Immune System Under Attack

Allison’s Three Days of Crazy (by Allison)

I’ve been sick, y’all. For nearly a week. In my more coherent moments, I slung out the following.


My friends, my friends.

Please help me. I’m sick as a rat. But I am here at work. I must prevail, you see. My boss, Napoleon, never calls in sick. Never. And I cannot let him beat me. I must appear strong, despite having all the symptoms of a superflu that can only have been concocted in the secret lab of an enemy nation.

Somehow, I can’t hear out of my left ear. It is all closed, or something, like I’m on an airplane. I just called my doctor’s office and had to pull a Grandmother on the nurse, because I couldn’t hear her at all. Here is a transcript of our delightful exchange:



Ok, ma’am? What is your name, again?



Well, it went something like that. My visit is tomorrow morning.

For reasons unknown to me, all I can eat are Pepperidge Farm Ginger Man cookies. Seriously. That’s all. The thought of consuming anything else fills me with dread and trepidation. I highly recommend the Ginger Man to any and all. I am thankful that, although they are filled with buttery goodness, there is only one gram of fat per…uh…Man. This is very good, as I have eaten 20 of them in two days, and nothing else.

Basically, last night was the worst night ever. I spent it staggering around in the dark, putting on clothes, taking them off, and blowing my nose until it was so red I looked like Stevie Nicks in the eighties. It was a pathetic scene. This morning, I shoved myself into a freezing shower to try and rejuvenate the senses long enough to survive the five minute drive to work. I had little success, though I did make it in, and have been sitting at my desk, numbly pushing papers to and fro ever since.

Why, you may be asking, didn’t I just stay home? People, do you not know me at all? Are you not clear on the rules and regulations of The Allison Way of Life? This will cause Mother to go into her hysterical routine of “I Was A Horrible Parent!” but I have to tell you anyway. Y’all, when I was a kid, I would have to be bleeding from the eye sockets to stay home sick from school. Visible steam was required of any alleged fever. Only a matter of life or death would suffice for the parental schedule to be changed. This policy was in stark contrast to that of my friend Kristen’s mother, who would keep her out of school if she had a hangnail. So, if I can stand up, I can go to work, even if it means faking my way through the day, spreading germs upon the innocent.

This is where one would think working in a hospital (which I do, as a health writer in the communications dept) would come in handy. I wish I could just stroll over to the ER and have one of the handsome interns perform an emergency procedure on my inflamed sinuses and then ask me out for coffee, where we would laugh the day away and fall in love. But it is not to be. I am doomed to remain here in my office, the Examining Room – called that because it actually is one, and even has a sink in it – and simply ride it out. The boss just wandered down to ask how I was doing. He tried not to show it, but his expression betrayed his disgust at my condition. And who can blame him? Imagine, if you will, Allison looming before you, hacking and wheezing, tissues protruding from the nostrils, the brow sweating, eyes wild with malaria-like characteristics. Not a pretty picture.

It’s no way to live, but here I am. And here I will remain until the whistle blows (not that I’ll hear it), because today, though it is the very last thing on Earth I want to do, I have to complete the January 2001 heath newsletter I write for web subscribers. I think my first story in this one will be “Nose Maestro! 15 Easy Tunes To Play While Honking For Others To Recognize And Enjoy!”


Ok, I can tell y’all this, but…only y’all.

One of the hospital’s smaller pharmacies is right below me in this building, and I run down there whenever I need cough drops or Band-Aids or, God forbid, the emergency Stayfree product. They normally have a decent over-the-counter selection of cold medicines and, since I just took my last Day-Quil, I thought I would go down and get something to tide me over until my appointment tomorrow.

They are always moving their stock around, and I couldn’t find anything today where I thought it should be. I was ten shades of frustrated already, because I can’t hear anything and I can’t breath and the place was all crowded and this nurse that was in there was sort of jostling around me, obviously trying to also find the cough medicine which was nowhere to be seen.

Well, we’re standing there, leaning around each other, coughing and wheezing and finally, in a FIT, I grabbed up a box on the nearest shelf and turned to her and said, “I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY HAVE K-Y JELLY, AND NOT COUGH MEDICINE!”

Her eyes flew open. Not because of what I’d said (well, maybe because of that), but how LOUD I must have said it, because the pharmacist, who I know personally, from across the store goes, “Allison. It’s over here now.”


You guys, I think my doctor has Turrett’s Syndrome. Or maybe OCD. Today, during our visit, she would be saying something and get stuck on it. Like, telling me something about insurance and saying at the end of EVERY sentence “Does that make sense?” And I would start to say “yes” and she would cut me off by saying “What?”

It was so bizarre for a few minutes. But, I liked her.

This was my first visit to her, since I had to change my primary care physician (PCP) when I got new insurance in 2001. This is unfortunate, as I had begun to develop a close relationship with my old PCP, who once had to perform an exam on me that required him to go…um…where no man has gone before, if you know what I’m saying, and I think you do. Maybe you don’t. Allow me to explain by telling you an amusing, slang-filled anecdote. You may remember a sketch from Saturday Night Live back in the day, featuring Jon Lovitz called “Wedgie Fever.” It was a game show sketch, the gist of the game being that if you answer a question incorrectly, the host yanks your drawers up to give you a wedgie. Jon Lovitz’s character apparently enjoyed this sensation so much that he answered every question incorrectly, saying “Oklahoma!” no matter what the question. “How many ounces in a pound? Oklahoma!” Underwear. Up his ass. He’s delighted.

So, well, my friends and I, to this day, use “Oklahoma!” when speaking of anything in relation to the, er, backdoor, resulting in conversations like the following that I had with my friend LBJ over the Christmas holiday:


So, things are starting to get serious with New Guy. We hit the hay the other night.

Was that good?

It was until he tried to go to Oklahoma.


So, yeah, my old doctor had to go to Oklahoma once. Clearly, I am ill, my jags. Busting out the anal slang is not exactly my style when I’m at 100 percent. According to the doc, I have a badass sinus infection that resulted in an ear infection. I haven’t had one of those since I was about five and my pediatrician would look in there and say “That’s not a happy ear.” It sure ain’t happy right now, either.

I returned to yesterday’s scene of the crime, the pharmacy, and am under the influence of a variety of medications. I have to get totally and completely well by Saturday when I will be seeing Koko Taylor and Her Blues Machine take the stage and burn down the house in beautiful San Antonio. I’m still feeling kind of horrible, but I swear I’m on the road to recovery. Y’all just pray.


“YM Girlz Rule!”
Are You Too Boy Crazy?

Three signs that guys are too important to you:

  • You put off things you’d like to do until you have someone special to do them with.
    Oh. Then I guess I’m too boy crazy. But, seriously, people, if you have to do laundry, do it with Ray. If you’re gonna get a cup of coffee, do it with stee. If you’re gonna try and beat a videogame, you wanna do that with Eric. Discuss Beastie Boys with Kevin. Talk about Eric with Jimmy. Or Bill. Go shopping with Jeff. Sing Karaoke with Dan or Chuy or Omar. Bitch about life with Tyson. Discuss music and anything else with Trejo. Laugh about Crazy Liza with Blynch. Try and one-up the bad show story with Matt. Drink late at night with Marc. Sing stupid songs with Brently. People, what could you want to do that you can’t put off to do with some boy out there? I’m not boy-crazy. I’m boy-appreciative.
  • You’d bail on a bud in a second if a hot guy asked what you were doing later.
    If that hot guy is Johnny Depp, everyone in my life had better understand.
  • You’d hang alone with a dude you didn’t dig, just so you wouldn’t be alone.
    Okay, no. So, there. I’m not totally boy-crazy.

If even one of the above is true, it’s time to reprioritize. You can be your own best date! So carve out some quality solo time.
Oh, ha. Thanks.

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