this morning i made an appointment to see the doctor. i was planning on visiting the MGH walk-in urgent care center, but that place can be a nightmare and the amount of waiting time is pretty crazy. i called my primary care office first, hoping my doctor had an opening for today or tomorrow. he did but it wasn't until wednesday, and i couldn't wait that long. so instead i managed to get a 1:30pm appointment at their primary care urgent care unit, with one of the doctors on call.
mary left for school around noontime, said she had a class.
after finishing those 3 leftover slices of pizza for lunch, i made my way down to MGH. there was an all-day rain event, so i brought my umbrella and wore my waterproof hiking shoes. i arrived with about 15 minutes to spare. i couldn't find the room at first, until the secretary at my usual primary care office told me it was right across the hall. not as lavish an office compared to primary care, the urgent care still had an important function, allowing patients with existing primary care doctors to schedule quick appointments when their regular doctors aren't available. it felt sort of like walk-in urgent care, but a little more VIP since you made an appointment. the receptionist was a pretty asian girl with a big mane of blonde hair and false eyelashes. she put a hospital bracelet on my wrist, some sort of patient protocol. there was hardly any wait time: in the waiting room was an elderly couple (the husband was obvious the patient, with his coughing and runny nose), a veteran in a wheel chair with an oxygen tank flanked by two relatives, and a hot blonde mother daughter duo (daughter was there getting an x-ray for some sort of injury). i filled out the usual form, a nurse took my vitals, and a minute later a doctor came out and asked to see me.
the doctor listened to my lungs and heart, all sounded normal. from the way i described my symptoms, he diagnosed the problem as exercise-induced asthma, brought forth by cold dry weather. treatment is in the form of a prescription nebulizer, AKA asthma inhaler. the doctor had the nurse follow me around in the hallway with a pulse oximeter to see if my oxygen would drop. she also had no go up and down the stairs. i wanted to do more, to really get my heart pumping, to try and induce an asthma attack, but it was unusually warm inside the hospital, so it might not have worked anyway. the nurse was worried i might hurt myself and called me back. the doctor gave me a stack of printouts regarding to asthma. before i left, another nurse showed me how to properly use a nebulizer. there were a few small empty hospital beds with cowbells on the bed tables so patients can call the nurse if they needed help.
i was finished by 2pm. originally my parents were going to pick me up from MGH when they got out of work at 2:30pm, but i decided it'd be easier if i took the subway back to harvard square. when i arrived i gave them a call and they came to pick me up. i was going with them on a supply run to baifu AKA food-pak express, the members-only asian restaurant wholesale store. my father decided to take route 93 which turned out to be a mistake, as there was bumper to bumper traffic beginning from MGH. we were actually in the tunnel for 30 minutes, before finally coming out. we didn't arrive at baifu until 3:45pm. we were afraid it'd be closing soon, but they don't close until 5pm. we finished shopping by 4:30pm.
going back was faster, as we avoided 93 altogether, and took mass avenue instead. my father wanted to get onto storrow drive and we hit some traffic again, until we got to the drive itself going outbound, and then it was very quick returning to belmont.
my father gave me a ride back to cambridge around 7:30pm after some vietnamese pho noodles for dinner. i didn't think mary was home because there was a pile of mail on the foyer floor but turns out she was, just sleeping in her room. she must've returned home early, in the afternoon, before the mail arrived. could she have then been sleeping all this time, to make up for last night's all-nighter?