I’m sicker than the average individual. I’m choosing to believe that it’s the oak trees that are responsible for my hacking cough, tomato eyes, tender ears, Niagra Falls sinuses, and Tom Waits voice.
Bob LeVitus (also known as Dr. Mac) is an American author of more than 50 computer-related books, particularly on the Apple Macintosh, iPhone, and iPad for the book series, For Dummies. He started his own Mac troubleshooting business, called Dr. Mac Consulting and has been a columnist for the Houston Chronicle since 1996.
It was Dr. Mac who picked me up tonight from the front door of the University Medical Center in Austin after being discharged.
I woke up at ten o’clock in the morning to the sound of John closing the door on his way out. Josh appeared from his room not long after, standing there in briefs, rubbing his eyes, offering to scramble me some eggs. I was already standing upright, working on spinning the handle on the manuel coffee bean grinder, trying to get my morning fix.
My sinuses were as congested as Hollywood’s 405 on a Friday at 4pm. I sat on the couch with my mug in hand, lining up my allergy meds like dominos. My plan for the day was to rest and to see a Doctor.
The prior evening I was I.M.ing with my mom and she seemed to think I might have a sinus infection. I did a bunch of research online, investigating symptoms. I have them all. So I tracked down my health insurance information that I had left behind and did some Googling, searching for a physician in the area. I ended up on the phone for thirty minutes with one gal who was doing her best to help, but wasn’t able.
I located a “Doc In The Box”, a medical clinic in a strip mall, twenty minutes from the house. After speaking with them briefly, John and I hopped in his Ford Fiesta and drove highway 35 south during rush hour in the rain.
Austin is one of the top growing cities in America. At least that’s what one guy told me when I was standing on a street corner last week. I believed him. There are cranes sprawled all over downtown that decorate the city skyline, each one of them, erecting another building, making room for more people. As a result, the traffic is hideous.
The first medical clinic, and the second one, wouldn’t accept my insurance. I’m on the Oregon Health Plan, and Texas isn’t messing with it. Both of their offices were dead.
So John drives me up to where we probably should have gone to first, University Medical Center. He drops me at the Emergency Entrance where several ambulances are parked. I’m fortunate that I’m not riding in one of them. I approach the registration desk and within thirty seconds I’m cleared of Ebola. The nurse takes my temperature and asks me to sit. Less than five minutes later I’m in an examination room and before the admitting nurse could excuse herself and close the door behind her, the Doctor was on his way in.
Hopkins took a quick look at me. I stood there making faces at him, sticking out my tongue. “Ahhhhhhh”. He tickled my ears and shook my head around, pressing on my glands. And then, as quick as he had entered the room, he was gone. George came in and introduced himself, taking me to another place in the hospital to be discharged. It’s a very efficient operation.
George waves goodbye as I walk down the long yellowish hallway toward the basement pharmacy. I hand over my prescription. They don’t even bother with billing my insurance, instead, they discount, charging me five bucks for the meds and send me on my way. I swallowed two of them together as I was still standing in front of him. With the remainder of the pills in hand, I walked out the front door, happy and grateful.
It’s the first time I’ve used the Uber driver service, an app I downloaded on the way to the hospital. When I was ready for a ride, I hit the request button and in less than two minutes a guy pulls up in a Jaguar. Incredible. I asked my driver, the moonlighting, Bob Levitus, (aka Dr. Mac) who’s the leading authority on Apple products, to drop me off at The White Horse.
John and his roomate, Josh, are planning on being there. Rosie & The Ramblers are on the bill. They’re playing everything you want to swing dance to and the place is packed with people shuffling their feet. I could have stayed there all night long. I hang out long enough to say hi to my hosts, down a gut busting carne quesadilla off of the food truck and chew the fat with a few people.
Oak trees, you make me sick.