Glancing around Kara sighed. The doctor’s waiting room never changed. The plastic plant in the corner had leaves that were gray with dust and the low table held magazines that were ages old, their covers curled up at the corners. She didn’t dare close her eyes for fear the muzak would put her to sleep.
Kara had been out of work the last three days, barely able to talk, let alone sing. She had gotten through the weekend and had a voice on Monday for school but by Wednesday, she was breathy and hoarse again. How could she teach the kids to sing if she didn’t have a voice? So now, here she was, at the doctors, again.
She hated going to the doctor.
She sighed again. God, what was taking so long? She was the only one in the waiting room, had been for nearly half an hour and still she was waiting. Would they ever call her name? Kara dug in her purse for her phone. Maybe she’d text Jen to kill some time. Just as her fingers closed over her phone the door opened.
“Kara D’Angelo?” A woman not much older than herself wearing white pants, a floral print scrub top and a stethoscope waited; a clipboard in her hand.
She dropped her phone and stood. “It’s about time” she muttered under her breath as she followed the woman through the door.
The nurse weighed Kara before leading her into an exam room. Kara sat on the edge of the table, had her temperature and blood pressure taken before the nurse spoke again. “What brings you in today Ms. D’Angelo?”
Kara explained about her throat and about being sick just a couple weeks prior. The nurse nodded and made a few notations in Kara’s chart. “Okay, the doctor will be in shortly.”
All this waiting was making Kara edgy. She studied the poster on the wall, glanced at the brochures next to the sink, looked out the window at the dreary March day. She was reaching for a magazine from the rack on the wall when Dr. Reed finally walked in.
“Sorry to keep you waiting.”
Kara’s hand jerked back, “its okay.”
Dr. Reed sat on the wheeled stool and looked over at Kara. “So what seems to be the trouble today?”
As Kara talked Dr. Reed probed her neck, hmming and okaying. “Let’s check your throat” he said taking out his penlight and a tongue depressor. Kara opened her mouth and waited.
“I don’t see any signs of strep but I’m going to test for it anyway. You’re glands are swollen as well. It may be a virus so I’m going to prescribe an antibiotic. If this doesn’t clear things up we’ll have to run a few other tests.”
Kara sat quietly as he wrote out a prescription and opened the test swab. He turned back to her, “open up one more time.” He swabbed her throat quickly. “Okay, that’s it.” He handed her the prescription. “I want you to keep the talking to a minimum, can you do that?”
She shook her head, “I teach music at the elementary school. Not talking is not an option.”
Dr. Reed scribbled something else on another pad. “Here, I want you out of work for a least a week.
Kara looked at the slip, and then back at the doctor “a note to get out of school?”
He jotted something down on her chart, “just in case you need it.” He headed to the door, “I want to see you again when you’re done with that prescription. The nurse will call you tomorrow with the results of your strep test.” He reached for the door knob and turned back to Kara, “remember Kara, no talking unless absolutely necessary.”
Kara sighed and nodded, “okay Dr. Reed. Thanks.”
Back in her car Kara dug in her purse for her phone. As she dialed Dr. Reeds words echoed in her head keep the talking to a minimum. She closed her phone. She’d have to wait to talk to Richie.