Week 6: Seriously…I’m Allergic

To Everything There is a Season

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, King James Version).

A time to be sick. I remember being ill and eventually staying in the hospital for six days. The doctors determined I had serum sickness. Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine defines serum sickness as, “very similar to an allergic reaction. The patient’s immune system recognizes the proteins in the drug or antiserum as foreign proteins, and produces its own antibodies to protect against the foreign proteins,” (Uretsky, 2006). I suffered from cystic acne, and took Bactrim to prevent/control it. After 30 days of taking the prescribed medication I had flu-like symptoms. If I waited another day before going to the hospital, I would’ve been in a coma. I am thankful for my mother and grandmother for caring and responding in time.

Bowers, M. (2008, March). Concord, NC

I was in the process to purchase my first home and lived with my mother. The house came later, but I’ll never forget when my mother [whom cared for me the entire weekend] went to work. The house was silent when she left, and I was scared. I believe she thought I had a cold and was being dramatic since my grandmother spoiled me whenever I was sick [even as an adult]. Nonetheless, I remember giving myself a “pep-talk” to walk to the bathroom—I was extremely weak. Afterwards, I called my grandmother and asked her to come over, but I had to go downstairs to unlock the door. After another “pep-talk” somehow I made it to the couch and minutes later, my grandmother was there. Grandma wanted to call 911 to rush me to the hospital, but I declined because of the cost of riding in an ambulance [that was stupid, but I was in my 20’s]. So, she called my mother. Mom instructed grandma to call the doctor; I had an appointment later that day.

Mom rushed home to get me ready for the appointment; that’s when she noticed I was worse. Our textbook states responsiveness is, “responsibility that meets the call of the Other, even when the call is unwanted,”  (Arnett, Bell, & Fritz, 2009, p. 192). When the doctor saw me she called the hospital, so they could admit me. Being admitted into the hospital was most helpful in that particular situation. Although I was ill, I was happy to receive proper care. Thus, on the road to recovery. “Health care communication ethics seeks to protect and promote care—care is the communicative action or practice that links the good  of responsiveness to the Other,” (Arnett et. al., 2009, p. 199).

Even though I was happy to receive proper care, I was unaware I would be disturbed [from sleep] every few hours during the night shift—that was unhelpful, but necessary. I wasn’t accustomed to receiving care 24/7.  Arnett et al. (2009) writes, “health care communication ethics understands health not in what happens to us, but in our response to that which meets us,” (p. 195).  The road to recovery was long. Unfortunately, the dermatologist whom prescribed the Bactrim never checked on me [his patient] after notified I was in the hospital [under his care]. As a result, I am no longer his patient. I believe dialogic attentiveness was crucial in my situation as, “health care communication ethics requires attentiveness to the nature of the response called for in the act of caring,” (Arnett, et al., 2009, p. 205). However, I met my current dermatologist while hospitalized. After several months of recovery,  I was able to return back to work and continue my normal routine.


Arnett, R. C., Fritz Harden, J. M., & Bell, L. M. (2009). Communication

ethics literacy: Dialogue and difference. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

Uretsky, Samuel. “Serum Sickness.” Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine,

3rd ed. 2006. Retrieved August 13, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com:





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