Saturday, October 20, 2007

Malingering

I should just never, ever write posts that even allude to success or well-being or self-satisfaction because they will inevitably come back to bite me in the ass.

I feel so bad for my poor, neglected blog and my shiteous posts of late, but I cannot get over feeling sick this year. This week I felt so generally ill I managed to convince myself I had diabetes, drove to an urgent care facility in Kansas, and pleaded with the staff to give me a finger-prick test. I laid on the examining table for an hour while people poked and prodded my flesh and I peed into a cup and the whole time it was going on I pretty much knew I wouldn't end up being diabetic, because whenever I get this sick there is never, ever anything specifically wrong with me.

The doctor came in after my lab results were done, and I had this brief moment of wanting to soil my pants when he sat down on his rollie-stool, pulled out my chart and said with a wry voice, "Well, your urinalysis came back and your blood sugar is absolutely perfect, but you are..."

...and I'm not exactly certain what he said at the end of that sentence because my mind's ear heard "PREGNANT" and I had a little mini-panic attack because even though I intellectually knew there was no possible, biological way I could've ended up pregnant, I am so paranoid about getting sperminated that I will run to the drugstore for an EPT if I even so much as bump into someone wrong at the post office. So, after a brief, torturous moment of envisioning my new future of Pampers and paternity suits, I realized that he was handing me a prescription for antibiotics and not prenatal vitamins. Apparently, I've been harboring a rather nasty and persistent infection in my body for several weeks and it was to blame for the nausea, and the fever, and the dehydration, and the swollen eyes, and the swelling, and the temporary anorexia, and the overriding feeling of wanting to just embrace sweet, sweet death every time I had to move my body (but, unfortunately, not to blame for my ill-advised purchase of an unreturnable fuschia print kimono dress from a Target clearance rack last Tuesday).

Since the Cipro started kicking in mid-afternoon today, I've already started feeling a little perkier, and I'm hoping tomorrow I can actually get up and move around a lot more than I have for the past month. In a way, it's encouraging to know that this bone-crushing fatigue was at least in part due to being legitimately sick instead of just sedentery or depressed, but it's also kind of a startling wake up call for me to realize that my immune system is a lazy bastard who prefers clipping his toenails and watching reruns of "The Nanny" on afternoon Lifetime to actually PROTECTING MY BODY FROM DISEASE. I was the most healthy, sturdy person I knew all the way through childhood, adolescence, and college; I'd have like one bout of flu or strep once a year and would otherwise be so vibrantly, annoyingly healthy that I'd have to fake sick in order to get to take a day off once in awhile. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that my health problems started right when my marriage fell apart, and that living on a futon and drinking myself to sleep every night for a year and a half during the "we're separated but living in the same house/shut up it's complicated" period probably wasn't the greatest choice for me health-wise, but it's been almost two years since that happened and no matter whether I get more sleep, less sleep...whether I shop at Whole Foods or spend a week scarfing down coney dogs at Sonic...whether I'm working out or napping every day after school...nothing I try or do seems to ever give me enough breathing room with my health to actually DO anything about it.

I'm not exactly where to turn on this. Should I get a full workup at my doctor's office to find out if something bigger is the underlying factor for all these illnesses I've had in the last year? Should I just keep doing what I'm doing and try to take regular baths in hand sanitizer on the side? Should I look into something more holistic, even though I'm not sure exactly what "holistic" entails?

I'd really appreciate advice or ideas, because I'm sort of stuck. I just want to feel better, be able to be active and healthy as much as possible. Because there's still a lot of stuff about life I need to investigate, you know? Like why my town's Super Wal-Mart always smells like farts, and how wide my mother's nostrils will flare when I mention that I'm thinking about going back to school for another degree. I just don't want to keep missing out on life, even though hunkering down amongst the blankets and the pillows and the cats for the past month hasn't been all that bad, either.

7 comments:

Lori said...

Seriously, I think you might be tired from working two jobs with the commute. To quote Shirley MacLaine from a movie, "You're rundown."

Right now, you're sick and you should concentrate on getting well (i.e., take ALL of your Cipro, even if you're feeling way better). You also work with children (right?). My cousin just started her first year of teaching and has had two major colds already.

I also wonder if you might be depressed and that might account for your immune system being disruptive.

OTOH, there's nothing wrong with getting a good physical with blood workup and a thyroid test. I hope you feel better -- just don't go crazy overdoing it the minute you feel better.

Lauren said...

I'm glad you found the cause to your illness, I went through something a little icky this past week myself. I like the Nanny. And I recommend acupuncture. It was miraculous for my hip and I hear its good for other stuff too.

jared said...

holistic "medicine" is junk science, don't waste any money on it

PastaQueen said...

Stress *is* really bad on your immune system, but if you feel like there might be something else going on there's nothing wrong with seeing a doctor about it.

M "now with significantly less fat" said...

Get the full workup.
I found out there was ALLL KINDS OF crap wrong with me - from the blood tests.
If you know what is wrong with you, a lot of it can be fixed with meds or other treatment....

Erin said...

I will make some suggestions after I stop laughing at the fart comment. Childish, I know, but you are a funny girl, even when you are sick!!! Feel better :)

Abba said...

Well, I am all about preventative doctor visits. I now go to the doctor on a regular basis (every six months) for a check up. I go to my Gyne when I have to, I also have set up appointments to see my eye doctor. I figured if I make regular scheduled trips to the doctor and build that relationship with my body, I will be okay. I am getting all of the check-ups I need when I hit certain ages, kind of like when you are driving a car and you have to get things done to it after so many miles. This is what works for me.