McKeithan Column

Published 10:40 pm Sunday, January 18, 2009

By Staff
Sick day is good medicine
Doctor’s note an excuse for self-indulgence
I took a sick day on Tuesday, and I was REALLY sick this time.
This was unlike past “sick days” when I would call the office 15 minutes before tee time with an Oscar-worthy performance, “Can’t make it (fake cough) in today (fake sniffle), must be relapse of my Duke-Mayo-Hopkins syndrome (fake illness).
This condition — as you may suspect — only flares up on beautiful days when I can assemble a good foursome.
But this time, I needed true medical attention. I was “worked-in” at the Treat-&-Eat combination urgent care facility/fast food restaurant on short (order) notice. I told the physician’s assistant my list of symptoms: headache, dizziness, muscle aches, ear hair, love handles and bowlegs.
After a quick exam, the PA informed that I had a fever, a great deal of nasal congestion and bad breath. “You’re also about 30-pounds over your ideal weight.”
The PA obviously didn’t like me. (I forgot to list “paranoid” as one of my symptoms.) She left the room with a final jab, “ … and I hate your stupid column.”
Soon, the doctor entered; reviewed the chart and said, “Let’s talk about your weight.”
“Yes, let’s do. I was in your lobby two hours, and your fries are cold.”
(I forgot to list hypochondria as one of my symptoms.)
Nope. I need a note for the wife. Make sure you highlight “fever” on there … and write a little something about bed rest, Coke and Fritos.
Aw, don’t take it personal, Doc. You’re OK in my book.
One last thing, Doc: Your note also says I should drink plenty of clear liquids — is light beer considered a clear liquid?”
(I forgot to list “just-plain-sorriness” as one of my symptoms.)
Before you call:
The fictional conversation is based (very loosely) on my appointment Tuesday at a local medical facility staffed with competent, prompt and friendly healthcare providers. They earned my respect and appreciation. I intend no offense to those truly infirmed and hope my silliness might lighten their day. (My fever is now gone, in case you were concerned.)
Ray McKeithan is associate publisher of the Washington Daily News. He welcomes your comments and calls, as long as you’re nice: 252-940-4205;