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The nice thing about going away for a few days... - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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The nice thing about going away for a few days... [Nov. 28th, 2003|01:09 pm]
[Current Mood |sicksick]

...is that it has given me enough time to go to the doctor's office. After almost four weeks of being sick, I have finally had time to go in and get diagnosed with a bad case of bronchitis, and been given antibiotics to deal with it. It took being in another state and being practically dragged to the doc-in-a-box clinic for me to finally get myself taken care of.

Even as we were driving over there I was demurring. My throat doesn't hurt that bad, it's probably nothing, I'm being a baby. Ferrett pointed out that it is not normal to have a hacking, gagging cough for almost four weeks.

This is my mother's doing.

When I was a kid, it didn't matter how sick I was, my mother was always sicker. "You think you feel bad? You're not as sick as me!" My parents refused to take me to the doctor - to take any of us kids, really - for anything shy of broken bones erupting from the flesh. Everything else was just your imagination, or you were faking it to get out of one chore or another. I nearly died of spinal meningitis, lying on the floor in anguish as my father consulted with my mother: do you think she really needs to go to the hospital?

The couple times I was taken and what I had amounted merely to a cold were weapons my parents used against me. This time was just like that, wasn't it? I was just going to cost them money for no reason. Pay no attention to the appedicitis, the kidney infection, the pneumonia, that came between. I was a hypochondriac and my feelings of illness were to be paid only scorn.

Thanks to them, I have delayed going to the doctor for pneumonia, for a concussion, for bronchitis, as an adult. When I fell and broke my shoulder last winter I just wanted them to let me shake it off. I was going to be all right, the pain wasn't really that bad, I was just being a baby even taking a few minutes to pull myself together.

I have such a fear of the disdain of those around me that I push myself beyond my limits, ignore my own warning signs, until collapse is imminent. It's not so much that I need to be Wonder Woman as it is that I don't believe I have permission to be anything less. Anything less will disappoint the people around me, and they won't love me or respect me. They'll see that I'm a fake, not nearly as competent as they've been led to believe. They'll know that I'm nothing but snake oil.

Those are the demons that drive me. And the more fragile I am, the louder their voices. Here, though is the weird part - a portion of me believes that without them I would never accomplish anything, that they are the only thing that keep me going. Even when I try to look objectively at things, I still can't shake my own superstition that I'm dependent upon them. At the beginning of the semester, when I was fresh from summer, I didn't have those howling wolves of self-doubt snapping at my heels, and yet I managed to accomplish what I needed to do. At the end of my first semester of law school they weren't panting at the door, and I did very well. But there is still a part of me that fears that without them, I will be nothing.

I am coming to realize that maybe, just maybe, I cling to those childhood hurts because I think they serve a need, that without them I will cease to be myself. I am not certain, and these are new thoughts coming to me as I type. Can I believe that I am more than the sum of my demons?

[User Picture]From: myshanter
2003-11-28 10:37 am (UTC)


Gini, you are so much more.
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[User Picture]From: hookncrook
2003-11-28 10:42 am (UTC)
I definately know how you feel. My parents were none doctor people... They let me sit at the house for four days with an over 103 fever and hallucinate until they took me to the doctors and discovered I had double pnemonia and was breathing with only half of one lung.

Since that day (at 15) it has been off to the doctor for any fever that lasted over a day... they weren't taking chances.

I am surprised the spinal menegitis didn't snap your parents back to reality abotu health care.

But just remember, you need to take good care of yourself, not let the past disrupt how feel. You know you are sick, you just don't want to confront the "weakness" aspect your family associated with being sick. Everyone gets sick. It is how well you take care of yourself and get better that counts.

Oh and I agree about the voices and drive to be better it gives you. I have always wondered if very successful people (like you) have a driving urge to succeed that overruns some insticts to relax. I guess they do.
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[User Picture]From: melanie
2003-11-28 11:21 am (UTC)
god, do i ever relate to this. remember a few weeks ago, when i broke my ribs, and i just went and sat down and caught my breath and then went back and finished hanging the wallpaper? yep. the old fear of being labeled a hypochondriac.

it's so wrong. you know, i often muse that the only reason i go to the doctor fairly normally now is that i pay $150 a month for health coverage, and it's my way of "getting something for my money".

the fact that, at 30 years of age, i'm not falling apart like my mom and grandmom were is just coincidental, i'm sure. ;)
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[User Picture]From: mizdandylynn
2003-11-28 11:35 am (UTC)
i have told you before that i see so much of me in you and you in me...just like this latest fiasco through which am living

feel better soon super woman
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[User Picture]From: kibbles
2003-11-28 11:39 am (UTC)
I do the same thing but I don't know what to pin it on.
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[User Picture]From: theferrett
2003-11-28 12:12 pm (UTC)
Can I believe that I am more than the sum of my demons?

Dear God, I hope so. Because reining you in and saying, "You need to stop and fix yourself RIGHT NOW" is like wrestling an alligator.

(We actually got into a small fight this morning over her going to the doctor, folks. I love her very very much, but I'll rest a lot easier when it doesn't involve a brief screaming match to convince her that going to get medical help is not a betrayal of everything that she should be.)

Relax sometimes. Take a break. You're important, too!

Big hugs and kisses,
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[User Picture]From: ross_winn
2003-11-28 12:22 pm (UTC)
I woke up a few months ago and realized that I was, finally, putting my demons behind me. I realized that the man I am is a stranger to my parents and most of my other relatives. They see me as I am now and are shocked with how together, how forceful, and how uncompromising I can be while still being a caring, loving parent and son.

I am more than I once was, and more than I have ever been and it only took me 37 years to get here.

I have faith that you will soon find your own center as well.
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[User Picture]From: cookie_b
2003-11-28 12:28 pm (UTC)
Thank GOODNESS you went to the doctor. I'm so relieved that, even if you don't get rest, you have some lovely medication to ease you through these final weeks of the semester.
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From: fmh
2003-11-28 04:35 pm (UTC)
Y'know, over the last three weeks I've read a dozen posts, from a dozen people, all talking about what their parents were like when they were kids.
I'm fucking amazed any of you are here at all. I mean it sounds to me like half yer' parents couldn't have been trusted with the care and breeding of fuckin hyenas, much less children. The other half were bloody criminal in their stupidity and neglect. I wanna stand them up against a wall and slap them till they make squishy sounds. I'm not a violent guy, but nothin' sets me off like people who go ahead and have children without ever undergoing that shift in priorities the rest of us did, where we took the emphasis off ourselves and put it on our children.
Okay, done ranting. Hope the antibiotics kick in soon and you feel better.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-11-30 06:52 pm (UTC)
I tremble, though, at the fear that we, the victims, aren't doing much better with our own children and will only find out too late....
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[User Picture]From: salix_03
2003-11-28 07:39 pm (UTC)
youre talking to the woman who caught 2 buses and walked 10 minutes (more like 1/2 an hour that day!) home 4 days after a 36 hour labour and emergancy caezerian. and who only went back into hospital after the staph infection burst open, never mind that i hadnt been able to eat drink walk or piss for the two days previous...

my mum was a firm beliver in the 'go to school unless youre dead' ethic. no matter how many times i would be send home becasue i couldnt stand up due to the period pains she never seemed to grasp that i might actualy need painkillers of some sort to function one week out of each month. even now i dont go to the doctor unless im dying. literaly dying.

both of us need to take more care of ourselves i think. maybe everytime you get ill ask yourself if you were your child (aged about 6, not adult), would you go see a doctor?
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[User Picture]From: queenjade
2003-11-28 09:40 pm (UTC)
Can you tell me what you were diagnosed with? I've had the same illness and I'm stil coughing. I've taken some medication I had around, some old antibiotics for bronchitis, and it seems to have helped some, but it's still there. Exhausting, isn't it?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-11-29 06:49 am (UTC)
Bronchitis, and they gave me zithromycin (sp?) for it. And exhausting is right. It's bad enough to be on this schedule, then to be awake half the night coughing....

Hope you feel better soon, too.
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From: iggy182
2003-12-09 09:25 am (UTC)
My wife's in and out of the doctor / walk in clinic multiple times a year with the same thing, and always the same drugs.

If I remember correctly though, the prescription always says to take the pills for ten full days.

If you're using old drugs that you have laying around, they may still have a bit of fight left in them, but your illlness is sticking aorund because a) they've lost their potency, and b) you probably don't have enough laying around and/or aren't taking them for a long enough period of time.
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[User Picture]From: shiftercat
2003-11-28 11:12 pm (UTC)
"I was just going to cost them money for no reason."

I wondered "what the fuck were they thinking?" until I read that phrase. Not that penny-pinching should take priority over your daughter's health, but I am so glad for healthcare. It may not be perfect, but at least people are less likely to have to make that kind of choice.
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[User Picture]From: sheenaqotj
2003-11-29 08:35 am (UTC)
You have to be a pretty amazing hypochondriac to convince the doctors about your broken shoulder, bronchitis, pneumonia, concussion, appendicitis, kidney infection, etc..

This post comes at an interesting time, since I just went to the ER last night and got diagnosed with pneumonia (well, it's not quite a coincidence since there's something really nasty going around). I didn't want to go because I thought I was tougher than any mere illness -- until it was pointed out that it could potentially be pneumonia and all the websites (and the nurseline) recommended seeking treatment immediately to avoid having it get worse. I still thought of it as only a precaution and refused to believe that I had it until it was stated in absolute terms.

I don't know if your insurance has a nurseline. If it does, it might help to call them and describe your symptoms precisely and ask for a recommendation. A professional opinion might be more convincing.

My parents did not take my flu-and-asthma attacks from my childhood very seriously. OTC drugs like Nyquil reduce the congestion and may keep colds from developing into that. I read about that much later and have treated myself better after that. I also sought out a more permanent solution and all but eliminated my asthma.

Parents can be wrong and frequently are, especially in your case. Your parents defined toughness the wrong way. Go seek help when you're sick -- you would be less of a burden on your family and friends if you get better quickly.
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