I'm not one to trot off to the doctor for every little thing. It's probably partly because I was raised by wolves and my parents didn't blanch at the sight of a little blood. Fevers were just God's way of burning your sin away. What didn't kill you made you stronger.
You had to have a bone protruding to get a trip to the doctor. Our small town doctor had delivered all of us and probably our parents so he knew us pretty well. We might have been unusually healthy. Or maybe Darwin wasn't paying as much attention as he should have.
Ali has always had respiratory issues. She had a tiny mask that we had to force on her in her baby days and she's always had an inhaler. I'm convinced she got that from me as I coughed like an old smoker all though elementary school. I carried a bottle of liquid cough medicine and routinely finished my work in the hall so I'd not disturb the other kids with my cough. If it was really bad, my mother would call Doc Rotman and ask for some red pills.
Red pills cured everything. I have no idea what they were but once when I was a grown up living on my own in Evansville I had another cough I couldn't shake. I called my mom. She called Doc Rotman and I got some red pills.
My brothers got banged up a lot. They may have been the first to discover that. Super Glue -- or Crazy Glue -- was just as effective as stitches. They self-medicated in more ways that that, of course. But the point is, going to the doctor just wasn't something you thought of early or often.
As a teenager, I once came home from school to find my brother laying on the couch with his foot propped up and bleeding on (probably my) pillow. Out solo hunting, he'd somehow shot himself in the ankle with his bow. Like any reasonable member of my family, he hobbled to his truck and yanked out the arrow. Fortunately, he'd shot his left ankle so he could elevate it out the window and still drive home.
Sure this was before cell phones. But still. After I surveyed the situation, I suggested calling my friend the paramedic. My brother refused. See, he'd sat on the side of the bathtub and run water over the wound while pouring iodized kitchen salt on it. He was just waiting for the blood to stop flowing and he was going to superglue it.
My job was to clean up the mess he'd made. Which of course I did because that's what you do when you're the youngest wolf in a family of feral animals.
This is a true story. Not even an ounce of exaggeration. I tell it to you to explain why it's taken me more than a month to get my bum leg checked out. I've been limping around for about a month and half or so, thinking if I rest it'll get better. I consulted with my friend and trainer, Kelsey Taylor.
"Hmmmm," she said when I told of my ailment, my diagnosis that it was a muscle strain and my cure. "OK, try that for a few days but then you need to see a doctor, girl."
So finally, I went. My doctor is a great, conservative guy who tries to work within my "I don't like to take medicine" lifestyle. I AM taking the anti-inflammatory meds he gave me. I even made an appointment for physical therapy. It was the other stuff that made me remember why doctors are to be avoided.
They want me to get another mammogram. I'm sure I did that not so long ago. Worse, it's time for the dreaded colonoscopy. Here's why you're going to be glad you suffered through my hunter-brother tale: I learned of a way to get around the colonoscopy.
It's a little gross. Alison is still disgusted by it. But I'm telling you. It's a great idea. And why it's taken this long to offer the alternative I can't imagine. If you're a pet owner, you probably wouldn't flinch. I'm not and I did.
The alternative test involves a small kit. In the kit are two strips of paper which have adhesive on each end. There are two in case you do it wrong the first time. Speaking for myself: once was enough. And I mean that.
So, you, um, well, you make a deposit on that strip. I'm not going to get into all the things that could have been involved in this transaction but it's an action you really want to plan out well. I'll just say that.
So you have your deposit. I re-located it as quickly as I could because I don't like fishing for fish, let along that kind of deposit. Plus, I'm guessing it would have been contaminated and I'd have to start all over again.
So you have it. Then, you take out this stoppered vial that has an applicator not unlike, say, mascara or eye drops. You have to pierce the deposit six times. Not too much, not too little, but six times. Then, you replace the wand, tighten the lid, put it in a plastic bag that's got adhesive in it, put it in an already addressed and stamped box and hand it over to your favorite postal delivery person. (Sorry, John.)
I am a forgetful person, so I had my carefully refolded and taped (Lynda) box on the kitchen counter so I wouldn't forget to return it. Ali picked it up.
As is my parental pattern, I answered her question. She dropped the box. Hysteria ensued.
"Why is that in the kitchen? We have FOOD in here?! Get it out! Get it OUT! GET. IT. OUT!"
She was truly disgusted. "Dude," I said. "It's in a vial, inside a sealed plastic bag and inside a box."
I explained that it was just six jabs of the actual deposit, not the aforementioned deposit.
"I don't care. Ick. Gross. Ugh. Blech."
So I put it on the counter. I did not make her take it out of the box.
I told Jeff about it and he thought it was as funny as I did. Being older than me, he'd gone the traditional route and may be a little miffed that I went a road less traveled. This morning he chased her around a little bit with the box. Regardless of its location, she wants nothing to do with it.
Neither do it, but hey. Even a feral wolf understands preventative care.