Sick in the city

There are few things worse than being sick, single, and in New York City. It’s loud. (Literally, there was a jackhammer outside my apartment this morning.) It’s dirty. You have to walk everywhere. Most days, I don’t mind (and sometimes even enjoy) these things. But when all you want to do is lay in bed and send someone else out to fetch you Kleenex and medicine and tea, it makes for a miserable existence.

I dragged myself out of bed this morning in my scrubs and sweatshirt to walk the two blocks to the Duane Reade near me. Doesn’t seem so bad right? Two blocks is nothing.


First there was the aforementioned jackhammer – and when your head is pounding with a sinus headache, trust me, that is not an enjoyable thing to walk past. The two blocks between me and the salvation of decongestants felt like a mile. I get there, I foggily search through the aisles for what I need and arrive at the register with one box of Advil cold and sinus, one box of tissues, one can of chicken noodle soup, and one box of Wheat Thins. (They sounded good at the time, I’m not sure why.) I get to the pharmacy counter and realize that, because of all the meth labs out there, I need to present my ID to buy the Advil.

Where is my ID? Back in my apartment. I’d left with only my debit card, my keys and my phone. Yep, I feel my phone is more important than my ID on most days.

So I need to walk the two blocks back to my apartment to get my ID so I can get the drugs so I can feel better. By this time, it’s doing this snow/rain mixture thing, and did I mention that I left my umbrella under my desk at work yesterday? And I’m wearing my glasses, so as they get wet, I can barely see?

I trek through the snow/rain, past the jackhammer again, in to my apartment, grab my wallet, walk the two blocks back to Duane Reade, passing the jackhammer for a third time. I present my ID, I am allowed to purchase my medication, and I walk the two blocks back to my apartment (past the jackhammer for a fourth time) and can finally relax and try to decongest myself.

Most days, I’m really ok with being single and independent. I like doing my own thing, I don’t mind walking to the grocery store, and I don’t feel like I need anyone to take care of me. But dammit, when I’m sick, I want my mom or I want a boyfriend to go get me things and make me soup and generally do everything for me.


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