Theo, the Feline Harbinger of Healthcare Reality

April 25, 2015, about 8PM to 9PM in the evening in my family’s house, I got a not really debilitating but still concerning bite and scratch from the family’s pet cat, Theo. He wasn’t particularly aggressive or having some insane drooling or doing some crazy seclusion or something before he bit me (the most likely reason is that he just wanted something really fun to play with his claws and teeth, and that the most fun thing for him to scratch and bite was my freaking left foot), but just to be safe, I, with my Dad’s help, went to get myself an anti-rabies shot and two anti-tetanus shots (they’re given as a set, from what I’ve learned on that day) in an animal bite treatment center. By the time I’m writing this story, I have to take four more anti-rabies shots (though it can be three, where, according to the doctor and nurses, the fifth shot is an optional shot if Theo doesn’t die or go insane before I take my fourth shot, which will be taken two weeks after my first shot) in the coming days and another anti-tetanus shot after about a month.

That scratch and bite, and those shots, they awakened something. No, not crazy, feline-associated superpowers. I’ll have to become The Overlord Bear-Duck-Chicken-Cat in that case, and Tobby has had gone through enough animal DNA fusions and genetic mutations in order to become a more fun guy. No, The Overlord Bear is enough.

But seriously, though, that sudden incident and the calm visits to the hospital emergency rooms that followed awakened my awareness of the reality around me, a grown-up, an adult, a person who is already of legal age in my country. As they all happened, they got me thinking “You should try writing about growing up into and living as an adult.” And then titles for a series of stories were thought up, and then titles for the first story was thought up, and here I am, with Tobby and the Harbingers of A Grown-Up’s Reality, with Theo, the Feline Harbinger of Healthcare Reality as the first story in the series.

Speaking of healthcare reality, medicine sure is expensive these days, no? I have some awareness of my parents spending a lot of money for the medicine we need and the surgeries we have to go through at times, but I didn’t really take it as seriously as I did when I went to get my first anti-rabies shot. The sting of the sterilized needles that injected the vaccine into my system is just a way less sobering thing compared to the sobering factor in knowing about the amount of money my family has to spend for the vaccines. I have health insurance or something, which seems to be a benefit that comes with my parents working for the company they’re working for, but still, the amount of money we need to spend for the vaccines was a nice wake-up call for me to go take care of my health better and be more calm and optimistic when I do end up with an illness or a Ghoul organ inside of me.

And I hope I never get a Ghoul organ transplanted into me.

Anyway, after Theo landed a bite on me for the first time, I am now kinda more hesitant when it comes to approaching cats. I’d still admire cats being fluffy and flexible and agile and stuff, but a cat physically present near my body is something I’d approach more cautiously. I still find it hard to give pestering kitties a slap, though, let alone throwing a slipper at them like my mother does.

Oh dear, looks like my low self-esteem has been messing up my self-defense instincts against pestering cats as well. I’ll definitely need to power up those instincts of mine. I’ll also need to work harder in maintaining my physical fitness. I remember the visit to the first hospital my dad and I went to after I got bitten, “High-class” seems to be a suitable description for that hospital. I was slowly sobering up to the reality of having to visit hospital, fill up forms, and pay for the treatments without my parents’ help as my dad reminded me about what I needed to do when I enter the emergency room. And when my dad and I found out how expensive the treatment would cost us, freaking nuts, I got awakened bigtime. I managed to get a cheaper yet still trustworthy set of shots at another hospital, though, and now, after finding out that I need to take a series of shots in the coming days, the matter of preventing myself from being totally messed up by rabies has become really important to me.

So yeah, all the trouble I had to go through yesterday was a nice wake-up call for me. I need to exercise, I need to control my food intake, I need to keep my self-preservation instincts sharp enough. I want to do so many good things in life, and I’ll need to maintain my health if I want to do that. And I want to maintain my health, so I should focus more on what I can do to maintain it, not on what I can’t do to maintain it. I may get sick again at some point, but I have to focus finding a good way to keep myself healthy. I can’t help others if I don’t help myself enough.


Next Part: The Streets of Metro Manila, The Smoke-Filled Harbinger of Education and Self-Care Reality

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