My doctor from my Shittatle days once referred to me as a recreational hypochondriac. He had a point, since I seemed as likely to self-diagnose with any malady I encountered as an insecure white girl from New England was to walk out of a theater showing Sweet Home Alabama with a southern accent.

Not a bad get for a med school graduate whose greatest accomplishment was probably a toss up between not dropping out and not getting expelled.

Of course, not to be outdone, I upgraded his pith to wreckreational hypochondriac.

That being the case, after weeks of failing to succumb to imaginary illness following my one forced office day each week – the best I could muster was dry sinuses and mildly chapped lips – I felt like my persistent survival was borderline immortality. Plus, whoever died from chapped lips?

Then my one forced office day became two.

This week.


But I’d also won tickets to The Dandy Warhols concert with the Oregon Symphony – that’s another post – for Thursday. That meant Tuesday through Thursday I was all crowd, all the time. Surely that was lethal to someone with as imaginative immune system as me.


Cut to this morning.

I’d ducked out of work for an early lunch.

9 am…that’s not too early for lunch, right?

Don’t worry, my neurotic ass started work at 730 and didn’t log off until 645. All so I could meet a former work wife for coffee.

She’s not the most…prompt of people, so o texted her at 830 to see how timing was working for her. I figured if I didn’t hear from her by 840, I’d leave at ten til for our coffee date. I normally give myself 15 minutes to make the 10 minute walk…guess I’d really show her!

Naturally, she texts me as I’m hitting the street at coffee date minus 5 – what? I got distracted by work! – to tell me she was leaving and projected to be on time.

Knock me down with a damn feather!


Still, I wouldn’t believe she would beat me to a coffee date until I saw her there…and she beat me. By seconds. I know this because my phone vibrated in my pocket as I rounded the corner of the building the coffee shop is in and it was her, flexing her early arrival by asking what I wanted.

I might have entered the coffee shop declaring I’d like her to calm herself down.

Nonetheless, I confirm clarify my order and we start chatting while waiting for our drinks. I quickly clock her running nose, but chalk it up to seasonal affective sinuses since we had our first 60 degree day in the valley yesterday in over 90 days. This girl was leaking.

However, after deciding it was nice enough to sit outside and drink our coffee, I noticed she was blowing through napkins at a rate of about a tree every 5 minutes. Mentioning it, I’m met with a laundry list of excuses: my office at work in a basement of a hotel; by the laundry area. My fiancé was sick a few days before this started. That’s why I suggested we sit outside!

Such a giver, her.

But I left the coffee date not only mildly enraged someone wouldn’t cancel a social engagement when they are putting off mucous in Amazon River volume, but also at the weakness of her response to whether she was taking any suppressants.

No, if you were wondering.

“I just like to let my body process this junk out”, she says.

“Woman, you take birth control to stop your period!” was my instant response. Seriously, how does one not see that cough medicine and birth control pills have essentially the same function: to keep your body from producing a natural part of its biological response.

I got a demur chuckle followed by a round of hacking and another snot saturated napkin.

“You could have canceled”, I tell her.

“But then I would have missed seeing you!”

Of course I left there and felt my nose running before I was even off the block.

If I die before I wake…good.

Seriously, it seems like I dodged any the third time’s the charm BS with illnesses this week. But I’m not committing to that optimism until I wake up tomorrow.

Keep your fingers crossed for this old grumpapotamus.


6 thoughts on “Hyper-chondriac

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