Five Things Friday...NOT...Four Things Friday

**First and foremost I want to send my thoughts and well-wishes to everyone in Boston right now.  What is happening is devastating madness and I hope it will all be resolved soon.  Till then stay safe Beantowners.**

Anyway, I've had some recent requests from some of you Blogstalkers to bring back the Five Things Friday posts so I am going to do that for you all today, though I can not promise that it will be a fixture in the future.  Also today is only four things.  You'll thank me, there are entirely too many words in this post.

So I've said it before and I'll say it again.  I'm a hypochondriac.  Everytime I have a headache or yawn a lot I think I'm suffering greatly from something unfortunate.  It started I think when I ran out of books to read as a child so I found and read my mom's Medical Dictionary.


It sort of looked like this and probably remains to this day the scariest book I've ever read.  It had an index in the back that I would use to self-diagnose myself whenever I had anything from a runny nose (MOOOM! I think I have cocaine abuse!) to a very deep splinter after attempting to do the running man on the back deck.

So anyway,

Four Things Friday - The Ailments I Most Frequently Convince Myself I Have

1. Appendicitis.  If my side hurts I have Appendicitis.  It doesn't even matter which side it is since the medical dictionary assures me that Appendicitis pain, while usually manifesting on the right side, can actually move around and affect the left side as well.  It can even make the behind-the-belly-button area sore. Ryan knows that if he looks over and finds me with my finger in my belly-button, he has caught me testing for appendix issues.  I am so sure that at some point my appendix is going to insist on seeing the outside world that I have considered buying it a jar, something with a nice city view perhaps though I suppose anything trumps an intestinal view.  The best part about this idea is that come Halloween when I make my bags full of Monster's Eyeballs (peeled grapes) and Worms (spaghetti noodles) I can also use the appendix and then all my friends (Ryan and Vanessa) will reach inside that bag and be like, "Uhhh I don't know, what is this?  A dried apricot?  Is it supposed to be like a monster tongue?"  And I will get to shout, "NO! It's a real appendix!"

2. Meningitis, specifically Bacterial Meningitis.  When I was going away to college I made my mom take me to my doctor and have him give me the vaccination for Meningitis because I read that it was much more common on college campuses than anywhere else.  Now you might say, but Lauren, as you were an all grown-up 18 year old why did your mommy have to come with you to that appointment?  Well that is because the doctor did not deem it necessary when I asked the first time and so I left an article on college and Bacterial Meningitis where I knew my mom would see it and then she was like "HAVE YOU SEEN THIS!? We are getting you a vaccine for this."  And I was like, "::sigh:: If you say so mom."

One of the most common symptoms of Meningitis is neck pain when you attempt to bring your chin down to your chest.  So anytime I detect any symptom of any kind or just feel 'off' my very first diagnostic test is to touch my chin to my chest.  This is especially unhelpful because of how I have a bad neck anyway (I've been to lots of physical therapy for it) so it very often hurts to touch my chin to my chest.  It's gotten to the point that I do this so often that (like the appendix thing) Ryan has started to notice it and say things like "LAUREN, you absolutely do not have Meningitis, you just ate too much cheese."  To which I reply, "No I don't think that's what it is.  I've eaten more cheese than this before and it didn't hurt to touch my chin to my chest afterward.  Let's just keep a close eye on me for the rest of the day."

Sometimes he dismisses my Meningitis fears so much that I think, "Just you wait Ryan, one of these days it is going to be Meningitis and then you will regret it!  I can not wait until that day comes."  And then I think "Lauren sometimes you think the stupidest things."

3.  There is not a name for this I don't think but I am convinced that my bottom teeth are moving around.  I swear they are not in the same place they were in last year.  Chewing just feels different.  When I casually mentioned this, my dentist just laughed and assured me that if my night guard still fits that my teeth are not "having middle of the night dance parties as you so eloquently put it."  I pointed out that the night guard would only prove that about my top teeth, which are quite obedient and excellent at biting into apples, and I was not worried about those teeth but rather the ones down below.  I was like, "Look! This tooth is starting to cross over this other tooth!  It's like freaking Snaggle Rock down here!"

(Remember Fraggle Rock?)



4. Strep Throat.  I legitimately got Strep A LOT as a child/teenager until finally my tonsils were so damaged at 21 that my doctor insisted I get them taken out.  Because I was older when I had it done the recovery from that surgery kicked my butt.  I couldn't eat anything for weeks and had lingering ear and throat pain for the next month until all the inflammation was gone.  So even though my doctor promised me that I would most likely not get Strep any longer, I am terrified, even eight years later that the surgery and recovery will end up not being worth it.  Just last week I woke up with a sore throat.  I forced Ryan to examine me using a flashlight and a popsicle stick.  I was all, "Dju hee unny huphahock eyes?"  To which he responded, "No I do not see any Streptococci but your throat looks a little blue, actually a lot blue."  Which freaked me out for a good ten minutes whilst I googled "Blue throat, probable botched tonsillectomy."  But then I remembered that in order to get the popsicle stick I had had to eat a blue popsicle.

That's all folks!  I'm a weird bird and I know it.  And now you're all scared away.

Have the loveliest weekend possible!


46 comments:

  1. I had a meningitis shot before I went to college too. My parents insisted. It was unpleasant because I was not up to date on ANY of my vaccines, so I would up getting a MMR, tetanus, meningitis, and hep C all in one day.

    Because they hurt and I was afraid to bend my arms, I walked around like the Hulk all day. Very attractive for a person who has broad shoulders anyway.

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    1. I THINK the Meningitis shot was the only one I had to get before I went away to school but that is because I had just gotten a tetanus shot after cutting myself on something rusty otherwise that would have been thrown into the mix too I'm sure.

      That many shots in one day, YIKES.

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  2. So now I can make #1 worse for you. You're welcome. Ryan is welcome too. Let me tell you my story:

    September of 2011 I had extremely debilitating pain directly in the center of my torso. Just under the breastbone, but /above/ the bellybutton (which is important). The doctors did some scans, gave me some pain meds and sent me home, hinting that I should stop coming to see them for things that are just gas.

    A few days later the pain went away.

    A year later, almost to the day, I am rushed to the hospital at 4 AM by my amazing wife with the exact same pain. Same place, same feeling of being so bad that smashing my head against the wall felt better, everything.

    It was appendicitis. The first hospital had discounted that as a possibility because NOBODY gets appendicitis pain where I had it. Well, nobody but me.

    A few days ago I felt pain in the place where you're supposed to feel appendicitis pain. No, my appendix had not grown back. Instead, a bit of fat had twisted itself in place, cut off the blood flow to itself, and died. Now I'm going to have pain for, oh, the next FEW WEEKS, potentially equaling or surpassing the appendix pain.

    But yeah, you're welcome. That appendix pain can be ANYWHERE.

    TL;DR - Any pain, anywhere, could be your appendix.

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    1. First, I love your TL;DR comment at the end. Second, I did read the entire thing and now I am sure I have Appendicitis because one of my shoulders is a bit sore. Possibly from sleeping weird but PROBABLY from Appendicitis.

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    2. Aaand, I'm right there with you on the strep except that my parents couldn't afford surgery and then there's no way I could afford surgery when I left my parent's house, so I still have my tonsils. I'm paranoid as hell about getting strep. Sometimes I think I get it just when I hear the word, or read it.

      What I'm saying is, my throat is sore now and I blame you.

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    3. Strep is the worst RIGHT!? I hate that you have experience with it but it's nice that someone else knows how much I fear Strep.

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    4. The second there's a tickle in my throat I run to a mirror with a high-powered flashlight and start looking for THE SPOTS.

      My doctor ran a culture on my throat once and the culture came back negative. I looked him in the eyes, told him "You know my history. I know strep. It's strep." He agreed and said that the cultures often come back faulty.

      I'm more reliable than a medical procedure. Wonderful.

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    5. I guess I shouldn't tell you that one time my shoulder was super sore so I went to the Dr. and they said thats the number one sign you have gallbladder problems and had to have my gallbladder removed the next day.

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    6. No worries Angela, I had gallbladder things going on (fake ones that only existed in my brain) recently and got an ultrasound done. All clear for now with the gallbladder!

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    7. Jeremiah - Haha I'm obsessed with checking the color of my tongue because that was always my first symptom.

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    8. I am obsessed now with this dead fat thing... why is nobody investigating dead fat?!?!

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    9. Cursing Mama - the dead fat thing isn't as interesting as it seems, EXCEPT that the pain and location of pain mimic appendicitis - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiploic_appendagitis

      So now Lauren has something else it could be when it's proven not to be appendicitis.

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    10. Angela - J'accuse!

      So, in the end, I had THREE things wrong with me, one of which was gallstones. Gallstones probably weren't actually there until after I read this thread. Just sayin'.

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  3. Bwahaha! That's great! I'm the same way, just not as bad though. I freak out anytime I have pain in my sides or if my knee starts hurting. At least I have an excuse for when my left wrist starts hurting! I broke it when I was like 11. After that though, every time I fell or anything I was at the hospital convinced I broke my wrist or my collarbone or my ankles.

    Fun sidenote: When my mom was in her party days while I was like 8, she got super drunk with her best friend and tried to walk home in some persons yard and fell into a hole and broke her ankle. She was alternately laughing because she was so trashed and crying because it hurt.

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    1. I used to be in the ER all the time with broken fingers (not quite the same as broken wrists or ankles) but then I realized that all they did was splint and tape it so now I just do that at home unless my finger is pointing the wrong way or something. And now as big a hypochondriac as I am, I try to avoid the ER at all costs. Takes too long. I prefer to just bother my doctor (who is wonderful) the next day.

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  4. Jennifer T4/19/2013

    Lauren, have you heard of the book "Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness" by Susannah Cahalan? I'm about 1/3 of the way through and it's amazing, but it's also bringing out my inner hypochondriac. I'm convinced that one day I will too be diagnoised with this extremely rare ailment that baffles the world...it's just kind of my luck. This book does NOT help that feeling, but it is a great read.

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    1. Jennifer, it's actually really coincidental that you would mention that book because I read it just last week and it made me feel exactly the same way. It was frightening and amazing and hard to put down. She actually appeared on The Today Show once after her original article and then again after her book came out and you can find both on YouTube!

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  5. It feels so good to know that there are people out there that are just like me.

    I am ALWAYS convinced there is something wrong with me. I'm a big fan of meningitis, heart attacks, and blood clots. It drives my husband nuts, but it's like I can't ever STOP!

    Also, I've been having pain associated with costochondritis for like, almost an entire year, and I'm convinced it's something worse. (It probably isn't. I have poor posture and am a stress ball. It just makes it worse.)

    YAY FOR WORRYWARTS! (Are those real? Because I probably have them too. Somewhere.)

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    1. Haha worrywarts. If it wasn't a thing before it totally is now. I probably have them all over my brain. Must have scan soon.

      I had costochondritis briefly in college after working out too hard and it scared the ever-loving crap out of me. Even an EKG didn't quite convince me that I was not having a heart episode of some sort.

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    2. That's it, I'm totally telling my doctor that I have worrywarts. Can't wait to see her reaction!

      I went to my cardiologist (I have Mitral Valve Prolapse, so I illegitimately have a cardiologist!) and told him how I was freaked out that I didn't really have costochondritis, but something more serious. After an Echo and some listening he looked at me very seriously and said, "What you need to do is put your feet up and relax. You are way too worried about things that aren't happening."

      So... I guess he moonlights as a therapist now?

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  6. Jennifer T4/19/2013

    Oh - and I had chronic appendicitis. My appendix wasn't at risk of rupturing at all when they took it out, but it was calcified. They said I had probably had appendicitis for the past four to five years. My first call was to my mother saying "I am NOT crazy, I TOLD you something was wrong!"

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    1. I didn't know that was a thing! Now every time I have side pain and it goes away and Ryan said says "SEE, not Appendicitis after all." I can say, "Well we don't know that for SURE yet."

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  7. I'm a complete hypochondriac. Recently they've been showing these commercials for people who laugh and cry inappropriately and its a disease called pseudobulbar affect and I'm looking at he tv and looking at my wife and going "oh my god baby I've got that I laugh inappropriately every time you get hurt and I cry all the time this is why! I have this!" And she told me that I laugh because I'm mean and cry because at 31 apparently I am freaking perimenopausal early as heck so yea. . . I still say its pseudobulbar affect

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    1. Oh I love this! Mostly because I'm terrible at being unable to contain my laughter when someone else gets hurt. (Unless they're seriously hurt of course.) My whole family does it. We just call it "Having The Osborne Gene" since that's my mom's maiden name.

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  8. That's funny...I pretty much always assume my kidneys are failing. Why, I'm not sure, but eventually I assume they will. Also, the meningitis vaccine was practically mandatory when I went to school here in Texas.

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  9. I love my Taber's. That's just good reading, right there. My Mom was a nurse and I had one of those growing up too. Anything you wanted to know, explained in words a kid could understand. Good times.

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    1. I always just wished there were more pictures. And in some cases, LESS pictures.

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  10. Three things:
    Meningitis vaccine was required when I went to university, for all students living in the dorms. I was scared I would get infected from the vaccine, so you're braver than I!

    My bottom teeth have moved, too! But my retainer still fits! (yes, I'm a late-twenty-something with retainers. shut up.) Then again, if I'd been wearing it with any degree of regularity it would probably fit *better* and my teeth would be less snaggly.

    I also had frequent strep in my youth, but never had my tonsils out, so I'm terrified to have it as an adult because I figure I'll die, or worse, need surgery.

    So glad I'm not alone in these fears. Thanks, guys!

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    1. Three things:

      1. The vaccine was required at some of my friends' colleges. I was actually perturbed that mine didn't require it!

      2. Oh I don't retainer-judge, Ryan is supposed to still be wearing a retainer at night and now he will kill me for saying that.

      3. I had to get my tonsils out because I kept getting Strep even as an adult, more than twice a year so if you're not still getting it so frequently I would guess you might be safe!

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  11. Anonymous4/19/2013

    I don't know if this is true for adults, but I have read that for kids a good quick check to see if pain is appendicitis is to have them jump up and down. If it is appendicitis it will be very painful.
    That said, my good friend had her appendix rupture because the pain was all in her back. She had been to the Dr. 2 times and they never even suspected her appendix.
    Katie K.

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    1. 1. I appreciate that jumping up and down thing. I just did it and nothing hurt especially so I feel safe for the moment.

      2. Seriously Pain EVERYWHERE equals Appendicitis. I'm thinking of just having mine taken out cosmetically.

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  12. Web MD is not my friend! When my daughter's appendix perforated and ruptured, I thought she had food poisoning. I still freak out when she says anything in her abdomen hurts and she doesn't even have an appendix anymore. So, better safe than sorry! I'm not helping, am I? Also, the same daughter had strep like a million times - if someone said "strep" within a five mile radius of her, she'd get it - until one day about 5 years ago, she took this herb we got from the witch doctor. She hasn't had strep since. Not once. True story.

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    1. I must find this herb and stuff my mouth full of it. And yeah, Web MD, I stay far far away.

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  13. Huh, I thought I was the only one who worried about her teeth moving around of their own free will. The number of times I've been caught just standing in the bathroom, mouth wide open, trying to see inside.

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  14. I had viral meningitis in September this year. I had been to urgent care that week already and had no problem touching my chin to my chest or turning my head from side to side. It was the blinding headache when I tried to lie down and all over body pain that sent me to the hospital. Infectious disease got me a nice private room for 4 days :) Now aren't you glad you asked?? LOL.

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  15. Anonymous4/19/2013

    Whenever I get a headache, I always think that I might have a brain tumor!

    xoxo!

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  16. I had strep throat once as an adult - it's not a picnic. One of my kids gave it to me. Like an STD, only it was KTD.

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  17. Anonymous4/19/2013

    I'm on my 3rd throat infection so far this year. I had 7 last year. My tonsils will be coming out at the age of 29. I'm desperately hoping it's worth it. 5 months of mono with a recurring tonsil infection on top of it at the age of 21 did them in.

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  18. Megan M.4/19/2013

    I recently thought I might have skin cancer because I had this weird thing on my nose that wouldn't go away. Then it hits me - it's a wart. (I've never had one before, so it took me a while to figure it out.) But I have a wart on my nose like a real-life witch! Huzzah!

    Let me add to your list of things to freak out about: ectopic pregnancy. If you have pain in your abdomen that is "reflected" in your shoulder when you lay down, you might have an ectopic pregnancy. Women die from those.

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  19. I am a complete hypochondriac too.

    I've been to the emergency room several times for assumed appendicitis because that is what google/webmd says I have. I have come back with the diagnosis of 1) Mittelschmerz - which is ovulation pain. meaning I feel it when I ovulate. especially in my right ovary.and I feel it. ALOT. 2) Ovarian cysts. Sometimes as large as a softball. truth. 3) Strep Throat-- I ended up being hospitalized for this one. I had strep throat, didn't have it treated because I didn't even have a sore throat, and the infection traveled to my lymph nodes in my stomach. I didn't even think this could happen. 4) Actual appendicitis-- the time I actually had appendicitis, I didn't even go to the ER. I waited about 18 hours from when the pain got intense. I seriously thought it was the mittelschmerz, so I got drunk to ignore the pain. Then the next day, I went to urgent care and they recommended I go to the ER. I took my time... I wasn't even running a fever... and the darn thing almost burst!

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  20. I'd just like to remind everyone that if you notice any kind of rash or skin irritation, STAY AWAY from the internet! It will surely clear up much faster and with a lot less stress that way (especially if you know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who might have had bedbugs.)

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  21. First of all, I also had chronic appendictis that lasted for 6 years before the dr's removed it. I kept telling my mom that I know I'm not crazy but it hurts, The dr told my mom that it was "female"trouble and I was like 9 years old!

    And secondly, I saw a Halloween tombstone prop that you so need. It was at Restoration Hardware and it said "I Told You I Was Sick". I wanted it so bad but it was just too pricy.

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  22. Yes you are totally weird but that's why I visit, makes me feel not so alone in the universe of weird totally awesome women folk.

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  23. Firstly, I am LOVING the mom manipulation - you are a master!

    As for the teeth thing? Lauren - I am so with you on this. I have lost count of the times I stand in front of the mirror examining my 2 front bottom teeth! I just do not remember them crossing over up until this year. Surely I would remember such a thing? I really cannot be that forgetful. Like you, everyone thinks I am going a bit mental (more than usual).

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  24. Debbie4/22/2013

    I begged my doctor to give me the HPV vaccination a few years ago even though I was over 26. I offered to pay for it myself. No dice. Our relationship hasn't been good since then.

    I did though get the meningitis vaccine for free in college because we had an outbreak in the dorms and I didn't even live in the dorms, but I had access to them. So ha! Free vaccination from the state. Biggest medical triumph.

    Going later to get my foot x-rayed...it might be broken...I think.

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