April 2018

Monday, May 3, 2010

NL #11: I Feel Bad

NL #11: "I feel bad." That's what I say when I feel bad. When Ann and I were first together, she tried to get me to be more articulate about feeling bad, but she gave up. Now she asks, "Do you need to lie down or go to the emergency room?" Mostly I need to lie down, but every now and then I need to go to the emergency room.

The first time this happened, we had been waterskiing with Kim and Lynn on Lake Cushman. As I got off the boat and headed towards the cabin, I felt like I had sea legs until finally I lost muscle control of my arms and legs. Kim, a nurse, went with us to the island's emergency room. It was a slow day in the emergency room and the doctors did lots of tests, none of which revealed the cause (I now guess that my tumor had been disturbed.)

At one point, I told the nurse I needed something because I was going to be sick. She brought me a dainty little pink emesis basin, like something you might spit in at the dentist. I had time only to shake my head no. Like the guy in the Monty Python skit who couldn't eat another bite, I needed a bucket.

It seems odd that I'm so inarticulate about my health since my dad's a pediatrician an my mom's a nurse. As the child of medical professionals, however, I learned that the first course of action for almost anything is to walk it off. When I was five year old (almost six) and my sister was three years old, a neighbor on a bicycle ran over her leg. (Don't ask me exactly how he did that.) She felt bad. I had her walk it off, and she and I paraded around the field. When she still wasn't better, I ran home to get Dad. As he carried her home, I noticed that her foot was pointing the wrong way. She had broken two bones and was in a long cast when I returned from playing. My new baby brother was home from the hospital, too.

The last two weeks, with the adrenalaine of my excellent MRI report, I have worked full days most days. Friday, I felt bad so I stayed home and in bed. I did that Saturday and Sunday, too. And now, Monday. I feel bad. But I don't think I need to go to the emergency room. I'm a little queasy but I don't need a bucket.



  1. On Christmas Day 2006, I was admitted to the ER with a severe case of strep pneumonia on the same day that James Brown died of pneumonia. I remember the funny respiratory therapist doing a James Brown imitation saying, "I feel bad!" I hope you don't feel bad for long.

  2. I feel bad too. I never realized that when a person is sick for so long, being more descriptive isnt very appealing. I always say that Im ok. But my partner always stops to clarify if its a regular ok, or a "off to the hosptial" ok. But I hate the hospital, so I avoid that if at all possible. Im jealous its so easy for you to say that you feel bad. Empowering. :)


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