Get Checked Out: How a Small Pimple sent me to the ER.

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Sometimes we get sick for a few days and think nothing of it. “It’s not that serious,” we say to ourselves, and a couple of days later we feel better. In other cases, it’s a lot more severe and waiting can put you in more harm or prolong your illness or injury. This month, I will talk about two recent events where I had the same condition strike twice and learned not to repeat the same past mistakes.

Everyone gets a pimple now and again. You can be young, middle-aged, or a senior and get a zit a in most cases, they’ll go away on their own and you’ll be fine. In my case, I woke up one day a month ago and noticed a pimple on my body, it was larger than I was used to but I thought “it’ll go away,” so I mostly ignored it. As I went through my week, I noted that the area became larger and I thought I might have scratched it in my sleep; so I got an anti-biotic cream and applied that to the area. The cream seemed to have worked, initially. The swelling went down and I thought it was handled. 5 days after the zit appeared, I called the paramedics because I woke up and the area was inflamed and I couldn’t move or do anything without severe pain. When I arrived at the hospital, the nurse takes my temperature and tells me it was 102; relatively high. The doctor comes in after that and tells me, it’s not a pimple it’s an ingrown hair that’s inflamed and it has to be removed. I was shocked. A grown hair getting causing this much havoc and getting me sick? A little absurd. Regardless, the ER doc removed the hair follicle and gave me antibiotics to take and it cleared up.

This month, I noticed another pimple on my body and it reminded me of what just happened. I didn’t ignore it this time. I contacted my primary care doctor and told them that I thought I had another area that was causing a problem. They checked it out, noted that it was another hair follicle issue, and resolved it. There was no fever, no getting sick. It was taken care of. I was a little unlucky having the same issue twice but it wasn’t a big deal this time.

When I asked myself why I waited so long to get the zit looked at, I thought; we’re still in a pandemic and my issue is not a big deal compared to others that are dealing with more severe illnesses. That mindset was a faulty one because I got sick by ignoring a problem until I had to go to the ER. The lesson is if something feels off or unusual, get it checked out and don’t wait, it
could compromise your health if you wait too long. In hindsight, my attitude did seem a bit silly but if this blog can motivate someone to get something looked at that they’ve been putting off
then, perhaps it’ll help.

Thanks for reading and please take care,



Ziggy is a Certified Peer Specialist in PA and currently resides in Pittsburgh. He is a member of the Let’s Act committee, a group of peers devoted to raising awareness about mental health care. In his downtime, he enjoys reading novels and watching nature documentaries.

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