Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Next Stop...

Rollercoaster. Teeter-totter. Peaks and valleys. Call it what you will. They all describe my emotional state equally well.

Today is a "valley."

I regretfully inform you that I have a highly developed form of throat cancer strangling me at this very moment. Not to mention, my skin cancer is rapidly growing and causing me to itch incessantly. I've arranged a doctor’s appointment for next Thursday, assuming that I make it that long.

If I suddenly disappear from the blogosphere, please leave your condolences in the comment section.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A Toast to Unhealthy Living

Good news! Turns out cardiovascular disease isn't caused by the previous suspects such as lack of physical activity, high blood pressure, or those enjoyable lifestyle choices known as smoking and drinking.

Then what is it caused by, you ask? Put nicely by the Guardian, "lower than average mental agility," that's right, stupidity. So if you're not smarter than the average bear, cardiovascular disease is what you have to look forward to.


For Emergency Use

It has just come to my attention, through randomly imagining myself choking to death, that neither I, or more importantly Rey, know how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver. Sure, it seems simple enough, I've watched it done in a million movies; but in the event that it's my life on the line, I'd like to make sure I'm getting the actual Heimlich Maneuver and not the movie version.

Hence, the link to The Heimlich Institute for proper instructions and easy access during an unexpected choking fiasco.

*Please note that the Heimlich Maneuver is a registered trademark of The Heimlich Institute, which you must contact for permission of use, prior to performing said technique.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wine & Cheese

Two of life's simple pleasures;
four glasses of wine and grating cheese, not so much.

"Leila..." "Yes, I am Here"

I imagine saying this out loud would make me feel crazier than typing it does, but allegedly it's the new cure for anxiety.

According to Zen Master Bokuju Osho, this technique of blurting out your name and then responding to yourself, is enough to snap you out of a fit of panic. Sounds bizarre to me, but who am I to question a Zen Master's mental health philosophy.

What Would I do Without Thee

My good friend, Death, has come to save me again; and what a coincidence, only twelve days before the dreaded Christmas party and twenty-eight days before the family functions begin.

This time, the manifestation is in the form of skin cancer. I’ve got it in two places; the tiny, brown spot on my left cheek and the mole on the right side of my neck, just above my collarbone.

I actually made a trip to the doctor a couple months ago,
convinced I needed emergency surgery for this same reason, after watching a skin cancer feature on CNN. But, as usual, the doctor insisted I was healthy and cancer free, despite my best efforts. (Now, this was the same doctor who made a game out of finding my breast cancer lump, so for all I know she was replaying the last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy in her head as she half-assedly checked my moles.)

At any rate, the mole at the base of my neck has been itching like crazy, (per WebMD this is a sure sign of cancer), and I can’t get out of the mirror after self-diagnosing this little brown spot.

I keep imagining that a huge chunk of my left cheek will have to be butchered to save my life and I’ll be walking around like the Hunchback of Notre Dame for the rest of my days.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

There's No Turning Back Now

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the most horrible time of the year has officially begun. It’s 10:00 a.m. on this lovely Thanksgiving day. I’m home, with a beer in hand and a turkey in the oven, (yes, that’s homemade stuffing you see there), and things are seemingly great—aside, of course, from the Turkey bacteria that I got in my ear, which is slowly manifesting into a killer infection, and the burn I received after grabbing the pan in the oven, but that’s besides the point.

I slept in. There’ll be no visiting with family. No parades. Just football, drinking and cooking the day away. But, there’s one minor detail that I’ve failed to mention. In order to keep The Beast from making a surprise visit, I led her to believe that I would be spending Thanksgiving with her. This was Rey’s master plan—thank you Rey—after her last surprise visit. The only problem is I have to break the news.

But I’ve decided that I’m not gonna break the news. My master plan is to unplug the phone and not talk to her until Christmas. So how’s that for a happy Thanksgiving?


Update: I caved. Well sort of, I sent her an e-mail with a lame excuse. To which she replied "Happy Thanksgiving," aka "You're a whore bitch and you ruined mine and your brother's Thanksgiving." (6:04 p.m.)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Prophesies of a Hypochondriac

I have a sick obsession of devising cynical outcomes to future events and incessantly replaying them over and over and over in my mind. Instead of “going with the flow,” or living in the “moment,” I spend the “moment” engrossed in my horrible outcomes. It’s a ritual that all but consumes me, and a big source of my anxiety.

For instance, my company Christmas party is in nineteen days. They fly me and a guest to Vegas, put us up in a four star hotel, and host the party at a luxurious country club. Believe it or not, I absolutely dread every moment that brings me closer to the party.

I focus on how the plane will crash, I can feel my flesh burning; how my outfit will look horrible, and the disgusted stares people will give me; the humiliation I’ll feel when no one talks to me. (Mind you, this will be my third Christmas party, my plane has yet to crash and I’ve had a great time every year). But still, I vividly play out the worse case scenarios up until the very last day.

The bottom line is, I feel like I’m setting myself up for failure and am making a conscious effort to visualize the positive instead of the negative.

Monday, November 13, 2006

My Brain: Starring in "The Drink Dilemma"

There’s this wretched, little moment in every day called happy hour. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. If you’re lucky, perhaps not. Nevertheless, where I’m from, this so called “happy hour”—when coworkers get together for light hearted banter and drinks at a presumably discounted price—takes place three times a week. I can’t attest to what goes on at these gatherings because I’ve never been, but what I do know is the planning for these get-togethers begins at around 3:00 p.m. and sends me into a psychobabble which resembles something close to the following:

Shhhh. Did someone say happy hour?
Oh shit, they did.
Oh god, I hope they don’t invite me.
Please don’t let them invite me.
If they invite me, I’ll have to come up with an excuse.
If I come up with an excuse, they’ll know I’m lying.
If they know I’m lying, they’ll think I don’t like them.
If they think I don’t like them, they won’t like me.
If they don’t like me, no one will ever like me.
If no one likes me, I’ll never get a husband.
If I don’t get a husband, I won’t have kids.
If I don’t have kids, I’ll be a lonely old maid.
If I’m a lonely old maid, I’ll become a drug addict.
If I become a drug addict, I’ll die a lonely death and no one will care!!!

(It’s about here that I realize there is another option: going to drinks…)

But if I go out to drinks, I’ll have to carry on a conversation.
If I have to carry on a conversation, I’ll get nervous.
If I get nervous, I might say something stupid.
If I say something stupid, I’ll turn red.
If I turn red, they’ll think I’m an idiot.
If they think I’m an idiot, I won’t be able to face them.
If I can’t face them, I’ll have to quit my job.
If I quit my job, I won’t be able to pay my bills.
If I can’t pay my bills I’ll have to live on the street.
If I live on the street, I’ll become a drug addict.
If I become a drug addict, I’ll die a lonely death and no one will care!!!

(Then I realize there’s also option three: not getting invited at all…)

If I don’t get invited, that means they hate me.
If they hate me…

Well, you get the picture.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I'm Moving

That's right, I'm off to Germany, apparently it's a hypochondriac haven. According to this article, the average German visits his doctor 16.3 times a year. Wow.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I Lived...Again

It was about 11:00 a.m. I was in the kitchen, pouring my 5th cup of coffee, when a razor-sharp pain shot through my left lung near the bottom of my ribcage and caused time to come to a screeching halt. I dropped the coffee on the counter and did my best to nonchalantly limp out of the kitchen towards my desk.

Wincing with every step, I finally reached the phone. I used my last gasps to notify an amused Rey of the situation, telling him how to distribute my dismal belongings. I then fell into my chair and proceeded to drown in the blood that felt like concrete slowly and painfully solidifying my lung.

I don’t know how I come up with these things, but I believe them whole-heartedly. The slightest “twinge” instantaneously sends me from calm to hysterical.

Organ collapse is one of my favorite deaths. A couple months ago, I had a major—by “major” I mean two-hour—breakdown when my throat “collapsed.

And while I’ve never heard or read of anyone’s organs spontaneously collapsing, that doesn’t mean I won’t be the first.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Damn You Ben Roethlisberger

I knew I was doomed when those schmuck NFL announcers insisted on giving report after detailed report of Roethlisberger’s appendicitis. I muted the TV, left the room, didn’t watch the Steelers games, but it was all to no avail...

There I was today, almost exactly two months later, (at work), minding my own business, when it came to my attention, (through agonizing pain), that I’d developed a severe case of good old appendicitis and my intestines were on the verge of bursting.

I didn't even know what appendicitis was until Roethlisberger came along; so, it's him I thank for the hysteria, and excruciating pain I experienced above my belly button today.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I Hate the Holidays

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of things I love about the season; rum and coke, turkey, pumpkin pie, presents that involve diamonds and sapphires etc. It’s just that all of those things don’t quite make up for the anxiety that the holidays bring.

with family is problem number one. Not so much my own family, since I barely have one…My grandparents, (who were the backbone of the family), died 5 years ago and the rest of the family dissipated in a fight over the money they left behind. But, even before that, the “fam” consisted of an uncle, aunt and three cousins.

But, R
ey has a big family, that we visit every year; his mom has five sisters and his dad four brothers, so it’s quite the ordeal. They’re nice people, not overly intrusive, or prodding, but they ask all the questions I work at avoiding all year.

"How's your mom?"

"How's your sick brother?"
Even worse

"How's school?"
What's that

I know they're just trying to be nice, but I can't cope. I freak out. I freeze. I can't speak. I just smile and nod when they ask questions.

I enjoy decorating, cooking, drinking and being merry, I do, but the holidays are just so stressful for me.

I'm seriously considering getting a prescription of Prozac to get me through this year, although that would require telling my doctor that I have some sort of anxiety problem, which brings up more fear than the holiday season.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hypo-what, Never Heard of it

You wouldn’t know it by reading my blog, but I’m actually a closet hypochondriac. I like to think my doctor doesn’t even know, but that could be wishful thinking. My co-workers definitely don’t know, and I almost felt I was betraying my own kind yesterday, when an attorney that I work with, was explaining how ridiculous her boyfriend was for thinking he was dying from a staph infection.

* * *

Here's the situation: Her boyfriend had been complaining of tooth pain for the last six months. The dentist ignored him. Turns out he had a sadistic infection that killed not only his two front teeth, but a portion of his jaw bone. He now has to have his front teeth pulled, a root canal, a bridge and a jaw bone implant.

* * *

Yeah, and she’s laughing, carrying on about how he’s overreacting for thinking that the infection is spreading to his brain. I can’t even speak at this point. My whole face is numb from the infection I’d developed over the last 40 seconds. But, instead of standing up for the guy, what do I do? I laugh and act as if he’s crazy too.

I know, I’m a horrible person.

I Lied

Okay. Well, here I am home sick. Just like I said never happens. And I’m actually handling it rather well. I’m not even worried about what’s going on at the office, or how this day off will affect my review next month. Because I’ve got better things to concern myself with. Like…the man in the crawl space who’s waiting for the perfect moment to jump out and brutally murder me.

It sounds insane, but it’s a perfect example of my disconnect with reality and the past. I seriously spend about 1/3 of the time that I’m home alone worrying about Dennis Rader in my closet. I try to tell myself that I’ve lived in this house for over two years and have stayed home alone countless times without anyone trying to murder me. But, I can’t convince myself that today won’t be the day it actually happens.

Deep down I know this a good neighborhood. That the woman next door is a stay at home mom and can probably hear my TV right now. Not to mention, the lady across the street is your average Mrs. Kravitz, waiting for some action so she can call the cops. But, the schizophrenic in me always wins.

Excuse me while I go check the house for intruders.