Good Stuff: My Health


Although my rampant hypochondria may suggest otherwise, I am generally an incredibly healthy person.

Plus the truth is that my hypochondria has decreased by many-folds since I was a teenager; none of the diseases I had convinced myself I had ever actually manifested and even I could not continue to suspect that I had a weak constitution when I never actually ever got sick.

As an adult I do continue to spout ideas for diseases that I likely have with every little symptom I get but that really comes more out of habit than any real sense of concern.

Of course, when I found the tick on me in April, my several-days long obsessive WebMDing of Lyme Disease was legit.

But then again of course, I never got Lyme Disease.

With the notable exception of my first year of teaching (two sinus infections, strep throat and a truly heinous norovirus) I rarely get sick as an adult.  I get about a cold a year, and sometimes at the tail end of a cold or when I have a really exciting trip coming up, I’ll get a barky cough that won’t go away.  It will be my only symptom, usually and I am so used to it that it barely phases me.  Plus, since I always get these coughs before and during exciting trips, the taste of Halls Cherry Menthol cough drops reminds me of All-Eastern Orchestra in Pittsburgh, Disney World, Disney Land, Scotland, &c. in the very best of ways.

Anyway, today I feel kind of crappy.  Symptoms are a headache and a body ache and the occasional bout of dizziness, plus also my body is reacting poorly to shifts in temperature. Intense shivers at the grocery store, the sweats when I am outside.

Part of me -the old hypochondriac part – believes that I have West Nile Virus.  This is because I got two big mosquito bites the other day and my mom said, “Be really careful about getting mosquito bites.  All the mosquito diseases are rampant this summer” which is an insane thing for my mother to say to me.  She’s usually smarter about not suggesting diseases to me and my sisters, because she knows how we are.

But most of me believes that this is just a mild Megabug from the Megabus, and it will pass in no time.

I am sure one day my health will not be as good as it is.  Bad Shit, you know?  But for now, my health is Good Stuff and I celebrate it.

Also, to make myself feel better I had breakfast for dinner.  Eggos, Tater Tots, Bacon…only the best meal ever.  Even though I encountered serious First World Problem on my way to brinner:

two whole blocks away, no less!

And finally, all this thinking about how lucky I am to have good health has had this scene running through my head:

So brilliant, I think I will eat another Eggo and watch The Princess Bride now.


On Bad Shit and Good Stuff


I keep trying to write this particular blog post and it keeps coming out cheesy and then I delete everything I’ve written and start again.

Cheesy is not my schtick (just the flavor profile my Monster likes, know what I’m saying?!) so I am trying to make it better.

This is the last time I try to write this post, but I am afraid that it’s going to come out cheesy again no matter how hard I try and I’m going to publish it anyway.  So you’ve been warned.

I’ve been thinking lately about Bad Shit, and how it happens.  It happens to good people and for no reason and all the time and it sucks and there is no life so secure that Bad Shit cannot encroach on it. Bad Shit can be so bad and shitty it fundamentally alters people’s lives – inner and outer- and that is terrifying, because Bad Shit is simultaneously both random and universal.

It has been on my mind a lot.

But the past few days, I have had something else on my mind: Bad Shit’s counterpart Good Stuff.

Good Stuff happens too, to good people and for no reason and all the time and if you let it, it can also fundamentally alter your life – inner or outer – just like Bad Shit can.  I just feel like it is really a lot easier to not notice when Good Stuff comes and shapes our lives, whereas Bad Shit really gets our attention.

Good Stuff is often quiet and unassuming whereas Bad Shit tends to be more bold, obnoxious.

My life has been significantly balanced more toward Good Stuff than Bad Shit.  It is nice sometimes to pretend like my life is like this because I take steps to insulate it.  Steps like wearing my seat belt or not walking alone in sketchy alleyways after dark or using toiletries manufactured without parabens or all manner of other cautious, responsible things that might mitigate the possibility of disaster.

But I know the truth, which is that I have been lucky.

My stars have been kind so far, but all the sunscreen in the world won’t stop a cancer that really wants to destroy me or one of my loved ones.  (It will have to really want it, obviously, but, as I understand it, cancer is pretty good at single-mindedly pursuing its destructive ends.)

Since Bad Shit can come calling whenever – it’s rude like that – I think the best thing I can do about it is focus a little more on the Good Stuff.  Take some time to really appreciate the Good Stuff in my life because right now I have it there to appreciate.

I have also decided that I want more Good Stuff in my life.  I feel sometimes like I have had more than my fair share, and that I am greedy to want more.  But I want to severely overbalance my Good Stuff to Bad Shit scale in advance of Bad Shit that may happen, so that my scales never go too far in the Bad Shit direction.

So this is going to be Good Stuff Week.  I am going to spend some time writing about Good Stuff in my life because that’s the best way I can think of to stop myself thinking so much about all the Bad Shit that could happen.

Also, just to be clear: I will continue to wear sunscreen and my seat belt and to stick with my generally risk-averse behaviors because while I beleive Bad Shit is random, I also have to believe that at least some of it may also be avoidable.