The Problem with Dedication

is that it’s all on you. 

You can’t make someone else do it for you.

You can’t take a break and say you’ll come back to it later (No excuses!).

And most importantly, you can’t ever give up!

It’s all on you.

That is the hardest thing about dedication. It takes everything you have and always asks for more, but those willing to give it…do something far greater than most men dream about…they succeed beyond their expectations.

***
 
Sometimes life will test your dedication though. And when life throws a test at you, get ready to be hit hard. I was recently tested this way and I like to think that I passed. It might not have been an A, but I passed all the same.
 
Last Sunday (May 31st, 2015), I noticed a minuscule bite on my left leg and I think it had been there for awhile because I remember thinking “Why is it taking so long to heal?”. Throughout Sunday the redness began to grow around the bite and it began to hurt. However, I was determined to go to work the next day because it was nothing major. I figured it may have been a spider bite or a small infection.
 
The reason I was so intent on working the next day is because for about two weeks we hadn’t had more than a day of work per week. That upcoming week promised to be a 40+ hour work week and with me drawing closer and closer to paying off my last student loan, I was determined nothing was going to stop me from paying it off as soon as possible, let alone a small insect bite.
 
The next morning when we began driving to work, it began to get bad. So I took some strong painkillers, still determined to get at least part of the day in. Then at lunch go to the doctor. Get some antibiotics, pain killers, then get back to work…
 
 
Yeah…I didn’t make it to lunch. The infection spread like a wildfire. By 10:30am, I couldn’t stand on my leg and could feel the infection moving throughout my body. By this time we were on the way to the hospital. I couldn’t believe how fast it hit and how it just dropped me. I was shaking uncontrollably and later found out I had a fever of 102.
 
Yet, I actually fought with my dad even feeling this way. I told him I didn’t want to go to a hospital because they were too expensive (I don’t have insurance and taking on another large debt didn’t exactly appeal to me). I looked up health clinics and we actually found one on the way to the hospital. I convinced my dad to stop and we went to see if they could help me…
 
and they promptly told us that I needed to get to a hospital ASAP!
 
So on the road to the hospital, with my leg throbbing, the infection spreading, and my fever getting worse. I broke down.
 
I turned my head away from my father, hunched over in my seat, rested my head in my left hand, and cried silent tears.
 
I did not cry because of the pain, which was horrific at this point. I lost it thinking about how close I was to paying off of the last of my debts and I was about to add a significant amount back to them.
 
“I was so close.”
 
“It’s not fair….It’s not fair.”
 
These were the things that kept going on in my mind.
 
We finally arrived at the hospital and I was taken in via wheelchair. One thing about the hospital I would like to comment on is this:
 
Unless you are unconscious, bleeding out, or on the ground going into cardiac arrest, be prepared to fill out paperwork (even if you are in tremendous pain) and wait for over an hour before even getting anyone to look at you, let alone give you anything for the pain.
 
Well, that’s not fair. It was actually an hour and a half before I got any pain medication. Anyways, after I was shanked…I mean had a IV inserted (Got a nurse who was literally talking to my dad and looking at him, while she inserted the needle, then actually made fun of me for my feet twitching while she was doing it), I was left alone for a long while. My dad had to get back to the job site, being the only one in charge of the crew. 
 
It was at this point that I went through something akin to the 5 stages of grief, but much much faster.

Denial

“Maybe it won’t be that much.”
 
“I bet I have enough saved to cover most or all of the costs.”

Anger

“Who am I kidding, it’s going to cost a S%@* load!!!”
 
“Why didn’t I get insurance…Oh yeah, because that crap is expensive! And I’ve already got enough freaking bills and student loan debt to keep me *$@*^%# occupied!”
 
“*#&@$*% government.”
 
“*%@*$!!…*$$&^@!$!!!”

Bargaining

“Lord, I’m sorry for swearing so much. I promise I’ll work on it, if you could just help me out here.”

Depression

During this time I imagined the worst case scenario of everything. The bill costing thousands of  dollars. The doctors coming to amputate my leg. By myself the tears flowed freely.

Acceptance

“I’ve come this far, I can go farther.”
 
“I’m not giving up!”
 
“I’m tougher than this.”
 
and the one thought the got me through all of it was
 
“I will see that sun rise.” (This refers to the very start of my trip across America where I watch the sunrise from the place where the sunlight first hits the USA)
 
***
 
After I was picked up, I stopped at a pharmacy and got the antibiotics they prescribed. I remember being glad that I always try to save a little from each paycheck because buying the medication nearly tapped me out. 
 
I then went and stayed with a friend from work. I took one day off to rest and recuperate. Then I went back to work to finish out the week. A normal person would have taken off of the rest of the week. A smart person would have. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do in order to get where you’re going.
 

 

 
 
Even with the medication, my leg swelled to about twice the size of my other leg. At one point, during the night I remember being worried that the skin was going to split down the side because it was so tight.
 
But time heals all wounds…especially with powerful antibiotics. The swelling has gone down and the redness and bite mark are fading.
 
***
 
I still don’t know how much my medical bill will be, but I know I can take care of it. I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and eventually, I’ll see that sun rise.
 
***
 
I would like to once again thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. And one particular person who threw some gas on the fire of hope, you know who you are, and remember what I said, God’s gonna Bless you a thousand fold for what you’ve done for me. Thank you again.
This is the Outsider signing off, reminding you to stay dedicated.
 
Forever your friend,
 
~The Outsider
Date: 06/08/2015
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