Most of this is a letter I wrote to my friend, responding to an email she'd sent when I was sick... details after the fold.
Secondarily- I meant it when I said get (you and K) and J (the baby) the shot(s) for flu. I would have called you when you sent this email, but have been laid out on the couch since Sunday. The flu I thought I recovered from turned into bronchitis and pleurisy, shortness of breath, wheezing and rales, necessitating a visit to the ER with the full workup and being sent home with about 5 meds-major antibiotics, NSAIDS, vitamins, breathing treatments and painkillers, and only tonight have I not felt like hammered shit. I really thought, and was quite frightened, when (my husband) literally carried me into the hospital, that I actually might die of flu complications, of all things. One of the good things about that visit, if there can be one, was that my nurse could curse like a sailor, with eloquence and grace.
Upside is, (my husband) has been devoted in helping me turn over or got me up out of bed when it hurt too much to do so by myself and also fed the animals when I couldn't lift the feed sacks, and me when I could barely swallow- chicken noodle soup and ice cream. He even managed to duplicate Souper Salad's Tuna Skroodle down to the last flavor. I don't know what I would've done without him if I'd had this way back when nobody was taking care of me...god bless a good husband. I still can't really cough without a pillow to hold, and he's still helping me sit/stand up when the meds are waning. Get the shots, lady. You can damn sure bet I will next time.
I spent a week (after I thought I was over the flu) trying to treat this with Aleve, Motrin, vitamins, and Benadryl. Didn't work. My best friend and also my husband, both paramedics, as I was once, kept trying to tell me this was more serious, but I kept insisting that I could manage it, that we couldn't do anything else.
The hospital we went to is a small community hospital about 45 miles from here- we don't have a hospital here any longer. I told them straight up- I have no health insurance and no job, therefore no income. They said, we understand. No problem. And I really got the full workup, no pay at the counter, no we can't treat you, and I feel better today.
I could have gone to the clinic here in town two days earlier, but I was so convinced that I shouldn't create a paper trail to a pre-existing condition, or that we couldn't afford whatever it would take. I was wrong. Those are the feelings that healthcare for everyone should be able to eliminate- panic, worry, waiting til it's really expensive.
I got lucky, just to be treated so professionally despite my ability to pay. I'm getting better and I'm gonna live. Everyone should.