Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm still here... But I'm a Big Baby!

Oh, my heck. Hello blog universe. I haven’t forgotten you. I’ve been sick!

I was reading Janelle at Renegade Mothering, and lady, I concur. Janelle has been sick, too. She doesn’t have health insurance at the moment. Been there, and it stinks. She and her family can’t afford $1,000 a month to bridge the temporary gap until they are insured again. Even though I have health insurance more or less paid for by my employer, I pay almost $600.00 a month to insure my self-employed husband. Our vehicles have a combined age of gosh, 25 years, so that we can make that premium.

I can’t believe that people in our country can actually lose their homes and go bankrupt because they got SICK. And that can and does happen even if the sick person played by the “rules,” drives a 12 year-old car and has so-called “health insurance.” This is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong.

I’m lucky enough that I currently do have health insurance through the state of North Carolina. I’m trying to feel lucky, anyway. It’s definitely better than nothing, but as insurance goes, it ain’t great and they are daily taking away benefits, raising co-pays, and generally doing their best to send teachers further into despair (because teachers caused my state’s budget, crisis, right?).

 I was in the hospital for a 4 hour outpatient procedure TWO YEARS AGO and I am still coughing up $100.00 a month to pay off the bill that was not covered by insurance. So we don’t go out to eat very much. Almost never. But hey, we do eat. And I keep decent tires on the old car. Counting blessings….

But the health care situation in this country? It ain’t right, especially when I’m SICK.

When I’m sick, I’m ANGRY. I’m scared. I’m weepy. I make myself even more miserable, sure that every ache is the precursor to PAINFUL DEATH.

I am not good at SICK. My imagination runs wild. I see myself becoming an invalid, my husband leaving me (he’s sticking to me like a barnacle—hi, honey), and so THERE’S ME, dying sad and alone. Just because I have a fever of 102 and bad body aches. I am officially SUCH A BABY.

And crazy high liver enzymes. What the heck? My liver is one of those body parts that I know I need, but that I kind of take for granted IS going to work, for Pete’s sake. I don’t drink, don’t use drugs, don’t have hepatitis, etc., so what in the blue blazes does my liver have to go off ALL CRAZY about?

Please, liver, hang in there for me.

So I’ve been downing doxycycline, a powerful antibiotic that also makes me feel even more fevered and achy, because the only thing the doc has come up with is that I may have Lyme disease from a tick bite at the end of April. Whatever you do, DO NOT GOOGLE LYME DISEASE.

All I previously knew about Lyme was that you got it from a tick bite, and some people got really sick and maybe even died from it. Now I know all that, and that some people may really, really suffer, then die from Lyme. For a person with imagination, it’s hard to imagine an infectious disease that sounds too much scarier. Goodness, Magic Johnson has HIV and he looks pretty spiffy.

Some sick people are INCREDIBLY courageous. I know this from watching various loved ones. They have set me an example of suffering nobly.

The example hasn’t worked. I don’t suffer nobly. I feel incredibly sorry for myself. I cry, using up boxes of Kleenex at the thought of my painful demise. I’ve had a good life, I decide, but I’m just not ready to go yet! Boo-hoo-hoo.

Finally, I finished the two week course of doxycycline yesterday. And you know what?

I think I’m going to live. I trust my Doc Lady, and she’s all over this mysterious thing. They have taken, no lie, 25 vials of blood, a chest x-ray, 2 urine samples, and have an ultrasound planned. Of course, they’ve poked, prodded, squeezed, and checked me for spots.

Her nurse called me this morning. After 4 long weeks of blood tests, my liver enzymes came back normal. Normal!

It felt like the best gift ever. I was elated, people. They’ll still do the ultrasound of my liver to check for damage, but I feel like my liver is back to being a friend. I love you, liver!

Janelle (Renegade Mothering) said one of best results of being sick is how great it feels to be well again. So, so true. I’m not totally there yet, but I see it on the horizon. And I’m hoping.