Medical Dramas

For the first time in a long time, I was forced to take antibiotics last week. The culprit: a cold that started in the chest, went to my head, then changed its mind and went back into my chest. At first, I figured, this is bearable, just stay in, don’t do too much and it’ll go away. Only the cold didn’t. Like a Gremlin being fed after midnight, it was gaining strength, and forcing me to uncontrollably cough up a rainbow of primary-colored mucus (with the exception of blue.)

So I went to the doctor, got told that I actually had what I knew I had (an upper respiratory infection) and was given a week’s worth of antibiotics. By the end of the week, my respiratory system was doing much better and my mucus was again colorless. But victory didn’t come without a price, and that price, in this case, was a boatload of collateral damage on another system in my body, the digestive system. (Antibiotics kills every bit of bacteria in your body, including the good kind, the bacteria that aids digestion.)

Presently, I can breathe, and am no longer clutching a handful of used tissues, but my stomach no longer wants any food to cross its path. In more simpler terms, my body replaced coughing and sneezing with farting. And I can’t really say which is more socially acceptable at this point. I’ve been around people on the train with bad coughs and thought to myself, “You better breathe through your eyes or you’re gonna catch whatever they’ve got,” but I’ve also been on the train next to people who don’t even mask the fact that they’re openly farting in public and thought the same thing. Only I don’t think farts are contagious, so I probably just repeated the “Breathe through your eyes” part to myself.

I realize this isn’t a topic too many people want to address, so I’ll end it with a solution: probiotics. It’s a supplement one can take to replace the good bacteria lost during an antibiotic-al purge, found at drug stores such as Duane Reade, which brings me to my next venture.

Another part of my body in constant need of repair is my back. Today, I had a chiropractor appointment, book ended between work and a trip to Duane Reade to purchase said probiotics. The irony here is that to correct my back problems, and purchase supplements to correct my digestive problems, I must first pass through a fictional hospital drama being filmed in the downtown area of our home, Jersey City, which is easier said than done.

Mercy, a medical drama which actually takes place in Jersey City, is filmed on and off again throughout the year in our town. I’m sure it brings money into the city through zoning and employment, but it also creates a serious congestion problem (of the traffic variety) in and around our downtown area. So to get my back adjusted, and purchase supplements for my digestive system, (in essence, to solve my own medical dramas) I had to navigate through a microcosm of television crews aimed at creating fictional medical dramas.

And while waiting to cross the street during a take, which was lasting upwards of ten minutes, the irony of the situation hit me. The crew was filming a mock St. Patrick’s Day street fair, and everything was covered in green, much like my mucus one week earlier. Then the take finished, my stomach grumbled and I made my way to the chiropractor, who said he was sick last week too.

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