I alluded to the fact that I was almost eaten alive by a rogue gang of bedbugs during a recent business trip to India. (You can read all about that and the other “fun” things I had to endure in my previous post)
Ok, I might be exaggerating slightly, as the bedbugs only tried to chew of my lower right arm. Have you seen what they look like? Disgusting. What is not known to the reading population is the fact that I develop flu like symptoms during the trip, two days after the biting episode.
I understand that this would the death of a hypochondriac, as I can easily imagine going to the dark place, thinking you might be infected with a unique mutated bedbug-carrying form of the bird flu. To be honest, I never considered the two incidents to be related, having had the flu once or twice before. It really never occurred to me that the coughing, sneezing, headaches and tiredness was as a result of the bites, until returning home, and a friend mentioned the possibility. Being a rational man, I still had arguments to defend my state of disbelief, but they all disappeared when the friend uttered the now famous words, in front of my wife and daughter. It changed everything.
Their concern seemed heartfelt and flattering at first, asking politely whether I shouldn’t consider going to the doctor. Now, this was Saturday, with two big games scheduled and a couple of friends coming over. There was no friggin way. I faked my wellness right until Sunday morning. Then the flu decided to fight back, gloves off. So the wife’s concern turned to borderline annoyance, and the daughter’s concern turned into nagging. I know it seems harsh but remember when a man is sick, the actual sickness and the extensive overacting, drains all the resources, patience and kindness included.
My reluctance to go? I am not a big fan of GP’s. Don’t get me wrong, if I am on a plane and my heart is missing a beat, or when I am choking on a chicken bone in a fancy restaurant, I will take any doctor in the house. But a GP is a person I visit only to receive antibiotics, cause I got tired of fighting the virus alone. I mean, I tell him what’s wrong with me, and he gives me medicine. Strictly speaking he should pay me for making his job simpler and for waiting, as one always does. The only other benefit is if there is a sick day or two in the mix. That’s why I think veterinarians and pediatricians are the best medical practitioners, because their patients cannot tell them what is wrong. They actually have to figure it out themselves!. Sometimes I think we should just walk into the doctor’s room and say nothing.
Bottom line I don’t like to be billed for giving someone my own opinion on what might be wrong with me. For that I can get a shrink and I work with consultants. It has to be said, not all doctor’s are the same…
The reluctance for going to the doctor melted quickly when my daughter’s asked me this morning with teary blue eyes. “What if the bites make dad even more sick? I really want you to get better.”
So with that in mind I phoned my GP, who lives down the street and asked to see him. Turned out, times changed and he actually knew a few things. Tweak my opinion… The bites were indeed bedbugs, and the flue I have is actually a sinus infection. Who knew? Some deep part of me was really, really relieved and I am convinced there is a hidden hypochondriac in every one of us. Like Gollum hiding in the dungeons of our unconscious mind, ready to leap and cause havoc as soon as we feel or see something on our own body that we cannot explain. So thanks to all medical practitioners who keep a lid on Golllum.
And so I will live another day, ready to fight negativity and despair. I used a roaring “YES” when my little girl cautiously asked me this afternoon: “Daddy will you be ok?”