I spent from 4.30pm to 9.30pm yesterday at a school band concert. By the time I harassed the youngest into bed it was close to 10pm. I didn’t have any creativity left in me. I also start work at 6am, so there wasn’t much time to be creative this morning.
Hence, I am going to (re)tell you about the time I grew a unicorn horn …
I’m always apologetic when I go to the doctor. Forgive me for bothering you … It’s probably nothing, but … Would you mind taking a look at …
I’m so sorry, but it’s that time of the year again … Pull on the rubber gloves, it’s me …
Because I never seem to go to the doctor with anything simple, like the sniffles.
It’s always something unsightly or orifice-y.
It usually takes me a few weeks/months to steel myself for the visit. At first I convince myself I’m imagining it, that it will go away, it’s nothing to worry about.
Then I consult with Doctor Google, intending to set my mind at rest but freaking myself out instead.
Then I start compiling ailments so I can make it worth the doctor’s/my while if the main complaint is something frivolous.
But – disconcertingly – I’ve noticed that as I get older, the niggling concerns often turns out to be a major worries.
Invariably the doctor says, “I’ve never seen something like this before” (which fills me with a bizarre sense of pride), “I think we should biopsy that”, “the results show abnormal cells” and – yesterday – “I have no idea what that is – I’m just going to scrape a bit off and send it away to the lab”.
Winding back a bit … A few weeks ago I noticed a lump on my head. I couldn’t get a good look so I asked Husband [we were still together at the time] to examine it. He went slightly green and asked if I had ringworms. I said I thought ringworms were by definition ring-shaped.
Then I showed my mum, who is the world expert in skin conditions, and she went slightly green and said she had no idea what it was but I should see a doctor.
The lump started growing rapidly upwards. The eldest suggested it might be a horn and perhaps I was turning into a unicorn. Bless her.
I called my doctor but she was off on her latest archaeological dig (hobby) and the pouty receptionist had no idea when she might be back.
So I was forced to contact the local medical centre, where we whisk the kids in times of sickness, mental illness and injections. Cue fresh waves of apologetic-ness that someone who wasn’t even my regular doctor would be exposed to one of my unpleasant ailments.
At 1pm, I sidled into the reception and filled out a new patient form. Then I slouched apologetically into the doctor’s room babbling my “You’ve treated my daughters but I never get sick” line. Liar. “Well, I did have multiple disaccharide deficiencies about four years ago … Er, No, not sure why … Stabilised them in consultation with a dietician.
“Oh, and I had a skin cancer removed recently … Er, no, not sure what sort. It was red and scaly, does that help? No? Well, I think it might have been basal … Really, basal ones aren’t red and scaly? Oh … Sorry, no idea.”
And finally, with a nervous gulp, I got to my latest problem. “It’s probably nothing, sorry to bother you, but I have a strange lump on my head.”
He took one look, announced he had no idea what it was, scraped some off with a scalpel and sent it off to be grown in a laboratory for three weeks. Then he offered the comforting assurance that it probably wasn’t cancerous because my hair hadn’t fallen out around it.
Well, there’s an upside.
We both studiously ignored the flashing suggestion on his computer screen that – due to my age and gender – he should perform a pap smear.
And so, $70 and five minutes later I was back on the street. Still none the wiser about my weird lump.
My hairdresser took one look at it a week later and said “Pffft! Psoriasis!”
Turned out there was no need to spend all that money on expensive tests. And so yet another icky condition was added to my long list of ailments.
Looking back, the psoriasis was a symptom of my deep distress over my crumbling marriage. Dr Google tells me one of its major causes is “uncontrolled stress.”
Two years ago, when that unicorn horn grew, I was so miserable in my relationship that I thought my heart was going to implode.
Within a few months of my ex leaving, the psoriasis did too.
No sign of it since.
It’s funny how unhappiness can manifest itself in such physical ways.
Last night my ex and I sat together at the kids’ band concert. We laughed and chatted between musical acts. No one looking at us would have guessed we were horribly, irrevocably separated.
I’m so glad our marriage isn’t making me unhappy any more.
What’s the weirdest medical ailment you’ve had (that you’re prepared to own up to)?
Song of the day: David Bowie “Ashes to Ashes”