Since this past Thursday afternoon, I’ve been ill. Nothing major, it seems, but it hasn’t been fun. Tired, achey, feverish (up to more than 103 at one point). And for some reason my left calf is reddish, hot, swollen, and painful to the touch, radiating up the inside of the thigh. Makes it hard to stand or walk. The fever’s gone, but the leg pain remains, and that’s what will probably get me in to see my doctor on Monday.
But here’s the thing. I’ve actually found myself thinking, “Maybe I shouldn’t go in, because what if it’s something major, and then it will cost us a lot of money?” How fucked-up is that? If I allowed that thinking to take its logical course, I’d only go in when things become dire, and then it would cost lots more to bring me back from the brink.
Update, 2:36 AM Sunday: OK, so the leg pain was more serious than I let on. By Saturday night, it was bad enough to get me to call my health insurance’s advice line, who ran me through the decision tree and told me to either call my doctor or get my ass into the ER. Called my doc, who told me to get my ass to the ER. Got there around midnight, and the diagnosis was cellulitis, which is an inflammation of the skin caused by a bacterial infection (no, it’s not the same thing as cottage cheese on the butt; that’s cellulite). They gave me a dose of IV antibiotics, took some blood for tests, and we just got home. They also want me to go back in tomorrow for an ultrasound, just to rule out the other possibility, which is a blood clot in the leg. Looks like I’ll need to stay home from the gym for a few days, too. And I’ll be taking two kinds of antibiotics for the next week.
Idiot conservatives think that it’s better to make medical care more difficult and more expensive, because then people won’t use as much medical services. But all that does is make people frightened to get help when they need it, exactly the time when it would cost way less to treat than when they become really sick.
This country will follow the rest of the civilized world into a universal health-care system eventually. That day can’t come too soon for me.