Since my eighteenth birthday (seven years ago…) I have had nearly every medical condition known to man. Or, at least, I have convinced myself at one point or another that I have.
So far this week I’ve come down with five very serious conditions; MS, melanoma, a brain aneurism courtesy of acute head trauma, meningococcal meningitis and a deadly fast-developing blood clot in my leg.
I’m not joking, either. Neurotic doesn’t even begin to describe me. Hypochondriac does, but then I start to panic about what it actually means to be a hypochondriac and I worry that I will force my body into developing said conditions if they don’t already exist.
Of course, seven years is a long time to live with ones self and I’ve come to know the signs of when I’m being paranoid. For example; when G. shaves his beard for the first time in six months and the shards of sliced hair leave me with a rash that makes me look like a leper just in time for my flight to Florida & I wake up with a sore throat because I downed a liter and a half of wine the night before and I Google:
chest rash* & sore throat
and the internet tells me I have meningitis & I actually believe it enough to go to the walk-in clinic that’s when I know I’m being paranoid. But that’s not where it stops with me, ever. On my way out the door I stand up too fast in my childhood attic-bedroom and SMASH the top of my head on the ceiling. I immediately google:
Natasha Richardson death how
how fast will I die after brain trauma
should I have a headache after hitting my head on the roof
what constitutes a ‘serious headache’
And instead of rubbing it better I check my pupils to make sure they’re the same size and then finally head to the clinic to ask the on-call Doctor if I have meningococcal meningitis and brain swelling from a concussion. That’s when I know I’m being paranoid. But of course, that’s not all. The birth mark I’ve had on my head ever since I can remember suddenly appears to have wiggly edges. And then the mysterious heat I get in my leg whenever my sciatica acts up is all of a sudden Deep Vein Thrombosis & I probably won’t be able to fly to Florida on Monday because I’ll be on blood thinners and if I do I’ll have to wear those weird pressure socks and then to top it all off “heat in the leg” is also potentially nerve damage which is caused by a degenerative disease like MS. Which I now think I have.
Hi, I’d like to make an appointment ASAP for Dr. M?
“Oh Sure, what’s it for?”
Umm, well… it’s just… a couple of general questions…
My health record shows nothing but the six times Dr. M has tried to give me anxiety medication and the six unfilled prescriptions. Unless it has to do with my vagina, I’m convinced she doesn’t even listen to me any more (Doctors have to listen about vaginas. They’re a really important thing. Continuing the human race and what not.)
I don’t think anxiety medication would solve this though, seeing as I already know what the diagnosis is:
seriously, seriously stressed out woman with the fear of dying before she accomplishes everything on her bucket list which includes currently unattainable things like “have an affair with a famous woman” and “write a New York Times Bestseller”. And you should see the rest of it if you think that’s far fetched.
I worry about degenerative diseases and freak conditions and serious cancers because those are the things in life that I can’t plan for and I can’t entirely battle against. I’m not saying I could successfully get Olivia Wilde to go down on me, but I am saying I could work towards it. And I am saying it’s something I could do something about. Kind of. Whatever. But Multiple Sclerosis? I’ll get it or I won’t. Someone will.
And when that happens, there are two things that you can do: you can let go and let God and give it all you’ve got and heal, or you can give up and deflate. Die, even if not in the most literal sense.
I’d like to think I’d be Louise Hay and heal myself from stage four cancer through positive affirmations, but as it stands I’d be that guy you read about in the newspaper who retired after 60 years of 12 hour days and died two days later for no reason at all.
Why am I telling you this? Well, for two reasons.
A - in case you don’t know, the American health care system is a freaking joke and me and my hypochondria have to go try avoid it for three months. I’m SUPER stressed out about it, which is making me develop all these weird symptoms and issues FOUR DAYS before I leave even though I bought the mandatory health care. This is how I vent about that.
But more importantly,
B- I read something inspiring today:
“If you believe that success can only come after a long, excruciating period of hard work, then your filter cannot show you any opportunities for success until you’ve logged that sacrifice. But if you truly believe that you deserved wild success right now, then your filter would allow you to see the opportunities for that.” – Lisa Mccourt
I’ve always believed in manifesting and creating the life you imagine for yourself, but I think there’s a large part of me that takes it seriously only to the extent that it’s been successful in my life. Which is, in theory it could have been kind of responsible for some things.
But as someone who can force herself to develop a full blown physical flu by psychosomatically convincing herself that she has all of the individual symptoms, I should know without a doubt that wanting something and visualizing something and focusing on something can bring it 100% into fruition.
If I devoted my attention to studying Olivia Wilde’s filming schedule as opposed to recording how often my leg heats up two centimeters below my knee cap and slightly to the right I might actually get somewhere. If I wrote something clever every time I thought my motor skills were going, if I called someone influential every time I wanted to ask my doctor if it was normal for me to turn pink after one or two shots of Jack Daniels, if I sat for five whole minutes and reflected on who I am and what I want out of life every time I had the desire to google pictures of skin rashes, then maybe I just might start becoming more healthy.
I’m not saying we’re all prone to being worry warts, but we’re certainly all prone to sometimes looking at the glass as half empty, or as all full but watered down. And I’d like to think that this is something we can all change with a little readjustment. And I have this stupid beard rash* and this stupid hot leg, and this stupid moley-birth mark, and all of these stupid, stupid, insignificant but completely physically real problems to thank for that.
So thank you, rash.
And thank you, Dr. M, for caring about my vagina. It means a lot.
XO & YW
*No, he wasn’t motor-boating me & for the record, beard rash is the new hickey and it sucks. Practice safe beard guys. Practice safe beard.