June 09, 2006

Healed! (Also, hunger and hypochondria)

I'm much better, thank you for asking, though I'll have you know I was quite complain-y and entirely intolerable when I was sick (which was for a sum total of 24 hours). The crankiness is directly related to two things: I am a huge bitch when I'm hungry, and every time I get sick I'm sure I'm going to die.

First, the hunger. When throwing up, I'm usually not eating much. This is not good for innocent bystanders, and here's why: I take on the personality of a creature from "Where The Wild Things Are" if I have to go more than 5 hours between meals. It's actually quite scary, and very noticeable. In fact, one past boyfriend had it so figured out that when I'd start to get snarky he just get up/pull over/get out of bed, locate food (preferably something high in protein and coated in chocolate), and get it in front of me as quickly as possible. Funny story: One time I got particularly hungry during a week-long camping trip and we were at least an hour from the nearest restaurant, so he actually killed a possum and cooked it for me. Did the trick.

[You didn't seriously believe that, did you? Gross.]

[I actually just told that story to clumsily segue onto a tangent (if that's even possible): is it opossum or possum? Anyone? Also, is cheesecake actually pie, or cake? It has a crust, which is very confusing, and no icing, indicating pie. But it has no filling and it has "cake" in the name, indicating cake.]

ANYway, hungry me = nasty me.

And sick me = deathbed fantasies.

I realize that hypochondria isn't unique or particularly funny. We all have our moments, of course. But when those moments come when you are actually, legitimately sick, they can be a bit more dramatic than your typical hypochondriacal fixations. For example, I went through an encyclopedia-reading stint for a couple years when I was younger (Okay, two years ago). I didn't read them cover to cover, but rather made my way through each letter, flipping through, watching for interesting keywords, pictures or names. Like "transgender" and "homeostasis" (which, by the way, is not as funny as it seems like it would be), and, when I made it to the M-N encyclopedia, "mandrake", "maraschino cherry", "Meditteranean Sea" and "Meningitis".

Meningitis: (from the Center for Disease control Website because I don't have a damn encyclopedia in front of me):

"Meningitis is an illness in which there is inflammation of the tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord. Viral or "aseptic" meningitis, which is the most common type, is caused by an infection with one of several types of viruses. Meningitis can also be caused by infections with several types of bacteria or fungi. In the United States, there are between 25,000 and 50,000 hospitalizations due to viral meningitis each year. Viral ("aseptic") meningitis is serious but rarely fatal in persons with normal immune systems. Usually, the symptoms last from 7 to 10 days and the patient recovers completely. Bacterial meningitis, on the other hand, can be very serious and result in disability or death if not treated promptly. Often, the symptoms of viral meningitis and bacterial meningitis are the same. For this reason, if you think you or your child has meningitis, see your doctor as soon as possible."

Gross. And now, the scary part, courtesy of Wikepedia:

"…Bacterial Meningitis has a high mortality rate if it goes untreated and is thus a severe medical emergency. All suspected cases, however mild, need emergency medical attention… The classical symptoms of meningitis are headache, neck stiffness and photophobia (intolerance of bright light); the trio is called meningism. Fever and chills are often present, as is nausea and vomiting."

Oh, so, basically, flu-like symptoms. You know, the kind of symptoms I've had a number of times before in my life. Those ones. Could potentially signal a DEADLY DISEASE that kills THOUSANDS (probably) of people like me EVERY DAY (I'm just guessing). Cue freak-out.

Shortly after reading this, I fell ill. You guessed it: flu-like symptoms. Fever, headache, stiffness, pukage. This terrified me. I spent three days horizontal on my parents' couch, moaning, fantasizing about my brain swelling and killing me, and doing my best to convince my parents that they should take me to the hospital, as I was likely (or at least very possibly) suffering from a deadly disease which also happened to coincidentally have the same symptoms as the common flu or stomach bug. I was very convincing, I thought, as I was very convinced, myself, that I was in real danger. And so my parents did what any good, responsible adults in the care of a sick (possibly dying) child (okay, twenty-something) would do:

Laughed hysterically.

Of course, I recovered, and now anytime I'm over for dinner and there's new company who hasn't heard this story yet, they take every opportunity to tell it. And they laugh so hard milk squirts out of their noses or they snort or they cry or all of the above.

My family is not very nice.

[Although they were right about the meningitis thing that one time.]


I was fascinated by reports of a recent study conducted by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry. The study has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man tends to differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle.

For example, if she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged, masculine features.

However, if she is menstruating, she tends to be more attracted to a man with a spear lodged in his chest and tape over his mouth while he is on fire.

No further studies are expected.

[Obviously, this is an email forward I received. I don't know how it managed to slip through the cracks, as I usually banish anything starting with FW: immediately to the trash, but when I read it, I actually laughed pretty hard, though that may be more closely related to my sadistic nature (particularly when involving men) than the actual funny quotient of the joke…]


minijonb said...

Welcome back to the world of the healthy and blogging. I ♥ "Where The Wild Things Are" so this post made my day. Thanks.

Trebuchet said...

Thank you! Glad to be back, neurosis intact!

auntiegrav said...

The UCLA study should have been worked a little more for DOE (design of experiment) to determine where the woman is in her biological clock cycle also. The louder the tick, the less they care about tics.....