My recent and on-going experience with our medical system is compelling me to document/pass-on some things I have learned. With a pinch of salt:
Just because every one else is sick does not mean you have the same sickness. My symptoms were similar to many of my friends fighting the local bugs but were dramatically worse. I just didn't figure it out in time.
Allergies do not cause everything. Shortness of breath, loss of appetite and odd smells, when combined, are not symptoms of an allergy attack.
Never go to the emergency room as a walk-in. The local ER, even though recently expanded and renovated, was packed the whole time I was in the hospital. If I had had to wait in the waiting room for any length of time it probably would have taken even more than eight hours to get a bed.
Never be afraid to say no to medications or treatments. At one point I was having side effects on side effects from all the drugs and insisted that no more drugs would go into my system until someone could show me that something was making things better.
A good old panic attack/melt down/hissy fit can be an effective means of communication with health care providers. Not very adult-like but I got their attention.
I wish to acknowledge the great staff I met while trying to heal. They really put up with a lot from me. I would also like to publicly thank my kid for having the unenviable task of going through his mother's drawers to find her clean underwear - what a guy!
Now all I need is a lot of sleep and the return of Alex. I really miss my napping buddy.