Tag Archives: hypochondria

Answer Me! Pt. 2: Answers!

Ok, so I made you guys wait a little while for this. I’m sure you were on tenterhooks these past 8 days. I’m here to relieve you.

The question is sort of a meaningless li’l ponderable that came to me when I was, of course, in the shower washing my face with my eyes scrunched up real tight. I think it was super windy or something that day and I was worried about a power outage while in the shower, ’cause at best that’d be kinda slapsticky but at worst, I’d get like a cracked skull and die in my tub which, if I were able to become so postmortem, would make me really pissed off. A slip and fall in an unlit shower at age 28 is not how this lady is going out. That’s dumb.

Even so, I still went with: B. Blind! Shit! Shit! Fuck! Shit!

My general guess about what the hypothetical “means” was this rough dichotomy:

A: Power outage = you’re probably prone to becoming a little paranoid about the state of your life which you regard as precarious, making you slow to let your guard down.

B: Blindness = you’re a hypochondriac that assumes all fevers are typhoid, all cuts are gangrenous, all aches and pains are rheumatic, all plagues are bubonic (calm down, it’s just a plain old plague, pal).

‘Cept when you guys answered, you kinda steered me in a few different directions. I hadn’t really taken into account personal histories with either vision loss or frequent power outages (stupidly, nor did I expect some of you to come up with modified or third answers, Acid and Illuminati, I’m looking at you guys, you made me laugh).

So what does it all mean, man? It doesn’t really mean anything. It’s just a goofy question that can be tediously analyzed and parsed apart for significance, or it can just be a silly conversation starter. Ask your coworkers! Ask your friends! Ask whoever. Why not?

But, in truth, I am kind of a hypochondriac. I blame my dad. He was an even better weirdo than I am, and if I could ask him this question, I know how he’d answer but I also know he’d think about it for a really long time before and after saying anything. But let’s just say this post and its sibling are celebratory gestures regarding the completion of my physical therapy for my ankle tendinitis, which I assumed was a horrible, degenerative joint disease with no cure, causing me to have a like maybe 2 panic attacks a few months ago before I went to the doctor to have it looked at and diagnosed. At this point, after like 6 weeks of physical therapy, my ankle is nearly well enough for me to return to my MMA class which I miss a bunch. Also, after like 6 weeks of physical therapy, my right leg is visibly more muscular than my left, which means my roundhouse kicks are gonna be fucking lethal when I get back to the gym. Seriously, you guys, I could probably kick a tree over with this thing, it’s pretty cool.

I’ve always been a big fan of personality quizzes, ever since I was like maybe 11, reading teen magazines and taking quizzes like, “What Lipstick Shade Are You?” and “What Do Your Dreams Say About Your Love Life?” (The answers being, respectively: coral in the summer, brick red in the winter, fuck the quiz, I know my complexion; AND a series of unending rabbit hole nightmares, apparently…?). But I have this theory (don’t I always?) that personality quizzes are not particularly simple for those of us with bipolar, because our behaviors and self-assessments are perhaps a li’l more malleable than the average bear’s. This feels especially true* when I answer questions pertaining to introversion/extroversion. Do I consider myself introverted? No, but I did most of last week. Would I rather go to a party or stay home and read a book? I dunno, is Thursday purple this month? I don’t mean to imply that we’re so mercurial a group that we lack static personality features entirely, but I also don’t mean to say that these types of quizzes will provide us with much insight about ourselves (I mean, they don’t for most people anyway, but I think even less so for us).

Anyway, if I come up with any more seemingly ponderous but actually completely trivial hypotheticals, I’ll share them. Just don’t think too hard about your answer. You’ll sprain your neurons er something.

-LB

*The part of me that studied Philosophy in college really hates the notion of something feeling true, apparently enough to prompt this footnote, but it’s just rhetoric, so calm down, Laura.

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Answer Me! A Hypothetical Just For Fun

I’ve posed this hypothetical to a few people and expected to get the same answer every time, but I didn’t:

You’re washing your face in your bathroom and you have your eyes scrunched closed so you can’t see anything, including light. When you open your eyes, everything is unexpectedly completely dark. Your reaction is:

A. Damnit, the power went out!

B. Shit! I’ve gone blind!

I have a theory (actually, like a theory and a half) about which answer means what, but really, this was just a weird question I came up with ‘n I’m kinda curious to see how people respond. Don’t think too hard about it. Tell me in the comments! Followup next post!

-LB

P.S. Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve! See all you lovelies next year! ❤

I Don’t Have A Perforated Uterus And Other Stories From My Womb

I don’t have a perforated uterus. My IUD did not fall out. I’m not pregnant. There isn’t a hunk of levonorgestrel-laced plastic trashing my entrails and burrowing through my abdominal wall. Theses occurrences are extremely rare and I know that now and I knew it two nights ago when I went on a fishing expedition looking for the part of my IUD that chills outside of my cervix that I’m supposed to be able to feel. I couldn’t find it. And I had a tummy ache. Like a really bad one. So, naturally, I assumed I wouldn’t survive the night and would hemorrhage to death in my sleep, the thought of which did not prompt me to go to an emergency room because by that point I was already stoned and being stoned in the ER sounded really, really boring. Clearly, my decision making skills are top notch. And people still occasionally give me shit about the fact that I never want to be a parent. Like people who actually know me.

I’ve never been pregnant, as far as I know. If I ever have been pregnant, the thing peaced out before I knew it was even there, but that scenario seems pretty unlikely, not just because it’s unlikely for anyone, but because, from the get go, I’ve always been super on top of my contraception. I have never wanted to be pregnant. And I decided I didn’t want kids once I was old enough to understand that not everybody will or should be a parent one day. I think I was about 15 when I made that decision for real.

There are a lot of reasons I don’t want children, only one of which is related to my bipolar. But that’s worth talking about because it’s an issue that a lot of women face. Many women with bipolar want and have children. Many other women are advised not to. Assuming you’re working with a competent doctor and are willing to shoulder the extra burdens mentally ill pregnant women face, you can have bipolar and a kid. Lots of people have done it. Shame on any doctor who dashes the hopes of a would-be mom solely because she has a mood disorder.

But I do wonder what it’s like. I mean, I’m a biological female with a female gender identity and, now and then, I wonder what it’s like to be pregnant. I wonder what it’s like to give birth. These are experiences many women hold dear, and part of me is curious to understand, fundamentally, why. But curiosity is not a good enough reason to get knocked up, so my curiosities will remain curiosities forever because, once you’re done glowing or beaming or whatever pregnant chicks are supposed to do, you have to take care of this (temporarily super helpless) human being for the rest of your life and I don’t want that for myself, nor do I want it for the unlucky hypothetical I’d be squeezing out. Over the last several months, I’ve been trying to acquaint myself with my weaknesses so I can address them rather than ignore them, and what that exercise has done, among other things, is reinforce my understanding that I would not make a suitable parent. I’d go so far as to deem it unethical for me to raise a child. Babysitting is one thing, but being responsible for a kid’s well-being, moral and emotional development, education and physical health from birth until self-sufficiency is not something of which I feel I’m capable or even willing to do.

But, like I said, some women do do it. I’m pretty interested to know about those experiences. How’d you deal with your meds? All my meds are Category C which, as far as I know, falls under the umbrella of: these have the potential to harm your unborn kid pretty seriously, but you might have no choice but to take them, so roll the dice. As far as exposing a kid to my moods and my self-destructive behaviors once it’s born, that just seems really unfair. I mean, I feel bad for a lot of the adults who have to put up with some of the wackier shit I do, I wouldn’t want to force a developing child to see me be me on a daily basis and have to explain repeatedly why I act the way I do. I’m simply not up to the task.

But maybe you are. Are you? Did you do it? Tell me what it was like in the comments. No two experiences (with pregnancy or with bipolar) are exactly alike and I spent most of yesterday thinking about my baby-making equipment, so it’s got me thinking about it. Share!

-LB