Still sane and functioning. Moomin is being particularly saintly. Between videos, he plays a bit and ten I go play a board game with him or draw some pictures. I can do this! I have even had a nap. Actually I am not half dead like I was yesterday, when even walking jarred the glands in my throat in a horribly painful way so I was cat-footing about the house like a ninja, if ninjas ever shuffle in their squalid housedresses. Today I can at least walk about.

Minnie brought my prescrips and played with Moomin some more, and brought me the latest Lemony Snicket, which is brilliant and fabulous.

Part of my embarrassing and burdensome hypochondria stems from those long afternoons in the allergist’s office. While waiting to get my shots, and then waiting afterwards for them to check my arms and make sure I was not dying of anaphylaxis, I would read Readers Digest cover to cover. (The other two magazines guaranteed to be there were Highlights and National Geographic. “Highlights” was only once a month and a quick read. Nat. Geo. I woudl have already read at home.) The jokes were often of the “Lockhorns” variety of “women drivers” or “she burned the dinner again” to where I had to read them several times to understand what the fuck was meant.

But it was the medical ‘inspirational’ articles that brought on the serious paranoia. Someone was always having a perfectly normal day: “It was an ordinary day like any other as 29 year old Edna Maples washed the dishes with her children playing happily at her feet and the golden retreivers romped happily in the snow wearing their new red mittens after Christmas dinner…” and it would build up with some lavish description of ludicrously wholesome midwesternness, like a mixture between a Norman Rockwell painting and Plain Layne, until Edna Maples felt a slight headache which she of course ignored and then she’d have a cerebral aneurysm and collapse into a permanent tragic coma.

Well… you read that stuff every week from age 7 onward and see where it gets you…

You can imagine my unnerved and furtive medline plus encyclopedia-ing of the possible horrible outcomes of strep throat, all this weekend, since I was convinced I had it.

This paranoia has not been helped by realizing that doctors, while they often make mistakes, also do not like it when the patient has any irritating amateur medical knowledge. For instance the Bulgarian from last week, after we discussed my festering throat, was not happy when I argued with her over another issue. (I hope no actual Bulgarians are reading this and become insulted – I just chose a random eastern european country… out of my own bigotry…) Issue #2 was a minor problem – a skin tag which somehow got really painful. Not to get too gross here but it’s like a very sticky-outy mole, which got some thread wrapped around it and it turned all red and black. I asked her to cut the damn thing off.

She looked at me like I was completely crazy. “This is a wart. Put wart medicine on it.”

“It’s not a wart, it’s a skin tag. I know it’s harmless but it is under my arm and it’s hurting.”

“Is wart. You can get wart medicine over the counter.”

“It’s not a wart, but you think that will work? Won’t it be a bad idea to put acid under my arm when it’s already all chafed?”

“Is not ACID. It will be fine. If you cut a wart off it could bleed and get infected.”

“Wart medicine that I’ve seen is salicylic acid…” (this is not good, but i can’t keep my mouth shut)

“In my country, they just tie string around it and POOF! pull it off.”

Um. Yeah. Yes, she actually said “In my country…”

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