Friday, February 6, 2015
Thoughts on stubborness...
My big sister Deb says I am stubborn. When she says it I get a little mad. But in the way of the world, big sisters are usually right, and that is true in this instance, too.
She says I am stubborn about not getting medical attention when I need it. Here is an example. A few years back I had something horrible going on with my scalp. It was red and sore and flaky and made me miserable. Months went by. One day my sister said, "If one of your dogs had skin problems you'd have them at the veterinarian before you could bat an eye. Buy you don't take care of your own skin!" Drat. She was right. I made an appointment with a dermatologist and got fixed up in a twinkling.
Recently the back of my leg got very sore. I have chronic circulatory problems with that leg, and have had a couple of bouts with superficial blood clots, uncomfortable but generally not dangerous. I figured that I was having a similar problem and began to treat myself; keeping my leg elevated, putting a heating pad under it, drinking lots and lots of water. But things didn't improve. A week or so went by, and the little voice in my head kept telling me I really needed to get that thing checked out, but I shushed the voice and went on about my business. And I did NOT tell my sister I was having any trouble!
Yesterday, in a snow storm, my husband said, "I can take the day off and take you to the emergency room if you want." I get a little whiny and a lot grumpy when I don't feel good, and I suspect he'd had about enough of living with me. I know I was sick of myself! "Oh alright!" I huffed. I took care of the animals, showered and dressed and off we went, slipping and sliding on snow crusted roads. Six hours, 1 ultrasound and a lot of blood tests later I was diagnosed with Deep Vein Thrombosis. I had correctly diagnosed the blood clot part, but it was not an innocent little superficial clot. It was the kind that can break off and cause one to have a stroke or drop dead. I could hear Deb's voice in my head,"STUBBORN!" and felt rather chastised. I should have had this taken care of sooner, and I am lucky that I am sitting here, sore leg elevated and hopefully healing.
And that is what I have been thinking about today. I've beaten myself up pretty well over my actions, then decided to cut myself some slack and think of times when being obstinate isn't so bad. The picture above? I am holding a little lamb born on my friends farm. The lamb was orphaned before it ever got to nurse and get immunities from its dam, and it's future looked grim. It needed some TLC and a minor miracle if it was going to survive. I begged my friend to let me have the lamb,and she kindly let me. I fed the little thing every few hours round the clock. I kept her next to my bed at night, waking often to care for her, and carried her to her work every day. I kept her warm and clean and full of food and potions designed to combat the interstitial woes common to young, orphaned critters. She thrived and grew and is now living a happy sheep life at a nice nearby farm.
And then there is this marriage I'm in. 30 years and 11 months we've been wed! I think a person has to exhibit a certain amount of determination to make a marriage work for that long in the current social climate. I'll take a pat on the back for being persistent enough to be half of the team that has kept a happy relationship going for three decades.
If I work at it I can think of a few other areas where my bullheadedness has paid off, and that cheers me right up. I vow to not be so resistant about seeking medical care in the future, but I may well keep some of my other mulish ways.