Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004


About five years ago, I wrote a piece for a short-lived women's health magazine about my tendency towards hypochondria, and how the media only spurs me on. And I included one of what even I recognize as my all-time funniest and most fucked-up quotes, which I spouted to my now brother-in-law when he accused me of couting my tumors before they hatched: "I'm not a hypochondriac," I said. "I have things."

Today, I have leukemia. Or maybe it's ITP. It's probably not pernicious anemia, because I only have about half the symptoms of that one, and besides, it's way too easily cured. I wouldn't be that lucky.

I joke, but the truth is, I'm really scared. I have these large bruises all over my legs--but only below the knees. It looks like I'm being abused by a very, very small boxer. (The human type; not the dog breed.) And the skin is itching...and I mean itching something awful. If I weren't so completely orally fixated that I chew off every nail molecule within seconds of its formation, I'd have ripped the skin off my legs days ago. As it is, I dig away at them with the skin pads at the tops of my fingers, to no avail and no relief. Oh, and did I mention that my calf muscles are so tight that when I stand up after sitting for a while, I'm actually limping on both legs for about five minutes?

I did make my way to an actual licensed physician yesterday, who seemed rather unintersted in my problems until I showed her the bruises on the backs of my legs, at which point she visibly perked up. "Oh, wow," she said. "Those are definitely some bruises."

So here I sit waiting for the results of the blood work she took. Nothing much--mostly counts of white and red cells and platelets. But as each hour ticks by, I become more and more nervous. And so I'm doing that thing I do when my silly hypochondriacal musings threaten to become something resembling reality: I talk about it. I figure that if I go around joking about how I have leukemia, I certainly won't actually HAVE it, right?

Now, if you'll all excuse me, I have some scratching and hobbling and obsessing to do...

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