Sick, sick and more sick

This is not such a great month this month of July. Actually it started a month earlier with a nasty migraine that had me vomiting for 24 hours followed by the flu. I hope to look back in a month or two and be able to laugh at this month of illness.

Isn’t it ironic, that I spend my days reading and writing on the end of life experience. As I line up for a CT scan I recall the words that I have read on how people feel when they have to attend numerous scans for a definitive diagnosis.  I am reminded of  the fear that the machines can bring to the unexpected, the uninitiated person. While I am getting transfused with the radio opaque dye, I open my eyes to see the young, very young technician’s face filled with fear.   I recognise that look, that wide eye opened look and the words, “are you okay” as she’s looking intensely at me in the face, making sure I wasn’t reacting. “I’m okay”, I reassure her with a nod trying not to move out of position. I was grateful for her concern and her consideration in reassuring me that allergic reactions are extremely rare. I was scared stiff by the thought that I might be allergic to the dye but I also new the consequences of not going through with the procedure. As, I felt and tasted the awful chemical float through my veins I was grateful that the young technician had previously explained that I would feel a surge in my groin as the dye went through my veins. Therefore, when this did happen I felt reassured that this was a normal consequence and just waited for it to subside. How thoughtful she was, without that simple knowledge I probably would have reacted so differently to that experience.

When I entered the facility I was flustered because I had left my purse at home and I wasn’t sure if I would be charged for the scan. I approached the counter and the young person without even looking at me, spoke to the bench. ‘ Okay she said, ‘ just give me your details, now go and wait’. I felt like screaming at her, look up here, I am a person. Please acknowledge me as such. To her, I am sure I was just another old person, white hair fumbling around looking for purses, another glitch in her day of endless days.

We are so fortunate to live in a country that offers the miracle of modern medicine with all that it entails for free. As, this is the first time I have been unwell to any extent, I was surprised that I spent the whole day getting this test and that and the cost to me was nothing on the day. I hope that it does stay this way in Australia, I know that we pay taxes to cover the costs and being a nurse I know how under supported the nursing profession is with dwindling experienced nurses on the wards but I hope that the we always have some form of  Medicare in Australia and that access to services is an option that is available to all people.


About Jennifer Carter

I am currently undertaking a PhD on End of Life studies. I have created this blog to discuss with you matters related to end of life.
This entry was posted in aged care, caring, health and illness, health and wellness, Nursing, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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