Wednesday, July 07, 2004

WARNING: Contains Biohazards

Eli is Patient Zero.

Eli 2.11 caught a virus on Monday and today he's still miserable. We're doing everything we can to help him feel better, including an unprecedented Maggie and the Ferocious Beast marathon, but in the meantime he's a walking 36" canister of the Andromeda Strain. Believe me, you will never fully understand the word 'contamination' until you have children. Every square inch of the house located under the 4' containment line has been coated in disease. If those C.S.I. punks came in here for an investigation, they'd all be unconscious or dead in five minutes flat. Walking around here is like standing in a vat of liquid disease up to your waist.

Gloria, remarkably, is unaffected. Her pioneer stock immune system is absolutely impervious to disease. If the world is ever devastated by smallpox or some kind of alien virus, she'll be the sole survivor, picking through the rubble of the local mall. "Excuse me? Is anyone here? Do you have this in a size four?"

I've caught it, of course. My throat feels like I've swallowed a cheese grater. I'm waiting in the doctor's office right now as I write this.

Going to the doctor, though, is purely a rhetorical exercise. Here is a medical dramatization of my doctor receiving an urgent phone call.

"This is Dr. Disinterested. How can I help you?"
"Yes, Doctor, I've been in a car wreck and bone is sticking out of my left leg. What should I do?"
"Sounds like a virus."
"I think I may be losing consciousness."
"Could still be a virus."
"And I have a three-inch steel pipe sticking out of my head."
"Come in for a throat culture."

You may wonder why I am loyal to a physician who would diagnose a corpse as having 'some kind of virus' and tell it to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. I evaluate doctors solely on the comfort of their waiting rooms, where I will spend 90% of my time. This is a comfortable waiting room, a clean well-lighted waiting room, if you will. My previous physician's waiting room had all the comfort and ambience of a Third World open-air market. So this is a big improvement, because at least there's no standing water.

I'm being waved into the inner sanctum. Time for magic. With all the exciting advances in medical technology in the last decade, what kind of sophisticated, futuristic equipment will definitively identify my illness this time?

p.s. They used a popsicle stick. It's some kind of virus.

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