Today is the first Wednesday of the month. No, that doesn’t mean it’s the beginning of my cycle, nor is it a Bone Thugs and Harmony parody. It’s when many lovely ladies, including one of my very favorites, Meredith at The Mom of the Year, host Finding the Funny. And I’ve taken the “finding” element quite literally this month. I sought out a gal who has me in stitches with her self-deprecating humor and biting sarcasm on Facebook, and asked if she would write something for me. She’s not a blogger, but she’s wicked smart because she’s a lawyer and she has a great sense of humor because she’s a lesbian and she makes good choices because she has agreed to write for all of my readers.
Without further adieu, I present Angela, self-loathing hypochondriac…
You would think with all that I have going on (mom, attorney, gay- divorced and gay-remarried, chronic dieter, Facebook addict), that I would have better, more pressing things to do than bounce from one panicked neurotic self-diagnosis to another…. but you’d be wrong.
My hypochondria – which I affectionately refer to as Free Floating Medical Anxiety (FFMA) – can be a real problem once it gets going. I have not always admitted this, however. I considered my FFMA as a natural symptom of my blistering intelligence *cough.* My ex-wife was not convinced. I remember the phone conversation vividly.
“You’re a fucking hypochondriac.”
“Oh yeah? Well check your last 10 Google searches.”
I knew she had me. The fact that we had been discussing whether or not I could have somehow gotten rabies (having never been bit by an animal) was a bit of a tell.
I hung up the phone in a huff and attempted to continue my day’s work, whilst secretly scheming some below-the-belt accusation that I could lob at her upon my return home (this is why we’re gay-divorced, people)… but the thought of my Google searches plagued my mind. So, I closed my office door and took a look…
There it was: Rabies. Ovarian Cancer. Appendicitis. Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Lupus. Rheumatoid Arthritis. Anne Hathaway. Anne Hathaway’s mom. Celiac disease. Hell, I didn’t even need to get to 10 (which, incidentally, was a search for a gastroenterologist who took my insurance). Holy shit, this was a problem.
Still, what if I actually HAD one of these problems? Boy, then they’d all be sorry. The soap poisoning scene from The Christmas Story kept playing in my head.
(YouTube is being difficult; you will have to cut and paste. Thank you kindly.)
When I went home that night, the wife was waiting there at the door.
“Did you check Google?”
“Yes, asshole, I checked it.”
“I get your point.”
Worse yet, I imagined back to my last 3 trips to the gynecologist. The evidence was mounting. I had gone to the gynecologist because I felt a “twingy, pinchy, non-descript” pain in my boob. Doc copped a feel, sent me for an ultrasound. Result = you’re fat and you need to stop drinking coffee.
Next trip to the gyno: “I’m pretty sure I have ovarian cancer. Maybe uterine? Something.” Result after pelvic exam (horrible) and internal ultrasound (horribler) = you’re fat and maybe (just maybe) have some ovarian cysts.
My third trip was my yearly: (a) couldn’t you people have taken care of the nasty metal tester shit when my crazy ass was here the last 2 times?; and (b) I’m sure they have a file on me marked “this bitch is cray cray.” Result = Son of a Bitch! … a little blue card saying I’m fine.
Following Google-gate, I instituted a complete moratorium on FFMA-related internet searches, reading of the CNN.com Health page, making of doctor’s appointments, going to doctor’s appointments and watching of The Doctors (which, would make any normal person feel like they are terminal). At first, it drove me crazy. Then it was sort of liberating – but not in a normal-person kind of way.
I resigned myself to believe that I was actually probably more than likely dying of something. That, through the shame imposed upon me by a heartless society and my heartless spouse, I would voluntarily relinquish the power to be a pro-active patient and, thereby, succumb to my own inevitable demise.
Of course, this research prohibition lasted all of 2 months. I’m now pretty sure that I have TMJ and maybe Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. I’ll let you know.