I turned gently in my bed this morning as I started to wake, taking care to not rumple whatever new ailment that was plaguing my insides into tiny pieces that might cause irreparable damage. Then the thought crossed my mind as it does every single morning – there’s a terrible illness ravaging my body and I may not be able to find out until it’s too late.
I’m almost certain I’m not alone in sauntering the world everyday with an extrinsic fear of being trailed by an unknown sickness, one that when finally diagnosed would have devastating effects. Sicknesses like cancer, Parkinson’s disease or any other finite illnesses you can think of. I’d think about it usually in the mornings or during the day when a random ache courses through my body and I’d wonder what lies beneath but I usually don’t obsess over it. Because that obsession, is what will make me a true hypochondriac which in itself is an ailment I dread.
It had been a while since I’d seen a doctor for any kind of medical check-up – almost 8years. And by almost 8years, I mean 9 actually. (I’ve come to realize that when an article or a reporter uses the word almost/more than, the difference preventing them using the full figure is usually less than 1% mostly but I digress.) I hadn’t been to the doctor in that long because I just couldn’t afford it. At any one time, I worked at least 2 jobs that combined could barely take care of all my bills, let alone have residuals for a doctor’s visit.
The fear began out of my inability to visit the doctor. I’d experience distinct bouts of pain or discomfort at various times and sometimes spasms in different areas of my body. I remember especially this one time I thought I’d reached my end when I felt a sharp pain across my chest which endured for about 20 minutes. It felt like someone had stabbed me and kept churning the knife in place and while that went on, I could barely breathe. I shared an apartment with a roommate who at the time wasn’t at home and as I laid on my bed in anguish, I thought “Was this it?” As cliche as it sounds, I saw my life flash before me. It felt like it lasted longer than it did but eventually, it subsided. I have never felt that particular pain since then but others have persisted.
So when I did get a job that came with health insurance, it took 3years before I made my way to a doctor. 3years because I had a lot of adjusting to do with my finances – adjustments like settling debts which meant there still wasn’t enough left over after bills and my fear that my co-pay would be higher than I could afford. Plus, I’d missed the sign-up period one time which meant I still didn’t have health insurance.
When I finally made it to the doctors this March, I was scared of what they’d find. My anxiety was ramping up the week of my follow-up appointments to my physicals and gynecology. Imagine my bewilderment then, when both results came back clean. There was absolutely nothing wrong with me. I was glad I got a clean bill of health but disappointed nonetheless. Because if there wasn’t anything wrong with me, why I had been in pain all these years? Still in pain. No explanation for the spasms or the aches – only that I was fine except for some pounds I needed to loose. Thankfully, the pain has never been debilitating to the point that I couldn’t function but it was hampering all the same.
The aches haven’t gone away and the spasms still happen every now and then, which leave me wondering if I need to get second and third opinions. What is going on in my insides when I wake-up to full contractions almost every morning and not like the ones I usually get on my period?. What is it with the sudden numbness that occurs in my left arm at least once a week or the throbbing pain in my right knee every other day?
So yeah, I take care now when I walk or turn in bed because I’m not sure when I’m going to break – like I am an eggshell. I’m not a hypochondriac though because I’m not anxious about it – at least not yet. I do need to see about that second opinion though, as soon as Covid-19 let’s me.
I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe during this pandemic and taking all recommended precautions. This too shall pass and I believe we’d come out better and stronger together. As always, thank you SO MUCH for your readership. I do not take it for granted. #staysafe #stayhome #Sanitizealways