My birthday is on Thursday, and to celebrate the 14th anniversary of my 29th birthday, we are going to head out of town and spend a long weekend up in the mountains north of Phoenix. This will give us an opportunity to get away from our normal day-to-day lives, spend some time with each other (and some good friends who are coming with us), and do something about the fact that in a recent study, the United States came in 56th in a poll of the drunkest countries in the world. Fifty-sixth! This, quite frankly, is pathetic. I don’t know who commissioned this poll (because I was too hammered to read it), but obviously the people compiling the data completely missed my house on New Year’s Eve, Arizona State University, and Boston.
Anyway, with the keen sense of timing all children have, my five year old reacted to the news that we were going out of town to spend a non-refundable weekend in the woods with glee, excitement, and a case of strep throat. Strep, for those of you who don’t have kids, is a bacterial infection that is highly contagious amongst young children primarily because the little fuckers like to run around licking things. Seriously, I’ve caught my kids licking handrails in hospital stairwells before. That’s why they don’t have “Take Your Child To Work Day” in bioresearch labs.
Biologist: As you can see here, the sample of ebola virus has caused cell death by evading immune system response, primarily through inhibiting early steps in neutrophil activation. If we now take some more live virus from this vial, which is… What… Where did… HEY!
Biologist’s Four Year Old Son: (Suck, suck, suck!)
So it’s only a matter of time before all three of them will come down with it, and knowing them, it’ll come to a head at 3:30 AM Saturday morning. Luckily, doctor visits go a lot faster now that I, as a father of three, have a little experience under my belt.
Doctor: Well, what do we have here?
Me: The patient is five years old and displayed symptoms of sore throat two days ago. This morning, he ran a fever of 101.5 degrees. Those two symptoms, along with tonsillar exudate and the classic bad breath symptom lead me to believe that we’re looking at group A streptococcal infection, or strep. A ten day course of amoxicillan at the prescribed dosage of 40 mg/kg body weight should turn the trick nicely. So if you would please perform a throat culture with a test for group A, also sending the culture out for analysis to make sure the strep isn’t masking something else, we’ll just take a prescription and be on our way.
Doctor: Uhhh… My name is Doctor Roberts!
Seriously, that guy just got paid a nice chunk of money to have me do his job for him. The least he could’ve done was fill that other prescription I requested, and I don’t give a rat’s ass if that is a Schedule II Controlled Substance.
And so, I wound up leaving work before lunch to get my infected child, take him to the doctor, get his medication, lunch, explain to him that coming home sick from school isn’t an open invitation to play video games all day, put his whiny sick ass in bed for a nap, and then get online to finish the work I was supposed to get done at the office in the first place all without the benefit of powerful narcotics. So a word of advice, “Doctor” Roberts: Work on your bedside manner, by which I mean, make with the fucking goofers already.
Speaking of goofers, I never try to get any prescribed to me unless I really need them (honestly, I’ve turned down prescriptions before), but when they are in the house, I have some fucking fun. A couple of years back, my wife burned her hand on the stove. She was in pain for about 36 hours, but they gave her 40 Percocet. Needless to say, they were diverted from their original purpose very shortly thereafter. Specifically, I had the first two days of March Madness off, and I sat on the couch, bombed out of my gourd on prescription narcotics, trying to be able to jump off the couch in amazement when an unbelievable upset occurred. The closest I was able to manage was a tired smile and a laughing “Woo-hoo!”
Those things are fun. Fun and fucking dangerous. Ever see Oxycontin Express? That shit is terrifying. I watch that and think, “My God, that shit is bad news.” I also think, “This would be a blast to watch if I had some of those Percocet left over!” I once had a CT needle biopsy, which is when they need to run you through a CT scan machine over and over to guide a needle into your chest without hitting any blood vessels so they can take a cell sample. This, needless to say, is not a procedure doctors like to perform on people who are feeling pain, so they gave me a shot of morphine. After a minute went by, they said, “Greg, how are you feeling?” My answer was, “You can take samples from my brain if you give me another blast of that morphine.” They laughed, and then they did (give me more morphine, not take parts of my brain out, although I guess I couldn’t be sure since I was so high on morphine). If God has anything better than morphine, he’s selfishly keeping it to himself.
All of which leads me back to… where? Oh yeah. Sick kids. If you have sick kids, I highly recommend morphine. Wait, was that what I was going to say? Fucking stupid Percocet. Always messing with my… brain thinking… thing.