Sometimes I ignore the messages my body is sending.  Especially when the word “STOP!” is part of the communication.

Like yesterday, for example, when I had plans to pick up my brother and visit Dad.  And when, on the way to Dad’s, my brother and I were stopping in to help Christi finish sifting through the final boxes of our parent’s lives.  After five dumpsters, we are all ready to call this phase of our work ‘done.’

So what if I’d contracted a nasty insect bite on Saturday, that caused me to lose sleep, my face to swell up like a red toad, and my entire body to flush pink heat?  And what did I care about the lovely purplish-black, hard-as-a rock swelling on my upper right thigh, that even now throbs to let me know it’s there.

The bite site looks as if the culprit may have been a Brown Recluse Spider — though the doctor thought it might also be the work of a Black Widow Spider.  Either loves darkness and thrives in cluttered spaces.

I thought I had learned these lessons in my Master Gardening training.  But somehow, out of the classroom, and immersed up to my eyeballs in the stuff of my sister’s scary inheritance, I forgot everything I thought I knew.

I hate to be ill, to be less than one hundred percent, especially when there’s much to do — so much I want to do. So yesterday, when I began to feel somewhat better after taking a couple of Advil, I called my brother.  And he told me I sounded disoriented and that we should stay home —  something about how it’s not good to drive while disoriented.  Then I called my sister and she too, offered me an out.  Then she upped my brother’s ante by telling me I needed to check in with Kate and Glen — our family’s resident medical community — for further advice.

Boy, I really did not want to call my daughter and son-in-law.  Perhaps because I knew I needed to get myself looked at by an expert?

Of course, they advised me to go the Emergency Room; and after I slightly balked at that, we settled on an Urgent Care facility.  Do I need to say that I went like a sheep to the slaughter?

But to my pleasant surprise, I found it rather painless, as far as doctor’s visits go.   A short thirty minute sentence allowed me to walk out with two prescriptions in hand and a standard recommendation to follow-up with my primary physician.

So here’s the test:  What have I learned from all of this? Just this.  Everyday life offers many lessons.  Sometimes I think I’ve learned them.  And other times I  don’t even bother fooling myself.  And in this one tiny compartment of my life, I know myself too well — I will always balk at seeking medical care, unless I’m pushed to go.  It definitely helps to be surrounded by safety valves.

However, some areas of my life need little pushing.  Lessons aside, I’m hoping to be back in service Wednesday.  Because I have a really hot date with a paintbrush and the outside of my sister’s house.