Strep in the City


Doctors can’t write about patients, but I can write about them

Me: I came to get penicillin because I have strep

Doctor: So you have a sore throat

Me: No, I have strep

Doctor: Okay well I can do a strep test

Me:  I know I have it because I always get it. I wanted my physician to prescribe me some, but she said she can’t prescribe medicine in New York. I mean who makes these rules? A doctor is a doctor. I actually think my tonsils should be removed.

Doctor:  (ignoring my first question) That is a very painful procedure. Quick, but painful. Do you get strep 7 times a year or more?

Me: Well no, but a lot. How painful?

Doctor: I don’t recommend it unless you get strep 7 times a year.

(Takes test)

Me: Okay strep being 1 and tongue surgery being 10. How painful?

Doctor: Well…

Me: I know how both feel. I’m just asking because strep is miserable so if getting my tonsils out feels like this then I think I can do it. Means to an end.

Doctor: Let’s see here. You don’t have strep.

Me: Are you sure? I mean I believe you. It’s just I have the symptoms, and I’ve had it before, and I start this job tomorrow, and I…I really can’t be sick. And it’s summer and all.

Doctor: I know. I know. You may have it. Sometimes when we send it off it comes back positive even if the throat swab was negative.

Me: So this throat test isn’t totally accurate

Doctor: Not all the time. But your throat looks bad. Could be strep or pharyngitis.

Me: So I can get the penicillin?

Doctor: No I’m going to give you amoxicillin

Me: Amoxicillin?

Doctor: Yes its a cousin to penicillin

Me: Okay, but I can’t get the penicillin? That’s just what I’m used to…

Doctor: We prescribe amoxicillin. It works better with the patients we’ve found

Me: So penicillin is used for…

Doctor: Syphilis

Me: Great so I’ve been taking STD medicine all these years?

Doctor:  No you’ve been fighting bacteria all these years. They’re just cousins


Doctor: Okay well you’re all set. It’ll be ready in about ten minutes. If you don’t feel better come back.

Me: But I should feel better?

Doctor: Yes you should. Take it easy. Drink lots of fluids. Rest. Take your medicine. Good luck on your job tomorrow.

Me: It’s really an internship, but thanks! I don’t want to be known as the sick girl all summer. How do you get strep? Just so I can stop doing whatever I’m doing. And it’s funny because I never drink after people. My friends make so much fun of me for it. Then this happens. Hide ya kids hide ya wife!

Doctor: Kids?

Me: Oh it’s an internet joke about no one being safe. Antoine Dodson started it.

Doctor:  Oh okay. Sometimes we just get sick. Could you wash your hands more? Maybe. Not touch the subway poles? Maybe. But it’s highly contagious. Sometimes we just catch it.

Me: Yea the kids I babysit for get it like every other week. I’m not kidding. And they always hold my hand.

Doctor: Yea that could do it. But what are you going to do? Never hold hands with anyone?

Me: You’re right. A little strep won’t stop me.

Doctor: Good. Take it easy.

Me: Okay. But my throat is on fire. I’ll be okay in a day?

Doctor: Just take all of the pills even if you feel better. Come back if you need anything.

Me: Thanks. You’re amazing.

Doctor: Okay




Come back tomorrow for my friends’ reactions


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