As of today, I’ve got some of my voice back, most of the time. Which overall is an improvement.
End of day Monday, after five days of quiet querulousness, I gave up on our traditional family cure — do nothing and it’ll just go away — and took my wife’s advice, heading over to Urgent Care. What is “Urgent Care”? It’s what we used to call “The Doctor.” Seemingly back before the taming of electricity, one used to call The Doctor and go to see him. (And, yes, it was always a him.) See him that day because you needed to, because you were sick. Now, one goes to Urgent Care, because to see The Doctor requires a three-week lead time. How would one know three weeks in advance that one is going to be ill? Obviously, I don’t know.
My main complaint by the time of this visit was not the lack of speech — it was the piercing, drilling pain in my left ear, which even I could see was a related symptom. The Urgent Doctor diagnosed me with an infection, prescribed antibiotics and a viscous liquid that tastes only marginally more tolerable than NyQuil SEVERE Cold & Flu Nighttime Relief, and now I’m much improved: able to talk in fits and starts, and no desire to jam a long sharp object into my left ear.
I’ve spent the time since then mostly catching up on everything left undone while I was lying around miserable the past several days. On Sunday, though, which was Father’s Day, I decided I had to be outside of this damned house! and had to do something with my kids outside. This was definitely a case of going stir crazy.
I wanted to go hit some balls and play catch, but discovered that my 11-year-old, Dietrich, had outgrown his glove. I took him and his 15-year-old sister to the sporting goods store in the mall and tried to find a glove with a shelf life of, maybe, one year, that would cost less than $75. And that was for a lefty. At times, this lefty business can be a bigger cost than you might imagine. Anyway, we found one. Dietrich and Emma also found something else they wanted: air pistols. Y’know — BB guns. After cautioning them both about their proper use, I bought each of them an air pistol and we went home to shoot at an aluminum can, after one last whispery but stern warning against the improper use of even a target gun. After relating the no-nos, and the penalties, I told Dietrich:
“So you follow me, right? No shooting the dog or your sister.”
“What?” he gasped. “Why would I shoot the dog ?!?!?! ”
He’s a wry one. At least, I think he was being wry.
By yesterday, everything was looking up. My voice was showing signs of returning, and a former employee took my business partner and me out to lunch. The reason: to thank us for the way we took a chance on her, five or six years ago, and launched her career. You hope you make a positive impact in people’s lives, but it’s awfully rewarding to have someone, years later, come back and confirm that you did. It’s also a little bit of paying back into the system, in honor of the people who helped you yourself years and years (and years) ago.