About Me

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Douglas, Alaska, United States
I have lived in Alaska since 1978, having come to Juneau as a Jesuit Volunteer. I fell in love with Alaska and now live on Douglas Island with my husband and two dogs.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

My Throat is FLAME!

The first person who gets the reference in my title, wins some antibiotics!!

So, anyway, after a couple of days of enduring a sore throat, I finally decided to get it checked out to make sure it isn't Strep.

Unfortunately, I came to this decision at 11:30 p.m. last night.  After brushing my teeth, I decided to look at my throat with a flashlight (TMI alert!!) and saw yucky white patches.  With the combination of no other symptoms but the sore throat and white patches, I thought it could be strep, and rather than giving it to my family, I decided to go to the ER and get antibiotics if necessary.  I looked up strep throat online and read info that convinced me to get it checked.  The info was accompanied by this illustration, which I thought was kind of creepy.

            Who wants a doctor with blue eyeballs, scary spiky
               eyelashes and an apparently disembodied head that
         floats creepily above her shoulders?  Not me!
We arrived at the ER and they took me right in.  Quick triage turnaround and then I was put in an exam room.  About an hour later, after I had read both the old People magazines and was reduced to looking at ZooBooks (remember those?), the doc finally came in.

He was very thorough and explained about strep and how they don't just automatically give antibiotics anymore.  I told him I agreed with this approach.  He looked in my ears and said: "Well, I can't see any light from the other side!" (ha ha).

He said that he actually had one time looked into somebody's ear and saw light from the other side, but that was a patient who had shot himself in the mouth (you know, casual banter takes on a different flavor when it is coming from an ER doctor).

Anyway, after going on (and on, and on) about how he wasn't going to give me antibiotics unless the quick strep test was positive (and this was after I had agreed, and Charles informed him I used to work as a Public Health Nurse Aide at the Juneau Health Center and knew just enough medical information to be dangerous), he finally did the quick strep test and left the room.  Charles and I waited for another 45 minutes, Charles dozing on the hard plastic chair, me looking at Charles' iPhone because my phone had died.  I don't know how to work the iPhone and I didn't want to wake Charles up, so I had to look at what he had just been looking at, which was an article about Civil War veterans.

The doc came back, said it was negative, and (AGAIN) launched into his "We're not going to give you antibiotics" song and dance routine.  For the love of God, it's not like I was seeking prescription painkillers or heroin.  I hadn't even asked for antibiotics in the first place.  He said that they are doing a culture and if that comes back positive, then I can have antibiotics.

We left the hospital at 2:45 a.m., not before getting a call from Miguel ("Where ARE you guys?"), and went to bed.  We woke up at about 10:00.  The throat is still sore, so I got some juice bars (sugar free, so Charles can have some too).

It wasn't a waste of time, and while we didn't like the sitting and waiting part,  I do realize that there were other patients with much more pressing needs than a sore throat.  I think I will take a bag of magazines to the hospital for their waiting room and exam rooms, so people will have something to do while they wait, besides groan and twiddle their thumbs.

This lady looks happy.
      Probably because her head isn't
            disembodied and floating creepily
above her shoulders.


  1. Well, we need to call in St. Blaise on this one! I hate sore throats, yuck. I hope you feel better soon! Take it easy k? :)

  2. Strep throat is nothing to fool around with as you know, so I am glad that you don't have it but did Dr. 'Happy Talk' have any explanation as to what those spots are?

    I do hope you are feeling better soon...Did I tell you I really like your new header? xxoo

  3. Hope you are feeling better today, rest and hot water with honey and lemon for you.

  4. It's so annoying the waiting and the lecturing but just as well to get it checked out! I do hope you are feeling easier now. I think a sore throat is the worst! Joan

  5. Sorry you have had a sore throat. They can be so miserable. Hope you are feeling better. Things have been so crazy since I got home. John started his treatments on Wednesday so we've had 3 - only 42 more to go!

    Get well soon.


  6. Hope you're feeling better by now. I had a sore throat earlier in the summer and went to an urgent care a couple of blocks from my apartment. The doctor was very nice, but said he didn't think I needed antibiotics either. I got home -- five minute walk -- and my symptoms were worse. Not to be graphic, but definitely an infection. Took me about two weeks to get my strength back. Take good care!


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