“Cough. Cough. Cough. Good morning, I am Dr. ,Cough, Bland. Cough.“

Not my usual introduction, but the best I could muster that morning. All during the appointment I experienced a coughing fit. I even excused myself from the room between apologies in an attempt to get my act together. It didn’t help and the irony of the situation was neither lost on me or the client: the pet was in for excessive coughing. A few diagnostic tests and a prescription and the pet was well on her journey to recovery. My journey was going to be a bit more complicated. “Cough. Cough, Cough.” That was my uncontrollable respiratory mantra for the day. Cough syrups weren’t working and even a visit to the controlled substances safe for a cough suppressant was of little help. “Cough, Cough, Cough,” modified to “Cough, Cough,”for a bit. Annoyance was followed by sore ribs in short order. The logical thought was “You should see a doctor,” but let’s not belabor the point of doctors being bad patients. No need to argue with established fact. Be it a severe case of white coat syndrome, arrogance and denial, or most likely the combination of all three it was slowly dawning on me, the crack diagnostician, I was sick.

As I sat in my air conditioned office, I noticed my shirt was damp from perspiration. As I went to check the thermostat, denial gave way to revelation: I probably have a fever. The closest available thermometer was rectal and I was not going that far to prove a point. I retrieved my infra-red thermometer from my travel bag. After checking three times and getting the same reading three times I became resigned to having a fever of 101..4. I called my doctor’s office to report my symptoms, but alas it was after 5:00 p.m. and they referred me to an after-hours facility. I realized I had spent an entire work day in denial of my health status. Though frustrating, this was actually pretty good for me, if not an improvement. I headed to the facility as per my doctor’s instructions. At the facility it was determined I had walking pneumonia and appropriated medications were prescribed in addition to the instructions to rest for the next couple of days and see my doctor in about a week or sooner if I was not feeling better. I thought “Well two out of three ain’t bad” as I reviewed the instruction and departed the facility.

I guess having pneumonia and ignoring your doctor’s advice is not just for presidential candidates anymore.

Dr. Bland is a practitioner in Oakland Park, Florida. He can be reached at 954 673-8579.