Progress and Setbacks

I wrote the other day about my writing progress so today I thought I’d write about the other thing that’s been a big a big concern in my life. My health.

Again, feel free to skip this if you’re not interested.

With the coming of the new year I got something that I hadn’t had in about ten years. Health insurance. Thank you Obamacare, and mainly the state of Washington for doing such a great job of implementing it. I thought since I had this marvelous thing I’d take the opportunity to do what I hadn’t done in almost a decade. I went to the doctor.

Well, first I tried to go to the dentist. That was a pain in the ass and I still haven’t gotten my cavities filled, nor am I likely to for several more months because of the restrictions on dental care via my state health insurance, and the fact that it’s bloody expensive just to get x-rays, let alone treatment, for teeth without insurance.

But I was talking about the other Doctor. The one who sticks you with needles, takes your blood, and runs you through a ringer to see how fit (or unfit) you are.

All the tests came back and I was basically told “eat better and exercise or you’re going to get diabetes, and/or a heart problem.)

I’m 37. I’m too young to have a heart problem. And the thing is I know diabetes runs in my family, and that I was already having issues with my blood sugars. When you get shaky and faint because of certain things you eat you tend to know these things. I also knew my heart wasn’t as strong as it should be. I have a 80 beats per min heart rate when I’m resting, and if I exercise it gets up to 190-200. That’s not good.

Knowing it, and seeing it in black and white might be two different things. Or it could have been the energy drink I had the other day that made me start shaking. Or the dizzy spells that happen when I don’t eat right. Either way, I think it was the kick in my pants I needed to finally do something about it, like seeing the graphs for my writing. I’m not sure. I just know I don’t want to die of a heart attack when I’m 45 because I’m a lazy girl who likes doughnuts and mac n cheese.

So I’ve been exercising, and I’ve been sitting here looking at the candy bar my children eating wishing I could eat it and knowing I shouldn’t. Yay self control!

Eating right isn’t that difficult. I love fruits and veggies. Not big on meat. No problem giving up pasta either.

It’s the exercise. I hate running on treadmills, and using ellipticals. I hate feeling my heart trying to burst. I hate getting hot and sweaty and just gross. I really hate feeling like I’m wasting time in a gym when I could have been writing, or playing a game, or going to a movie.

The only exercise I’ve liked at all was belly dancing, and then it’s mostly my self esteem that gets in the way.

So, for now I’m just trying to get out, on my feet, and doing something more often so that I can try and get a little healthier. Maybe some day I’ll find something physical I enjoy. Till then… still going to do it. It’s better then shooting a needle full of insulin in myself every day.

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.