Wednesday morning started with a simple sore throat. By 8pm, I was in bed all achy with chills and a fever of 100.8. By Thursday, I could barely wake up and couldn’t eat or drink anything. I told my mom and daughter that I just needed to sleep it off to get better. I set my alarm for work the next day, hopeful that I was correct.
By 6am, I knew I was wrong. I realized that I had not drunk more than a few sips of water in 30 hours but since I would barely swallow my own spit, I didn’t care. I think it was around 8am that my mom insisted I get up to go to the hospital. I don’t know how I got clothes on, but I after some weird thoughts during the night, I knew I needed to get help in order to get better.
By time my mom, daughter and I got to the ER, my throat pain was at a 10. After a bag of fluids to rehydrate me and pain meds and steroids to reduce the swelling, my pain level was down to about a 6. Then after the first dose of antibiotics, I still felt weak, achy and nauseous, but my throat at a 4 is a huge improvement.
While sick I had some deep thoughts that made me realize that I could have died if not for:
- People who care about me. It would be so easy to die from something stupid. If I lived alone or my mom and daughter had not pushed me into going today, I truly believe an ambulance was in my future. People who are sick can’t make rational decisions, and need guidance from others.
- Access to health insurance. My heart breaks for those without access to health insurance. I had a difficult time just getting out of bed, but if I knew that I didn’t have health insurance and that the financial cost would be an enormous burden on my family, I could not even imagine making that decision.
- Access to medication. By Thursday, I knew that I needed antibiotics, but hoped to heal on my own. Some areas in the world do not even have the ability to receive medication, or the money to purchase them.
I am not as strong as I think I am, and sometimes I need help. Today I am grateful for my loved ones, and access to health care and medication.
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