the exposure of hundreds of other kids and adults. They take virtually no precautions against transmission of infections and will add such things as putting the shopping cart handle in their mouth. That said if there are antibodies against a virus in the kids’ exposure group the infection stops there. The more members of the child’s group that have antibodies the lower the probability that the infection will make it to the child. So conversely, the lower the group resistance generally the more virulent the infection and the more likely it will eventually get to your child – and then to you. You can think about it this way – kids represent a close knitted transmission pathway for viruses that stretches unbroken through out the country with branches onto every other continent. Cuddle a kid and you are cuddling that whole network – may the force be with you. Ha!

        It is not your imagination Victo – your kids have the worst bugs going around and they are bringing them home just for you. Ha!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Glad you are feeling better..hope the patient with a pain in her ass is too! lol seriously, we all of us know that doctors are human (I swear most of us do……okay fine maybe six of us do!) I prefer a doctor that is alive…that’s it. One that will actually BE there when I show up on a visit. Anything else is secondary.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I hated when this would happen to me! I was a medical esthetician at my office before moving up to management, and it never failed when I was trying to do a consult or a laser treatment that I would get into a coughing fit! I would have to wear a surgical mask just so my patients wouldn’t be grossed out when I touched their faces! Now at least I can cough in the privacy of my own office πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Why do coughing fits always occur when they are the most inconvenient? I used to get them during lectures in college. It is so embarrassing having to dash out of the classroom while being stared at by the other students and the professor you just interrupted! Glad to hear you are better now!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Glad you are better. I understand that coughs are not controllable… but I get very uncomfortable around folks, especially if their nose is running. Impaired immune system makes me cautious…..that’s why I work in health care… so I can be surround by germs…. lololo Feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m glad you are feeling better. The cough thing has been bad this year. One of the girls in the office has had it for so long and was constantly using cough drops in addition to her rounds of steroids and antibiotics…..that she ended up with thrush. Fingers crossed….I have been rolling a swipe of thieves oil on the bottom of each foot everyday and have escaped it thus far. Knock on wood, just to be safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It seems that talking makes those kinds of “tickley” coughs worse. Vicks Vapor rub on their chests was often the only thing that would stop my kids night time coughing. There used to be a lozenge that came in a tube called “Hold,” that worked really well for these kinds of coughs. I haven’t seen them in years.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Haha! Vicks on the feet… Have t you heard that sliced onions work better!?
    The sick physician thing, though… It’s kind of like the reason I wanted to really be sure I was in labour before going to the hospital – nothing like an OB/gyn not being able to tell the difference between false and true labour!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh no. I can see how a hacking physician may raise some eyebrows πŸ™‚ When my smoking parents lived with us, I would have a cough from October through April. I had to work so I packed a purse full of throat lozenges. It was the only thing that worked. Glad you’re feeling better πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I was coughing for weeks last year and it lead to a chest infection… Never heard of the Vicks Vapo Rub on the feet trick but I’m sure open for trying it if a cough like this hits me again. Glad to hear that you are all better!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I can empathize – had the same thing when I had to give a scheduled lecture to the medical students. There was no one who could take over and coughing through a lecture was awful. I learned to suck on throat numbing cough drops before and during, along with the water. Another myth – doctors should never be sick; Hubs went off sick to work more times than I can count. Hope you are feeling better.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Doctors are terrible patients. Just terrible. 😦
    I salute your – well-documented – sense of responsibility, BUT, can’t you get yourself a break, Victoire?
    Next time please take two days off. Hopefully your assistants or replacements won’t have time to kill any patient. Not enough time. πŸ™‚
    (Glad to hear you are better now)

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Doc this happened tho me a few weeks ago! I was so afraid that I wasn’t going to get better. I was on a steroid, an antibiotic and Alberto treatments too. Please take care!! You don’t want an asthma attack!πŸ˜§πŸ˜·πŸ™πŸ’πŸ˜–

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Ugh. I have that cough now … in fact I’ve had it for the past 3 weeks and it has not responded to antibiotics, cough syrups, lozenges, or a puffer prescribed by my doctor..
    Today I had to leave a grocery store because I was coughing so hard I started to gag. Not a great thing to have happen in a grocery store :/
    Glad you’re feeling better. It gives me hope that someday I will too.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I’m glad you’re feeling better.

    Funny thing is, when I was a kid, I thought that doctors just didn’t get sick. Like they were immune to everything. Then, I watched this one episode of Little House on the Prairie where Doctor Baker gets sick. That shocked me like you can’t even imagine. πŸ˜†

    Liked by 1 person

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