Thursday, March 11, 2010

doom and gloom and the bird flu

I've always been a glass half full kind of gal. But can an optimist also be a raging hypochondriac? I've been so lucky to be generally healthy, but when I'm not I'm really, really not.

Last week, as the noodle was getting over her flu, I noticed one of my eyes was bloodshot. On Friday morning, the diagnosis was clear - I had pink eye. Later that evening, I had also come down with a nasty stomach flu that is running rampant in Richmond. So I spent that beautiful, sunny weekend passed out on the sofa while Mac and the noodle were out having fun.

Flash forward one week later and I'm still sick. The pink eye is now red in both eyes. My glands are still swollen. I feel yucky. So, I did what any other self-respecting non-medical person with Internet access would do: I self diagnosed.

Yes, last night while Mac worked late, I worked up the courage to face my best friend and biggest foe - webmd.com. This site is useful for all kinds of things when I'm healthy, but when I'm sick it only makes me worse. Case in point, I used the "symptom checker" to try to pair the pink eye with the throat/gland issues and the recent flu stuff (all of which could be unrelated, but I wanted to be sure). On the list of 12 results were the obvious things like conjunctivitis, tonsilitis and strep throat... but then, wait, what was that at the bottom of the list? BIRD FLU!!!

Apparently, a person with bird flu will exhibit flu-like symptoms along with pink eye. Umm, hi, that would be ME! So, right there on the very sofa on which I convalesced last weekend, I had a full on panic attack. Further research indicated that only half of those who are diagnosed with bird flu survive, that the next step would likely be pneumonia and that I'd be gone in 9-10 days - as in by the end of this weekend. Panic!

Lucky Mac when he arrived home from a long day of work at 10:30 feeling drained and absolutely starving since he hadn't eaten anything since a lousy PB&J at lunch. Instead of a nice relaxing meal, he got a crazy, sobbing wife who informed him of her bird flu, certain death and the fact that she cannot leave this world while the noodle is so young.

Fortunately, Mac doesn't share my hypochondria. He reassured me that the chicken we ate last Thursday night was unlikely to have been tainted, that I'm not even sick enough to have bird flu and that I can keep raising the noodle until she becomes an adolescent and I change my mind ... or until I am admitted to an inpatient psych unit for treatment. Whichever comes first.

1 comment:

britta said...

Stay strong Jamie. Half the people don't survive, but half DO! I thought you said optimist.

Get better soon. Thanks for the giggle.