Sick of being sick

By Bernie Bates

For those who know how it feels to have a runny nose, cough and icky green stuff – I feel your pain.

Some of my regular readers may have noticed that I’ve missed a deadline or two – but I have a good reason – I was scared of being dead.


I’m still not feeling 100 per cent yet, you see this is not my first time having pneumonia. The first time I had it my doctor just about killed me.

He looked me over, told me to say ah, patted me on the back and told me to go home get some rest and plenty of fluids.


Two days later, I was even worse and went back to see him again. He took one look at me, got annoyed and said, “What are you doing here? Go home get lots of rest and plenty of fluids!”

That night I began to lose my mind. To prove my point; I hate Christmas cake. That night I ate a whole gummy, sticky, icky brick. Followed by a long night of chills and soaking wet blankets – and that was the fun part of my dance with death.

After a sleepless night, the next morning I could feel myself fading in and out of a delirious state. To tell the truth, I felt like I was going to die, and soon.

I could hardly gulp enough air as I made my way to the bathroom, and that’s when I started to hallucinate.

As I looked down; in every direction all I could see were plastic pipes, and at the bottom of each pipe was an ‘L’ shaped purple, vibrating glass rod. Try as I might I couldn’t see the target. I had to sit down. And soon!

My accountant/cook/nurse/wife took one look at me and said we’re going to the hospital. Right now!

We no sooner walked in to the emergence ward when a passing nurse took one look at me and said I’m taking you to get an x-ray. Before I know it (literally) I was in intensive care.

I was so thirsty I couldn’t spit at my doctor even if I wanted to. I was only given a half a cup of ice every four hours, and was turned over like a pot roast all night.

A nurse came in took my temperature, she’d woke me up to see if I was OK. Just by the look on her face I could tell she was worried; you know the old puppy dog eyes and a tightened smile.

I said to her; if I didn’t come in last night, I wouldn’t have made it – would I? She smiled and said maybe. Then she asked that religion I was.

Hospital time ticks by slower than a funeral procession. It gave me time to think, I’ll admit I was scared. I didn’t want to die - that’s when I received last rights – and me, an atheist.

It must be true: "There are no atheists in foxholes."

You would think that with all the medical knowledge in the world, all that expensive equipment and state of the art computers – it’s up to you to be your own advocate.

Listen to your body – it could be a matter of life and death.

Does your doctor whirl into the room, asks you a few questions then tells you, take two aspirins and notify the secretary if things get worse or you die?


Please feel free to e-mail Bernie Bates at: [email protected]


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