Grabbing More Than a Band-Aid: Sick Days

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Who doesn’t like a sick day when they’re growing up? It means missing school, hopefully having pity from adults and getting out of homework and chores and getting to watch daytime TV. Come on down! Oh, it’s the best. When you’re older – not so much. Getting sick as an adult is shit. For those out of the house, mom isn’t there with NyQuil in hand. Instead, your boss is wondering if you’re faking it and not giving two shits why you’re out – and unless you have one of those fancy jobs that have paid sick days, you’re out of money for the day. Those are the initial fears that came to mind though about being sick as a grownup, but as I thought about it…there’s so much more to fear. Medical bills for the uninsured, or a serious disease that cuts things short. Yeah, those things seem way more intimidating than your boss looking at you like a liar when you really have the flu.

First off, think about already having student loans on your back and then getting a hospital bill out of nowhere because you fell and broke your arm…Don’t say that’d never happen to you because you’re super careful. They’re called accidents for a reason. Well I’m sure now that Obama has your back – I think – I’m like the worst person ever when it comes to understanding that stuff. But let’s just say back before Obamacaringforyourass, I did have to head to the doctor for what turned out to be bronchitis and wound up paying a monthly fee for a few years for them to tell me to use take an inhaler and to take some steroids for a week. When you don’t have steady work, that month fee of what I think was like $35-$45 was torture, but I paid it off with a grimace and was like damn, I really should’ve just tossed those bills in the trash like my mom taught me. Your mom didn’t have that same motherly advice? Hey, though – if you’re lucky enough to have insurance thanks to your employment – thank them the next time you clock in. The rest of us, thanks Obama. I think. Again, I’m not too sure about all that.

Even worse though than bosses and bills, a diagnosis that changes your way of life. Let’s be real, you can’t even pretend to know what it’s like to hear a doctor say, “It’s stage three cancer,” or “You have maybe six months,” unless it’s happened to you. Kairol Rosenthal mapped out what it was like for adults diagnosed with the Big C in Everything Changes : the insider’s guide to cancer in your 20s and 30s and in it came a story of a 27-year-old woman from San Francisco who was just going about, living her life like most of us do when her world changed after her chiropractor told her about a lump on her breast. She got it checked out and up, cancer. From there, again – everything changed and she went on to explain how she managed to deal with everything from body image to dating and sex to coping and everything else in between.

Cancer is just one of the diagnosis’ someone could get, but imagine – one day you’re going about, doing what you do and the next…you’re sick day isn’t just about watching Drew Carey try his best to be Bob Barker. It’s about surviving to live another day. This week we’ll talk to my best friend since elementary school about that time she was just walking along and wound up fucking up her leg, the fall of Summer ‘09, that time Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen were best buds and more.

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