And Then They Stuck a Magic Wand Up My Nose


Being 33 years old, I grew up on the cusp of the technological revolution that occurred during the 1990s.  Here’s what I mean.   I remember being a high school student in the early ‘90s.  Nobody had a cell phone, computers were slow and used mostly for games and word processing, I had one friend who owned a webcam and everyone thought it was the nerdiest thing ever, research projects were done using a library and real books, there was no Napster, Facebook, or even Google, and words like “meme” and “emoticon” weren’t a part of anyone’s vocabulary yet.  For people ten years younger than I am, cell phones and the Internet are such a part of everyday life, it seems like a world without them would be unfathomable.  For me, I got my first cell phone three years ago, and having a video call on Skype makes me feel like I’m in a Ray Bradbury story.

Having said that, it should come as no surprise that I often find myself in a state of technological shock.  I remember the first time I saw my street on the computer screen using Google Maps.  My jaw dropped.  How was this possible?  Likewise, I had the same feeling working in a public school and having a SmartBoard.  The thing was capable of miraculous things.  It could show movies or PowerPoint presentations…students could even come up and write on it.  When I was in high school, we were still watching film strips.  The world had changed, seemingly overnight; instead of spooling film, I could show my students where I lived on the SmartBoard and it would only take a matter of minutes.

Not that I would ever show my students where I live.  That’s crazy.  But you get the point.

All this is setup for the story of my mind blowing trip to the clinic yesterday.  The past two days (and going on today, too), I’ve been deathly ill.  At first I tried to tough it out.  Yesterday, though, I seriously just crumbled and succumbed to it.  I couldn’t open my eyes and, although I was freezing, I was sweating worse than Patrick Ewing in the 4th quarter (that’s a bit of an old reference).  Wanting to call in sick, I searched out my work contract to see how many sick days I get a year.  The answer: zero.  Yes, zero.  In fact, my contract states that if I’m to miss a day, I must provide a two day notice.  That seemed a bit ridiculous but then again what do I know…maybe there’s an app on Google that can predict illness.

My strategy was to go into work and act as sick as possible, hoping they would send me home (it wasn’t much of an act since I thought I was dying).  Immediately Boss and Leah were concerned.  Not that I was sick.  More that I would miss work.  It was decided that I had to be taken to the Korean hospital (they call it that, although it’s really more like a clinic) to get a shot.  Apparently, all I needed to bounce back to health was a nice injection in the butt administered by a friendly Korean nurse.  Initially, I tried to argue my way out.  I needed rest.  Not to be bent over a table in front of a girl with a syringe.  If I was a man who had fetishes, that would not be one of them.

There was no getting out of it, however, and so I soon found myself in the clinic with Leah, who would be serving as my translator.  Into the doctor’s office we went, and it was then that I entered a world of technological amazement and wonder.  First, a device was stuck in my ear and my temperature was taken.  Nothing crazy.  Still a far cry from having to sit there with a stupid thermometer under my tongue, only for it to come out reading that I’m dead or something, causing me to have to try it again.  Next, the doctor pulled out something that looked exactly like a magic wand.  It was a long, thin rod that was glowing at the end.  Behind him was a television monitor.  He proceeded to shove the magic wand up my nose.  The horrifying image of my inner nostril filled the television screen.  It was repulsive, with one long nostril hair obscuring the shot.  Proving to me that my nostrils are bigger than I imagined, he also stuck a suction tube up there and starting sucking out the snot.  Meanwhile, Leah sat there and watched with no expression on her face.  The screen was rather big and I felt as though we were watching my inner schnozzola presented in IMAX.

It wasn’t over.  Next a camera went down my throat, making me gag.  Up came my tonsils on the TV screen, looking like the gooey antennae on a snail.  It was determined that I had a fever and I was given some pills which, alarmingly, made me feel instantly better the moment I took my first dose.

Has sickness become, like the paper map or the rectal thermometer, a thing of the past?  There are no sick days in my contract and, having taken those pills, it occurred to me that maybe it’s because sickness can be defeated easily, as if it was the first level of Angry Birds or something.

Heck – my fever didn’t even warrant the super-pain-killer injection shot.  Perhaps I’ll go back and request it should I injure myself severely while trying to trim that awful nose hair.



31 thoughts on “And Then They Stuck a Magic Wand Up My Nose

    • Yeah, she’s cool. She kept telling the doctor to give me an injenction and after she left she was totally bummed that he didn’t. I personally did not share her sense of defeat.

  1. Did you know nowadays to fix a broken leg all they have to do is rub ointment on it which smells, oddly enough, like tacos? Do that and Bingo! Good as new.

      • Not to be rude and interject in someone else’s comment-sation, but you totally saw that on The Hunger Games, John. And no where did they say it smelled like tacos! And why is the Korean medical system so much more efficient and have so many more visual aids than ours here in Canada?

  2. I am glad to say we’re in the same generation. Though we didn’t have the convenience of having high technology then, I guess we had more quality time with family and friends. We have learned how to do research by manually looking for reference books and we have exchanged personally written letters via mail. However, today’s generation is blessed as well with such technological advancement because now, it would be easier for them to study with a wide array of applications like videos, power points, slides, projectors and the like.

    Going on to your contract, I can’t believe you don’t have sick leave. That would mean you don’t have the right to get sick. That sucks! Anyways, I also had the same experience as you did. I was working then in Singapore and I was having a problem with my thyroid. I went to a polyclinic and had undergone some blood tests and the like. Then the doctor said she had to refer me to a specialist in a hospital because they are more experienced and more advanced when it comes to medical technology. Since I am not feeling very well, I didn’t have the time or the effort to think so I just said yes. So I went to the hospital then remembered, “what about the results of all the tests I have undergone?” Surprised as you were, I was being interviewed by the doctor right then and he said, “No need to go back to the clinic because I can access all the results in my computer including the notes jotted down by the doctor who had just attended to you.” And yeah, I was open mouthed then. I have also undergone endoscopy like the one you did with that magic wand thing. It feels weird though to be seeing together with strangers like the doctor and the nurse your innermost parts of the body. It is like getting inside my heart or my head, if you know what I mean. Well, I guess miracles can do happen now because of such advancements. Hehe…

    I hope you are doing and feeling well already. Sometimes we get sick not because we have a virus or something but it is a way of our body telling us to slow down and have a rest. Have a great weekend! 🙂

    • Hi Jepiner! I don’t think I’d really care to see the insides of anyone’s body. Especially not my own. Sometimes, the inner body is best kept, um, inner.

      You lived in Singapore? That’s pretty cool. Where are you now?

      Thanks for the ‘get well’ blessing. Take care. : )

      • Yeah I lived in Singapore for 2 years. September of last year I went back here in the Philippines. I decided to become jobless for a few months and spend more time with my parents and siblings. But I didn’t realize it would be so hard to look for a new job. Darn! Anyway, I’d keep looking. You take care too. THanks! 🙂

        By the way, I enjoy reading your posts. So keep writing and all of us commenting here would keep reading. 🙂

  3. I’m 33 too…I’m surprised you didn’t mention beepers!

    Yes, keep your nose hair trimmed. Trust me, sitting across from someone, trying not to stare, wondering “what the hell is that sticking out of his nose? Is it a nose hair? A booger?” – it is NOT a pleasant experience! 🙂

    • Ah yeah, beepers. I never had one, as I was not a doctor or a drug dealer. But yes, I remember them well. Shit, I didn’t even have an email account until I was 21. Before that, I simply didn’t communicate with anyone out of speaking range.

      I’ll make sure I get right on that nose hair. That way, when you see me, you’ll know beyond a shadow of doubt that it is definitely a booger sticking out of my nose.

  4. dude, what pills did they give you? They got those in America? Or are they just called “Tylenol”?

    remember our high school typing class we took…and how incredibly useless we all felt it would be (we didn’t even have computers, we used actual typerwriters).

    Now, 80% of my life is spent typing into something electronic at a 100 wpm.

    • These are the first pills of any sort I’ve taken in ages. Perhaps they are Tylenol. I have no idea. All I know is that I didn’t feel like vomiting or dying after I took ’em.

      Yeah, no kidding man. I remember taking that typing class and thinking, “What the hell am I taking this for? What am I going to be, a secretary?” It was, in reality, the best class I took during the entire course of my education. I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t type. I guess I would still be writing things with a paper and a pencil (?).

      On one last note, I also took another computer class that was all about making spreadsheets, and I sadly retained none of that ability.

  5. NC Coot

    Every one is a television star anymore. I’m glad you found it fascinating before you don’t next week. You perfectly chart our diminishing days of wonder. Great post.

  6. Well, topicless, sticking something up your nose is NOTHING compared to what I went through when I had my flu shots with my mother. The doctor, bless her, I’m not ranting, wanted me to have a full exam… Thank you, prevention is better than cure, so they say… so i agreed. Anyways, i had something pushed thru my rectum. I don’t feel the same anymore. Geez, I never expected my rectum would be my first.

    • Your rectum would be your first? What that mean? I expect to have a similar experience should I ever get a flu shot or go to prison or something along those lines.

      I’m sorry to hear abour your bad rectal experience. Happens to the best of them, Ren. hahaaha. Love ya! : D

      • ~o^

        I had a mammogram too….. nasty experience but, everything clear…. and insurance paid for everything.

        I feel bad for you, topicless. No sick days ? That is soooo wrong ! take care of your health, big bro, especially now that you know you can’t afford to be sick. No late nights ! !

    • Hi renx! I was laughing when I read this not at you but at myself. I had similar experience as you did. Lucky you, it was a “her.” One time I was hospitalized and the doctor said he had to check my rectum too. I don’t know what that “something” was inserted thru my rectum but it felt like a finger. Good thing there was a female nurse watching him do it. (I guess it’s ethics.) Actually, the doctor was good looking and when he was finally asking me questions for patient history, I was dumbstruck that I couldn’t get a complete English sentence that is grammatically correct. I made a fool of myself. After that, the friend who accompanied me kept asking me if he (the doctor) really inserted it at the right place. I didn’t get what she meant by that then but thinking of it now, it makes me laugh at it. And yeah, I didn’t expect it too that the rectum would be my first right then. LOL

  7. Ahahaha ! This is topicless’s space, and we seem to be comfortable having a conversation here. He he he

    Oh , I couldn’t believe our host didn;t understand what we meant when we said that rectal inspection was our first. It was as straightforward as a jackhammer, methinks, pun intended !. Aha ha ha ! ^_____^

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