Monday, March 08, 2010

suffering well

I do not suffer well. Especially when it comes to physical discomfort.

Pain is not my friend.

People who tolerate pain well mystify me. I have a friend who never takes anything for pain--not even an aspirin. I offered her an excedrin a few years ago after she mentioned she had a killer headache.

"No thanks," Kay replied. "I don't like to take pills. Just pray for me."

Pills that take away pain--and stuffy noses and insomnia and anxiety--are my friends! Why wouldn't you take a pill or a treatment if it made discomfort go away?

After all, we do live in America . . .

I am finally recovering from a 2 1/2 week bout with the "whine" flu. I really didn't appreciate the fact that I got bit by the bug just weeks before our trip to Africa. And I wasn't able to take antibiotics because it would interfere with the typhoid vaccine I'd been given.

"Now would you rather have a sinus infection or typhoid?" my doctor asked condescendingly when I complained about my worsening condition.

Neither! I grumbled to myself. I don't have time for this!

I suffered (whined) through sinus infection only to have it go south and head for my lungs. A nasty cough, sore throat and fever sent me back to the clinic.

I was finally prescribed amoxicillin, plus a super-powered cough syrup that cost more than all the groceries I purchased last week. And that was just the co-pay!

Last night I woke up shivering with fever and racked with a cough. An aspirin, swig of cough syrup and shot of nose spray later, I was able to settle down and actually go back to sleep.

But not before I wondered about the millions of people who suffer from much deadlier diseases and don't have access to the most basic of medicines or medical care.

They'd be happy just to have clean water to drink!

Maybe health care in this country isn't all that bad . . .