Sunday, December 19, 2004

Radio Silence

I highly, highly recommend that you avoid flying when you have a big fat infected tonsil. I tried to see my doctor about it before flying to Dallas Saturday morning, but he wasn't able to fit me in on Friday. So I landed in Dallas with pulverized mush where my eardrum used to be and a raging pair of tonsils that seemed to be having a Miss Gross and Painful competition in my throat. Since it was a Saturday, there wasn't much to do about this sad state of affairs. Or so I thought. Turns out, our little town in Texas has a walk-in clinic open seven days a week, from 8am until 10pm. I was expecting a sort of warehouse facility with the indigent lining the hallways, moaning from bedsores and stewing in their own filth, and at least a 16 hour wait until I could be seen to by someone resembling Dr. Giggles.

But imagine that! As with all of my dramatically overblown setups, my expectations were off-base. It was a very nice, clean facility. I was taken back within 40 minutes (about as long as it takes in my own doctor's office with an appointment), the doctor followed the nurse within five minutes, the results of my quick strep lab were back in another five, and I had a prescription in hand not long after. AND they took my insurance.

How the free market not created more of these places is beyond me. Isn't that all we want? If I've got a basic problem, and it's inconveniently not during working hours or 3 months in advance, I just want someone to very quickly have a look, see to my needs efficiently, and get me what I need and on my way. Maybe there are some places like this in DC, but I'm guessing they might be more of the Dr. Giggles variety.

Meanwhile, I'm desperately willing my tonsils to heal before I have to fly to Kiev day after tomorrow, lest I go entirely deaf when the remaining operational shreds of my eardrum explode at 30,000 feet. How long does it take antibiotics to kick in? Right now, well, let's just say that if you wanted to play tonsil hockey in my throat, it would be very hard to score. Not with these goalies manning the net.

So this is my roundabout way of telling you that between the tonsils and the applications and the packing and the flying and the being overseas, it'll be spottier than usual 'round these parts. Merry Christmas to you wherever you may be. I'll be in Luhansk handing out "Don't Mess With Texas" bottle openers as Christmas gifts. Just like the Baby Jesus intended.


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