Author: Tony Trott
Recently, I got a cut on the tip of my thumb of my right hand. It wasn’t a terribly deep cut and it hardly bled at all, so I figured it was just a dumb mistake that I made, and I’d have to be gentle with my thumb for a week or so. Another small hassle in my daily routine. After almost a week, I looked at it in the morning and the entire thumb was very swollen, red, and I couldn’t bend it. Given the change in the way it looked I knew it wasn’t moving in a positive direction. I decided I needed to go see someone about it. We quickly scrambled and a friend gave me a ride to an Urgent Care facility in our neighborhood. It was close-by, but a little too far to push my manual chair (and hard to do with a hurting thumb) and I didn’t have my scooter because it was at the dealer getting fixed. That is another story for a future time, however an additional hassle of not being able to independently go to Urgent Care.
I saw a Physician’s Assistant and she diagnosed an infection and gave me a prescription for an antibiotic to clear it up. The dosage was four times a day for a week, and it was a strong antibiotic. As you may know, even for those without immuno-compromised systems, antibiotics can wreak havoc on your insides. I had to be diligent about taking it, so I set up a 12 noon, 6 p.m., midnight, and 6 a.m. schedule. I’m not an early morning person, so I am proud of myself for sticking to the schedule, because it was no picnic setting my alarm to go off every day at 6 a.m. to take a pill and make sure that I had something to eat and drink right next to me in bed. But I made it. However, even though I thought my body would react while taking this strong antibiotic, it impacted my digestive system as I was coming off of it. So while I’m paying the price for such a strong antibiotic, my thumb seems fine. I will see a hand specialist before too long to confirm.
This made me think, about how each of us needs to pay attention to our body and the signals it sends. If you see something that doesn’t look right, only you can act. You are your own best advocate. Nobody knows you better than you do, so if you think you need to be seen by a doctor, then it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for you to go see one. You are not weak if you go to see a medical doctor or need to go to a clinic for confirmation of whether you need treatment. Better sooner than later when the consequences could be far worse. Trust your intuition.