Fear — An Unfunny Post

As I already mentioned, my father-in-law is in the hospital.  He had a heart attack.

Fortunately, he’s doing very well and is expected to make a full recovery.  He has to have a small procedure on Thursday and should be home by the end of the week.

Thank you all for your well-wishes and prayers.

His heart attack has got me thinking about death, even more than usual.  And if it’s okay with God, I’d like to put forth a formal request to avoid death if at all possible.  If that’s not possible, I’d humbly request to go out in a completely unexpected blaze of pain-free glory at the age of 85.

I’d also request that my husband be with me when I die.  Not that I want him to die, mind you.  But I’m pretty sure that he wouldn’t be able to go on without me.

I’m THAT awesome at the whole wife thing — if you discount my sucky homemaking skills, my utter disregard for Virginia Slims Man’s feelings and my complete lack of libido.

I don’t know if you can tell from my posts, but I’m incredibly neurotic.  I’ve mentioned that I’ve been in therapy for OCD before, but I’m also a hypochondriac and I really just worry a lot.  I worry about things that you probably haven’t ever even thought of before.

I’ve already mentioned my fear of getting rabies from the dust of decomposing animals (You thought I was kidding, didn’t you?) and my fear of aluminum cans, but I’m also afraid of brain-eating amoeba and will not allow my children to swim in a lake.  My sons will probably never go away to summer camp because I’ll worry about the amoeba. I’m not too fond of the boys swimming in swimming pools, either.

Can I be honest with you?  I don’t even like it when they bathe.  A while back, a couple of people got the brain-eating amoeba from using their Neti-Pots without first boiling their water, so now I’m convinced my kids are going to snort bathwater up their noses and get the amoeba.

Can I be even more honest with you?  Since I read that story about the Neti-Pot, I haven’t put my face under the shower without first holding my nose.  I’ve been holding my nose in the shower for three months.

Sweet Peter Paul and Mary, I might be crazy.

I worry that one day I’m going to eat a peanut and have an allergic reaction even though I’ve been eating peanuts my entire life without any sort of problem.

When I order food at a restaurant, I always try to pick the items that I think are the least likely to poison me.

I worry about getting hantavirus from rodents and often tell The Good One that Satan will be shoveling snow in Hell before I let him have a rodent for a pet.

I worry about simple bumps on the head being fatal.  I worry that when my kids grow up and go off to college, they’ll drink so much alcohol that they’ll die from alcohol poisoning.  I plan to scare the actual crap out of them by showing them stories of young adults who die from drugs and alcohol.

Me:  This is what will happen if you drink too much alcohol.  Your brain will drown and you will die.

The Good One:  I think I just pooped my pants.

Me:  My job is done.

I worry that The Good One is going to have a cardiac event while playing soccer.  I worry that every pain I feel in my legs is from a blood clot.  I worry that The Beast is going to choke at school and I won’t be there to save him.  I worry that I’m going to have an aneurysm when I’m at home alone with The Beast and that he’ll be by himself and won’t know what to do.

I worry about getting breast cancer.  I worry that people are lurking in the grocery stores and poisoning the food.

I worry about carbon monoxide poisoning and I travel with a detector.  If I forget to bring my detector with me, I make Virginia Slims Man stop at a store on the road so I can buy one.  I currently own 7 carbon monoxide detectors.

VSM is a saint for staying married to me.

I worry about getting MRSA from the equipment at the gym.  I like to think that the guys at the gym are watching me because I’m hot, but really they’re just watching me soak the treadmill with antibacterial wipes to the point that it’s nearly short-circuiting from the wetness.

I hate to fly.  I haven’t flown in years.  I’d like to go to Europe but I’d have to catch a ride on a shipping barge to get there.

I really don’t know what the point of this post is.  And I almost hate sharing this, because in addition to this far-from-complete list of things that I’m afraid of, I’m also afraid of becoming a victim of irony.

I don’t know when I became so borderline nuts. (You’re thinking, The borderline ship sailed long ago.) I think it was after we adopted The Good One, but I’m honestly not sure.  My family would probably tell you that I’ve always been nuts, but I don’t remember being so consumed with fears when I was younger.

I’ve been given medication but I’m afraid to take it.  (Surprise!)

I spend a good portion of my life trying to avoid death.  But considering my father-in-law is an incredibly healthy, active 75-year-old man who had a heart attack, I’m thinking we’re all going to die anyway.

So maybe I’ll try to let go of some of my fears.  Maybe I’ll eat out of a can that has a small dent.  Maybe I’ll eat peanuts without having Benadryl ready to go just in case my throat swells shut. Maybe I’ll stick my head fully under the shower water again.

If I get the amoeba, I’m going to be so peeved.

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37 thoughts on “Fear — An Unfunny Post

  1. Did you have to write that a simple bump on the head may be fatal? I know you probably meant it as hitting your head but I took it different and now think you think hazey’s thing is fatal!!!!

    • I thought about that after I hit publish. I was talking about The Beast with his head banging and slipping in the tub. Your daughter will be fine. I absolutely DO NOT think her bump is fatal!!

  2. OOOOF. I’m not as severe as you, but DAMN I have some of those exact fears. Like every leg pain being a blood clot. And after I heard about the amoeba I can’t use a neti pot even though I really want to. I can’t have a glass of wine and a tylenol pm because I’m scared I’ll accidentally kill myself. When the batteries in the carbon monoxide were dying, it beeped a few times so I freaked out and ran onto my deck so I wouldn’t die of carbon monoxide poisoning. If Boyfriend has a headache or feels ill at all, I’m convinced its a stroke/heart attack/something else horrible. Being neurotic is not fun at all.

    I’m sorry to hear about your father in law – happy it sounds like he’s going to be okay though!

  3. Please let me know if I can do anything. Your father in law is in good hands. Great cardiologist. I want to let you mow that I could feel my blood flowing in my legs today. This is because I’ve been so sedentary while writing a research paper that I probably developed blood clots, therefore I can actually feel the turbulence of the blood trying to get through my partially occluded veins. As soon as I get home from my class I will take a baby aspirin just in case.

    • I might have you keep The Beast later this week so I can visit my FIL again. We took him and The Good One to the hospital today because they wanted to see Grandpa. BIG FREAKING MISTAKE!! And I love baby aspirin. They may not do a damn thing but they make me feel better. Can I take one with a glass of wine?

  4. bumps on the head get me too. I take them into the bathroom, shut the light and shine a flashlight into their eyes to make sure their pupils are equal and reactive. I make them stick out their tongue to make sure it’s straight, and squeeze my fingers to make sure their strength is the same on both hands, then I make them say a silly phrase like “there’s a lollipop in my pocket” to make sure they can hear and comprehend and repeat. I do this test right after a head bump and 2 hours later. My husband thinks I’m nuts.
    My husband is military and travels a lot. I always worry that I will die and my girls will not be able to care for themselves. I was relieved when my oldest could open the fridge and get an apple…now they won’t starve.
    I have had several dreams where my youngest falls off a boat and I jump into save her only to be eaten by sharks..she will never see the ocean.

    You aren’t alone.
    You are among friends.

    • This actually makes me feel better. Does it make me a horrible human being if I find comfort in knowing I’m not the only one who’s a little insane?

      • CJ, I love the comprehensive neuro exam you perform for all potential traumatic brain injuries. You are a smart woman.

        And Marcia, I just noticed my typo. know, not mow. sorry.

        Let us know about sweet baby…. I will be in Dallas for 2 days, but home Friday evening and Todd will be around. I’m also available Saturday from whenever he wakes up until 1:00 (opening day…. ball field) But you could visit your FIL and go to lunch!

  5. I’m the same way… maybe not to that extent (I will eat out of cans… or I used to until I read your blog) I am a major hypochondriac to the point where every twitch or itch is cancer and also like you I’m afraid of the possibility of irony rearing it’s ugly head. So take comfort in the fact that you are not alone by any means!

    Also happy to hear that your father-in-law is going to be okay

  6. You forgot hot tubs. They give you staph infections. And Mosquitos. They give you West Nile. There is also meningitis which is terrifying. I think you can get that from college showers. Maybe I made that part up. I don’t remember.

    • Oh, honey, meningitis is a huge one for me. I used to constantly assess whether or not my head would hurt when I touched my chin to my chest. And I think you do get it from college showers. If not meningitis, you certainly get something from college showers!

  7. I loved your post (that can be generally said about all of them). Now, I know this may sound weird, but I am so far on the other end of the spectrum, it’s not even funny. Not that I don’t worry about my children – but I’m the daughter of someone we call Dr. Sunshine. When I was 4, I was standing on a rocking chair and flipped over backwards and cracked my head open. My mom, hearing the commotion, was pissed that I was standing on the rocking chair…again…. and sent me outside to play. It wasn’t until my sister dragged me back in the house and announced that I had blood all over the back of my head that my mom considered the emergency room. 6 stitches later…. When my daughter broke her wrist falling off a scooter, my mom basically told her to “buck up”. My MIL read me the riot act when my hubby was having chills and chest pains in the middle of the night and I chose to drive him the the hospital vs calling an ambulance. (turns out he had pneumonia). I really think I *need* to believe that seriously bad things can’t happen to my family. So we’re all crazy in our own special ways.

    • Maybe if we met somewhere in the middle, you’d take your kids to the hospital when they need it and I wouldn’t take them to the E.R. for colds? Your “chillness” makes me jealous!

  8. Certain amount of fear and worry is part of our human nature. It becomes a problem when you become paralyzed by fear. As I often tell myself, worrying about something is not going to change anything nor prevent the event I am worrying about. In most cases the thing we worry about never happens. Read Philippians 4:6-9 or even memorize it. I think it will help you. Love you.

  9. Doni…. I’m like that also! My husband always says you have to be pouring blood out of your eyes for me to respond!

    And Erica, you have to know that Sweet Baby (I can’t call him the beast), was attacked my mosquitos yesterday and broke out in hives. I suspect there has been some serious googling going on regarding his chances of contracting West Nile. Nice going.

    “Dad”… Love the post. You always say just the right thing. If y’all come back for Easter, I’ll cook. (very carefully and aseptically)

  10. Ditto
    Ditto
    Ditto
    ….except that rabies from dust of decomposing animals thing
    Mother fletcher now there’s a new one for me.
    thx 🙂
    I’ll add one for you – I think I’m the only one that didn’t listen to the basketball coaches about “no parents at practice because there is no room” and I’m a horrible mean mother because I won’t let my child go to Scout resident camp because of my fear of psycho adult men. In order for me not to transfer that fear to my son I just have to be present. I figure he’ll be 16 or 18 or so before that’ll ever happen. I’m not hovering, I’m not butting in. I just have to be lurking to watch. I think that makes me as much of a weirdo.

    • This comforts me. Also, I’m an excellent swimmer and I’m quite certain that I could swim to Europe if needed. Oddly, I’m not afraid of sharks. (I’m just asking to be attacked by a shark at the ocean this summer.)

  11. Allow me to add Raccoon Roundworm. I went from being the “five second rule” mom to the “don’t touch that because then you’ll put your hand in your mouth after throwing that apple in the trash without washing your hands and I’m certain someone stepped in an infected raccoon’s poop and brought it in on my newly scrubbed kitchen floor and you will then get raccoon roundworm and go blind and die” mom. Needless to say we won’t be camping anytime soon and I flip the heck out when my kids go outside and I see them putting their hands in their mouths. I run screaming at them with wipes and hannitizer (middle child’s term for hand sanitizer) repeating raccoon roundworm, raccoon roundworm, RACCOON ROUNDWORM! I’m sure to all that have ever witnessed this wonderful show, I’m certifiably insane; however, my kids will not be getting raccoon roundworm on my watch! That being said I’m not so sure about the pool this summer either thanks to your amoeba story. Lakes were already out thanks to my unhealthy fear of snakes and this fear also only allows me to venture out into the woods (including my own backyard) in the late fall and winter.

  12. Marcia, THIS IS YOU MOTHER….. PLEASE TAKE THE MEDICATION…….. Your life would be so much easier. You know I love you.

  13. I think there has been a mix up and I have your biological child. 🙂 The irony thing is huge and consuming worry for M. Loved the post.

  14. Funny… I’m practically the polar opposite. I refuse to believe that most anything like that is going to happen. My gf is certain that I’m going to die from eating food that has been “out too long” or “undercooked” (which I call “juicy.”) I’m like, “been doing it for 30 years… hasn’t killed me yet.”

    Probably comes from growing up without seat belts, bicycle helmets, wet naps, hand sanitizer and sitting too close to the TV.

  15. Holy cow, I thought I was the only mom on earth who worried about raccoon roundworm! We had an evil raccoon make a latrine on our deck and when I looked up the dangers of raccoon poop, raccoon roundworm was on every site. I swear I see raccoon poop everywhere and I am constantly running outside to see if a leaf or rock is raccoon poop. I actually stumbled upon this site because I am up researching that crazy ameba found in drinking water in Louisiana and Arizona. We are visiting my in-laws in Phoenix and my son got water up his nose while he was showering so now I am completely freaking out because they had two cases from tap water in this area. I have read every related article and I know I will get very little sleep tonight worrying about this. I am also in contant fear of MRSA and will not let my kids go near my sister-in-law because she has psoriasis and has these huge open wounds. I am constantly disinfecting my kids hands and telling them not to touch their faces. I really envy those people who go through life without these insane anxieties. I am also freaked out about ticks and mosquito borne illnesses- the list goes on………

  16. Great post. In any event, some say “needless worry”….others call it “advanced planning”. Either way, it takes a lot of energy to be worried about that many things, one right after the other. My guess is that takes other peoples’ energy as well. You know, based on the mom comment

    Advice that you didn’t ask for? Face your fears (and lack of control), work through them, change some of your behavior and/or start the meds.

    I can only imagine how you felt during those old high school driver’s ed. movies having had cut seat belts, and all.

  17. I used to worry all the time. Each headache was an aneurysm, each leg pain a clot heading straight to my lungs. I would freak out, yet never go to the dr cuz I would rather not look insane. Then one time, almost 2 years ago I finally went with one of my “pains” positive it was cancer and I would be dead in 6 mo. Well, it was cancer. Stage 3 breast cancer and I am still here. A little more neurotic, my OCD is now in overdrive and children are checked a little closer. Listen to your mother, take your medicine please.

      • I did lighten up a little. My son complained of a sore throat for 5 days. I told him to wear a damn coat and quit whining(two weeks prior to my surgery and germs weren’t allowed) he started on Monday whining. Friday I went to get the kidlets from school(walking is too dangerous, smog, sex predators, stray rabid dogs) he gets in the van and his neck is so swollen, he can hardly turn his head. So I freaked and took him to ER. He had strep that went awol. Next morning I woke up back hurting and itching with a funky rash.I ended up with shingles. So, I quit being laid back, returned to neurotic and we are better people for it!

  18. Pingback: Posts That Made Me Go BOOM! | Sluiter Nation

  19. I also have some of these same fears… I try REALLY hard not to let them consume me, but it’s SOOOO hard. I constantly think about dying and my 2.5 yr. old not knowing what to do, or not knowing where my cell phone is or how to use it. (I wonder if they are teaching this in school now, when they teach about 9-1-1… ‘cuz you have to unlock phones and press send and such… I’ve gone over this with my kids, I was so worried about it. I worry about every chest pain or leg pain or sideache… You aren’t alone. I hope we’re not crazy… just vigilant 🙂

  20. Ahhh…I feel like I wrote this. I also feel that my husband must be a saint to put up with me. My mother passed all of her worries on to me, but I am dedicated to not passing my fears to my 2 year old son. I too am afraid of “becoming a victim of irony.” I’m glad I’m not alone! Thank you for making me laugh.

  21. Omgosh…..I worry about the Amoeba thing allll the time! All the things listed her I worry about also!….I could write a book of all my crazy hang ups…it’s very comical actually but drives my family nuts. Tetanus was big on my list a few months ago. If I read about some strange virus or pandemic then I will obsess over it for weeks and then I’m on to another one that comes up. I googled today because I got bath water up my nose and flipped!…it never ends!

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