Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back to the Basics

I’ve mentioned before that the birth of my hypochondria was spurred almost nine years ago when a rare, soupy tumor was found residing in the left frontal lobe of my younger brother’s brain.

Up until that point, I had led a fairly naïve existence. Given, I had my “irrational fears”—as any child does—I mean honestly, what child isn’t afraid to hang their foot off the side of the bed, (out of fear it will be violently devoured by a lurking monster)?

What kind of kid doesn’t constantly hold the prospect of sudden alien abduction in the back of their mind?

And really? What young girl doesn’t have the deep-rooted belief that someone in her midst—read her unsuspecting eye doctor—is a maniacal serial killer waiting for the right moment to kidnap, rape and bludgeon her to death?

Okay, I can admit it: the serial-killer-eye-doctor-obsession was a little on the morbid side; but until my brother’s fateful diagnosis, I had never really felt the chill of my own—or anyone else’s—mortality.

When confronted with the reality that disease—and therefore death—could strike anyone at anytime, including children (as it had done in front of my very own eyes), I did what any rational person would do; (no, not embrace the beauty of life), I too “developed” a “brain tumor.”

And as my brother went under the knife, I went through the CAT Scan. And as his tumor shrunk through radiation, I was informed mine never existed.

Time went by. My brother continued to battle his tumor. I moved on to new diseases. Strokes and heart attacks and blood clots and organ failure and lung collapse and cirrhosis and MS and West Nile Virus and lymphoma and the litany goes on, but for the last month or so, I dared to begin to think I was “cured.”

Then it happened...

Shooting head pains. Nausea. Confusion. Blurry vision. Fatigue. Day after day after day.

My brain tumor is back, and it's not alone; a blood clot and tuberculosis rode in on its coattails.

6 comments:

It's all in my head.... hopefully. said...

It's so funny that you posted yesterday. I was just at my doctor's yesterday suffering from what everyone - including her & several other health care professionals - believes to be just hypochondria/anxiety; however, I know I either have MS or EO Parkinson's. Only the neurologist I convinced her to send me to will know for sure. Hopefully I'm wrong and they're right... which is the more likely senario.

Assuming we're fine, which clearly we are, we have to allow ourselves to simply feel sick sometimes.... and to realize that our anxiety is probably producing a lot of our symptoms to begin w/.

Really happy to see your post :) You are fine... and funny :)

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting again, we missed you.

since my colonoscopy i had been doing fine. colonoscopy only checks the lower parts of your GI tract. guess where my cancer is; upper GI tract. and by "my cancer" i mean the cancer i think i have but everyone else tells me how wrong i am.

people keep telling me im young and healthy and that i shouldnt worry. you and i both know thats the wrong attitude to have, right?

Jobthingy said...

im glad youre back :) check comments on your last post.. there is a link there to a post i did, with a pic of the man made pond with pool island.. yes i took it just for you :)

lulu said...

Hey Leila. Long-time lurker finally de-lurking. I just had to comment - my hypochondria started thanks to a brain tumor, too. My father's, not mine. Ironically, brain tumor is the one ailment I can say I haven't come down with yet. But never say never. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that you rock! And you don't have a tumor.

Anonymous said...

Me too, me too! I had two moles removed recently, and convinced myself I had melanoma. I ate so bad during that worrying time, I gave myself a stomachache and was sure I had colon cancer. Now I've had an ongoing headache for the past few days and am sure I have a tumor. But I'm like, I really do have symptoms, I might really have a tumor! My teenage brother died last year, and it has really sent my hypochondria over the edge as I don't want my family to be further destroyed!

Anonymous said...

I will know, many thanks for an explanation.