Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pull out my pistol

Bradford pear blossoms

My lack of health insurance come to haunt me, in a very practical way. I’ve come down with a bout of bad illness, making me feel awful, and also making me thank God for the invention of antibiotics. And Tylenol. What did people do before antibiotics? Die of blood-poisoning, I imagine.

Our health is rather a fragile thing. Maybe I haven’t been realizing how much good yoga has done me, and taking a week off from it (well, not entirely, but close) was enough to throw my entire immune system out of whack. I wouldn’t doubt it. In any case, I am lucky to have family in the health professions, or at least family that hoard ten-year-old expired prescriptions of antibiotics, so I am dosing myself and hoping for the best. Like any good Thai girl would do. In Thailand, you don’t go to the doctor for your drugs--you go to the pharmacist. We travel often enough that there’s a good little stash of southeast Asian “prescriptions” hanging around. Which is great for things like my brother’s asthma, or my dad’s antacid, etc.

So maybe I don’t need health insurance after all, if I can wiggle my way around it. The problem is how people with just a little less sense than I have kill themselves. Or maybe with just as much sense as I have. The jury’s still out.

It’s one of the perils of living the life I want to live, though. My parents seem blind-sided by my desire to live an extraordinary life, but I’m just following their example. We were struck by our fair share of medical calamities as I grew up: encephalitis, dengue fever, malaria, amoeba, meningitis, motorcycle accidents, ringworm that tried to consume the flesh of my sister’s leg alive and that my parents treated with dry ice from the neighboring Pizza Hut... The list goes on.

These are things that happen. People get sick. Even young people who are loved very much. And it stinks. But what do you do about it? Live in fear? No. You live. And try to keep a stash of good vitamins.

I also managed to step on a piece of rusted barbed wire on my way to dig a hole this last week. I’m crossing my fingers than my 2001 tetanus shot is still good. They last ten years, right? Life on the edge is exciting. And dangerous, medically and otherwise. Am I scaring all of you? Probably. Blame it on my wooziness from painkillers and herbal tea.


Anonymous said...

Wow! I know what you mean about fragile health. I never anticipated a two week stay in the hospital. I am so grateful for small things now... like being able to sit up and eat. Now it's time to face the medical bills.


Melissa said...

I was thinking about you (and sending prayers your way) this entire post. I didn't want to be public with your illness, though... You are loved, Audra, and you have no idea how happy we are you are doing better.