The Sick Kid
Growing up I was that kid that was sick all of the time. During my elementary School Years it was a rarity that I was not in the doctors office at least once a week with something. In part this was completely legitimate, because I was born without a fully functioning immune system. Basically to put it simply I have a “lazy immune system” meaning that it takes a really long time before my body reacts to things it should be reacting to. It is like that kid that hosts a party, then realizes way too late that shit is going to get out of control. Then at that point, he can’t kick everyone out without calling the cops. In this analogy the cops are antibiotics, of which I know by name and color and even oddly enough I associate some of them with their taste.
On top of this I also have pretty severe asthma, but I grew up in a household where no bruise was just a bruise… it might after all be the early stages of Necrotizing fasciitis. My mother tends to be quite a bit of a hypochondriac, and as such passed along some of those traits to me. My wife finds it funny, because I always go into a situation expecting the worse. The problem is… because I grew up in a doctors office, I have developed a severe hatred of going to the doctor. So instead I deal with it until I absolutely cannot any longer, in part because I always fear it is going to be worse than it actually is. In the end I am always relieved when I am not really dying of some dread disease… but getting me to actually go to the doctor to get that relief is extremely difficult.
Part of asthma is knowing when it medicate yourself to stave off things from getting worse. I have a full arsenal of tools at my disposal to keep my lungs from going into a complete state of lockdown. The problem is, I try and apply this same logic to everything else. I always keep an arsenal of over the counter medications at my disposal and there rarely is a day where I am not taking something. So I am an odd mix of actually being sick, but also making it far worse than it actually is. For the most part on a day to day basis I am fairly healthy, but I am always looking for the next illness waiting around the corner. I guess as a eternal pessimist I am always looking for the worst thing to happen, and then confused when it didn’t.
As a programmer expecting the worst is a really useful survival trait. It means I always have a backup plan for when the shit hits the fan. So this instinct of expecting the worst has been a really successful trait in my day to day working life. The problem is in my personal life and my health especially it is not the best thing. I am thankful I have a wife that calls me out on my shit, more often than not. The only problem is, since I cry wolf so often… it can be hard to get the severity of something across. When I had my bathroom bleed out moment… since she is so used to me cutting myself on this thing or the other… she didn’t grasp the severity immediately as I stood there blood spilling out on the bathroom floor. I am working on trying to freak out less about non-consequential things… so that the big ones actually are meaningful. I am pretty prone to panic attacks, but they are getting better… as I learn to calm the hell down.