Monday, January 09, 2006

I'm Sure My Mama Knows Someone Who's Had This

Yesterday D. was in all manner of pain.

There was the clinching of the side. The wincing with the motion. The sighing with the sitting. He was uncomfortable at every turn.

When we were on the way home from church, he mentioned that his pain was getting worse, and of course Nurse Nancy here said, "Do you need to go to the doctor? Do you think it's your appendix or something?"

"No," he said. "I think it'll be okay. But if it's not better tomorrow, I'll go see someone."

And so the speculation began, because I am nothing if not medically cautious. I personally have diagnosed myself with several major diseases using only the internet and back issues of Ladies' Home Journal.

One Christmas when D. and I were dating he even gave me a copy of the Merck Medical Encyclopedia. I couldn't understand a THING because it had all the Latin phrases and extensive protocols for each condition, but boy did I have big fun trying to make sense of it all. HOURS of fun.

When it comes to fatal and chronic conditions, I am ON TOP OF THINGS. And my doctor LOVES to see me coming, as I'm sure you can imagine.

[Side note: one of the more embarrassing instances of this habit of mine was when we first moved to B'ham and I had a throbbing pain in my right hip that sort of radiated down my leg and around my side. When I met the doctor - for the FIRST TIME, I might add - he said, "What's going on today?"

I said - and this is not an exaggeration for effect, this is the truth and nothing but the truth - "Doctor, I'm eat up with bladder cancer" (in my family, you can't just have a little must in fact be "eat up" with it).

He fell out laughing, so I immediately liked him. Then he examined me and diagnosed me with an inflamed sciatic nerve.

So I'm not what you would call ACCURATE with my armchair medical practice. But I get an "E" for Effort.]

Anyhoo. Back to David's mystery pain. We ran through the following line of questioning. If it wasn't his appendix, was it

1) a heart attack? Did his arm tingle?
2) a cracked rib? Had he run into anything? (However, as a general rule, in this family, if someone is going to run into something or fall down something, 9 times out of 10 it will be me, graceful swan that I am.)
3) a pulled muscle? Had he lifted A. at some point? 38 lb. toddlers do take a toll on the muscles, after all.
4) some form of indigestion?
5) bursitis? I don't know what bursitis is, but my mama mentioned it as a possible medical malady EVERY SINGLE TIME she had any sort of muscle discomfort.
6) arthritis? See explanation for #5, only include the words "flared up" - because for Mama, arthritis is always described as "flared up."

We did this routine all day long. Finally, around 7 last night, D. looked at me with a pained expression on his face, and said, "I think I know what it is."

"What? A pulled muscle?"

"No. It's upper rib fat cancer."

I nearly wet my pants. He beat me at my own game.

And y'all will be happy to know that the upper rib fat cancer *cough* pulled muscle *cough* is much better today.


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