Posted by: notdeaddinosaur | January 8, 2011

Egg All Over My Face

True story:

People often ask me how I manage to deal with sick people all day without getting sick myself. My standard answer is that I wash my hands twenty times a day. The real answer is that I don’t. Avoid getting sick, that is. I’ve been muddling along with a respiratory thing since right before Christmas: scratchy throat to start, runny/stuffy nose, now with an annoying cough that won’t quit.

I have practiced what I’ve preached. Increased my fluid intake; limited my activities (“rest” is relative when one is self-employed); and so on. I have not taken any antibiotics, confident that this will run its course.

Darling Spouse came down with it about a week ago. The Jock is starting to sniffle. The visiting NinjaBaker swears he is coughing because he fell asleep on a red-eye flight and slept with his mouth open, not that he has a pathogen. Right.

We have stocked up on soup, tea, hot chocolate, honey, and whiskey, and have been dutifully consuming them all, with an emphasis on the last two items at bedtime, as the cough is definitely worse at night. Yesterday the suggestion was made to procure some actual cough medicine, as it had actually helped previously. So off I set in search of some good old generic Robitussin DM.

I quickly found the correct aisle in Rite Aid, located the Robitussin DM, and grabbed the bottle of store brand product right next to it. There was a guy standing in the aisle also perusing the shelves, talking on his cell phone, clearly consulting with someone (his wife, in all likelihood) about the selection. He finished the call, then continued wandering up and down the aisle, looking up and down at the array of bottles on each shelf.

As we family docs tend to be the friendly, helpful sort, I sidled up next to him and said, “Excuse me, I happen to be a doctor. Do you need any help picking out what you need?”

He just looked at me and answered, “So am I.”

“Really! What kind?” Maybe he was an orthopedist and therefore clueless about anything involving soft tissues such as noses, throats, lungs, and so on.

“Family medicine.”

Gulp. Okay then. I pried my foot out of my mouth and introduced myself. Turns out he was in residency at a nearby hospital up the street from where I had done my training lo these many decades ago. We parted; I paid for my cough medicine, tucked my tail between my legs, and headed home, where I poured an extra shot of whiskey into my bedtime hot chocolate.


  1. Hahaha!!! Priceless.

    I embarrassed myself in a similar manner during a recent doctor’s visit. The nurse was going through my current meds to make sure the list was still correct. She gave the brand name of a drug and asked if I was still taking it. I stammered back: “Uhh…is that another name for ?” (It was). She couldn’t stop laughing.

  2. That story does not invoke much confidence in me about that doctor. uh oh.

  3. You have no reason to tuck your tail between your legs, you just tried to be what if he is a doctor?

    You were just trying to be nice, it is not as if you could have sniffed that he is a doc too

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