Lessons Learned from Sucky Experiences

Recently I had a bit of “another” backtrack to my health, fitness and work. Why do I say another? Well, because it doesn’t matter how healthy I eat or how fit I am, there will always be something that occasionally happens to me that bits me in the ass and sets me back. This time around it was Appendicitis, which developed into a ruptured Appendix. It seems that every few years I wind up in the hospital with something totally random. If not a broken ankle or jaw, then a severe infection or some sort of complication. It almost seems like I am prone to these unhealthy occurrences even though I try to take the best care of my health. Some people even try to convince me that maybe my healthy ways are making me unhealthy, if that makes any sense. Some people even un-equate living a healthy lifestyle with future disease because of my misfortune. I just see it as an excuse to becoming healthy.

With every experience there is a lesson. Even if the experience sucks! So here we go, what did I learn?

The first lesson that I learned can and (I hope) will be used from now on. In order to understand it, I will write about what happened.

It was a Thursday morning and I had a bit of a fever and some “bladder pain”. I was scheduled to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity that day. There where many occasions that I cancelled due to various reasons, so this time around I felt like I had to go, no excuses. Even though I felt pretty sick all day with bad bladder pain I muscled through that day and felt a bit proud that I didn’t “wimp out”.

That night I had to change my soaked shirts on three different occasions due to a high fever. I also had quite severe lower abdominal pain, which didn’t allow me to sleep much. I was scheduled to do night shift work the next day at a new job that I just started and I was determined to go. I decided to see the doctor the next morning just to see what’s up. The doctor said that I either had Appendicitis or severe constipation and that if my symptoms got worse, then I would have to go to the ER. I knew that if I went to the ER, then that is where I would most likely spend the rest of my day waiting and would have to cancel my shift. I called my dad right after coming out from the doctor’s office and he said that I should just go to the ER right away because Appendicitis was not something I would want to mess around with. He was speaking from experience. I decided to cancel my shift, even though I felt guilty in doing so. My situation did worsen when I got to the hospital and I was glad to have listened to my dad.

The lesson that I learned was that if you ever suspect anything that may be threatening to you, such as a potential health condition you may be experiencing, then no matter what you are doing that day, you first have to take care of your health. I felt bad leaving volunteering early because I didn’t want to disappoint people that I didn’t even know, so I stayed and made my condition worse. I felt bad that I was missing a shift at my new job because I didn’t want to make a bad impression, even though I had a potentially life threatening condition. I almost didn’t go to the doctor and as a result would have gone to work. There I would do anything to try to conceal the pain until I would have to be rushed by ambulance to the hospital. That would obviously not make a good impression.

Another less pronounced lesson that I received was how this situation made me appreciate how our current health care system, even though I am not in total agreeance of how it is run, ie. Pharmaceutically based, has saved me many times.

I can now see how our Primal Ancestors, who where exceptionally healthy, had a relatively short average life span compared to people today. It was not because they just died of modern day diseases such as metabolic derangement, but rather because of injury, severe infection or some sort of complication. If it wasn’t for today’s health care system, I would have been dead at least five times already.

I will continue using the health care system that I follow daily, which is to live as healthy as I possibly can so that I minimize my chances of ever having to use our current health care system. It’s great, don’t get me wrong, I just rather not use it.

– Simon Bialecki

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