Ask any wife if she'd rather be sick herself or deal with a sick husband, and I suspect you'll get a few moments of hesitation, followed by an admission that she'd rather suffer than have her husband be sick. And it's not really because us wives are noble and honorable and completely selfless, although that may be part of it. It's because men are awful when they are sick. Awful.
D is no exception. And unfortunately for me, he has a chronic condition, most commonly referred to as hypochondria.
D is the biggest hypochondriac on the face of the planet. This isn't to say that he's awful all the time, but I am not lying when I say that at least once a day, he complains of some random ailment. Now normally, I try not to write too much about D because he's a relatively private person, but he decided to acquiesce and fall on his sword for the good of my blog. Ladies and gentlemen, for your reading pleasure, some of his most common complaints.
Throat Cancer: I would have to say that throat cancer is D's longest-running "illness". He swears that he has these little cysts in the back of his throat that come off (?) when he brushes his teeth. Clearly, the most realistic diagnosis of these self-detaching cysts is throat cancer. Now I've never seen one of these cysts, but D promises me that they're there.
Toe Cancer: This is a newer one. There's sort of little red something on D's big toe. Instead of outrageously thinking that it could be a blister from his new work boots, D jumps right on the cancer boat and tells me he needs to have his toe cut off. Because that's not alarmist or anything.
Strep Throat: This just developed this past weekend. My brother was in town for my dad's retirement party and he was not feeling well. He went to urgent care and was told, basically, that he had strep throat. I told D the next day about it, and this is what followed:
Me: My brother has strep.
D: What? How'd he get strep?
Me: I don't know, but now we're all going to catch it.
D: You can't catch strep, strep isn't contagious.
Me: Actually....strep is highly contagious, especially in the first days when you get diagnosed and the day after.
D (10 minutes later, starts coughing and wheezing): I think I have strep. Your brother gave me strep.
So, one minute strep is not contagious, and the next minute it is and D has it. You know what is always contagious? The power of suggestion.
Sports-Induced Asthma: Every time D exerts himself athletically, he is all like "Babe I think I have sports-induced asthma." Because he's having trouble breathing. And I'm all like, "Babe, I love you, but I think there's a difference between sports-induced asthma and being out of shape."
This is just a sampling. One minute, D will be dying of toe cancer and strep throat, and the next minute he'll be telling me that he wants to go out and play hockey. Call the press! It's a miracle! I can see the headlines now: "Metro-Detroit man miraculously cured of cancer when he straps on roller blades!"
And you know what's funny? Any time I hurt or injure myself, D tells me it's "probably just a bone bruise". It's become a joke between us because he has said this to me so many times. It all started when I badly sprained my knee and needed to be on crutches and D was like, "Eh, it's probably just a bone bruise." If I had listened to him, I would have ignored my knee that was so swollen that I couldn't even pull the leg of my jeans over it (which was totally depressing because, while I've had trouble pulling jeans over another part of my body that seems to be permanently swollen, I'd never before had problems pulling jeans over my knees). If he hadn't have known I would have punched him right in the face, he probably would have jokingly said during labor, "Oh suck it up, it's just a bone bruise."
But truly, the greatest part of all this is that I think D knows he's a hypochondriac, because when I told him that I was writing this post and that he should compile a list of his diseases, he laughed, refused and then started rattling them off one by one. Can a hypochondriac know he's a hypochondriac? It's always been said that if you wonder if you're crazy then you're probably not crazy. But crazy is as crazy does, so I guess it's up to you to decide.
(P.S. As I was reading this post to D last night, every time I read one of his "ailments" he said, "Hey, that one's true!")