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Dr. Murray Feingold

Dr. Murray Feingold: Is there a good time to get sick?

There is no good time to become sick. However, there are certain times, when sickness strikes that are worse than others. Getting sick in the middle of the night is one of them.

There are a variety of reasons why illness at 3 a.m. appears worse than at 3 p.m. You feel more helpless and alone in the middle of the night. Your symptoms seem to magnify and appear more severe than they really are as you lie in bed surrounded by darkness. You anxiously await the first glimpse and glimmer of light outside so you can start seeking medical help.

Many people feel compelled to wait until daytime to get help because they don’t want to bother family members during the nighttime or wake up sleeping medical personnel. But, remember, medical personnel are available at your local hospital during early morning hours, and the reason they are there is to take care your medical needs.

Another ill-timed sickness is the one that strikes you just before your daughter’s wedding. Or, the day you are scheduled to go on a vacation trip. Or, hours before you are to give a major presentation.

In most of these situations, you are able to load your aching body with various medications that help make you feel somewhat better, but it still may take the gloss off the occasion.

It can also be very scary and anxiety producing when you are far away from home, particularly in a foreign country and develop a high fever or severe abdominal pain, or experience significant trauma.

You feel very isolated, concerned about your symptoms and unsure of the quality of the medical care you will receive. No matter your age, before you travel, check out where the nearest and best medical facilities are located.

When an illness presents at an inopportune time, there is greater anxiety and concern, but fortunately, the majority of times it works out alright.

One reason is there are now more well-trained physicians available not only in outside of the major cities in the United States but also in most foreign countries. But, when you are sick, you still feel better being cared for by your own doctor and health-care team.

Dr. Murray Feingold is the physician in chief of the Feingold Center for Children, medical editor of WBZ-TV and WBZ radio, and president of the Genesis Fund. The Genesis Fund is a nonprofit organization that funds the care of children born with birth defects, mental retardation and genetic diseases.

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