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Soup of This Day #203: I’ll Put Us Back Together At Heart Baby

June 28, 2012

CT scanner
A Computed Tomography (CT) scanner, darkly humourous, awaits it’s next patient, a wounded nun – Photo: rosiescancerfund.com, 2010. rosiescancerfund.com is not affiliated with Longworth72 but seems like a brilliant thing anyway. Image cropped by Longworth72.

I have this thing whereby I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about being sick. It in part comes from watching Mum die from cancer. And the Grandads too.

I know, that sounds like hypochondria. I would call it that but a. I’m not qualified to diagnose so much as a mosquito bite, even if I’ve seen the mosquito commit the crime, and b. As much as I worry about illnesses it’s not like I welcome them and hypochondria is just another illness.

Plus I have OCD and I don’t like that hypochondria is 2 vowels short of a full set.

See I can find dark humour in that stuff. John Cleese, a man who is so much more funny than me that I’m stretching credibility just mentioning his name in this post, told a joke at a gig we went to earlier this year that outlined why black comedy is ok.

What’s black and white and crawls on the ground?

A wounded nun.

As the audience laughed John Cleese rounded on us in mock outrage. A wounded nun is not funny, he protested. And it’s not in of itself. But if you accept that bad stuff can happen then it is a worthwhile exercise to extract a laugh out of it.

A laugh can do some powerful things.

There are 2 things I find darkly amusing about me being constantly worried about being sick. The 1st is that it is always a surprise when I find out that something is actually wrong. Somehow I would have imagined that constantly thinking that something is wrong would have better prepared me for that eventuality.

But no.

If anything it just makes the shock more acute.

A while back I wrote about having some dizzy spells. The 1st thought I had when they started was, ‘I have a brain tumour.’

Which is jumping the gun. By around 99.9m in a 100m race.

So, after talking to my doc, I took a deep breath and we examined some more likely looking suspects. Chief among them was that I’d been battling a virus and that I needed an eye exam. Therefore I took antibiotics and got prescription spectacles.

Yeah, it wasn’t those 2.

I’ve still being getting the dizzy spells and yesterday they got a little scary. I went to work and while walking to a meeting I noticed that I felt a little like I was drunk without the benefit of actually being drunk.

I was dizzy and, if you’re a budding neurologist you might find this next bit cool, I found objects in my right eye appeared a whole lot closer than in my left, which strangely made me want to topple over on my right side. I spent 15 minutes in the meeting trying not to appear like I’d had a few too many pints of best bitter and then got up and politely explained that an urgent thing had popped up on my iPad. I safely made it back to my desk, mostly by aiming to the left of where I wanted to go, and called my wife to ask her to book me in to see the doc.

Who saw me this morning and pointed out that none of that kind of stuff was normal. Which I thought was a bit obvious but felt that saying ‘well d’uh,’ wasn’t a smart move so just sat there, a little scared and a little shocked that something was wrong.

That then is my theme for today – Things you think might happen but then surprise you when they do. The next bit is a little bit off kilter – It’s about baseball and you might think that it’s a bit trivial to be talking about now.

I just don’t want to talk about the other stuff too much.

So, we’re taking a look at a game that was played just over a week ago. The Sox played the Marlins at Fenway and it’s the bottom of the 4th. Boston leads 6-4 and Felix Doubront looks like he could use some run support.

The Sox score a run and leave runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out. Adrian Gonzalez comes up to the plate and singles, loading them up.

For Big Papi.

Now, David Ortiz, is the guy you want at the plate right at this exact moment. He is the designated hitter and he is, at that precise moment, north of .300 for the year so far. So you want Big Papi up there and the ideal is for him to take it yard for the grand slam.

You know he can do it.

The thing is though that grand slams don’t just happen – They require 2 clear events to coincide. The bases have to be loaded and the batter at the plate needs to launch 1 out over the fence. So you know that Big Papi can do it but deep down you’re not expecting him to.

Big Papi goes long.

So long that the base runners just start trotting round before the ball is halfway up on its trajectory. Which arcs long and to the right, coming back to Earth maybe 10 rows deep into the seats.

You knew it could happen – It was his 18th long-shot of the season – But it was still a shock when it happened.

A nice surprise.

After the silence that followed my doc’s announcement that something wasn’t right I got sent off for a head CT. Essentially this involves x-ray slices of my head-space, primarily focusing on the brain I have ticking away up there.

That happened within 3 hours and apart from a radiographer not quite bandaging up the hole left by the catheter (I kind of sprung a bloody leak at reception while trying to pay) it went swimmingly.

I’m now waiting for the results. They were sent to my doc who is seeing me tomorrow morning. I have the films but I’ve tried not to give them more than a passing glance – The last thing I want is to be trying to self-diagnose a brain tumour when it turns out the radiographer accidentally drew a dot on the screen as he pointed out my perfect cranium to a colleague.

The 2nd thing that I find greatly amusing about being worried about illness is my wife. We had a sick child 1 time and we did not know what was wrong – We had symptoms like a fever and a cough but that could be anything. I was at work, not really focusing on much of anything besides my worrying when my phone beeped. It was a message from my wife. I can’t remember the exact words but the gist of it was:

‘I’ve Googled the symptoms and our son has toxic shock from tampons.’

I laughed so hard I forgot all about the worrying and just revelled in having my wonderful wife on the field of play with me.

Wish me luck tomorrow – Here’s hoping for a nice surprise.

I’ll Put Us Back Together At Heart Baby

2 Comments
  1. Once my beloved cervical herniated disc was diagnosed in early 2007, I spent the balance of that year getting enough high-tech tests to last two lifetimes. After 48 years of relative healthy life, Year 49 was the Year From Hell. MRI’s, CT Scans, X-Rays. Ironically, I went to college just across from Three Mile Island when it “blew” so I probably already had enough radiation pulsating through me before this unfortunate turn of events. I was a tad on the hypocondriac side after the diagnosis until I got a handle on how nervous my nervous system would be because of it. Now, pretty much everything else that comes along pales in comparison. In that sole regard, it’s a good thing. I guess I’ve adopted an attitude similar to Garp in “The World According To Garp.” When a plane hits a house he’s looking to buy, he chooses it anyway. What are the chances of that happening again? I just figure I’ve been dealt my “one big thing” and there is some relief in that thought, rational or otherwise.

    • A fair old tale of woe but it’s good to hear that you’ve found a bright side to it. Funnily enough, some sort of structural thing is now the main suspect for me – Possibly even a cervical herniated disc. Like you I’m looking at the positives – The CT scan showed up nothing, which means no tumours, lesions, clots, etc. – This is a great outcome. I’m clinging to this while they try to work out what else it could be.

      I’m also now going to check flight paths over my house – Haven’t been hit yet.

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