Friday, November 10, 2006

Am I sick?

I took a hike up to the Universities Health Center to find out about flu shots. The kindly cleck informs me that "due to shortages, flu shots are only available to high-risk patients."

For the first time in my life, I waved the cancer flag. "High-risk, yup, thats me. Got me a compromised immune system I do." It felt awkward though; there's something odd about having a dreaded disease, but still looking perfectly healthy.

I was sent upstairs, where after a little confusion, I was given an appointment and some paperwork to fill out.

In addition to the usual "name / rank/ serial number" trivia there was the standard bank of yes / no questions. "Are you allergic to latex," "Are you taking any medication," and one that had me completely stumped: "Are you sick today?"

I turned to the nurse and said "I don't know how to parse this question. What do you mean by sick? I don't have a fever, so I'm not sick in that meaning of the term. But I DO have freakin' cancer, which is certainly a sickness as well."

The nurse just smiled as if she got these questions from Martians like myself every day. "Why don't you just say 'yes' then," she suggested.

So I checked the 'yes' box, and in the 'tell us about it' field I proudly wrote "I HAVE FREAKIN' CANCER!"

But I'm always going to have cancer, right? So am I going to be sick every day of the rest of my life?

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