Where does the good go

It takes a village to keep Dawn alive

Lisa: Without constant reassurance, it (the screamapillar) will die. It is sexually attracted to fire…
Homer: Are you sure God doesn’t want it to be dead?
Ranger: What’s God gonna do, make my wife leave me again?

I hate weakness.
Always have. Probably always will. I’m not quite sure why, but there it is.
Unfortunately, this hatred almost always manifests itself in terribly self destructive ways. Like the fact that I refuse to go to the doctor unless some bodily function has absolutely shut down…and not just any function, it’s gotta be essential.
I remember just before I had to have emergency surgery on my left foot, the podiatrist stared at the marble sized lump protruding from my skin and asked how I had been walking. Without missing a beat, I said “limping.” What? I’m not an athlete, if I can get around, I can get around, and if that means I’m dragging my left foot behind me, then that’s what we’re doing. Same with my gastrointerologist who had to treat my way out of control bleeding ulcer. “Didn’t you notice discomfort?”
“Well…I’d just throw up after every meal, take Tylenol and curl myself up in a ball till I feel asleep every night…but nothing major.”
Even as a kid I was the same way. I had to be in the hospital for weeks after ingesting peanut butter at four, but instead of coloring like the other kids in pediatrics, I was picking fights and racing other kids with my IV pole.
Thankfully, I have cadre of super vigilant bossy people in my life-lead by my mother- who will eventually force me to seek medical attention. In college, while casually lounging in the common room, gasping desperately for air and watching TV, Binda was all “what’s wrong with you?”
“Oh…can’t…breathe” I wheezed.
“GO TO (health services)!”
“Really? You…think…I…should?”
In law school, after I complained for seven months about my toothache, my best friend insisted that if I didn’t go to a dentist I was going to end up being the subject of those embarrassing obituaries…you know, girl, 22 dies of jaw falling off.
He was right, I had a terrible infection, lost two teeth AND had part of my gum removed.
A few years ago, I had bronchitis, oh maybe for four weeks, before Karol and Sabaka made me go to a doctor.
And obviously, without my mom’s tenacious…er…yelling, my gangrenous gall bladder would have infected my blood and I woulda died in my sleep.
Now, after each of these incidents, I always swear that the next time I have so much as a papercut, I’m going to the emergency room and demanding x-rays, stitches AND vicodin. But then…
Last week Monday I woke up ridiculously early and had a little cough. I brushed it off as psychosomatic swine flu induced hysteria. I went to the gym.
Tuesday my nose was stuffy and the cough was more persistent. I took my temperature, it was fine. I went to the gym.
By Wednesday, I pretty much felt like garbage, but still didn’t have a fever and well, from the white yellow color of my sputum, I could tell that my white blood cells were fighting whatever it was. (Was I the only person who had white blood cell funerals as a kid after finding out, dead white blood cells were what made the sputum yellow? Yes? Huh. You heartless bastards.) I was on the mend! Anyway, once again, I was up redonkculously early, so I went to the gym. This time I almost fainted after my three mile run. “Eh, I’m probably just dehydrated…if something were really wrong I would have a fever or I would have actually fainted.”
Dude? What? I’m a lawyer, not a doctor.
By Friday, I was definitely worse. I had lost my voice and couldn’t breathe through my nose anymore. I was also coughing almost nonstop. (Oh, and if you don’t believe me, the facebook status that I updated *from the poker table in Atlantic City* is proof. Facepalm.) (Oh, but if my mother asks, I was at a play.) Anyway, my mom calls me *during the play* (got it, people?) and she immediately panics when I answer the phone. The next morning I go church and the gym and return home for my previously scheduled moping around, Beaches watching, when my mother calls and gently tells me to meet her at the doctor’s office.
“Fine,” I more mouthed than said cause I still don’t really have a voice.
Well, so turns out I have a little thing called pulmonary edema. My lungs had been collecting water for lord knows how long, which is why I had been waking up ridiculously early no matter how late I had gone to bed or how little sleep I’d had. I would just stop breathing in my sleep. Of course, my decision to go to the gym “since I was up” was a very bad one since my heart was already working overtime to keep the lungs functioning, so my 1:15 of cardio was not helping matters. I obviously couldn’t maintain the madness for very much longer and probably would have had a heart attack any day now.
So, I got to spend my Sunday afternoon hooked up to oxygen and suffering the “humor” of the doctor, who actually said the words “I believe laughter is the best medicine,” as he told horrible joke after joke to the captive girl with an oxygen hose draped around her face and stuck up her nose.
Kill me.
I’ve been reading up on my condition and in addition to causing me to lose my voice, cough, be dizzy and be exhausted all day — my brain wasn’t getting enough oxygen. A couple of days ago I had joked around on facebook that I was having more and more moments where I forgot where I was or what I was supposed to be doing. Plus, at Scrabble club I played the word “Jap” which, dude, you learn all the short j words like day two of Scrabble school.
Not enough oxygen to the brain…suddenly my super gym woman story was making a lot more sense.
Oh, and because the assface Atlantic City crew kept calling me Typhoid Dawn and patient zero, no my condition is not contagious, so let’s go with the apologetic comments on any and all of my blogs from you hypochondric “I feel a scratchiness in my throat” coughers in the backseat.
Alas, I’m on horse sized antibiotics, steroids and an awesome aspirin regime that the doctor promises will mend me. I got to lay around all day yesterday thanking my lucky stars that I seemed to have dodged death once again…unfortunately, on my first day back to work with my fluidy lungs under control I barely made it in by ten a.m. D’oh! How on earth do people without pulmonary edema get up in time for work?

15 Responses to “It takes a village to keep Dawn alive”

  1. Petitedov Says:

    Feel better. I’ve personally known people who have died because they didn’t go to a doctor. However, I’ve also knew a person who died because they saw the wrong doctor. So I guess this is a way for me to tell you, I’m glad you went and are going to be better.

  2. Dawn Summers Says:

    Hahaha, I also thought of the convo we had last week about whether going to the gym was bad for me…turns out it was!

  3. pearatty Says:

    Hope you feel better soon.

    I used to be the same way about not going to the doctor — raised by a nurse whose reaction to all childhood sickness/injury was “you think that’s bad? You should have seen what came into the emergency room today. Go outside and work it off.”

    I’m better about it now, but still don’t think to go to the doctor for cold/flu symptoms.

  4. Petitedov Says:

    One of the rare times the gym is bad for you and it actually occurs to you. Go figure. Only you Dawn Summers, only you. BTW what gym do you go to?

  5. Dawn Summers Says:


  6. Ugarles Says:

    They get up because no matter what time they go to sleep, their lungs fill with water during the night.

    I’m surprised that you didn’t go to the doctor just to get away from the talking.

  7. Dawn Summers Says:

    Bahahahha…it was the bright spot in a day of thinking about how much money I was losing.

  8. elana Says:

    because I know you prefer comments to texts:

    You might be the Jakes favorite (you aren’t) but you’re definitely not god’s favorite. That’s a pity.

  9. Eric Says:

    I can’t believe you went to the doctor over such a little thing. No wonder everybody’s health care is so expensive.

  10. kaz Says:

    oh, man. you win.

    feel better soon!

  11. Dawn Summers Says:

    Dude, Eric, I know
    :( I can’t believe I went in when I could still walk under my own power. Believe you me, no one is more disappointed than I.

    Kaz, what’s my prize? 😉

  12. Alceste Says:

    Feel better!

    (And one can always delete embarrassing Facebook updates…)

  13. Fisch Says:

    How long has this been going on? Can you lump baw in there with jap? Feel better, princess.

  14. Dawn 2 Says:

    I totally apologize for even thinking that your mom might have been overreacting!!! (This from the girl who has had a scratchy throat, cough, and stuff head, and generally waking up early for the past week … hey, wait a minute …)

  15. Dawn Summers Says:

    It’s been going on long enough that I no longer remember baw. No idea what you’re talking about, but dude we really should play scrabble this year.

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