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There's No Better Feeling Than Going To The Doctor And Finding Out You're Sick

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What makes someone “masculine” has changed a lot over my lifetime. When I was younger trying in school, wearing pink, and crying all made you the target of a bully. Now? Cool kids know how to code, years ago Kanye made pink Ralph Lauren stop being borin’, and mental health is the coolest thing in the world. But one thing has remained “gay”: seeing a doctor when you’re feeling ill. Men wear it like a badge of honor, “I haven’t seen a doctor in ten years,” we’ll proudly boast. It’s probably borne of laziness then used as an example of toughness, as most things are, but it is what it is.

That’s why yesterday was such a harrowing ordeal. I hadn’t been able to swallow for three days and decided I had to see a doctor. Not because I was worried about a sickness getting worse, but because I was fucking starving. I needed to eat and since swallowing air felt like crushed glass, food wasn’t really an option. So I told only my closest confidants, out of fear that it would get out I was seeing someone who’d graduated medical school and thus rumors would spread that I was a homosexual (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

I went over to a walk-in clinic and they were overjoyed to see someone who wasn’t going to make them look at genitals full of festering wounds. “A sore throat? It’s only a sore throat?! We’re not gonna have to take off clothes in exam room 3!!!” I thought they were going to have a pizza party on the spot, which I assume they do because Walk-Ins are the Planet Fitness of doctors offices: you go once in a while just because you feel like you should, but you don’t have actual goals.

The nurse warned she was going to take a swab of my throat for a strep test and as she came across the room, brandishing the monstrous Q-tips like a machete, I asked her to pause so I could gather myself. I hadn’t had my tonsils tickled by those things in a while, but the gag that accompanies it has been seared in my memory. She audibly laughed, undoubtedly thinking, “Welcome to the world of women, dude,” but thanks to my mental prep I handled the throating like a champ and she began the quick strep test.

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I’m a dramatic, whiny child when I’m not at the doctor but I put on a show once I’m sitting on that rolled out paper. “Oh no it doesn’t hurt that bad. Hardly an issue at all. Do I feel faint? Not even a bit. No fever. You know what, now that you point it out I’ll just get out of here. Sorry for wasting your time” is what I’ll spew, while outside the office doors I’ve been acting like simply breathing was a pain worse than death. So, much to the surprise of the doctor given my Oscar worthy tough guy performance, my strep test came back positive.

WHAT. A. FEELING. I know that most people don’t want to be told they’re sick, and to be fair strep throat is very barely being actually sick, but I couldn’t have been more excited. It’s just so freeing to find out that you’re not crazy, you’re not even a baby, there’s something medically wrong with you. You need medicine. Everyone who doubted you and said you were faking it? Not only are they wrong, they’re probably gonna get sick too! HA! Serves them right.

On top of being correct with your self-diagnoses, you also get to clear your schedule. Go back to work? Well that would be downright selfish. You’ve got no choice but to pick up your Penicillin (which the pharmacist surely thinks is for an STD), some ice cream, soup, and watch a bunch of movies. That’s been my life for the last 24 hours and it’s been divine. I’ve had a pint of ice cream, three bowls of ramen, and I’m on my sixth movie. Being sick gives you the confidence boost of being right and the permission to do nothing. It doesn’t get better than that.

PS – Movies I’ve watched ranked:

1. Logan

2. Jojo Rabbit

3. Harry Potter

4. A different Harry Potter

5. A different Harry Potter

6. The Tom Hanks Mr. Rogers movie