Now that the tonsillectomy is behind me—and all I have to show for it are a drug habit and a healthy throat—my good friend hypochondria seems to be rearing its head again, and rearing it wildly, I might add.
Things were relatively quiet for that two-month period surrounding the surgery. Of course, there was the death by anesthesia obsession and visions of violent post-op hemorrhaging; but those delusions aside, that period was relatively calm. There were no strokes, no heart attacks, no deadly blood clots and no brain tumors. All of which I encountered this weekend.
The brain tumor appeared on my radar Friday morning, after I repeatedly experienced severe pains in the same spot on the left side of my head. By the time lunch arrived, I was smelling “weird” smells—like my brother did in the days leading up to his diagnosis—and although I wasn’t peeing in closets or asking people to take off the sock that I wasn’t wearing—like my brother also did in those days—I was certain that there was a rapidly growing tumor in my left frontal lobe that was seconds away from crushing my brain until blood spewed from my eyes and ears. And frankly, I’m still certain that that tumor is lying in wait.
The blood clot made its debut Saturday afternoon as I attempted to enjoy a little more than a little Chardonnay with my HGTV after reporting to work. In my peripheral vision, I spotted a deep purple mark the size of a quarter, on my left inner calf. I nearly spilled my wine as I jumped up to investigate, but before my feet hit the ground, sharp pain engulfed the entire area surrounding the bruise. I limped around the room for a good four minutes in agonizing pain before I realized that the bruise could only mean one of two things: leukemia or blood clot. I decided on the latter and sat back down to finish my wine, acutely aware of the fact that the blood clot would fatally encounter my heart in less than twenty-four hours.
But, before I could reach that twenty-four hour mark, the heart attack hit. Hard. In my chest. Then my arm. I did my standard heart attack dance around the house, gasping for air while grabbing my chest and stumbling through the halls. Rey sat unconcerned in front of a rerun of NFL Playbook. I finally slinked back to the couch, grasping my chest in one hand and my thermometer in the other.
Oh, must I go on? To relive these “episodes” is humiliating. What seems so true in the moment, seems so pathetic in the now.
It’s beginning to sound like hypochondria is my favorite past-time, and in that spirit, I finished off the weekend with a bang. A bang in the form of a stroke, right in the middle of the finale of Design Star. And before I continue, let me clear my good name by saying that I am not a reality TV whore, I actually despise most reality shows, but HGTV is my weakness and that stroke couldn’t have hit at a more inopportune time.
I had already missed the premier unveiling of the new Design Star, (in lieu of watching the Patriots/Chargers game), and it was 10:00 p.m. as I laid in bed, away from the TiVo, when the second showing finally arrived. Not fifteen minutes in to the long awaited show, my left foot went numb. A sure sign of stroke. It was all down hill from there. I couldn’t breathe, I was disoriented, my vision was blurry. I became convinced that I would die a slow painful death in the bed, as Rey laid there engrossed in the finale, so I resorted to pacing the room, at 10:30 p.m. mind you, so that it would be obvious that I was dying when I hit the floor in a brain dead stupor.
Translation: I’m back.