“I think my throat is going to fall out.”

I was laying on the couch. Stroking my throat. My poor, sore throat. My wife Katie eyed me with contempt.

“Go to the doctor then.”

That’s what Katie says when she’s heard me complain about some phantom illness for the umpteenth time. I can’t deny that I don’t complain about phantom illnesses an umpteenth number of times.

There was nothing phantom about my burning throat. I showed up at urgent care at 6:00 on a Saturday night. The place was empty. Dawn of the Dead.

A kind physician’s assistant swabbed my throat. She came back twenty minutes later.

“You’ve got strep throat.”


It is beyond me how a 42-year-old man gets strep throat. I haven’t had strep since I was a kid.

“Who have you been kissing?” Katie eyed me with skepticism.

Kissing? I don’t have time to kiss nobody. Kiss nuthin’.

Some of you are avid readers of this viral blog. And by viral I mean nearly invisible. Those of you who regularly read this thing know that last week I was concerned about my blood pressure. Well, strep is some welcome news. Apparently, infections such as strep can raise one’s blood pressure.

I went for a routine check-up on a Friday. To establish care in the fine city of Iowa City. Found out I had high blood pressure. Returned to urgent care on a Saturday and found my strep throat was likely causing such high blood pressure.

Healthy as an ox. Well, not really. I have strep. I’m all hopped up on antibiotics now, and my throat feels better. I’m told I’m no longer contagious. So I can breathe on whoever I want to breathe on.

I’m still trying to eat foods that are good for your blood pressure. Salads and whatnot. 42-year-old men like me should eat foods that are good for blood pressure. Salads and whatnot.


There aren’t many pharmacies open on a Saturday night in Iowa City. So I found myself at the hospital on campus after my visit to urgent care. Talk about a labyrinth. I parked in a ramp and, 42 minutes later, stumbled into the discharge pharmacy.

“Amoxicillin,” I croaked, “this 42-year-old man needs Amoxicillin.”

Sure, I grew up in Minneapolis. I’m used to parking ramps and enormous hospitals. But I’ve spent the last seven years in the wilds of Central Pennsylvania. Just a country boy, yinz all, doing my best here in the big cities of Iowa.

The hospital here is really something. That’s good news for a 42-year-old man such as myself blogging about the perils of high blood pressure and strep throat.

“Heal me,” I moaned at the young person across the counter in the hospital. I think it was a college student. They eyed me with contempt and handed me a bottle of pills.

And here I am a week or so later. My throat feels fine and let’s assume my blood pressure is great.

Just great.

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