And I’m not talking about the kind of weeping that comes from being kicked in the groin while watching Sex and the City or any movie starring either Hugh Grant or Sandra Bullock (save for the football movie ‘cause at least it had Nick Saban in it). Such emotional fits are understandable … demented and sad … but understandable.
I’m talking about the unintentional kind of weeping that comes from a disease of the eye.
Beyond a lifetime of joy and worry, children are also very giving when it comes to illness and infections, and I have been the recent recipient of one such good tiding.
Jellybean gave me pink eye. But the true miracle was that she managed to give me this itchy, seeping, gunky blessing without actually catching it herself. Turns out one of the kids in her daycare class had it. Next thing I know, I’m staring at the world through mucus-colored glasses.
Having never had pink eye before, I headed to my local doc-in-a-box for medical assistance.
Surely the nice nurse leading me back to the examination room could’ve come up with a better greeting than, “So, how are you feeling today?”
“Just peachy,” I wanted to say. “Just thought I’d stop in to stock up on tongue depressors, gauze and ear-wax flush.”
I don’t mean to complain, but these poor people spend all day dealing with sick, groggy, grumpy patients. It seems like they’d come up with a uniform greeting like, “Good morning. Please don’t vomit on me.”
Instead, I mumbled something like, “Been better,” before being lead through the maze of closed exam doors, utility closets, nursing/triage stations and break rooms. No wonder it takes the doctors so long to see patients — they spend most of their time hiding from the minotaur.
My favorite part of the visit was the Big Reveal — the moment after the nurse had taken my blood pressure when she leaned over the counter ready to write in my chart and asked, “And what brings you here today?”
Lord knows the answers they hear — scurvy, rickets, Irritable Bowel Syndrome — all greeted with nonchalance. They don’t even bother putting on rubber gloves. These are trained professionals, and nothing gets them riled up or grossed out. Well … there is one thing.
Mention you’ve got pink eye, and all of a sudden you’re surrounded by a team of doctors dressed in space suits like the government scientists that trapped ET before he could phone home.
I wasn’t sure if I was a patient or an escapee from Chernobyl.
My nurse hopped faster than if she’d stepped on a snappin’ turtle. Next thing I know, I’m being treated like a 15th-century plague victim, having contracted the one disease more contagious than kooties.
Only instead of an imaginary shot, I got an eyeball bath. Whatever they squirted in there worked wonders, because I no longer look like an extra from a Cheech & Chong movie.
Now if only I could get rid of this cough, which was another gift from Jellybean. Kids …the gift that keeps on giving.
Contact Brett Buckner at firstname.lastname@example.org.