It's Fat Tuesday and I'm off work... but I'm home sick. I've been sick for over a week now and I think I caught a bacterial secondary infection because Saturday I was suddenly much much worse. And I had to work the weekend in the French Quarter! During Mardi Gras!
By "much worse" I mean "could barely stand". I haven't been this sick since swine flu. I don't know where I put my little immune system; it sure seems to be missing these days.
I think I'm turning the corner (now that my 105 F - yes, that's 105 - fever broke) so I'm staying home this Mardi Gras so I can fully recover. But I definitely got a taste of it working in the quarter this year. Some of the revelry I saw:
- Old old man came in to pick up rx's and I noticed he had a big red lipstick mark on his cheek!
- A family came in with pig noses and wings (pigs fly...Saints won the Superbowl!)
- A college kid from Vermont showed up in a wheelchair after breaking his leg in 2 places falling off a balcony.
- Middle aged women from Ohio squabbling over the last glittery "mardi Gras 2010" cheap-o T-shirt in size large (which the "winner" then wore. As my husband pointed out this is like buying a souvenir DC T-shirt, then wearing it for your capitol tour).
- A New York man asked advice for what he thought was a spider bite but what was clearly an advanced staph infection on his leg. I urged him to go to the ER but his wife argued with me because she didn't want to miss any of the parade! (Eventually I won the argument and the man ended up getting the infection lanced, cored, irrigated, and packed; he had antibiotics injected, then showed back up at my pharmacy with prescriptions for 2 other antibiotics to take by mouth. He was very grateful I'd insisted he go because the doctor told him a few more hours and he might have ended up in the ICU...however, his wife was STILL mad at me for making her miss some of mardi gras!)
- Heard over the intercom system: "As a reminder to our patrons, there is NO SMOKING in the store."
- Several woman chose not to purchase their prescriptions after I told them they couldn't drink alcohol while taking the drug.
- More than one tourist wanted to know how they could cure the red flushing of their face after drinking a Hurricane (it's a gigantic red drink with about 5 alcohols in it).
- We sold out of handwarmers, bottled water, aspirin, "chasers" (those scam tablets that are supposed to prevent hangovers), and basically every form of Pepto Bismol.
Of course, because I complicate things, I had to make a mess of my parking situation. I was counting on my husband to drive me for most days because of course parking in the French Quarter right now is insane. But on Sunday the hubby was actually riding in a parade himself and was unavailable, so I planned to take a cab. HA! Not a single taxi service answered their phone. I was sick to the point of being too week to dial the whole phone number without taking a break to rest my hands...and I had to call like 30 numbers, all fruitlessly. I should have simply walked to the nearby college areas and hailed a cab circling to pick up partying students, but I wasn't thinking clearly. Instead I drove downtown and parked in my double-secret parking spot in the projects. I can't tell you where I park because it's my secret, but I ended up walking about 18 blocks to work while basically one degree from death (that very morning I'd taken my temp at 105). That was horrible!
The effort of typing this has totally sapped my energy so I must go lay down now. Happy Mardi Gras everyone!
Later: my cute Valentine's day.