To the Doctor I Merrily Go

Seriously, I have this whole bronchitis thing down to a rhythm. So much so that co-workers, classmates, and students don’t even suspect I’m sick. It seems like I just got over a cold (which I have) except one minor detail… that ever-so-deep cough that is quite difficult to ignore (and a bit painful).

Here’s what I don’t have down to a rhythm: the U.S. medical system. I am genuinely confused by all my flashbacks to the way it’s done in Costa Rica that (I think) I get a bit of a lost look on my face when I approach the receptionist desk and am not required to speak in Spanish… seriously, English confuses me in these situations, lol.

Also, I always anticipate a wait time… like a forever long wait time. So much so that I bring a formidable stack of papers to grade and not one, but two magazines to read (just in case). Unfortunately, the shorter U.S. wait times means I don’t accomplish very much, and fortunately, that means I won’t be at the urgent care center until 9pm.

Just when I thought I was getting a rhythm down for the U.S. medical system, I was thrown for a loop today. I knew (it’s like a motherly instinct now) that I had bronchitis (surprise!) and so I went to the CVS Minute Clinic knowing they give antibiotics for such illnesses. Unfortunately for me, the nurse practitioner was not feeling particularly generous today (or something like that) so instead she sent me down the road to the urgent care clinic for a CHEST XRAY. Seriously, isn’t that for pneumonia or something? I mean, I know I can hardly breathe, and I know I’m wheezing, and I know you just told me to take a deep breath but that was the deepest breath I could muster. No, ma’am, I don’t smoke. No, ma’am, I’m not lying.

Thank you, Urgent Care Doctor (Sorry I didn’t catch your name?), for not asking too many questions, for not requiring an X-ray, and for immediately sending me back to CVS for prescribed antibiotics and narcotics (you know, cough syrup with codeine). We need more people in this world like yourself that don’t make my U.S.-medical-system-experience oh so complicated.