Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Saga Continues

Severe pains in the face and neck that feel like close range shots from a nail gun are what I’ve been dealing with the last few days. I’m hesitant to explore what this could mean; I’ve never experienced such painful blasts in the face and neck before.

A few things have crossed my mind, like, oh I don’t know, a sophisticated sinus infection that will eventually blind me and destroy my sinus cavity; major lymph node malfunction; collapsing throat and/or degeneration of the neck and facial tissues…

No diagnosis yet, still thinking...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Give Me a Mammogram or Give Me Death

I'm convinced I have breast cancer. I have been for about two years. There was a six month period where I changed my mind, but that ended about two weeks ago. I'm laying off the doctor kool-aid for awhile. Yeah sure, you have to be over thirty-five to get breast cancer. Then why is there an ad in every magazine I open with a twenty-seven year old chick telling me she has it? I want a mammogram, not some family doctor, to prove it!

I tried to ignore the symptoms for a long time. Telling myself it was growing pains, menstrual issues, bad diet, hypochondria etc. I exercised, cut out coffee, told myself I was crazy, but nothing has helped. I want a mammogram, and if I'm not mammogram material, I don't know who is! I have a palpable lump and I'm in pain - I pay my premiums!

I did not want to bring it to my doctor's attention; a breast is a private thing. But in fear of certain and quickly approaching death, I had to. I didn't of course, present it to her as stage four cancer, I was calm as I jokingly divulged the persistent pain and lump in my breast. But before I could point it out, she stopped me and said she would find it herself.

At this point I'm thinking she's concerned. She's not. After making a game out of it, she quickly finds the cancer lump without assistance, and goes on to laugh, telling me welcome to being a woman, it's completely normal. I'm not buying it.

I'm considering finding a new doctor. I know they say doctor shopping is a sure sign of hypchondria, but come on. I'm absolutely taken back that she wouldn't even offer me a mammogram, and okay, I understand that they "don't work as well" on younger women because the breast tissue is thicker, but with the size of my lump, I'm pretty sure it would be practical. Besides, there's an alternative to the mammogram if she insists: an ultrasound.

I don't know what to do, the thought of having breast cancer is consuming me lately. I imagine being twenty-six, bald and in a wheel chair with only months to live, because it was "too late" when they found the tumor. Living with the fact that I've been telling them about it since I was nineteen. Trying to grasp any joy of living and confronting a painful death. Oh, and I can't sue because they had no way of knowing.

There's also the part of me that realizes I won't be convinced even after a mammogram. I'll latch on to any minuscule statistic I can get my hands on, especially the ones endorsing the idea that breast cancer can't be detected in younger, white women until it's terminal. What to do?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Going Up?

Does plunging to your death once a day qualify as a hypochondria-related condition? I’m not sure it does, because to me, hypochondria is an obsession with health, or lack thereof, not death, but anyway...

It happens to me daily, more specifically, when I’m selected to ride the dreaded, shaky elevator. I work in a twelve-story building. Luckily, my office is on the fourth floor, but unfortunately, that’s still high enough to die if the elevator cable breaks, and it breaks every time I ride the dreaded, shaky elevator.

There are four elevators in the tower; the “one” is the first on the left. As soon as I arrive at work, I’m focused on the elevator, when I enter the building, it’s the elevator as I pass the security counter, the elevator. As I approach, my heart is racing, my palms are sweating and half of my face is numb. I feel the shaking, hear the creaking and sense that death is only footsteps away. I beg the elevator gods to give me one of the three good elevators, but alas, the bell rings and the dreaded, shaky elevator doors slide open inviting me to ride the doomsday express. I pray for unknowing souls to approach the elevator. When they don’t, and my finger is white from pressing the “open door” button, I ride alone.

My breathing quickens and I brace myself against the bars plastered to the wall as the elevator jolts into action. My heart races and my palms sweat as I think of my loved ones and all that I have yet to accomplish, while the elevator moans and shakes it’s way to the fourth floor. Finally, the elevator stops, greeting me with one last abrupt quake signaling my arrival. I’m so anxious, I can barely pry myself from the rail to throw myself onto solid ground as the doors open to grant me another day of tedious work.

It’s my one wish in the morning/afternoon/evening, that I don’t have to journey the death ride alone. I wait in the elevator desperately pressing the “open door” button, for what seems like hours, with a total disregard for my tardiness. I wait for footsteps to approach, silently cheering when they finally emerge, coming to save me from a lonely death.

And then, I rejoice as the person thanks me for holding the elevator, not knowing I’m secretly sealing there fate. With a smile on my face, I ask, “What floor?,” “eleven?” Ha, Poor soul.

Maybe in the far, far, far away future I’ll ride that elevator to the twelfth floor and back as a therapeutic exercise, but that’s way down the road…

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

All I have to say is, this was me over the weekend (minus the testicular cancer and impotence, of course).

Instead of relaxing and enjoying my extra day off, I decided to skip from disease to disease. I’m not even gonna mention the particulars. Stroke, heart attack, blood clot, aneurism, collapsing throat, intestinal organs bursting etc.; all of which occurred sometime between 8:00 p.m. Sunday and Monday afternoon. Oh, and according to this self-assessment I'm also a narcissist and agoraphobe. Lovely..

All was going smoothly until the event that I had spent the last two weeks obsessing over ended. I’ve been wholly convinced that Rey’s parents’ overnight visit would be a complete disaster. I spent the entire week drilling myself: What if they’re not comfortable, what if I clam up, what if I talk too much, what if I’m not a good hostess, what will we eat, what if there’s one strand of cat hair in the spare bedroom, what if…? (As a side note - it’s not as if I haven’t spent countless hours with these people or they haven’t stayed at our house before).

My anxiety was to no avail, I handled the situation like a pro and commenced to dying the second they left. It made me think that maybe I’m not the introvert I make myself out to be. I actually enjoyed their company. Guess all those deaths were a way to make up for so many healthy hours.