OPINION COLUMNS

Dealing with being a sick man

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, November 14, 2015
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At 37 years of age, I don’t consider myself old.

Though I’m nearing the masters category as a runner, I’m still fit enough to run double-digit miles on the weekend (humble brag).

While my diet could use a little help – mainly because my mean coworkers bring irresistible treats to the office – I would say I’m relatively healthy.

With all that said, the last three months have been frustrating. Every day I was faced with the same questions: What is wrong with me and will I ever feel normal again? But truly, what is normal?

About the same time I took a brief trip, I started getting daily headaches and feeling lightheaded. After the plane ride, I developed my usual vertigo, but instead of a day or two of dizziness, the spinning and uneasy feeling lasted more than two months. It was accompanied by daily severe headaches and feeling like I was in a fog.

I know more than one interview subject the last two months must have thought I suffered a traumatic brain injury as I struggled to complete thoughts and ask questions.

Trying to be macho, I delayed going to the doctor a couple of weeks, hoping it would go away.

When I decided to see a doctor, it took multiple phone calls to find one that would accept new patients. Never knew this was an issue.

But then again, outside trips to urgent care for semiannual sinus infections, I’m the normal dude that refuses to go to the doctor.

After blood tests, followed by a CT scan, MRI and other tests (I struggle with the alphabet soup to recall what they were), all appears normal. There is a relief that I’m not dying and nothing is growing in my head.

I did have it confirmed, though contrary to popular belief, that there is a brain in my skull and not just a hamster choosing to occasionally run on a wheel.

But on the other hand, there’s a sense of frustration that there’s no concrete reason for feeling bad. I’ve got a lot of new medication to take, and most of my normal diet is considered off limits.

Slowly, some of the symptoms have ended. The vertigo has subsided, and the headaches are more mild.

What’s left are medical bills and trying to figure out what insurance will and won’t pay. Not to mention, why things are one price if the insurance is involved and another if you pay cash.

Still, there’s another surprise bill. Why can’t we all get on the same page with healthcare, and where’s this “affordable” part?

I’ve decided not to worry about it too much, as I’ve had enough headaches for the time being. As Robert Earl Keen sings, “It feels so good, feeling good again.”

Richard Greene is the Messenger’s sports editor.

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