I think I’m getting sick which is kind of shitty since I haven’t been truly sick in a long time. I’ve had food-poisoning-esque episodes and unexplained headaches in the last couple years, but nothing where I’d call myself “go-to-the-doctor ill” (except this is America and we don’t really do that anyway). But if this thing I’m feeling manifests, I’m dreading the result because this feels a lot like the time I got the sickest I’ve ever been, and The Worst Thing happened to me.
Come with me, Dear Reader, way back to March of 2013. Barack Obama was president, doge was so wow, and your blogger, AK, was a newlywed. I worked reception/office management at a doctor’s office, of all places. Our PTO policy was not the best (we had to use it when the doctor took vacation if we wanted to get paid), but I saved up my time off and took all of it when I got married. And of course, OF COURSE, I got sick immediately after my actual wedding.
I had to return to work though: I had no time left, and a wedding to pay off! (Just kidding, my wedding was cheap and my mom paid for most of it.) Plus I thought I’d have a few days of the sniffles and then poof, right back on my feet!
That didn’t happen.
Snot dripped out of my nose in a constant flow, I lost my voice every other day (which is extra rough when you’re on the phone), and my head felt like I was trying to cram a hundred pounds of shit into an eight pound skull. Everything hurt, and I did, indeed, feel like I was dying.
But the worst part may have been the daze I existed in. Every task I attempted was worked through a thick fog, my memory was peripheral at best, and I didn’t have a clear sense of what came next. I let the day lead, and everything just happened around and to me, including The Worst Thing.
This went on for entirely too long, something like three or four weeks, before The Worst Thing happened. You may be wondering why I didn’t see a doctor before this. Well, despite working for a doctor, I didn’t have healthcare, and I worked for a specialist who didn’t deal in general medicine and wouldn’t have probably prescribed for one of her employees anyway. So, yeah, I let it get that bad. Don’t worry, I got what I fucking deserved.
I was puttering around in my fog at work when I had the urge to pee, so I went to the bathroom, and then returned to my desk. But something was off. I couldn’t pinpoint the problem, but I was uncomfortable, and my ability to focus was at an all time low. I returned to the bathroom to try to puzzle out what was wrong.
Dear Reader, I peed myself. At 25 years old, I had sat on the toilet WITHOUT taking off my underwear, and urinated. And then I got up, washed my hands, and returned to my desk thinking all of that had happened in the exact way it was supposed to. What I call The Worst Thing could also be called The Triggering Event, because it was at that moment of realization, when I had to stow my underwear in the car and face working commando for the rest of the day, that I called the family doctor’s office in our plaza and told them yes, I’ll take their next open appointment, no, I don’t have insurance, yes, I’ll gladly pay $200 up front JUST PLEASE SEE ME.
I ended up prescribed a truckload of meds including something that relaxed the muscles in my throat because apparently it was alarmingly inflamed and the doctor didn’t understand how I was eating, let alone speaking on the phone. Maybe I wasn’t eating. I mean, if I couldn’t remember to take my damn underwear off to pee what else was I not doing?
About a week later I started to get better and finally two months after my wedding I felt like the person I was before I got married. So is there a moral here? No, not really. I’d say go to the doctor when you’re sick, but a lot of us just aren’t in that situation. I’d also say take care of yourself, and that can go a long way, but I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been right now and still feel a little like I might die. So what is there to say? Not much, Dear Reader, except maybe this: sometimes you pee yourself. It happens, but you’ll live. Probably.