Thinking that Ignorance is Bliss

Memba Ben By Memba Ben, 11th Oct 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

Facing problems I initially ran from to become a better person.

I once thought that it is better to not know the truth than having to deal with it's fallout. Now I think differently.

One morning, I woke up and my body felt as if it had been ran over by a freight train.

Being someone who nowadays takes their health seriously, I figured I’d go in and find out what was going on with me. I was preparing to hop (well, force myself) into the shower when I caught sight of what looked to be a reflection of myself in the mirror and did a double take. I say this because to say that I looked terrible would be an improper use of the word.

Now, I’d be the first to tell you that I’m far from a GQ model but goddamn, I looked horrible. I looked like some sort of monster from a movie or so. Not the frightening kind though, but the disgusting kind. Crusty eyes, runny nose, slobbering all over, mouth open with my red eyes glazed…ughhh, it was not a good look.

Because of the state that my body was in with the runny nose, aching limbs and teary eyes, the trip to the doctors practice was a mission and a half. At one point, I feared that I wouldn’t make it and would instead make a trip to my maker but thankfully, I got to the practice in one piece.

I opened the door and was greeted to a near empty practice with the receptionist idling about and a couple with their child waiting to see the doctor. I must’ve looked a right mess because as soon as the couple saw me, they immediately covered their mouths and snatched their kid away from my vicinity as if to prevent him from getting infected with whatever I had.

I must be in worse shape than I thought.

I approached the receptionist,asked to see the doctor and the lady agreed. Because I was a first time visitor, she gave me some consultation form requiring my details and while I was filling it in, I noticed a line which mentioned the consultation fee to which my eyes bulged out of their sockets in shock.

For a consultation.

Hell, my monthly food expenses don't amount to how much that practice was asking for a consultation fee but I found myself at a crossroads because I (along with probably everyone else) wanted the best professional help but didn't want an arm and a leg getting it which led me to considering the alternative - the local clinic. The care might not be the best in the world but my wallet wouldn’t lose weight.

Should I pay such a steep price for what could be something minor like the flu?

Fuck that.

I returned the writing pad with the form and told the receptionist that I suddenly felt much better and wouldn't need to see the doctor, apologised for the inconvenience and headed towards the clinic.

I got there and with it being free and all, found it packed to the rafters. The queue to get to the help desk led outside the actual hospital. I was tempted to turn back by the sheer length of the queue but my cheap self refused to leave free medical attention so I stood in line and waited till my turn came up.

However, my entire motive for going to the clinic was being questioned by the way things were run at said clinic. One of the benefits of going to a private clinic is the amount of attention and detail the doctor will give you whereas in a public clinic, the staff is usually overwhelmed by the amount of people they have to treat and as a result, don't have the luxury to full diagnose you. At worst (and I must stress that this is no means their fault), they'll make a quick diagnosis without fully checking whats wrong which could potentially make things worse.

To me, it seemed that the nurses were treating most of the patients with an IV and some Paracetamol until the actual doctors showed up. You could've had a life threatening injury and they'd still give you an IV and a couple of Paracetamol tablets.

I may have been in pain, tired and hesitant to pay large amounts for some treatment but I still had an option, unlike some of the unfortunate folks who found themselves at the clinic. With a heavy heart, I left the clinic and headed back to the doctors with my proverbial tail between my legs. I cooked up a dodgy explanation, paid the fee and sat in the corner, waiting for my turn. One by one, the folks went in until it was my turn.

I went through to the doctor’s consultation room, and talked him through my symptoms to which afterwards, he performed his own diagnosis and took a blood sample. But while what he did didn’t concern me, it’s what’s he said as his reasoning that unsettled me.

I’m paraphrasing, but what he said was something to the effect of:

"Ok Ben, we’re gonna take a blood sample… just to be sure."
"What do you mean just to be sure?!? It’s a super flu, isn't it?"
"...We just want to cover all bases."

He went on to explain why he felt he needed to do the test while trying to be as reassuring as possible then once he was finished, he gave me a prescription and walked me out of the room while telling me he’ll get in contact with me as soon as the results come back.

The following couple of days, my symptoms alleviated a bit but it was hell for the mind. My thoughts were all over the place, wondering just what would the results hold. I didn’t even consider it was something minor, I’d just accepted that it must’ve been bad for the doctor to run a blood test.

What if it’s something serious?
What if it’s terminal?
What if I need hospitalization?

At the start of this whole saga, my body was falling apart. Now my mind was in tatters. For what was in reality just a couple of days, it was a fortnight of dread and despair but as all things in life, there came a time where I had to stop worrying about it and start worrying about other things and soon enough, the fear that I had surrounding my health issues went on the backburner...until four days later when the doctors practice called me to come get my results.

When those words left the receptionists mouth, all those emotions came flooding back. I was tempted not to go at all, but having such a carrot dangled in front of me proved too much and despite my doubts, I once again found myself at the reception area waiting for the doctor to turn up.

The doctor showed up, invited me into his room and began speaking but truth be told, I wasn’t listening. Before me lied the opportunity to get the truth. To know just what the hell was wrong with me and maybe get the proper medication needed to cure my ailment. But at the same time, it is said that us human beings are afraid of the great unknown and what lies ahead.

This was my chance to face my fears and venture into the great unknown…all that was needed was for me to be brave enough to face whatever outcome it held for me.

“Ok Ben, based on what you told me of your symptoms and of my own suspicions, I took a blood sample from you and had the lab run some blood tests. Now, I’ve got your results from the blood test and it picked up something concerning. “

I don’t know what changed my resolve but the following words came out of my mouth.

“No, I don’t want to know”
“What?!? Bu-“
“No Doc, I had my doubts but now I’m convinced that it was a mistake coming. I’m sorry.”

Truth be told, I felt I’d just been through that emotional roller coaster. I didn’t want to go through all that again compounded with the reality and stress of whatever the hell it was, especially considering it could be potentially worse.

I just wasn’t ready.

I did eventually get the resolve to find out just what was up with me, and while it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, it still had a lasting impact. Looking back on the experience, I don’t regret choosing to find out later because after seeing firsthand how life can deal you a bad hand, ignorance can be bliss.

However, sooner or later you are gonna have to deal with what you were initially hiding from, as I was forced to and you'd find that doing so isn't such a bad thing at all.

Fears are always going to be there. That shouldn't discourage you from facing them.


Personal Experience, Personal Experiences, Personal Story

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author avatar Memba Ben
A fan's view on the business of football.

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