Friday, June 18, 2010

Call me J.P.

Last week I walked in to each one of my doctors appointments, pretty sure that I was wearing a giant "hypochondriac" sign on my back. But as long as my insurance company didn't mind, I was ok with that. All I wanted was a clean bill of health, some assurance that the little aches, pains and coughs I had been dealing with were the kind you could safely ignore. But when I called myself a hypochondriac in front of my doctor he looked up and said "You're not a hypochondriac...we call people who have been through what you've been through "justifiable paranoids". I liked that a lot. You can call me J.P.

I had a blood test called a D-dimer. It was to check for a blood clot in my lungs, that could possibly explain my coughing. The D-dimer tested positive, which meant I had to go directly to the hospital and have a CT Scan. I'm not afraid of tests like that anymore, but I totally hated the feeling of driving to the hospital at that moment instead of driving to my house to make dinner for my kids. I was supposed to turn right at the intersection, not left. Didn't the D-dimer know I already had plans for the evening?

Long (painful) story short, CT Scan was clean. No clot. Still coughing? Yes, but I guess I have to live with that. When it gets really bad, I go online and diagnose myself. Doctors must hate the internet for that reason. All these little know-it-alls sitting in their waiting rooms, writing their own obituaries. At any rate, last week I decided it was Radiation Pneumonitis. This week I'm pretty sure it's Pulmonary Fibrosis.
J.P. signing out.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

You're Rubber, I'm Glue

Several years ago ( least a decade), one of the girls in my neighborhood playgroup showed up one morning distraught over the fact that that morning she had turned her back on her baby, just for a second, while he was on the changing table. The exhuberant little infant gave on good kick against the wall where his feet were and zoom! Just like a little torpedo, his big baby-sized head was on the fast track for the floor, with the rest of him not far behind. Smuggly, I half sympathized with her and half patted myself on the back for not being as stupid as she was. It couldn't have been two weeks later that I heard a large thump coming from my bedroom, followed by the familiar startled screams of a baby becoming aquainted with the law of gravity. (She was sound asleep when I left her on that bed, I swear!!!)

It was then that I became aware of a new law myself, the law of "if you think someone else is lame, watch out...your own lameness is just around the corner". This law or lesson or whatever you call it, has become far too familiar to me over the years. Best I can figure is, you're rubber, I'm glue...what I say bounces off you and sticks to me.

Interesting confession, you say. But wait, it gets better. The reason I tell you this is because I've lived most of my adult life without the ability to understand people who run to the doctor for every little hiccough. Who belch and say "oh no... I must have the stomache flu". My motto has always pretty much been; "I don't wanna be sick, therefore, I'm not." Don't scoff. It's worked. I've been sick (aside from tumor related illness) twice in the past seven years. The rest of my family, twice every year.

So what happens when you walk around with disdain for the non-believers? You got it! That old rubber-glue law kicks into action and the next thing you know, you're recovering from cancer and turning into a hypochondriac all at the same time. I've been trying to ignore little discomforts and quirky body irritations now for at least six months and it finally got to me last week. I broke down. I made at least 10 calls to my doctors and four appointments. It's like I couldn't get enough. I'm going to be picked over with a fine-toothed comb this week and they won't find anything wrong with me. I better find out what hyperchondriacs do after that. Hopefully it involves going for D A Y S if not weeks without thinking about my stinkin' health and my poor picked-on body!

Special "O" Info

If you wanna be part of the Special Olympics sometime, you can email or visit

They have events like bowling or swimming throughout the year in cities near you, with the big two day Olympics on the last Friday and Saturday of May every year at BYU.