I Want to Live

My melancholy is best cured with Talking Heads, in particular I Want to Live

I’m starting to believe my body seriously dislikes Christmas and is starting to act out in the most ingenious ways to get out of it.

I consider myself a relatively healthy person. Except it takes me forever to get over a cold, but regarding major illnesses I have had minimal hospitalization. However, a couple of years ago I had my first allergic reaction. Turns out that I am highly allergic to scallops, and it has metathesized over the last two years. Now I need less to make sick, and each time is more severe than the last. Although nothing really scared me as much as the first time. Where I was found in the bathtub delirious and refusing to get out, totally disregarding the fact I had even thrown up in the bathtub. This Christmas day, it turned out that the secret ingredient in the lobster bisque was in fact scallops. So the little I had of the broth, and the fact it was my second Christmas dinner feast of the day, I got extremely nauseous and spent the rest of the night with minimal to no appetite, half the time hovering over the toilet in case everything would be coming back to me, or sitting zombie-like in the living room desperately trying to keep myself awake. Christmas spirit to the max.

The morning after, on boxing day, I woke up feeling fine. Except with an unexplainable strings in my entire upper torso. Similar to the feeling after my first Body Pump session at the gym, but without post-gym stretching of any kind. Didn’t really make sense, since the only strenuous activity I had done the previous days was setting the table, and there’s no way in hell that could have been the source to my aching. Must be something else tormenting me.

Yesterday morning however, I woke up with an added sharp sting in my right shoulder-blade and extremely sore ribs, mostly hurting right under my left breast. The feeling were as if I had severe hunger pains (turns out this is only applicable pain sensation I feel), but they didn’t go away after my turkey brunch. So having mentioned this in passing to my brother, he tattled-taled it to my mother that got overly concerned, and wanted me to go see the doctor and have a cardiogram. Fairly certain that I was in fact not having a heart attack, I still decided to bear with her, being Christmas and all and go see the doctor against my will.

Turned out that the doctor was out, but I could see a nurse. She was convinced I had a fibromyalgia (í. vefjagigt), but should consult with a doctor to be sure.

Later that day, I met up with a proper physician. After explaining my symptoms, she was sure it was my gallbladder. I would have a sonogram  in the morning and complete blood work.

Uncertain what was going on with me, sounded serious since I was going to be fasting and going through all of these test at various places in Reykjavík in the wee small hours of the morning. Thus I decided, better be safe than sorry, and reluctantly postponed my Mad-Men inspired 25th birthday party.

Anxious about the morning, I was suffering from insomnia. What to do? Well, I now know, not what to do. Look your symptoms up on-line. I did however stumble upon a most fascinating article that described all of my symptoms. It was in two parts, first was about women my age, i.e. child-bearing, then this could be a clear sign of ectopic pregnancy. Half-freaked out that this could be yet another bad side-effect after my encounter with my dual-self (í. nykur-ég), I quickly determined I can’t be that unlucky in love and life. The second part of the article was however very eloquently phrased. After mentioning very common symptoms regarding general sickness it ended off with the note stating:

Strong sense of impeding doom

Literally laughing out loud, for this most preposterousness and melancholic symptom statement I was fairly certain I was indeed not having a heart attack, offlined and went back to bed.

The morning of the examinations, I woke up with the most unquenchable thirst. If only I could get a sip of water. I never wake up thirsty, but this time: Dear God, help me. So far, not so good. Then came the blood test. I’m not a fan of needles. I have many times said, that I could never be a junkie, for the sheer thought of needles make me cringe and half-faint. My friend keeps reminding me, of my first needle experience that I can recall. When I was 6, there was a school vaccination. The nurse told me to relax my muscles. Being a stupid 6 year old, I didn’t know what she meant by that, and guessed. That was not a good idea, for my idea of relaxing one’s arm was to stiffen it up. Resulting in me inconsolably crying in the exit-room for over an hour. My friend which was a witness to this horrific event, finds this story immensely entertaining. I however, do not. For needles seriously freak me out, and I tense up every single time I see one coming near me. Needless to say, given my streak of bad luck, the nurse that was poking me with the needle made a slight mistake. She used the wrong type of container for the blood, so we had to do it all over again. This time, not as gently, although she clearly saw (and even commented on) how scared I was. Just my luck.

The sonogram however, was a relatively pleasant experience. It was just like the movies, except no baby to admire. Thank heavens, for as mentioned earlier that unwanted offspring would be lying outside my uterus. The only drawback of the sonogram, was that she couldn’t find anything wrong with me. Nothing in my gallbladder or liver. No water retaining in my lower abdomen. Nothing. Highly disappointing, given how expensive the test was.

The doctor called me later that day, and informed me that the blood work also showed nothing ailing me. There was nothing she could do for me. It was probably just something in my body’s support system or stomach inflammation. I’d just have to put up with it. I could take a few ibufen tablets and see if I got worse, then it would be stomach inflammation. How wonderfully vague and inconclusive.

Now a couple of weeks later, my breathing is no longer ailing me. I can take all the deep breaths I want without crying, and no impeding doom in the foreseeable future. Hence, the birthday party is back on track.

See you, on Saturday night — dressed up to the nines (60s style)!


About tungufoss

a PhD student that sews whilst her code compiles...

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