What’s up Doc?

In case you have been wondering why I have not blogged in a while (a week is about 7 years in blog time) it is not because I finally realized that no-one cares about what I have to say (I realized that years ago) nor is it because I fell in love with a Bedouin and am now living in a tent in the Negev.

That might be true, but that’s not the reason I have not been writing. No.  The reason for my temporary illiteracy is that instead of writing I have been exploring the local hospitals and the universal health care system in Israel… that and I have pneumonia.

Spoiler Alert: I live! You can relax now.

The first time I went to the hospital was about five weeks ago, I was bored. Since I think I have ADD (or at least a “+” and a bad cough) I could not sit still at home. I did what any girl would do at four o’clock on a Wednesday— I went to the doctors to see if they could back up my self-diagnosis and give me free drugs (I was hoping for Codeine).

It was the most efficient health care system of my life. Sure it didn’t do anything to help my minor cough, or my addition problem, but it made my prescription drug smuggling scheme more economically viable.I walked in to the emergency room, and thirty minutes later I walked out with a prescription for decongestants.  I was in-and-out so quickly that I still had the rest of the day free to go to the gym, to drink and to smoke hookah continuously.

Which of course I didn’t do— because smoking hookah is boring.

Let’s fast forward to earlier this afternoon.

Once again, I was bored.  I was on the phone with my mom. She didn’t like that I had been coughing up things for weeks. She especially did not like that the things that I had been coughing up were green (they were emeralds of course).

So she told me to see the doctors and demand some antibiotics.

“You have bronchitis.” she diagnosed. She always thinks it’s bronchitis; it’s her favorite disease.

So, I humored her. I went to the emergency room, my third favorite tourist attraction. I didn’t feel like going to the gym or the grocery store anyway.

However, this time my visit was not as magical.

First of all, when I told the doctor that I had a terminal case of bronchitis, he insisted that I was fine.

“You are probably fine,” he insisted.

And when I asked for antibiotics he wouldn’t give them to me,

“I won’t give them to you.” He said.

He was on to my contraband scheme.

I did, however, manage to score an X-ray, but the doctor only agreed to that so that he could prove that he was right, and that I was perfectly healthy and see-through.

He then made me wait for a good half hour, which might I remind you, is seven posts and ten tweets in blog time.

To occupy the time I watched a rampant cockroach crawl around the floor for a few minutes and called my dad for twenty-minutes to inquire about an unrelated “theoretical” hospital health code violation.

I had determined that the infestation was not that bad when the nurse finally called me in.

“Are you pregnant?” she asked immediately.

“Do I look pregnant?” I asked, alarmed, this was the third time this month that someone had said something. 

In my defense I’ve been too dizzy to do sit-ups and my stomach bones are big!

After noticing my alarm, the nurse tried to save face, “We have to ask because of the radiation.” She said unconvincingly and proceeded to photograph my innards.

So I was especially nervous as I waited for the results of my X-ray. Would I look fat? Would the doctor be able to tell that I am not actually big-boned?

I could not handle waiting is such an anxious state. After about two minutes I started a coughing fit it get some attention. I was at the point where I was about to stop covering my cough (blasphemy) when the doctor finally called me over.

“So…” the doctor started, suddenly more humble, “you’re mom was right about you being sick, you have pneumonia.”

Then he gave me a prescription for antibiotics, not only one type, but two and kicked me out of the hospital. Looks like I was right after all.

The tally should read:




Oh shit, that’s right. I have pneumonia.








About the Author
Nicole Levin grew up in California and now studies government at Harvard University and writes for the Harvard Crimson
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