GLEN ROSE – If you have conversed with me at any point over the past week or so, you may have concluded I have a fairly deep voice.

I really don’t – at all. But as of last Friday my voice seemed (at least to me) to be as low in octave as the late, great Barry White when he sang “You're the First, the Last, My Everything.”

Again, nope.

No, right now, I’m working fairly hard to pry myself away from the icy fingers of near-pneumonia. Many more coughs than actual words have come from my mouth in recent weeks.

The simple answer? Go to the doctor, of course. Get on the road to getting better.

But like an idiot, I have resisted that. I tried to tough it out, hoping my determination and will power would outlast the sickness.

But it is what it is. And all the over-the-counter cough syrup, caffeine, ibuprofen and cold medicine couldn’t hold off the inevitable. And so, over the weekend I was diagnosed with borderline pneumonia at a minor emergency clinic.

The doctor was quick to help me with a steroid shot in my right hip and a less-painful shot in the other. I was sent home with industrial grade cough syrup and ten days worth of followup pills.

The doctor also suggested a lot of bedrest. Which is harder than it may seem.

The immediate effect of the medicine I got from the doctor was managing to get to sleep with minimal coughing for the first time in weeks. But I still had to sleep sitting up in a chair.

I look forward to being able to resume sleeping on my side – without it resulting in coughing agony and choking and general discomfort.

The worst part about getting better has been the cost. The minor emergency clinic treatment and, then, my medicine from the pharmacy, seriously cut into the cash flow my wife needed for bills.

It’s hard to be sick. Especially now, when you’re a million miles away from the days when others – such as your parents – could take care of you. It is extremely difficult to answer to yourself.

And everything costs so much! Medicine and health care are chief among the highest of expenses.

It’s incredibly easy to allow yourself to get swept away by your pride and resist treatment.

Different people have different names for this problem. I call it “The Sick Cycle,”

You know you’re waist deep in “the Sick Cycle” when you catch yourself succumbing to the destructive mentality of “I can’t afford the costs of the doctor who could make me feel better.”

Why can’t you afford it? Well, there’s the phone bill. The electricity bill. The car payment. You name it.

You can work and work and work until your paycheck comes in, but there are others in your family whose needs far supersede yours.

And many times, your insurance doesn’t really help defray costs because it comes with a huge deductible.

The thought that goes through my mind a lot is: "Others in my family most certainly deserve the benefit of this revenue more than I do."

Eventually, the smart person, sick trap or no, will get the medical help he or she needs. The alternative is getting worse – sicker and sicker and worse and worse until long term health is endangered.

And if you’re too sick to work, then what good are you doing anybody?

If you get sucked into the spiral of the Sick Trap you may find yourself at that low, low point where you start questioning life choices.

That’s no place to be. Believe me.

It can really make you crazy thinking about all the different ways there are to get ill.

And how infinitely more difficult it is to get better.

Don’t listen to that voice in your head that’s really your enemy. Don’t let yourself stay sick. Get well, and in the process help everyone in your family get well.

Please stay away from “the Sick Trap."

Ben Tinsley is managing editor of the Glen Rose Reporter. He can be contacted by email at or by cell phone at (702) 524-3773. He can also be followed on Facebook, or on Twitter,


Ben Tinsley

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