It’s Not That Thing, It’s the Other Thing

I’m the kind of person who goes to the doctor and then tries to resolve every single medical concern I’ve had over the year. No matter if I’m at the appointment for gout, I’ll also ask if it’s weird my nose has grown two sizes in six months, what’s up with my butt, why I’m so gassy, should my hair be so thin, what’s this on my elbow, should this thing be infected, and can I get a prescription for wine. The really strong behind-the-counter kind.


It’s a very charming trait I have. Some people call it hypochondria.


I’ve gone to the same doctor’s office for about 10 years, and while the doctors come and go (most especially the one who took off to beauty school in Texas. In the middle of the night. Without telling anyone. And left a note saying she was pursuing a career in cosmetology and fashion. Her name was Dr. Joan Collins, and I hope she’s very happy with her medical-cosmetic degree), my patient file has outlasted them all and is encyclopedia thick. I’m sure there’s a large red “HYPOCHONDRIAC” stamp on every page. I keep trying to distract the nurse who carries it around (true story) so she’ll leave it in the doctor’s office and I can page through it at my leisure. I’m especially looking forward to getting to the page where I thought I had Lou Gehrig’s Disease.


All this is to say that each time I go to the doctor and ask my million questions and have my billion health concerns addressed, there’s always the one thing I didn’t ask that turns out to be an issue. For instance, one time I went to the doctor and after all the “my joints hurt,” “I think my knee is going bad,” “How’s my heart?” “Is this a blood clot?” and “This mole looks especially mole-y” lamenting, my doctor said “What’s this?” Looking down, I realized she meant my belly button. “Oh!” I said non-hypochondriactedly, “That’s my belly button. It popped out after my second pregnancy and never went back in. So, is my left arm longer than my right?”


That’s not a belly button,” she said. “It’s a hernia.”


My belly button is a hernia?????” I gasped.


No, Your belly button is a belly button. This other belly button is a hernia.”


So stuff like that happens.


The other day, as you might know, I went to the doctor again. As I regaled her for hours with tales of sore stomachs and adult acne, she doodled in my medical file. Finally, she asked me to disrobe for my “well woman” exam. I kept talking as she got to my chest. “And then I ate an orange and ingested a part of the peel. Will I get Vitamin C poisoning? There’s hair in my throat. Will it embed in my larynx and grow more hairs? How long can I survive a hairy larynx?”


What’s this?” She asked, stopping at my right boob.


Oh God what?” I asked back, thinking that maybe it finally happened. My armpit was now a boob.


This mass.” She said, fingering something massive. “It’s about the size of a pea.”


“Oh my GOD, oh my God, oh my God. I TOLD you I probably had something!”


You could have been more specific than I have ‘everything.'”


How long do I have?” In my head, I’d already started making videos to my kids.


Just get it checked out. We need to be proactive given your history.”


I admit I cried a little. I mean, I thought I was so on top of everything that happened to and inside my body.


Does my massive boob have anything to do with the twitching?” I blubbered.


So now I’m going in for a blood test to see if my muscles are withering.


Thankfully the boob is OK.


It’s the gout/Lou Gehrig’s Disease/hair tumor I worry about now.

16 Responses to “It’s Not That Thing, It’s the Other Thing”

  1. For reals? Everything checked out, and you have a clean bill of boob-health? I need double confirmation before I stop holding my breath…getting kinda blue over here.

  2. Oh…and I am “that” patient at my doctor’s office, too…pretty sure they hold conference before each of my appointments to prepare everyone. :) Maybe THAT’s why it takes so long to get an appt!

  3. Mel says:

    Soooooo glad to hear the boob is OK!

  4. Ami says:

    Happy boobs make everyone happy? I am so glad to read that today!!!

    I had a scare in early June, I think it was… I had already decided I was dying and was trying to figure out who to leave things to and what I was going to say in my final letters to my children.

    We still don’t know what it was. We just know what it wasn’t.

    And now it’s gone.

  5. Yay for good news! Relief all around.

  6. Natalie says:

    This post is why I love you. That is all.

  7. Crystal says:

    Woot Woot for the boobsters!

  8. Trish says:

    So happy the boob is healthy and all is well. I’m the complete opposite of you. I tell the dr nothing of all my many complaints and concerns. I was this same way as a child. My mother would get exasperated with me. “Tell the dr what you told me! How it hurts so much you can’t sleep! That you are coughing up blood!” And I’d be all, “What? It’s not that bad, Mom.” rolling my eyes. So I’m always shocked when the dr says “oh, you have a mass on your ovary/breast” or “your blood pressure is a little high.” Even when I’m at the place getting the boobs ex-rayed or the ovary ultra sound’d, I don’t worry. It can’t be anything. I’m fine. La, la, la. So far, I’ve been right. Except about the blood pressure. It’s still high.

  9. MomZombie says:

    What Natalie said.
    Glad you are OK. Didn’t know you had more than one stomach.

  10. Christina says:

    I just want to hug you.

  11. Sherri says:

    haha I’m so laughing right now! I do exactly the same thing! I always ask about everything under the sun except for what is really the problem….

    I’m very relieved to hear that your massive mass is not a problem…. Be sure to let us know how the gout, Lou Gehrig disease, hairy tumor thing turns out!

  12. Motpg says:

    Wow. I’m relieved to hear it was ok. That had to be frightening!
    I went to the doctor a couple weeks ago “for my knees” and there was actually a sign that said “No more than 2 issues will be discussed at a visit”. Can you believe that? I had like a two page list!

  13. Oh, I hurt my side laughing. The belly-button hernia! A mass. good grief!
    But thank goodness everything is okay. And I’m sure that tremor in your left hand is only low blood sugar. Really.
    (Aren’t you glad I’m not your neighbor–I would be HORRIBLE to live next to!)

  14. Jill says:

    Whew! So happy to hear that your boobies are just fine… You had me worried. Seriously.

  15. Shana says:

    Now that the book is all clear (yay!) we should start planning, like, a telethon for your other ailments. Seriously. How much fun would that be?

  16. Me says:

    I wished we lived closer because I would have gone with you for support and of course to be able to hear all the answers to your questions so I could erase them from my tallying list I keep for my doctor’s appointments.

    Thank God the boob is okay.

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