I went to the doctor today because I feel like I’m falling apart and I wanted to make it official. I truly crave validation in every area of my life, even the hypochondriacal parts. (Can you say that? HY-PO-KON-DRY-ACAL).
Luckily, there was nothing drastically wrong with me other than tendonitis and a rotator cuff problem. I’m not sure how I hurt myself. I don’t actually do any sporting-type activities or housekeeping, both typical causes of these boo-boos. Most likely I injured myself laying abed while tweeting, reading erotica on my iPad (that thing is heavy) or just standing still.
I also have a mysterious skin rash problem that necessitates a visit to an allergist. My doctor says I’m a genius for taking pictures of my rash with my iPhone to show him, which was fabulous because I thought he would think I was gross or weird (which he most certainly does and was merely humouring me). By the way, my greatest fear regarding the allergist is that (s)he’ll say that I’m allergic either to my dogs (likely but untenable), the heat (likely but Canada), or wine (unlikely but extremely devastating).
The latter part of my doctor’s visit, you know that moment where he was trying to get out of the room to go see someone other than me, I burst out with the real reason for my visit:
‘I heard that shoulder pain and rashes are a sign of colon cancer. Is this true?’
He stared at me. I saw him trying not to laugh. ’Where did you hear that?’
I had the grace to look abashed, ‘My friends’ cousin’s friend….ummm.. but I couldn’t find anything on the Internet…so…’
‘Those are really not signs of colon cancer.’ He picked up my file, and made to leave.
‘But, ok…..’ I trailed off. ’What about this.’ I thrust my chin at him, pointing at the devil mole that grows the nefarious hair. ‘Is it skin cancer?’
He grabbed my chin, peered at it, and pronounced, ‘Nope. What’s wrong with you? When did you get obsessed with cancer?’
I had no intelligent answer to that. ’You know my friend who had cancer for 10 years and she didn’t even know she had it. And, I suntanned so much when I was younger. Look at all this sun damage. What if I did myself in?’
‘You can’t live in fear. If you’re worried about your moles then take photos of them and we’ll watch them.’ He inched out the door. ’Get physio on your shoulder. Don’t worry so much.’ I heard his subtext loud and clear: You are insane and the $35 the Ontario Government just paid me to listen to you wasn’t enough.
I tried very hard to breathe a sigh of relief at his pronouncements. Very hard. I struggle daily with compartmentalizing my ‘symptoms’ and am one of those lunatics who think a headache is an aneurism. My mind instantly goes to the worst case scenario.
In other news, I’m a Jewish Mother.
My name is Mara. And I’m an over-reactor.