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!)