It began before Christmas … the sore throat and cough that has hung on now for more than two weeks. I flew to Maryland for the holiday feeling just fine and on my second day there, without warning it hit me. I woke to an empty house and a big bowl of bananas that desperately needed to become banana bread, but I couldn’t find the loaf pans so I called my daughter at work to find out where she kept them. She answered the phone and I opened my mouth but all that came out was a squawk. She anxiously asked, “Are you okay, Mom?” I tried again and finally squeezed out my question. That was day one – laryngitis. Day two I could speak enough to carry on short, hoarse conversations, but singing my favorite hymns at church that night was a no-go. By Christmas Day the tickling began followed by a honking cough. This sequence of events is typical of a throat infection for me so I wasn’t worried, just frustrated by the timing.
Then came two nights in a row where I had to sleep sitting nearly straight up in a comfy chair to keep from coughing all night. But eventually even that began to ebb. When it was time to fly home, I headed to the drug store for a bag full of remedies that would keep me from getting caught up in that tickle – throat clearing – tickling more – honking cough routine. No need to infect or alarm all my fellow passengers. A second week passed. With this thing still not gone and my glands now swollen as well, I decided it was time to see the doctor.
The doctor shook his head sadly after examining me and said there was a particularly persistent throat infection going around, but that it was a virus and therefore nothing an antibiotic would do anything to cure. Not the news I wanted to hear. I can’t even pronounce his diagnosis, but he prescribed a cough medicine with codeine in it to quiet the cough and give my throat a chance to heal. So off I went to the drug store. Being a controlled substance (in this state at least) it was not a prescription he could call in or send electronically so I was going to have to wait.
The pharmacy was busier than I've ever seen it before - Murphy at work, I'm sure. I waited. An hour then was told the insurance company hadn’t responded so they still hadn’t filled it yet. Frustrated and nearing the end of my patience, I called the customer care number on my insurance card. That “Care” is a joke. I got passed from one uncaring person to another before someone finally announced that it wasn’t covered because it was an over-the-counter drug. I informed her that it was most definitely NOT an over-the-counter med here in my state. I was passed to yet another person who told me that they don’t cover this medicine for the common cold. I gave her the diagnosis, spelling it out since I couldn’t pronounce it, and was now passed to yet another person who informed me that I needed pre-authorization. The doctor could call them and get it authorized and then they would cover it. Of course by now I’ve been waiting over two hours and it is five past five, meaning the doctor’s office has closed.
So here I am back to gargling with salt water, sucking on lozenges and drinking herbal tea touted to sooth the irritated throat. And feeling sorry for myself. It rained all day so I didn’t miss a walk on the beach, but I could have enjoyed a cozy day inside working on my book. So, it’s been one of those days.
Time to write in my gratitude book and get a change of attitude – what do you think?