Flu Season had begun and she did not feel exactly right but she had this appointment and it seemed silly to cancel because she didn’t feel exactly right.
The drive to the doctor’s offices took 45 minutes and she did not feel any better at the end of the ride. She said to the receptionist “Maybe I should reschedule.”
The receptionist said “That’s up to you. If you’d like a face mask, we have those. You are here and you have two appointments.”
She moved on down the hall to the mammography suite. On the way, she met a friend and as they talked, she mentioned again not feeling quite right and in fact feeling so faint, she needed to sit down. The faintness passed and she went in to reschedule the mammogram but again, the receptionist said: “You’re already here but it is up to you.” She did the mammogram.
She dressed, returned to the physician’s office, undressed and put on the thin cotton examination gown. Then she walked to the counter where there were tissues and took one thinking the tickling in her throat would clear up if she blew her nose.
She raised the tissue and realized it was vomit that was causing the tickle. She was still standing by the cabinet and the sink. Her hands were cupped with the tissue so the projectile vomit hit her cupped hands, flew up to fill her eyeglasses, and spurted on up to spray the cabinets flu two feet above her head. That was the first projectile round. The second covered the counter top-and all of the medical equipment and the faucets and backsplash. The third finished the sink and covered the lower cabinets and her feet. It was fast and she couldn’t seem to stop trying to block it with her hands. Somewhere along the way that thin cotton robe was soaked down the front.
Out of habit she pulled off paper towels and wiped the cabinet doors and everything else she could see then ran some water and left the soaked paper towels and tissue in the corner of the sink. She didn’t know how hazardous the waste was but knew it was at the very least contagious.
The doctor knocked on the door and opened it. She turned, dripping, to him and said: “I don’t think you want to come in here.” He looked at her and immediately backed up and closed the door.
A nurse stepped in shortly and said soothingly, “It’s all right. Let’s get you dressed then you can go on home. You did say you weren’t feeling quite right. Are you driving?”
She said, “Yes and I feel so much better now.”
The nurse said “I’ll fix up something to take in the car with you in case you are ill again on the drive. Do you think you will be all right? Is there someone to call?”
She said “I’m much better now and think I can drive home. Please, as you clean up, remember that I sprayed the upper and lower cabinets as well as the sink and countertop and floor. I’m pretty sure this room needs a massive disinfecting.”
The nurse smiled and said “We’ll do it. You take care now and call next week to reschedule the doctor’s check. Your mammogram showed nothing to worry about.”
She dressed and left, trying not to touch anything. The nurse opened doors and held back so as not to touch her. The nurse was very nice about it.
The next day was the other end of the elimination that Flu Season often brings. She felt bad about needing to go to the store for ginger ale and crackers but someone had to do it. The day after was quiet. She thought it was good that she’d gotten the Flu Season shot-what she’d had was messy but not life-threatening. On the fourth day, she ate and drank well.
Next week, she went back into the elementary school, the college, the exercise center, and the grocery store. All were possible sources of the Flu Season although no one she had been around had been obviously ill. The germs were everywhere and there was no point in becoming paranoid about that.
Now she had to call for an appointment and go back to the place she’d be known as “That one.”
Forest green had been the color; bile and broccoli bits as far as she could tell.