I wouldn’t necessarily refer to myself as a know-it-all, but I’m close. Once I have a bit of working knowledge about a subject, I tend carry on as if I’m an expert. Sometimes, I think professionals really just don’t know what they’re talking about – they probably just slept their way to that fancy degree, right?
So for the past week I’ve had one of those nasty, barking coughs that makes people cringe. Despite the noises coming from my chest, and the responses from the canines around me, I was actually feeling fine. I figured it was just another one of those ‘Nuisance’ coughs like the one I had in September. Mind you, I popped a few ribs out of place then, bit more than a nuisance if you ask me! Yesterday was a different story though, I woke up with an incredibly sore throat, my chest felt tight, the cough was noticeably worse and I generally felt like I’d been backed over by a Mack Truck.
Being the paranoid Hypochondriac that I am, I marched off to the Walk In. Similar to my last trip there the Doc did very little other than ask a few questions and check my temperature. Ok – he did listen to my lungs, but that was it. After this thorough exam, he pronounced that I didn’t have Strep (really, don’t you have to swab for that diagnosis?), and all the coughing was really just caused by my sinuses. Sure. He gave me a script for a nasal spray and sent me packing.
I spent the rest of the day mocking his Doctoring abilities, joking every time I coughed ‘My, don’t my sinuses sound terrible.’ I picked up my script on the way home, and continued mocking the solution with my roommates Eleanor and Tigger. I used the spray right when I got home, and then again before bed. I also rummaged through my cabinets and found the prescription strength cough syrup that had been prescribed to me in the fall. More jokes ensued about the efficacy of nasal spray for a chest cold.
Lo and behold, I wake up this morning and am actually markedly better. My throat almost doesn’t hurt anymore, my cough is less frequent and less forceful when it arrives and that general feeling of crap I carted around with me yesterday is gone. I’m like Eeyore without his cloud – still grumpy and confused, but generally better off.
Alright, fine. I guess the doctor was right. Slow clap for him and his education.
This situation reminded me of the time a few years ago when I fell on some ice after stepping off a train. I had landed pretty hard on my elbow, which proceeded to grow this rabbit’s foot looking abscess for a few hours, before just ballooning entirely. Despite my parents urging to take me to the hospital, I was convinced I was suffering from nothing more than a severe contusion. A contusion, for those that don’t know injury terms, is essentially a bruised muscle. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think there is a whole lot of muscle on the tip of your elbow.
I carried on with my swollen, bruised and frankly gross looking elbow for a few weeks, telling everyone it was just badly contused. The swelling had gone down the length of my arms and into my fingers, and the bruising had followed. Back in my University days, I had a part time job as an Assistant Athletic Therapist, and have studied Anatomy quite a bit. I was convinced it was fine, my circulation was good, I could rotate my wrist with ease and I could vibrate the attaching bones with no pain. Definitely not broken.
A little over two weeks after the accident, a caring co-worker suggested that I get it xrayed. Ok, she threatened to call my Mother. I marched off to St. Mike’s convinced I would be returning Victoriously shortly thereafter. To nobody’s surprise except my own, it turns out my elbow was fractured. I had managed to walk around with a broken arm for over TWO WEEKS! I even went to Chicago for a long weekend during this time – no wonder it hurt so much on the plane.
The ER doctor was absolutely in hysterics. He made me repeat my examination methods a few times, and while commending me for a job well done, would then laugh and remind me that I’m not a Doctor, and that my arm was actually broken. I’m pretty sure they gave me the worlds largest and most unnecessary cast just so I would learn my lesson.
So a slight interest in Kinesiology and a part time job taping ankles doesn’t qualify me for diagnosing injuries? Let’s go back to the St. Mike ER and ask that doctor what he thinks 🙂