Tuesday, March 07, 2006
The Strep Throat Diaries
My aching throat forces me to call in sick today and search for comfort in all things fuzzy -- my flannel pj's, my favorite blanket, my couch and my cat, Simba. I feel like Ally McBeal, except that my hair is wrapped in an Aunt Jemima-esque scarf and there are no dancing babies around to torment me. Ah well. I try to stretch out on my couch and accommodate myself around my cat, but he doesn't budge. I turn on the television and a Purina commercial comes on, showing all these happy cats smothering their owners with love. I turn to Simba, "Now that's the way you're supposed to treat me." He looks up, gives me the finger and goes to sleep. I swear, I'm trading that cat in for a dog one of these days. After an hour on the couch, I grab my flashlight, race to a mirror and look for white spots.
I've had a fear of getting strep throat for as long as I can remember. My mom had a friend who got strep throat and the pharmacist literally backed away from him, saying untreated strep throat causes brain damage. He also said that it is very contagious. I learned that the way to check for the disease is to look in a mirror with a flashlight and check for white spots. The white spots denote strep throat. So every couple of hours, I run to the bathroom and search for the spots. None so far. That's a good sign! Maybe I'm being paranoid, but whatever. If I don't check for the spots, I'll get strep throat and that will lead to diseases like Tourettes' syndrome, rheumatic fever or worse. I'm not going down without a fight.
The only other disease that scares me to this magnitude is meningitis. I think we all know what can happen if that is untreated. I often have a mini- panic attack when my neck is sore, which is one of the last signs of meningitis before you keel over and die. But today, it's all about the strep. Time for me to check for spots and try (unsuccessfully) to cuddle with Simba. Ta Ta! ~s/c/w