I admit that sometimes I can be a little dense. It’s less an awareness thing and more an OCD classification/categorization thing. Also occasionally an overthinking thing.
For example; when I was in law school I went to see the gynecologist for a routine checkup and spent 15 minutes agonizing over the question on the intake form “Could you be pregnant? Yes or No?”
See, I was sexually active and while I did have an IUD there was statistically a .09% chance I could be pregnant, which is what I said to the receptionist at the front desk when I asked her advice as to how to best answer the question. She, of course, asked me if I was pregnant. I said “No.” She said “Circle the no.” You could hear her eyes roll all the way in Africa.
So I get that sometimes the way my mind works differs greatly from the way everyone else’s minds work, so it was no surprise to me that I only clued in to the fact that I am legitimately really quite sick yesterday while my whole family has been acutely aware of this fact for the past two weeks.
From their perspective I have been losing weight drastically, can’t eat more than 500 or 600 calories a day, have a hard time getting out of bed or leaving the house, and feel like I have the flu most of the time.
From my perspective, until yesterday, I only have a month to go until the doctor can actually fix what is wrong with me this time and therefore it’s not really that bad.
See for the past seven years every time I have gone to the doctor with a new or worsening symptom I have been given a new horrible medication and the explanation that my chronic illnesses are still kind of not well understood, lifelong, incurable, and will fuck me up forever so when I went in to see the doc about the fact that my intestines have wrapped around an adhesion in my abdomen left over from my hysterectomy and he said “No problem, we can remove that with surgery and you’ll be fine.” I was FREAKING CELEBRATING!!
I had a medical issue that could be fixed with relative ease in a relatively short amount of time with a really short recovery time!! This isn’t being sick! This is amazing!!
So that was my state of mind of the past two weeks as my family fretted over me and I hummed and buzzed about cheerfully not eating and being curled up in heated blankets and generally feeling yucky but knowing it was ACTUALLY TEMPORARY and WOULD END SOON and I WAS GOING TO IMPROVE!!
Then yesterday as my husband and I prepared for him to go back to work for the week I asked if we could spend fifteen minutes cleaning up so I could have a pleasant room to convalesce in.
I vacuumed. Moved a few items to the trash. Put my clothes in a hamper.
I broke into a heavy sweat and nearly passed out. I had to lie down.
That’s when I turned to my dearest love and said:
“Shit, I’m really sick aren’t I?”
To his eternal credit he wasn’t snarky at all when he responded. All he said as he sat next to me, took my hand, and held it was:
“Yes honey, you are. I’ve been fretting over you.”