I thought I was being a hypochondriac on Wednesday when I started to feel under the weather.
I sat at my desk thinking "oh, yeah, see what working in a hospital will do to you? It makes you completely irrational about your health. You have symptoms that aren't really there! You start to become CRAZY!!"
Now the day before my coworker and I had been joking about how working at a cancer hospital had made us absolutely psychotic about self-screening constantly for symptoms. I work with lymphoma and I'm always giving my nodes a once-over. My one swollen tonsil makes me FLIP the FUCK out every so often, even though I know perfectly well that I just have tonsil stones, which are completely foul, but also completely benign. For a long time I worried about them so much that I gave myself cricopharyngeal spasm. Of course, once I read what a cricopharyngeal spasm was and realized that the lump in my throat was not because my lymph nodes were slowly spreading to take over my entire throat, slowly blocking my esophagus so I wouldn't be able to eat and then blocking my trachea so I couldn't breathe leading to a slow and agonizing death, the damn thing went away, since all of the was IN MY HEAD. I read a few articles on hypochondria and was like "ok. I just sort of have it in one area, but I need to get a grip. It's a case of too much knowledge about one specific disease. If I didn't have this job, I probably wouldn't have these symptoms and I certainly wouldn't think I had lymphoma!" I was further comforted by the fact that my coworker who works with colorectal disease had started panicking about the disease to the point where she asked her physician for a SIGMOIDOSCOPY! They don't just give those out, but she said that she was spazzing so much that the nurse practitioner who saw her was like 'fine, here's a referral for one.' Of course she lost the referral and hasn't had it done, but she was like "if I didn't work here I would not be spazzing about having my colon checked for polyps! I wouldn't even be thinking about polyps! WHY DO WE KNOW TOO MUCH INFORMATION!!!"
So needless to say on Wednesday when I started feeling a little off I was like "It's all in your head." I had woken up with this horrible, unslakable thirst. Upon waking up I drank a 16 oz lemon dasani that my dad had gotten for free somewhere. I followed up with a 16oz revive Vitamin Water, then another lemon dasani, then a liter of crystal lite lemonade. I was still thirsty! I thought "I might be coming down with something" but then chalked up my thirst to either the salty meal I had the night before, OR adult onset diabestes.....Ha! By three o'clock I was like 'shoot, I feel bad. I'm gonna head home.' As soon as I got home I changed into pajamas. I didn't even think about it, it's like my body just voluntarily made the motions to get into my pajamas. I was shivering and hot at the same time and my body HURT, like weird tingly hurting on my back and legs and my head was pounding...I realized that I was not being a hypochondriac then, I realized that I was coming down with whatever my mom had two weeks ago.
Yesterday I took the day off work and slept for most of it (see: picture of me looking ill). When my mom came home at 3 I rallied and decided to go to Wal-Mart to get medicine and then to get bird food and gas (and craft supplies, but shhhhhh, no one has to know that's really why I wanted to go out). I went to Wal-Mart after gassing up and getting crafty supplies so I was feeling pretty drained as hell. I went to the cold aisle and looked for the magical pills boyfriend told me about so long ago: Advil Cold and Sinus. They were gone! I was like "oh great, and my other options are? TYLENOL??? No way, not gonna cut it" As I leaned closer to the cold and flu shelves I noticed that in the space for Advil Cold and Sinus there were cards that said "take this to the pharmacy register" I was like "hunh. ok. wait...........wait...........oh shit, this has pseudophedrine in it, doesn't it?" I had heard somewhere that if a OTC drug has pseudoephedrine in it it was going to be kept behind the counter because pseudoephedrine is one of the base ingredients for meth. So, already feeling like a criminal for wanting to buy medication with an illicit ingredient in it, I take the card to the pharmacy register. The pharmacist leans over from the other end of the pharmacy and goes "Can I heeelllpp you?" As soon as I flash the Advil Cold andSinus card he is all business. "Um you need a license to buy that" he says, and turns away, as if I did not have a license with which to buy it. I said "oh that's NO problem" about to say "I'd give you my first born for this right now" but then I thought "No, that would probably indicate to him not that I had a flu/cold thing and had a fever and body aches and mucus blocking my nasal passages, but that I had a meth addiction and needed to buy some pseudoephedrine for my supplier because the police were already watching him." So instead I just handed over my license. The pharmacist looked from me to my license picture no less than 6 times and then said "This is gonna be a few minutes" While he took my license away, I started reading the yellow paper they had posted by the register, which listed the regulations of Public Law 109-177, and understood exactly what the pharmacist was doing with my license. He was entering how much Advil Cold and Sinus I was buying, along with my name, address and license number! THEN I had to submit a digital signature! HOLY SHIT INVASIVE was what was flashing in my mind at that moment. I wanted to be like "so you need finger prints and a mug shot for your file?" But I felt so violated already that by the time the pharmacist handed me my license and as-legal-as-nearly-illegal-drugs-can-be Advil Cold and Sinus, I just backed away slowly, grabbed some cough drops and fled before the hidden cameras could get a clear shot of my face.
The irony of it all? I live in a state where they won't pass a primary seatbelt law, but they put your life's history in a database when you go to buy some advil. F*cked up, that's all I have to say.