Like most dudes, I don’t go to the doctor. Not unless something is literally falling off. That something could be a leg or even dry scaly spots. True. I’m vain. And if I start getting visual blemishes on the temple that is my body, I might consider the dermatologist.
Then again, that first dermatologist may have been good at doling out prescriptions for dry scalp, but he sort of missed the more important stuff. Like the fucking skin cancer growing on my nose. That little bump had been there for so long, I didn’t give it much thought and never would have gone to the doctor to check that out had it not been for the OTHER reason dudes go to the doctor. Incessant nagging by a woman. Thankfully, that all worked out okay and now I have nothing but a cool scar to show for it.
That’s not to say I don’t worry about things. Especially the older I get. If something is hurting I immediately assume I’m catching a stroke, a heart attack or the cancer. Or all three at the same time. And because I’ve known a couple of youngish people who got dropped in broad daylight by a brain aneurysm, when I get a headache I tend to assume I’ve got approximately fifteen minutes to live.
And I’ve been having headaches lately. Eyeball piercing headaches in the left eye. They wrap around to the back of my head and grab me by my neck. Sometimes they feel sinus-y. Sometimes they don’t. Still, they’re just headaches, right? Besides, by the time I jump through the hoops to get to the doctor, they’ll magically disappear or I’ll be dead.
But one of them got so bad the other night, I finally through in the towel. I know what’s going to happen. They’re going to look up my nose or something and say, “Meh. Allergies.” And they’re probably right. I’ve been developing allergies the older I get. Tree pollen or something. (Death to all trees and the people who hug them). This spring was extremely brutal and now that I think about it, the headaches are following a similar pattern.
Either way, I want these things gone. It’s not just the pain. It’s the feeling that I’ve turned into one of those old ladies who has to go lie down in a dark room over her eyes until her “spell” has passed. Sure, she might be in legitimate pain, but you know and I know we all think of that old lady as crazy. Crazy and lonely and smelling of cats.
But wait! It gets better. As you may or may not know, I’m running the Hampton Half Marathon with Team in Training to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This involves hanging out and going on training runs with a lot of cool people, some who have survived cancer and some who know people who have survived (or succumbed).
Now look, I know, rationally, that cancer is not contagious. I know this. But being around it can sure cause hypochondria! Before training runs, we have something called mission moments, in which one of the participants tells everyone else why he or she is running. Last night, this guy gets up and tells us about his college buddy who’d been diagnosed with leukemia. The warning signs? Three days of splitting headaches and bleeding gums.
Remember up above where I told you about my headaches? Yeah, that. Also, my gums bled the other night. Granted, not uncontrollably for no reason, but because I got a little aggressive with the floss. (I figure if I’m gonna floss once a year, I’m gonna make it count.) So anyway, yeah. My gums bled, too. Suddenly, I was having visions of me standing up in front of the group saying, “My mission moment is, well, me. I caught the cancer.” And then everyone breaks down crying uncontrollably and telling me how brave and strong I am and how good I look with no hair.
Still, I found some inner strength and finished last night’s training run. Then went home and went to sleep (with the help of my good friend Ambien). Today? Headache is a little less. Probably my body just gearing up to embarrass me in front of the doctor this afternoon — like your car when you bring it into the shop.
Either that or the Zyrtec is working.