Some people call it "hypochondria." I call it caring about my health.
Okay, I'll admit, I do take it to the extremes on occasion.
Like, there was that one night I sat up in bed sobbing while obsessively reading the Web MD app on my iPhone, thinking I had at least one of the 26 deadly diseases I had read about where "heavy cough" was one of the symptoms.
It was 3 a.m. and Rian finally got fed up and growled, "For God's sake, go to bed!You don't have ______________!"
At the time in my frazzled state, I was sure he was wrong. After all, I was coughing, dammit. And one of the other symptoms was also "feeling light-headed" which is what I felt earlier that evening after we had played mini-golf. Surely, that wasn't a coincidence! And another symptom was "itchy rash." OH MY GOD my leg was feeling itchy right then! I had to run into the living room, hyperventilating, to contain myself.
Well, obviously, I found out the next day that I didn't have _______________. And the cough went away. But still. What was I supposed to think? I had the symptoms. I'm not crazy.
But there have been times where I had true genuine reason to be concerned, and people in my life (aka the people who spawned me) just didn't care.
And their lack of respect for my health is astonishing granted that both of them work in the medical field. In the oncology department. I mean, for god's sake, show me some sympathy.
About six months ago, I had severe pain in my chest. Like, it was so bad I thought I was having a fucking heart attack. On Friday, my dad convinced me not to go to the doctor because I didn't have money for such luxuries and he thought I was exaggerating the pain. On Monday, when the pain was so bad, I couldn't even breathe, he finally agreed I should see a physician.
After a chest x-ray didn't reveal anything, my doctor scheduled me for a CT scan. The CT scan showed I had a lung infection. (I was given a month's worth of pills and the pain subsided a week later).
But ten minutes after I got home from having the CT scan done, I got a phone call from the lab. Apparently they had discovered a large mass in my right breast and they wanted me to have a mammogram done immediately. Like, that afternoon.
Of course, I went and got it done. I mean, are you fucking kidding me? Who wouldn't? Twenty minutes after the mammogram, the doctor at that clinic told me that it had been an enlarged lymph node and I was fine. Phew.
Well, that mammogram, plus the CT scan, cost me my entire savings, even after insurance.
And to this day, I have become a walking joke to my parents. They laugh hysterically when they remember how I spent all my money on a mammogram that only proved I was fine, and a CT scan that only showed I had a mere lung infection.
"You jump and do everything the doctor tells you!" my dad hooted with laughter.
"God Jennifer, you're 28 years old, even you should have known the mass wasn't going to be anything serious" my mom snickered along with him. "You're too young to have anything wrong with you! I can't believe you had a mammogram done!"
And I'm floored by their reaction.
I'm sorry, but when a doctor calls me up to tell me that a CT scan shows a giant mass in my breast and I should get it checked out immediately, I'm going to FUCKING DO IT. Otherwise, I would have had a nervous breakdown from not knowing what the hell it was. I wouldn't be able to eat. Sleep. Live.
It just seems like common sense to me. So, for my parents to not only laugh about my getting the mammogram done, but then bitch about how it cost me my entire savings, makes me incredibly angry.
Honestly, yeah, it sucks that I had to spend all that money on the mammogram. But it was something that had to be done. I don't regret it. I can sleep now. And what if it had been something terrible? Not getting the mammogram done could have been like a death sentence.
But still, every time I talk about going to the doctor for something, I get the "Remember that time you got a mammogram done" lecture and laughter thrown in my face.