The Summer of Lisa's Discontent
Keeping people hopeless and pessimistic--
see I think there are two ways
in which people are controlled.
First of all frighten people,
and secondly demoralize them.
An educated, healthy and confident nation
is harder to govern
Because this has been such a remarkable journey, I am going to document it here so as not to have to recount the tale of woe ad infinitum. This is the Scary Health Story you hope never to hear at the Blue Plate Special, but cannot avoid.
I feel like Charlie Alnutt in the African Queen after his leech-induced fever, except in Tallahassee, which amounts to the same thing. Since last Monday I have suffered a constant 102 degree fever, spiking every 8-10 hours above 104, accompanied by violent shivering and a four-hour refractory period after which I could walk again.
Monday night I spent almost four hours in the recovery room of Tallahassee Memorial "YOUR HOMETOWN" Hospital without being seen. The only people who seemed to get wheeled from the waiting room were those whose eyes rolled back into their sockets following a vomiting episode. I do not know where they went; out of sight, out of mind.
This is your tax dollars in inaction. For many folks the ER is obviously their primary care, and the attitude of the intake personnel was a resounding, "Eff You." I did not feel a priority of any kind in the ER.
The next day, I was mis-diagnosed by my doctor as having the Flu, possibly H1N1, on no basis other than presenting with a persistant, cycling fever. I futilely took Tamiflu for the next four days.
Friday, in between bouts, I drove to Jacksonville to pick Ranger up from a flight, and to his credit, he drove me directly to the doctor's office upon return, at 4 p.m. The office had just closed, but he correctly said the doctor would still be there. He did the Right Thing.
After this comedy of errors I told the nice 12-year Navy doctor, "I don't think we have the Flu here, doctor." He finally did a urinalysis and prescribed antibiotics, which is what I had requested in the first place. "Well," he said, "I don't like giving antibiotics, but when I do, I tend to do it big."
I do not care about his lived articulation of medical style; I just want to get well. I am on Levaquin now, and have had a couple of restful nights. I am still exhausted, but hope I am on the mend. I suffered unnecessarily and a endured an unneeded tax on my system.
This is not a UTI or kidney infection, the only illnesses the doctor could imagine. It is now a "fever of unknown origin". It is possible I was pre-stressed: I might trace the origins to a smash-and-grab burglary of my auto on 5/18 in which my pocketbook, a lot of money and all my i.d. were stolen. I swim in municipal pools, some of which have notoriously high bacterial counts. Who knows how and what gained entree to my system. Cause and effect has an infinite regress.
In retrospect, after a stunningly awful stay in Tallahassee Memorial several years ago I had wanted to create T-shirts saying, "I survived TMH"; I felt those of us who had were members of an elite club. I am convinced most doctors here will kill you if they can, and the key to survival is remaining healthy as possible.
Anyway, I'm on the mend, and may post a sporadic piece in the next few days. For sure, RAW will be back online next Monday, regular schedule.