I detest going to the doctor, partly because I don’t like strangers touching me. Mainly I just believe if you always think you are sick and run to the doctor, you are going to manifest some illness. (Or you just like being touched by strangers.) I’m pretty lucky in that I’m a generally healthy person (knock on wood). Aside from nearly cutting my finger off with a hedge trimmer, I’ve avoided doctors for the better part of 10 years. Although, I still work up the nerve to go to the gynecologist every year to get the cobwebs cleaned out and make sure my lady parts are still there. I kind of have this fear that they will dry up from non-use and the dust particles will fall out when I run down the stairs. I’m pretty sure this phobia has a name that WebMD can tell me.
In all seriousness though, I’ve had this dull, infrequent pain at the lower left back of my skull for about a week now. Of course, I immediately convince myself it is a brain tumor. Since it hasn’t gone away, I decided to check WebMD this morning to find out what the possible causes are other than the obvious brain tumor. I tried to convince myself it was a muscle issue from drinking too much wine and passing out in an awkward sleeping position. I am skeptical that this is the cause, though, because my trusty ergonomic IKEA pillow is designed to prevent such neck injuries.
I navigate to the website and start checking off my symptoms. Headache, check. But there are also others I am tempted to check off. “Lack of pleasure”—well, yeah, it’s been two years, but is that a symptom? Or maybe just related to my brain tumor. “Fear of gaining weight”—is it fear, or just reality? Not sure. Hold off on that one. “Craving alcohol”—I’m awake and it is 8:30 a.m. Check. “Sense of impending doom”—I’m at work, so that is a given. “Fear of air”—is this really a thing? And can I get a doctor’s note for it to get me out of work? Check. And….Enter.
Well, this is just great. Brain tumor. And 54 other possible diseases, including the following: stroke, Botox injection, meningitis, mumps, Coxsackie virus infection, radiation poisoning, bird flu, West Nile virus, typhoid fever, plague and cyanide poisoning. Fantastic. This is what happens when all those anti-vaxxers don’t get their kids immunized. We have to start worrying about typhoid fever and mumps again.
Just to confirm the accuracy of this list, I decide to run my potentially fatal illnesses by my Magic 8 Ball.
Me: “Magic 8 Ball, do I have radiation poisoning?”
Magic 8 Ball: “Most likely.”
Good thing I already wrote my obituary.