Tuesday, August 14, 2007

You're My Ritalin

I love you, I love you, I love you, when I sit on orange plastic chairs in depressing little cafes, sipping chicken soup, after everyone else is gone, I think of you, I think of what I will be saying to you, through you.

And as I watch handsome Pakistani men cavort around heavy wooden furniture tossing off ghazals in Urdu, I take note of the hilly-shaped spikes in their hair so I can come back to tell you about it.

When I taste the ginseng chicken soup, I close my eyes and try to come up with words to describe that strong herbal taste so I can tell you just how it was, flowing down my throat - comfort, and maybe something stronger?

And when I visit the doctor's - a nice specky Chinese man with a kind smile who, contrary to (my) popular belief, did not dish me out a load of disgusting antibiotics, my eyes roam over his kind, lined face, his office, while my mind skips merrily over his words, so I can come back to tell you about it.

He takes note of my pale, strained visage, my panda eyes, (I had one of those nights where I thought death would be a relief from the coughing) and asks me how long I have been sick.

About a week, I tell him. I fell sick last Monday. Then it got really bad on Friday and I lost my voice. And he nods, checks out my throat, presses a stethoscope to my back, says breathe deeply, and asks what happened on Monday that precipiated said illness.

Stress, I tell him. We were doing a function with a partner from hell. He nods comfortably. Well, are you still doing it? Is it resolved? And I say, yeah, that function is over. And he asks, can you rest now, for the next few days, knock off early, no spicy food? And I say, yeah, I guess.

And he asks if I have been taking anything for the cough. And I say, yeah, this pharmacist prescribed some amixicylin (I know I spelled that wrong but I don't care). He frowns slightly. A pharmacist prescribed you antibiotics? That's not allowed. That's against the law. Luckily it was mild and didn't do much damage.

No offence, but why did you wait so long before coming to a doctor? I'm feeling too weak to prevaricate, so I tell him that doctors just prescribe antibiotics that make me throw up. I feel worse rather than better.

He laughs and tells me no antibiotics, just something for a scratchy throat and something for the cough. I don't think you have an infection. But if the cough doesn't stop in three days, come back. In the meantime, rest.

Nice guy. I take note of his name, so I can come back here if I'm sick again. And I can't wait to get back and tell you I've found a doctor.

And since I'm reading More, Now, Again, I decide you're my Ritalin.

And since, I'm listening to Michael Buble, I think:

It's you, it's you,
You make me sing
You're every line
You're every word
You're everything...


Daphne said...

did your chinese doctor prescribe "pae pak hoa"? It's a popular herbal throat medicine in the Philippines that's sold in chinatown. I'm not sure if its also available in Malaysia. Heard it tastes like honey with a dash of ben-gay. :-)

Hope you continue to get well.

Jenn said...

Um, my doc was a normal GP who happened to be ethnically Chinese. But he was the goods...yes, oh boy, him was the goods.

I have stopped coughing.

Oh frabjuous day, calloo callay!

Nessa said...

I am so glad your cough is better. I rarely take antibiotics. I think they cause rebound illnesses and should only be used when absolutely needed.

Jenn said...

Yeah, and these were prescribed wrongly.