Date: May 14, 2019 07:47PM
In Dec/Jan I posted about my truly awful hospital experience after suffering a massive flu attack. After always extolling the virtues of our health care system and professional expertise of practitioners, I was brought down to earth due to overcrowding, lack of space (no rooms at the inn for me), overwhelmed staff, slow/mis-diagnoses, lack of resources, and undesirable roommates (much as I hate to say). I actually think I was close to PTSD over it all. Too much to cope with over and above being deathly ill as well.
Anyway. Life goes on. Fortunately. For the present and foreseeable time anyway. And I have finally stopped griping about not only missing Christmas, and New Year's, but about the whole episode.
Just when you think you're over a thing, the lion roars. Today I get a letter from Public Health telling me I was exposed to TB during my hospital stay. (I'm guessing that one of the patients in the room where I finally got a bed had TB. That was my closest contact. Or maybe one of the homeless men in withdrawal next to me in the hallway beds for days). That was January. This is May. YIKES.
Meanwhile, I've (obviously) been in close contact with family members (especially when caring for my mom who has been ill - preparing meals, etc). I also visit with the (former) refugee kids in the neighbourhood. Did I say YIKES.
I'm thinking I'll test negative. But the stress of going for testing and waiting for results is unwelcome. Plus I've just spent 30 minutes trying to contact the public health nurse who sent me the letter but she's insulated behind one of those endless loop automatic answering programs and the letter has apparently listed the incorrect extension for her. I'm not altogether worried (yet) about actually having contracted TB but it's a bit nerve-wracking to think this nightmare may not be over yet, if indeed in my weakened state I was more susceptible than I otherwise would have been and I actually have TB. It's quite prevalent in sectors of the population with whom I have been in contact (at the hospital, yes, and in the community). What's more, due to working downtown on the "east side" years ago and being exposed to many patients with TB, my crazy skin test can show positive - it was a big fat hairy deal when I was in nursing school - but proved to be a false positive or at least that I never had active disease.
All I can say is thank God (and scientists!) for tests and know-how and medicine. So glad that despite my obvious propensity towards joining cultic groups (JW/Mormon) at least I was never drawn towards Christian Science or else I might really have a problem at this point.
Sorry, I know this little episode is far, far, far away from discussing Mormonism, but see what I did there? Found a way to at least mention it. :)
Sorry for the diversion. I'm just feeling sorry for myself. Again. Next time I think I need ER in a major public hospital in a city centre known for its large population of people in need, with compromised health, including communicable diseases, I may opt instead for a home remedy or even the proverbial pine box. Or maybe pay for a private room. Or try to stay out of ER. Time to *really* focus on adopting a more healthy lifestyle. More sleep. Healthier diet. Less stress.
Yeah. That's a plan.
Sorry. Again. Back to regular programming. Ignore me. Before I start griping about getting cut off once I finally got through to the right nurse to book a skin test and then cut myself off while in a coughing spasm (from a cold that won't quit). Coughing. TB. YOW. When I was a kid there were a lot of plays and movies where the tragic heroine died of TB. They always made it look so delicate. And she was always beautiful.
It's not like that...
Rats. Even though I'm no longer trying my best to fit in as a Mormon (so-called) convert, I don't happen to keep alcohol in the house (much). I really fancy a long cool one about now. Is that a bad sign? Incipient alcoholism?
OK. I'll shut up now. Maybe the nurse and I can get together tomorrow. It kind of bugs me when people are so blase about infection. There's always antibiotics, right? Which makes us less cautious, maybe too laid back about it. I want my public health nurse to tell me to come into the clinic NOW and get sorted. But it's after 4:00 p.m. So despite our conversation being interrupted she left for the day. I would have liked to get an appointment right away, tomorrow morning, 0800 hrs. And then I have to go through that whole thing where they freak when they see my positive-looking skin test. But then I turn out not to have TB.
Right? NOT to have it...I don't want it. I've had enough now of ill health, myself and family. Would like a bit of a rest. Funny thing - I was just thinking this morning of that scripture that says God will not give you more to handle than you can bear. And I was thinking "OK God, that's enough now. Thankyouverymuch". And then the mail carrier came. And shoved the public health notice through my door.
So now I'm mad at God. And I have no beer.