I Am A Medical Anomoly
I am kind of a cornucopia of medical weirdness. I’m convinced this is why I can’t win the lottery, because I’ve already managed to beat the odds in gathering this ridiculous medical file.
Which is doubly awesome because I absolutely refuse to go to the doctor unless I’m convinced death is imminent. But that’s another story.
For the longest time I was blissfully unaware my body was trying to destroy itself. The first one showed up at the beginning of my second year of college. I developed this weird thing where my stomach hurt every time I swallowed, like “there’s a knife in my stomach trying to get out” type pain. I, being stupid, ignored it for as long as possible, until I was home for Thanksgiving. The first night I was home, my mom saw me wince at dinner and asked what was wrong (knowing that actually seeing me wince was not a good sign, since I usually try to keep that to myself), and I just sort of blew it off and said it was no big deal. Moms are good at detecting lies, if you didn’t know that, and tricked me into going to the doctor that weekend (yes, tricked me; she asked me if I wanted to go to the mall, and instead drove me to the doctor, which is funny considering I was 20 and still had to be tricked into going to the doctor). Turns out I had a severe case of acute gastritis to the point where stomach cancer was a concern.
A few weeks later I got to revisit the doctor. I was standing at a window in the dorm right before finals week, and went “wow, it’s really snowing outside” and the next thing I knew I’m laying on the couch and all my friends are freaking out. Apparently right after I made the snow comment, I fell flat over backwards, completely unconscious. Lucky for me someone caught me so I didn’t bash my head. That lead to an echocardiogram when I got home for the break (an ultrasound of your heart, reeeeally uncomfortable since they have to smash the sensor into your boob and ribs). Turns out I also have a heart valve defect, which very much explains why I would feel so sick when I’d have a super hard workout even as far back as high school track. In short, it doesn’t quite close all the way, and when my system is stressed (i.e. it was finals week and I was pounding coffee like there was no tomorrow for 3 months straight) it gets worse and can actually allow blood to flow backwards (which is what caused me to pass out).
Things have sort of piled up from there. I have a variety of things I’m not suppose to do or eat to keep them all in balance, but it’d boil down to “drink water, eat bread, and don’t actually do anything interesting ever” so I choose to ignore some of them. Among other issues too personal to discuss, I have the stomach thing, the heart defect, a nervous system issue (apparently related to the heart problem), I can’t take pain killers unless absolutely necessary, I’m immune to normal doses of numbing agents (which was fun at the dentist this week), I similarly have a massive delay to drugs that are supposed to put me under (it’s great to hear all the nurses panicking at my spiking heart rate moments before I finally lose consciousness), I apparently have arthritis in my knees (I’ve been told this is the reason my knees hurt when there’s a storm coming), I will randomly get golfball sized lumps on my foot that no doctor can identify that last for 2 days then disappear again (they don’t hurt, they’re not hard or warm or any of that other bad stuff, they’re just there), and recently an old problem has resurfaced.
I used to have massive panic attacks in my sleep (I’ve been told this is related to the nervous system problem). They didn’t happen often, but they were pretty bad when they did. I’m talking waking up in the dead of night, sitting bolt upright, panting, spiked heart rate, the whole bed drenched in sweat kind of thing. As weird as it is to say, I’m used to them enough that they don’t freak me out. But I’ve never had one when sharing a bed with someone…
To say I scared the bejeezus out of Geoff this weekend is an understatement.
I’m guessing it was triggered by a combination of the stress of all the moving stuff going on with me and my family, the failed house hunting, and worry about the new job (still not convinced I actually deserve that spot and am terrified they’re going to figure that out) among other things. It’s the first one I’ve had in a couple of months, but Geoff is convinced that this is a serious problem, and now he’s worried I’m going to spontaneously combust or something.
Really honey, I’m fine.
I’m in a place where I don’t really feel that any of these issues are life threatening and am very in tune with what it feels like when I’m aggravating on of them and simply back off from whatever it is. Things like my heart condition will present a very real problem later (turns out heart defects and pregnancies don’t typically play nice together), but for now I’ve got a handle on it. Of course Geoff is going to worry to a ridiculous degree anyways, but I figure if the universe wanted me dead it’s already had plenty of opportunities.
Do you have any weird medical stuff? Odd reactions, unexplained symptoms, addiction to WebMD?
By the way, never look at WebMD. I once used it but forgot to mark “female” and it tried to tell me I had testicular cancer.