It was a familiar saying in our home that my younger brother and I were like “the cobbler’s kids without any shoes”. The only difference: my parents were doctors, not cobblers, and we weren’t lacking shoes, but were in need of band-aids, physicals, etc. Try being a five-year old and all you want are the fun band-aids with your favorite cartoon character on them from the store (I know, we were strange). No matter how much we begged, the response remained the same: “No, we’re not buying band-aids–we have thousands of them”. Sure, “we” have thousands of them–at your office! Not once (and my parents and brother will all attest to this with much laughter), did we ever have one single band-aid in our home. I kid you not. Yes, it was indeed a sad, sad thing.
The lack of the simplest of items in medical care led to having a very high pain threshold. While my parents were (are) incredible physicians, my brother and I were often left to fend for ourselves because they worked a lot caring for many other people. This is where “the cobbler’s kids without any shoes” thing comes into play. My brother got so good at self diagnosing that he’s now half a doctor (still in school). Me, I decided I didn’t need doctors because I was accustomed to not having them–well, that’s not exactly true–my parents have always called medication in when I’ve been sick and they drew my blood when needed. But, when it came time for the annual check-up during school, I simply got a signature saying I was in great health while all my classmates actually received a true-blue check-up by none other than…you guessed it, my parents. When I sat at the dinner table and heard about all of the people who complained of chronic illness, but actually had a mental issue about their health and not a physical one, I knew better than to always think the worst. I am also fortunate to have parents who are D.O.’s and believe in prevention. If you take care of yourself to begin with, you’re less likely to need them in the first place. In all honesty, my parents have been such an asset that the rare times I was sick simply led to them calling me in a prescription and my health quickly returning to its optimal state. I’ve lived in this world for 28 years now and I’m beginning to learn some interesting things.
For starters, the downside of being such a proponent of not whining when you’re ill has led me to make some pretty dumb choices. There was an incident in college that involved my finger and a blender. OUCH–enough said. Now, while most people would have immediately gone to the doctor, I wrapped it up (many times), and went to class because I had finals (grades were very important). Three days later and a hand that was a light purple shade, I decided to cough up the co-pay and go see a doctor. Now, since I’d not had any serious injuries (aside from a broken arm when I still lived at home), I never had to go to a clinic as a patient. And I’d certainly never gone to a clinic where my parents weren’t the ones diagnosing the patients. Result: I’m a complete snob when it comes to my medical care. I don’t want to see anyone to begin with and I definitely don’t want to see someone I don’t know and trust. Well, genius that I am (please insert sarcastic tone), waited too long and was told it was too late for sutures and I would definitely have a deep scar. I did take antibiotics for the infection and I prayed that God would please heal my finger so I didn’t have a permanent reminder of my ignorance. The wonderful news is my finger did eventually heal and there’s no sign of my blender incident. Now, join me in present day.
After graduation from seminary, I lived in Tennessee for a time. While there, I became very sick and I’ve assessed that I’m completely allergic to the entire place. In all seriousness, I absolutely could not get well. After several rounds of medication (I’m not a fan of popping pills, either) and a recurring problem, I had a CT scan done. It showed an opening in my nasal cavity that should not be there and needs a little surgery to fix. When fixed, I should be able to get well and not be stuck in the world of drugs and green tea. Well, at the time I simply did not have the funds to pay for an ENT and get the treatment required. So, I dealt with it and several months later (plus a move back to the wonderful world of Texas), I eventually got better. Now, two years and no procedure later, I’m back in the same boat. Why? Because I’m a genius;)!
It’s been nearly a month and nothing has helped me overcome these ridiculously annoying symptoms. Every day I wake up with a throat that’s nearly swollen shut, burns like fire and a host of other fun side effects you can best associate with a crazy out-of-control flu. Has this stopped me from going, going, going? No. I’ve stayed busy as ever because I believe only being truly incapacitated should stop me from working. Have I gone to the doctor yet? No. But, I’m VERY proud to say that after much research I’ve found an ENT that has everything I’m looking for–(on paper that is). So, on Monday I will be seeing the specialist who will hopefully help me get well. I can’t tell you how excited this makes me. The only thing that would make this event better is if either my mom, dad or older brother (also a doctor) were an ENT! And, while I’m on the subject, I’m excited to say that my first specialist appointment will be followed by another on Wednesday! I know, I know–it’s an incredible feat. As great as they’ve been, I won’t be missing my close friends: Aloe, Salt, Tea, Ricola, Echinacea, Mucinex, Kleenex and their various relatives.
When all is said and done, I’m very blessed and thankful to be “a cobbler’s kid”.