It's become clear to me with age that I'm one of those people who "won't go to a doctor." The thing is, last time I did go - with labyrinthitis, an illness I know ALL too well - they decided to do tests on me ... and told me I had: labyrinthitis. Go home, take meclizine.
Which was what I knew before I took the DIZZYING step of leaving my home, exposing strangers to the virus, my mom insisting on across town to drive me and make me go (and exposing her - and by extension my ailing stepfather), and experiencing a few hours of matchless torture for the privilege of being told what I knew already.
And that test cost me $285.
So, this past Wednesday, when I felt a sore throat coming on, I turned into one of those treat-it-yourself morons. I spent a day at work, possibly quite contagious, downing NSAIDs and thinking I was beating this thing.
Yeah. I know. Just be glad you aren't one of my cube farm mates, I guess. I suck.
I took my laptop home that night just in case, so I could work from home, and not infect anyone.
Thursday wasn't great. I did work, though. You can get good electronic housekeeping done with a puddy and a pup for company.
Friday, though - no way. The fever that had begun the day before was 101.6. I don't know when I've had a fever to speak of; it's been long enough I was actually in incomprehension, looking at the thermometer.
See, my mom raised us skeptical. She wasn't one to easily believe her kids were sick - we were NOT going to get away with malingering - and so, to this day, I often tend to disbelieve it when I am sick. Which is funny, because at heart I am an underachiever, often enamored of the idea of not being at work, home wrapped up in a blanket.
One of my bosses and I once had a conversation about the phenomenon of not being able to malinger; in his case, the superstructure for this was Catholic Guilt. In mine, Mom Guilt.
She's good, no doubt.
So for me to be out of work for two days is almost intolerable; I feel like I'm stealing.
Which is why this weekend - when it got so much worse - was not exactly relaxing. I think Friday may have been the worst of it, but Saturday wasn't the world's most breathtaking improvement. Yesterday - well, yesterday I made myself clean the dang house.
To be fair, being sick in a dirty house is the PITS. But it's a bit more of that mom thing. I wanted to be comfortable - but I also was insisting to my body, "I am better."
The cough still hurt a lot, though the fever was gone. I had energy enough to clean. "See!?" Clothes were laid out for today at work (oh yes I did go).
And then before bed I had to admit - that cough had blood in it. Old blood at one time, bright and fresh new blood at another.
Neither of these bears good implications, and I am not a complete ass. Though I did go to the office. Which ... actually may be completely assy. Fever or no, the likelihood where blood in the cough is concerned is "infection" (likely bacterial), and that means that, five days on, fever or no, I could be contagious.
I actually did feel remarkably good this morning. Which is odd, as I've had insomnia unlike anything I've experienced since my twenties for two nights running (and no nap yesterday, because housecleaning!).
I also called the doc.
One prescription later (seriously, I can take the cough; do just give me an antibiotic so I'm not Typhoid Mary over here), I can at least put to rest the Complete Ass of a Coworker concerns, and get on with things.
Thank goodness it didn't cost me $285.
Now to wait for the bill.