Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm Sure It's Just Gas

Why are some people (okay – namely, me) – who are obviously very sick – or in a lot of pain - unable to seek medical assistance?

I do not like doctors. Or hospitals. Or anything related to the medical field. Which is rather ironic, considering I worked at a hospital for twenty years. But hey – the money and the benefits were good, and I liked my job. I just didn’t like all that “medical thingy stuff” that got in the way every now and then.

Flashback: Twenty Years Ago

I was pregnant, and two weeks overdue with my first son when I began having severe stomach pains after dinner. “I’m sure it’s just gas,” I said to hubby. “I’ll be all right.” At midnight, I reluctantly agreed to head to the hospital…arriving just mere minutes before my son decided to make his entrance into the world. I was blaming the spaghetti I’d had for dinner. Guess it wasn’t to blame after all.

Flashback: Ten Years Ago

I was 9 months pregnant with my daughter when – you guessed it - those severe stomach pains started up – and again – I tell hubby, “I’m sure it’s just gas. I’ll be all right.” Darn if he didn’t pack me up in the car and drive straight to the hospital – where my daughter decided to make HER entrance into the world a little bit later. And here I thought it was the Taco Bell I had for lunch. Guess not.

Several years ago, I again began having severe stomach pains. I wasn’t pregnant – so I was pretty safe in assuming that another child would NOT be making their entrance into the world that night on MY behalf. After two days of weakly assuring hubby that, “It’s just gas – I’ll be all right” – a forced visit to the hospital revealed acute appendicitis. Huh. Go figure. And here I thought it was my Chipotle burrito. Oops.

While in Yellowstone a few years ago, I hopped off my snowmobile and immediately hit the pavement, thanks to some invisible black ice. Despite the blinding pain in my arm, I shakily said to hubby, “It’s okay – I’m all right.” Only the unarguable sight of my arm bending in a wacky S-curve convinced me that a trip to the local hospital was in order. Broken in three places, and I got a nice hot pink cast and lots of painful physical therapy. Guess it wasn’t all right.

Why is it so hard for some of us to call a doctor? Or to seek help? Is it because some of us are wired to only give assistance and we have difficulty receiving it? We give and give and give – but don’t feel comfortable being on the receiving end. It’s an interesting conundrum and I have to believe that I’m not the only one out here in the blogging world that’s like this.

I’m only writing about this now because I have a headache that would bring a 900-pound Kodiak bear to his knees. And pressure – intense, painful pressure in my ears. And I’ve had it for several days now. And am I going to call a doctor? Or seek medical help? Nope. Not at all. It’s okay. I’ll be all right.

I’m sure it’s just gas.



Jenny said...

I got a huge lecture from my naturopath on this exact subject. She called me selfish. She said I would help my family or a friend instantly if they had a medical issue but I was unwilling to help myself and if that wasn't selfish she didn't know what was. OK, so that made me mad. But then I thought. A lot of people depend on me, care about me, count on me. Including my own body. Now I am very pro-active about my health and realize if I don't take care of me AND I continue to say "oh, gosh, I'm fine" eventually I won't be. And I wasn't. And it is not worth the price you pay when you let things go for years. So, stop it! And now, you are probably going to block me from your blog! But I think you need to take care of yourself. Don't be tough. It's silly. (and I only say that as a woman that did it for 30 some years and is paying huge health penalties now)

Drama Queen said...

Jenny - I would never block you from my blog! I think you agree - that when we put ourselves "out there" in public - than we take our lumps - and we take advice - and we create a forum for everyone's opinion. I value your opinion as much as the next person's - I just appreciate the fact that you took the time to express it! Not everyone will do that.

I actually agree with you - it is selfish, I guess, in a way to not seek treatment. Part of it goes back to this stupid idea we get in our heads that we have to be "Superwoman" who has no weaknesses, no flaws - who has to be strong and perfect all of the time.

Well, I've always had a hard time accepting that I'm not perfect...gee, go figure! And so - I have a hard time admitting when I need help. Superwoman does not need help!!!

Sigh...I am not Superwoman. I know that. I (try to) accept that.

I'm actually doing better today - a cocktail of Mucinex, Sudafed and Aleve will do that.

Thanks for your honesty! I appreciate it!

Jenny said...

I think sometimes it's a generational thing, too. I think you're younger then me but honestly that's how we were raised. But then I feel like I raised my kids with more empathy and sympathy and instead of creating those kindnesses in them it seemed to go the opposite way. Well, in several of them anyway. Not all. I'm hoping my granddaughters generation will be gentler but I suspect they will be more self-absorbed. I really hope not. Sorry for the rambling here. And I'm glad you're feeling a little bit better.