I hate being sick and I try even harder to forget when I am sick. However, the last time I was sick was in February 2017. I was in bed for two weeks before I finally ended up going to the doctor, he first response, “are you sick.” I said, “Nah what gave that away, the lack of voice from coughing, the red nose and eyes, the mask I am wearing or just the fact that I am in your office?” Now I know I am not a nice person when I am sick and I am flippant, I just want them to fix it. I do not care to visit doctors, I guess you could say I never have had a good relationship with them. Anyway, if anyone has ever had the flu, then you know how the testing is done…not easy, not good, and not fun. I remember my son being tested a lot for the flue with his other health issues a slight cold would trigger worse things in him, so we were always careful. Well when the doctor told me they needed to test me, I simply refused and just asked for cough medicine. Well that was a no go, as the flu was running rampant in our little town and so they needed to determine what strain of the flu I had.
I, of course had to argue, if they already knew I had the flu based on my symptoms and my mention of how I felt, then I did not need to be tested. I was not giving in, I guess you could say I wasn’t going without a fight! Now doctors have seen and heard it all (I am sure); however, my doctor is a pretty patient man, at least with me. He knew if I was there it was serious, so I wasn’t very responsible when I would not let him test me, however, my kids were out of the house so I did not have to worry about ‘infecting’ anyone else. According to Arnett, Harding-Fritz, and Bell, “To engage health care communication ethics, one looks for ways to respond, to the illness in the larger context of life, not just for answers to “fix” ill health,” (p. 195). I was looking for a fix, the doctor however, was looking at my illness against all those others that have been ill. Where, had I been, who have I been in contact with, he was asking me detail questions about how I contacted the nastiness that I had for two weeks already. I did not respond well and for that I am embarrassed to say, was not responsible of me. I was thinking only of my fix and trying to figure out how to get “it” and get out.
Nurses kindly remind us of things, that even though we are feeling horrible there are others that we also need to think about. Guilt had me, I took the test. So, I was tested and my realization was epic, it truly was my fault becoming ill. I have had the flu shot every year, however, I also became ill. So, I figured why get it this year? Because the shot only minimizes the impact of the disease, it still is my responsibility to care for myself as it does impact those around me. Arnett et al., (2009), convey to determine the type of care we need is based on how we take care of ourselves, (p. 194). Therefore, the reality was, there was nothing the doctor could prescribe me, I knew this already. I was at the peak of the illness, but they needed to record the strain, and I needed to wait it out. My response was a relief that it was nothing worse and that even though I had no one living with me, I still encountered others indirectly. Which was a reminder of when my son was a baby and how careful I had to be with others, directly or indirectly.
Arnett, R.C., Harden-Fritz, J. M. & Bell, L. M. (2008). Communication ethics literacy: Dialogue and difference. Los Angeles: Sage.