Wow, I got a lot of comments on this issue, both here and on my Facebook page. Overwhelmingly, the comments all pretty much said, "DO IT!"
The quotes that really stood out for me follow:
"This pass is a prophylactic measure.You're not that bad off now, but you could be if you stand in the heat and humidity waiting in line."
Very true. I have been known at certain times in the past to go within 48 hours from being healthy (for me, anyway) to at the doctor's with pneumonia.
"Your doctor proactively gave it to you and said he wanted you to use it for your health. I say use it! After all, you could 'suck it up' and brave the lines and maybe even feel okay that day, but it will chip away at your health and you'll need to recover!"
Also true. Even if I don't end up sick, I could end up exhausted, and unable to have fun with my family the next day.
"If you're anything like me you downplay how much your health issues affect you (not that I have huge health issues, but you know...when I'm sick). You and the family will have much more fun if you can get more enjoyment into the times you're out in the humidity. And Florida humidity is no joke."
This is also true, not just of me, but I think of most American mothers now. We have so many choices, and have been told we can have it all, and feel like we should have it all, so that we give to everyone and very seldom take rest/enjoyment purely for our own rest/enjoyment. I know so many women, both in my personal life and my work life, who have said to me variations of, "I never use my sick days, because I need to save them in case my kids are sick." (Inevitably, they say this while they are breathing cooties into my face, cooties which later cause me to be down for the count, but that's a whole 'nother rant entirely.) This, I feel, is an indictment of the current system, both employment and health care. People feel like they can't take sick days they actually are granted by their employers because it looks bad or looks weak.
I do not have the luxury of trying to save my sick days for when my son is sick. The days I call in sick, I am either calling in dead, practically, or I am coughing so incredibly much that...come on, would you want to try and teach over that sound for 42 minutes? Or learn, listening to that? I didn't think so.
Anyway, I showed the note to my husband last night when he got home from work, and told him the story about my doctor's appointment. His first comment, right off the bat, was, "We're not using that."
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I married a man just like me. ;)
I had let all you fine people convince me by that point that I am not mooching off the system if I use this pass, so I said, "Your wife has chronic, serious lung issues, your son has Sensory Processing Disorder, and your mother has mobility issues. Why wouldn't we use this?" He had no answer for that.
We pretty much decided if an attraction has a short wait, we won't use it, but if there's a long wait, we will.
It's been a hard decision for me to make. My mother raised me to be strong and independent. It sounds strange to say, but when I was growing up, I did not know I was sick. I didn't know I was different. All the doctor visits, sick days, etc., felt normal because to me they were normal. Most people in my extended family never seemed to notice how much I coughed, or how often I got sick. I had a conversation recently with a cousin who is almost the exact same age as me, and it surprised me when she said, "I had no idea you were that bad off. I knew you got sick a lot, but I never thought about why that was."
Using something like this feels like it goes against who I was brought up to be. You don't look for help from others; you help yourself. This, obviously, is something I need to work on, for myself, because otherwise I'm going to have a really hard time in 30 years (if I am fortunate enough to make it that long) and I need others to help me with anything!