The Frailty of Man

Kamel as been bitching about a really really bad sore throat for …. mmm … at least 5 days now? Possibly more, but let’s be honest at a certain point I just tune him out, ok? So yesterday when he was still complaining and the advil wasn’t working I say “I bet you have strep throat. Go look in the mirror at the back of your throat and if it looks like cottage cheese you’ll know.”

How is it that all the women I know have some sort of medical knowledge? This has to be passed down from the midwife traidtion. Or when doctors were so scarce they couldn’t be counted on for anything but the nearly dead. My other rhetorical question is how do men not know any of this shit? For reals. Without a mother or a wife or a sister (and aside from the obvious birthing, feeding, and general caring for before the age where you’re tall enough to reach for food) men would shrivel up and die before they’re thirty.

Back to my story: Kamel comes back from the bathroom proclaiming his throat generally pink and creepy looking, like something you’d see on Grey’s Anatomy. I am skeptical but then I put his complaints back under the category of “Whining” and move on. I tell him he should call the doctor and maybe he can get a perscription for these little pearl capsules that numb you so you can swallow and eat again. So he calls and the fine (ass hole-y) people at kaiser tell him even if he has strep, it can go away on it’s own and they don’t want to over medicate him and the only thing he would get is a prescription for IB Profen so stay home and stop complaining. He later confesses to me that right before he called the Dr. he had the irrational fear it might be throat cancer, which in turn reminds me so much of my father I have to laugh and call him crazy on repeat. When I tell claire this portion of the story she reminds me that I am always thinking I am pregnant or have aids so really I have no room to point fingers. Touche, roomate, touche.

But then this morning I guess poor bunny Kamel wakes up with searing throat pain so he immediately calls the kaiser of doom and gets an appointment for 10am. I text him and remind him to ask for the numbing pills. I guess when the lady with the flashlight finally looked into his throat she made a face that said “HOLY SHIT!” and said “woah that is very severe. You must be in incredible pain.” This is where I don’t feel bad because 1) apparently boys* don’t know where the back of their throats are 2) if he was in severe pain, which he says he was, why didn’t he demand to see a dr.? And why did the medical people badger him into not coming in? This seems ridiculous to me. and finally 3) He should have just gone when i told him to go yesterday. So this is my I told you so moment.

He is now armed with numbing spray, antibiotics to take three times a day, and a pending prescription for vicodin if he so chooses. That’s some intense strep. He also was told not to go to work until wednesday because he is “highly contagious” or “radioactive” as he put it. This is where the distance between San Francisco and Seattle works in my favor.

And i actually do feel bad because sore throats suck. And even now I’m swallowing and it reminds me of when I’ve had them and I wince simply from the memory.

*Also, yes, I know I’m totally generalizing. But seriously – I have a wealth of general everyday medical knowledge passed down to me from my exceptionally smart mother and these. Do boys simply not absorb this knowledge? Do they tune it out? Do mothers bestow this only upon daughters? What’s the sitch?

Also – another story: One time when I was 14 my dad told me that I could still go swimming when I had my period without a pad or a tampon because the pressure of the water would keep the period from leaking out. I was adamantly against this so called “truth” he was speaking and of course ran and told my mom. Where do boys get this stuff? I mean it’s funny, but eventually somebody has to tell them the facts of life. No?

6 thoughts on “The Frailty of Man”

  1. This is from Alex-
    #1 Some boys do get this stuff, but yes, women are the biological "caregiver" and have the general knack for this business. I think it also has to do with where you grew up…

    #2 Kaiser is stupid, stupid, and STUPID. If you have strep and don't treat it, you have a chance of getting #1 Rheumatic Fever, which can lead to heart problems later in life and #2 Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis which can shut your kidneys down 2 weeks after you clear the infection. Both are unlikely, but they are potentially deadly. Take those antibiotics Kamel and best of luck.

  2. first official advice from Dr. Alex! and my opinion is that boys are generally WAY more wussy than girls when they get sick (sorry Kamel!), including Dr. Alex 🙂

  3. Boys are totally useless when it comes to things like this, I'll admit. Also the Kaiser thing was kinda my bad for that very reason. First call I made it seem like "I totally got this, but I'm giving you a courtesy call just to let you know". I thought I could heal this and wait it out on its own, but nope.

    Now I'm following all the steps to get cured. =)

    Fun post! =) Even if it got me in trouble. hehe

  4. the swimming while on your period story is hysterical, but more importantly, scary bc what if you HAD gone swimming without further consultation?! oh god. the HORROR.

  5. man they tried to tell us that shit (abt not bleeding under water) in our 5th grade "birds and bees" orientation. mofos be lying everywhere

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