Over the Hurdle

sickIt’s been a while since I’ve posted. Heck, it’s been a few days since I’ve done anything.

Last Tuesday I woke up with a sore throat. No biggy, I’ve had laryngitis plenty of times. Or maybe it was allergies, I tend to get those a lot. Either way I went to work just like I always do, and set up shop for another day. After all, I was due to get off work a little early because I had to take my daughter to her orientation at the college anyway. I could sit around the office for a few hours. No problem, right?

A couple hours into work I started feeling a little sick. I called the other store who was sending my relief over later that day and asked if she could come sooner. I wasn’t feeling good at all. Headache, upset stomach, tired and run down. And everything just hurt everywhere.

My relief got there and I high tailed it home to crumble on my couch and sleep for three hours after taking a handful of NyQuil tablets. Then my daughter got home and I still had to drive her to the college. Then drive home and fall to sleep for another hour. Then drive back to get her. And finally drop her off at the high school before I went home and fell asleep. Again.

Sleep was better then the alternative. I don’t get sick very often, but this one was a doozy. Every joint just hurt, and I couldn’t swallow without a lot of pain. My temperature was rising and the Tylenol wasn’t knocking out the fever.

I admit it… I should have gone to the doctor. I even have medical insurance now thanks to Obama-care. But I figured it was just a really bad flu and I’d get over it in twenty-four hours.

Wednesday morning came and I called in sick. There was no way I was going to make it to work, let alone be any good to a customer. I’ve worked sick before. Sore throat, allergies acting up, feeling a little foggy, whatever. I could do it in a pinch. Not that morning. It was all I could do to roll over and text my boss to tell him I couldn’t make it. Then I rolled right back over and fell asleep.

Wednesday was a mix of TV shows and naps all day. I had a peanut butter and honey sandwich for dinner. I soaked in cool baths, and put a fan on in the living room to bring down my temperature. I downed so much Tylenol for the head aches and the fever that I started to worry about over dosing.

My daughter asked for a ride to something. I told her I was sick. I don’t think she understood just how sick I was. I went to bed really early that night.

About 4am this morning I woke up sweating. The fever had finally broken. Funny how that works. Your temperature is 102 and your body wont let you sweat. You can die from the heat your insides are creating, but still … no sweat. As soon as that fever breaks you sweat like a stuck pig.

I thought that meant I was over the worst of it. Once the fever breaks that’s when things start getting better, right? Only that’s not what happened. I still felt crummy. My throat hurt. My tonsils seemed larger. And now I had a headache that wasn’t letting go.

I gave in. I went to the doctor.

So many years without insurance, it was harder then it should have been for me to just go to the doctor. I had one available. I didn’t have to pay a cent for it. So why wouldn’t I go? And the only thing I can come up with is that I’ve been enduring for so long, struggling on my own for so long, that it didn’t feel right to go ask for help until I had done everything possible myself. When you’ve been trained your entire life that you can never go to a doctor unless it is an emergency… things like this happen.

I went to the doctor. The did a scraping, and ran a test. It came back positive for strep. Easily treated with antibiotics. If you don’t get treatment strep can lead to a whole host of issues. Yes, my fever broke. Maybe my body was going to fight off the strep alone. But it would have taken a lot longer then it will with the antibiotics.

All that extra pain and suffering because I was trained never to go to the doctor unless I absolutely had to.

I don’t think Obama-care is perfect, I mean I can’t even find a regular dentist who will fill my cavities and take my insurance. But it’s a start. And maybe it means people like me won’t wait until things are even worse before they go get help.


4 thoughts on “Over the Hurdle

  1. I read somewhere that poor people die over a decade before rich people on average, because poorer people are trained not to bother the doctor. It’s why I encourage my children to go to the doctor for almost anything at all. At worst, the doctor tells you that it’s nothing.

    • in this country people are trained that going to the doctor can leave you bankrupt at best, homeless and destitute at worst. My ex husband had to have emergency surgery to save his life, and my son swallowed a locket and had to have that removed. We didn’t have insurance. You can’t just not pay medical bills in this country. They garnish your pay check. They garnished it twice because they were two different bills at the same hospital. That, along with some court issues we were having, and his company lowering hours on him, meant for a while we were only getting $400 a month.

      It took us months to sort things out. By the end we had filed bankruptcy, lost our car, been evicted, and were declared homeless. We were lucky. He had some family willing to give us a place to go. It wasn’t a great place (TINY little trailer with no facilities), but it was a place. We had a chance to get back on our feet. A lot of people in this country who end up in that spot do not get that opportunity.

      Believe me… I’ve been trained that hospitals are not the place to go unless you’re dying.

      • Yeah, America is kind of crazy. It always seems amazing to me that the question is, “What should we do when someone gets sick?” and the answer in the US is, “Punish them for daring to.”

      • They don’t think of it that way, though. They think of it as punishment for being too lazy to get a “real” job and make enough money to afford our over inflated medical system.

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