Xray technician: “Ok, hold still, face forward, I’m going to take an xray of your neck.”
(pause as she takes xray)
Xray technician (looking at xray): “What the…?! What IS that?”
Me: “Oh my god, what?!”
Xray technician: “There’s a huge mass on the xray, right where I’m trying to get the photo.”
Me: “A mass?!”
Xray technician: “Yeah…right…Ohhh, oh oh. It’s your bun.”
Me: “My hair?”
Xray technician: “Yeah. Try putting your hair all the way up on the top of your head. My bad.”
Me: “Jesus, you scared me. Did you have to use the word ‘mass’?!”
Xray technician (laughing): “Sorry about that. It’s been a long Monday. You know how it is.”
No. No I do NOT.
Eric says I read too many heavy, serious books about mental illness, and that maybe this contributes to my anxiety and hypochondria. So this time I chose one where, yes, the main character DOES have bipolar disorder– BUT he lives a super full, productive life, has a job he loves, is married to the love of his life, has a baby on the way, and takes really good care of himself. While it’s tough for him and his family to grapple with his bipolar disorder, and he often gets knocked down, he always finds his way back, and it’s actually a really inspiring take on living with mental illness.
His wife dies, though.
BECAUSE WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE OF CANCER.
I know some teachers who are so traumatized by their germ-infested classrooms during cold/flu season that they wash every single item of clothing they wear, every single time they wear it. Which is completely ridiculous.
I burn mine.
Eleven days ago I had a biopsy done because my doctor saw something that looked, as he so eloquently and not at all alarmist-ly put it, “less than impressive” (what every woman wants to hear from a man staring up-close at her half-naked body…but I digress).
Since then, I have spent 11 days googling and thought-spiraling myself into a diagnosis of about 568 different versions of cancer. (Are there even that many kinds of cancer, you ask? Well, the answer is YES, if you count all the varying combinations one could have. Because some people have ankle cancer and eyebrow cancer at the same time, guys). So in the past week and a half, I’ve been having pounding heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating profusely, plagued by nightmares, and overall haven’t been able to relax. At all.
My doctor just called and everything is completely fine. The results were 100% normal.
So clearly, there’s a lesson here.
If you make yourself sick enough with worry and completely destroy your mental health (and the mental health/patience/will to live of those around you) for 11 solid days, God will say “Ok, everyone here has suffered enough” and reward you with a clean bill of physical health.
So YOU’RE WELCOME FOR THE ADVICE.
I started my therapy session by listing a few concerns…
Me: “My bladder is EXTREMELY overactive lately. Like I have to pee every 5 minutes and it’s really interfering with my life. I know for sure I don’t have a UTI. I’ve also noticed that I’ve been bruising really easily. So I went to the doctor and he did an ultrasound on my kidneys, liver, bladder, and uterus…but so far everything looks fine. I’m still waiting for the blood test results. But do you have any theories?”
Therapist: “It sounds like you’re drinking a lot of water. And bumping into things.”
That moment when someone highly recommends the movie Still Alice, in which Julianne Moore plays a woman with early-onset Alzheimers, so you take out your phone to set a reminder for yourself to see it, but once the phone is in your hand you forget why you took it out, and five minutes later, once you remember, you REALLY. FUCKING. PANIC.
Things you don’t want to hear your psychiatrist say when you tell her you have the flu:
“Wow. You get sick more than anyone I know.”
Doctor: “What brings you here today?”
Me: “A Web MD search gone horribly wrong.”
Doctor: “Ah. So– cancer?”
Me: “Four different kinds. One in an organ I didn’t know existed.”
Doctor: “So you have a cold. Maybe the flu.”
Me: “I really don’t think so. It feels worse.”
Doctor: “It feels worse because you’ve googled yourself into a state of hysteria.”
Me: “With all due respect, I think I know my body.”
I have the flu.