1. Opinion

Sick, but not too sick to write a column

When Ernest Hooper finally saw a doctor, he said his coughing fits went away, and he could speak with the clarity of Lester Holt. [Times (2018)]
When Ernest Hooper finally saw a doctor, he said his coughing fits went away, and he could speak with the clarity of Lester Holt. [Times (2018)]
Published Aug. 18, 2019

Is it just me, or do other people sit at home with a cold and then magically feel better when they go see the doctor?

You know, at home you endure a coughing spell that makes you feel like your lungs are endangered, followed by a triple sneeze that threatens to implode your head.

But as soon as you walk into the urgent care center, your blood shot eyes clear, your runny nose dries up and you start breathing like you're atop the Canadian Rockies.

By the time the doctor walks in, you look better than you did as a high school senior and try as you might to muster up a violent hack or super sneeze, you speak with the clarity of Lester Holt on the NBC Nightly News.

The doctor, with a look that says why are you wasting her time, hands you a flyer that explains the medical logic behind not issuing antibiotics for simple viruses. Then, she tells you to go home, try Mucinex and they charge you $100.

So, you walk into the house feeling dejected and boom: quadruple sneeze followed by a 37-minute cacophony of coughing that prompts your family to roll you into a walk-in closet and hang the quarantine sign on the door handle.

Look, I read the flyer. I now understand the science behind not handing out antibiotics like they come in a Pez dispenser, but just to soften my wounded pride, how about this?

Give me a placebo that looks like a horse pill (preferably cherry-flavored), let's pretend that my simple cold is some kind of rare affliction and unlike every other patient, I deserve special treatment.

No matter how innocuous, I would gladly pay $100 for that brand of love. And I might even end up feeling better.

That's all I'm saying.


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