I do this thing where I diagnose myself with a disease about, oh, EVERY TEN MINUTES. If I feel the slightest amount of pain in my head, I go straight to visions of me in the hospital and my family standing around my bed and saying, “We told her that cheap red wine was going to cause her brain to swell. If only she had bought the more expensive wine, she wouldn’t be in a coma fighting for her life.”
If an age spot shows up on the bridge of my nose, I go straight to fighting for my life, because of course it has to be cancer. It couldn’t possibly be that I am getting old and it is nothing more than an age spot. OH NO. It is cancer for sure and I probably won’t even make it to my chemo appointment, because I just felt a weird spasm in my left arm and I just know I am going to have a heart attack in a matter of minutes.
Dear GOD, as I am typing this, I accidentally spelled the word minutes with two n’s so clearly dementia is setting in and I have no idea if I will even get through this post. What was I saying?
Sadly, I have passed this trait onto Keenan. Years ago, when the HPV vaccine came out and they were advertising about every three minutes on television, “Avoid cervical cancer, get the vaccine,” I started to notice that Keenan was acting funny. After about two days of watching him mope around the house, I finally asked what was bothering him. He informed me that he had been having some pain in his stomach area and felt sure that he had cervical cancer.
After spitting my coffee in his face with laughter, I pulled my crap together and informed him that in order to have cervical cancer, one would need to have a cervix and since he had a whole different package down in his nether regions, he FOR SURE did not have a cervical cancer. We got a good chuckle out of it. Though I am certain he still wonders.
Keenan and I know we are a mess. We make fun of ourselves. But. That doesn’t stop us. Anytime someone within 100 miles of us throws up, we are nauseous for two days. When the special little notes come home from school informing us that those pesky little head bugs have surfaced and we need to do a head check every night, Keenan and I have been known to say in unison, “OH GREAT,” and walk away scratching our heads and wondering which baseball cap we will wear for the next two months while we wait for our hair to grow back, because we are going to have a case so bad, so infested, that we will both need to shave our heads. We just KNOW it.
Which brings me (FINALLY) to the point of this story. Yesterday Noah walked into the room and out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of the biggest arse bruise surrounding the inside of his elbow that I have ever seen. I mean BIG. Six inches long and three inches wide. “Noah, what the hell is that on your arm?” I asked.
“I got it last week when I fell on it wrong at a game,” he responded while looking back and forth between Keenan and I like a trapped animal.
Keenan pounced. “Let me see,” he said as he rushed over to examine Noah’s elbow. I walked over and stood next to him. We closely examined the bruise. “Wow,” Keenan said, “That is ENORMOUS.”
“It is really BIG,” I said with a worried look. Then, for no less than four minutes, Keenan and I diagnosed the HELL of his arm.
I definitely think it’s broken. No, not broken, maybe just a little chip. A little chip is broken, mom. It is a really weird color, do you think it is infected? Do you see that area that is sticking out and REALLY swollen? There is clearly something horribly wrong. We need to get him in to the doctor right away. Yes, I will call tomorrow. Maybe, you should just take him in today, I mean what if it is infected and they have to cut off his arm?
That last comment stopped us in our tracks as really, what diagnoses could beat that. Amputation. Now that is a diagnosis. And. I swear to GOD we both had the urge to hi-five each other. That is until we looked over at Noah who had sat down in a chair at the island in our kitchen. He had his head in his hands and was running his fingers through his hair.
“Noah,” I said quietly. “Are you alright?”
He looked up at me slightly teary eyed and panicked and asked, “Will I be able to play lacrosse again?”
“Oh my God Noah, were you listening to us?” Of course he was listening to us. He was two feet away and we had just decided his arm would need to be amputated.
“Yes, of course you will play football again,” I said, though I had my doubts that he would be all that good with only one arm.
“Why would you listen to us?” I asked, pointing back and forth to Keenan and then myself. “We are crazy. NOAH. You know Keenan and I are crazy. We can’t help ourselves. We try, but we can’t. I am so sorry and Keenan is too. Right Keenan. We will never diagnose you again. EVER. I promise.”
The color started to return to his face. You could see him thinking, YES, yes they are crazy. It’s not me, it’s them. I am not going to lose my arm, they are just idiots. As he stood up to walk away, I noticed a large cut on his back that seemed red and swollen. I resisted the urge to ask what it was and as I looked over at Keenan I could tell he too was working hard.