“You are over the top, batshit crazy.”

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October 17, 2013 by nooffensebut

I’ve decided the ability to be both honest and supportive is a gift. And, perhaps, there’s a second gift in the ability to accept that honest advice.

I had another three days of crazy-worry this week. I realize that confessing to actually being the stress bug that I am, such as with my tale a few weeks back of panicking upon being unable to locate my boyfriend, might lead readers to think that I’m some sort of certifiably insane person who tries to eat her own skin or converses with imaginary six-foot tall bunnies. But I digress.

The stress started, I’m pretty sure, when I wrote a story about the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure last week. While it’s a wonderful cause, I’m not the best person to write the story. Breast cancer is my “mishegas,” a Yiddish word which loosely translated means “the thing about which I am a complete and utter banana-flavored loony tune.”

A healthy woman in her early 30s with no real family history of breast cancer needs to be vigilant, but the degree of anxiety I have surrounding this particular issue is off the charts.

Still, knowing that didn’t stop me from ending up in a specialist’s office three days after the Komen story printed, demanding: “Does that feel normal? How do you know? Do an ultrasound.” Truly, God bless any doctor who ever has me as a patient. I’m a nightmare.

It’s because of a few people, however, that I was able to hold it together.

“I made an appointment for tomorrow with a doctor,” I told my significant other on Monday.

“Is it with a psychiatrist?” Joe retorted good-naturedly.

But he not only drove me to my appointment, he came into the exam room with me and sat through an hour-long waiting period/examination despite a growling stomach and the siren call of Chik-fil-A two floors below.

My cousin also spent two days e-mailing back and forth with me, comforting me with words like: “If something is wrong, you’ll get treated and taken care of. If something is really wrong, let’s thank God for health insurance and supportive friends and family, and then get it treated and taken care of. Best case scenario? Nothing is wrong and you’re just really over-the-top (expletive deleted) crazy.”

But nothing she said was quite as helpful as these words: “You’re not dying, freak.” Only she didn’t say freak, she said another word that I can’t print.

Funny thing, having people who love me remind me that I am just a little “over-the-top (expletive deleted) crazy” really did help. Even if it didn’t seem like it at the time. Even if I didn’t quite realize it at the time.

For the record, everything was absolutely fine. And yes, Joe did hand me an “I told you so” as we left the doctor’s office.

And then he bought me lunch.

 Originally published Sept. 30, 2011 in the Chattanooga Times Free Press
 A reader response:
Holly,
 
As the saying goes better safe than sorry.  I just hope my daughter and daughter-in-law read your article.  My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 14, 2001.  Ten days later my wife was also diagnosed with breast cancer.  My wife has been having regular mammograms for years and although we were shocked by the results of the biopsy we had known since 07 that things we a little abnormal.  We know of several women who have or are going through treatment for beast cancer and most are under the age of 40.  I have been trying to get my loved ones to have a mammogram now and not wait till age 40.  I’m very glad you went to see a physician and were checked out.  Breast cancer is very curable if caught early and although I don’t know your age but I assume you are under 40 and did not wait like the insurance companies would like for you to do.  I hope your article encourages other women to have any fears they may have to have them checked out properly.
 
Thanks for your article.
 
Jim B

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