I’ve really only lost my voice twice. The first time was when I got whooping cough back in December 2015 and thought I was near death. The second time has been this past week, and it’s been loads of fun. It’s always a terrible feeling when you try to speak to strangers, whether it’s buying things at a cash register or at the doctor’s office’s front desk, and as soon as you open your mouth, the person responds back with pity in his/her eyes: “poor you, you poor, sick child.” I’ve gotten that glum look from too many people to name, whether it’s been saying hi to my doctor today, asking where I can find a thermos, to purchasing water and squeaking out a quiet and hoarse “thank you.”
I went to the doctor’s today… for the second time in four days, right here in San Francisco. I haven’t been to a doctor’s office in this city since my college days when I was still on my mother’s insurance. My doctor was kind and gentle, explained everything very well, and also walked through a lot of the same ideas the New Zealand doctor I had seen had. At least they weren’t completely contradictory. She prescribed me a steroid to help open up my throat and ease my breathing, and to see if this was potentially bacterial given the length of my suffering, an antibiotic. I’m due to see her again on Friday before I leave to see if the antibiotic has helped at all.
I’m on steroids, and I’m also on antibiotics for the second time in almost two years. I feel like an invalid. And I’m still trapped in a crappy hotel room with no ventilation, no AC, and no fan, that my dad asked, “Did your company downgrade? This place is like those really old apartments in the Tenderloin. Even the elevator is outdated!”