i had a 2:20pm appointment with a nurse practitioner at mgh. i tried to make an appointment with my usual doctor, but the receptionist told me there wasn't an opening until the end of december. i don't think my coughing can wait that long, and one doctor's as good as another. i've sort of been afraid of coming to the hospital though, because i have some a problem with one particular overdue medical bill. i went to the walk-in service one time without a referral (it was a case of conjunctivitis), and a month later i get a bill in the mail for $150. i had already paid the $50 emergency room co-payment, but they wanted another $150 on top of that. so i just ignored it, but now i'm scared to go back to the hospital because i'm afraid they're going to say, "oh, we're sorry, we can't treat you because you have an outstanding balance" or "oh, you can't leave the hospital until you pay your bill." nevertheless, i arrived at mass general, and i'm all sweaty and exhausted after having booked it across the longfellow on foot in order to get to make the appointment on time. 20 minutes later in the waiting room, i am taken into a small examining office and left to sit for another 5 minutes. is it just me or does the first thing you think about when you're alone in the examining room is, hey, what can i steal as a souvenir? the only things that were lying around were some pens, rubber gloves, and those plastic cones they stick in your ears. finally my doctor arrives, and i'm walked through the usual song and dance, check this, check that, listen here, listen there, nope, you're fine, nothing serious. i was really happy when she took my blood pressure and discovered that it was at a normal reading of 128/80. she prescribed an oral inhaler and also some robitussin with codeine. codeine? "hey, i have a project due in two weeks. is there any side effects with the codeine...?" i asked. "yes," she replied, "it'll knock you right out." me: "okay..." fortunately, i don't have to take the 'tussin unless i'm developing a really nasty cough, and i'm not at that stage yet. so far my only symptoms have been a persistent cough and this congested feeling in my chest. she said at the very worst i have a low case of bronchitis, but at the very least a mild cold or allergy.
parsing a message for subtext. one of the topics on tonight's repeat episode of gilmore girls. you mean i came home when i could've been working another late night to catch an episode of gg that i've already seen before? see what happens when you don't consult with the televisioner's bible, el tv guide? anyway, i think i speak in subtext all the time. i've yet to find someone who can parse it though. subtext and understatements, two cornerstones of my speech habits.