In Sore Need Of A Real Diagnosis

, , , , | Healthy | June 12, 2019

(I am in middle school and have been home sick for the past couple days with a bad sore throat and high fever. On the third day, my throat is still so sore I can’t speak or swallow anything and I am still exhausted, so at breakfast, I try to tell my grandparents, whom I live with, that I don’t think I can go to school. This does not go over well. Note, my grandfather is a licensed family physician and has successfully run his own practice for the past forty years.)

Grandfather: “Your glands aren’t swollen and you don’t feel that warm. It’s normal for a sore throat to linger. You’ve missed enough school; you can’t miss anymore. You’ll be fine.”

(My grandmother defers to his “diagnosis” and drives me to school, even though I haven’t eaten anything because swallowing is agony. I get there early and hang out in the school entryway waiting for the homeroom bell. I am just miserable. I’m achy and exhausted, and my throat hurts so much it’s making me cry. The school nurse walks by and notices the tears.)

Nurse: “[My Name], what’s wrong?”

(I try to tell her my throat hurts, but nothing comes out. She ushers me into her office.)

Nurse: “Well, let’s start with taking a temperature, okay? Just hold on a minute.”

(She puts the thermometer in my ear and waits for it to beep. After she reads it, there’s a beat of silence.)

Nurse: “Wow. [My Name], you can’t be here. I’m going to have to call your parents.”

(It turned out I had a 103-degree fever. Less than ten minutes after she dropped me off, my grandmother got a phone call from the nurse to come and pick me up. I didn’t even make it to homeroom. So much for not feeling “that warm”! Thankfully, my grandfather has a sense of humor, because I have never let him live that one down.)

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