The last time I came to Washington D.C. with an undiagnosed pain in my eye, it didn’t work out so well for me. It was 2005 and I put off seeing the eye doctor so I could attend a board meeting. I have a chronic condition which makes me prone to eye infections and I figured that was what this was. I would suck it up and if it didn’t improve I would see the doctor when I returned the following day. The following day I woke seeing nothing but brown. Dave rushed me to Wills Eye Hospital where I stayed for a full week as they treated a nasty bacterial infection that has left corneal scarring so severe that I really can’t see anything out of my left eye anymore. Had I not waited so long things may have turned out better.
Today I am in Washington D.C. and my left eye hurts. It began to hurt over the last few weeks but I have put off going to the doctor because there is so much else on my plate and the thought of taking three hours from my jam packed schedule to get this puppy checked is unappealing to me. More unappealing than another round like I had in 2005? Yeah, kinda. But admittedly, I’m playing the odds.
Interestingly, I do not tolerate this type of behavior in others. If Dave were in my position I would scold him and demand that he see a doctor. Immediately. “Nothing is more important” I would tell him. At the first sign of illness in the boys, I will drop everything and get them to the doctor, realizing that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Why do I choose not to take the same care with myself?
I am a flawed person in a number of ways. But I’m not martyr. I don’t enjoy complaining about my woes or basking in the glow of sympathy. But I do like to keep tight control over my life which in some instances compels me to make choices that allow me do that even if it only prolongs the eventual surrender to the experts. A bad diagnosis in this case will throw my life out of control at a time when I need to hold those reigns really tight.
The logic is terrible and reading my own words makes me feel like an incredible jerk. But I know I am not alone in my jerkiness. More adults than not put off seeking medical treatment for one reason or another. It’s actually a fairly selfish thing to do – but is done under the thinly veiled excuse of putting everyone else first. Frankly, being a martyr is more attractive.
Rest assured, I will make an appointment to get it all checked out when I get back from DC. It needs to be done. I need to better. And I promise to make my health more of a priority. Right after I meet with the centerpiece lady for the Bar Mitzvah…