Yeah, no. Couldn’t stay away.

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Galata tower on board, by Sinan Yüzakli on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

I know I said I’d shut up for a bit. But I’m on a long car ride, the kids have eaten their pb&j’s and are busy looking for wildlife overpasses, and something amazing just happened. Again. Yes.

I haven’t had to call the doctor all week. I’ve really been feeling great. But today, at dawn, I woke up with a bad neck ache. I took Tylenol and got a little more fitful sleep.

Later, I tried calling the answering service, imagining tumors rapidly proliferating all the way down my spine. I knew it was much more likely I have muscle soreness from tapering off steroids, which happened last time too.

The service told me the ER was covering all weekend. That would have been the most unproductive call ever, with a resident who might not even know what immunotherapy is. (That happened last fall too.)

So I take a chance – I send an email to one of the nurse practitioners, and guessed at the address of the other one. I told them I knew this wasn’t protocol. But I needed some reassurance. I didn’t truly expect a reply. And we needed to get on the road for a family function.

As we pass from Staten Island into Jersey, my phone rings. RESTRICTED. It is Dr. P herself. She tells me, “Nurse Practitioner R is at her brother’s graduation. What’s up?”

I keep thinking there is no possible way to love these people more, and then suddenly there is another way. “Yes,” she said, “it’s the steroids. If it keeps up you can come in for an MRI next week.”

“And hey,” she says, “I’m just doing paperwork today. It’s good to talk to somebody.” Then she has a big coughing fit, and calls herself Typhoid Mary.

Get well soon, Dr. P.

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