It is with a dispassionate sort of trepidation that I realize that my various psychological maladies have endeavored, since my ill-fated night with a blitzkrieg of beer and sleeping pills, to manifest psychosomatic symptoms, rather than the comfortably familiar emotional ones.
Truly, throughout the last eight months my fears of a dreaded resurgence of those friendly demons, those old, psychic friends coursing through much-tread neurological pathways, have proven weightless. Instead, I have cataloged a myriad of systemic, though menial, physical perturbations that harried Googling assures me can be ascribed to stress and my new-found, sedentary existence. That is, at least, when they're not symptoms of more serious conditions. Oh, that's another new neurosis of mine: hypochondria.
Occasional bouts of cold limbs. Minor paresthesia. Fatigue. Headaches. Morning stiffness. Difficulty staying asleep for more than a few hours, leading to 12+ hours in bed just trying to get a good night's (and sometime day's) sleep. Constant bloating. Severe loss of appetite; my body no longer "tells" me when I'm hungry, and instead I must remember to eat at various intervals during the day. Abdominal discomfort. Occasional difficulty breathing. Artifacts and oddities with my sight, much like I'd used to get before a migraine but without the ensuing pain. Persistent sinus irritations. There was a one week period several months ago where I had severe difficulty swallowing; it went away, although my esophagus has been very testy since then and wont to spasm especially during periods of stress. Panic attacks. Overly perceptive of my heart beating and of the externally visible aortic palpitation in my abdomen. Stomach pressure. Itchy skin. Chronic light cough (thanks, smoking!). Weird urinary behavior, where it seems like I can't piss at full pressure. Difficulty focusing. Minor aches and pains throughout my body. Constantly coming up blank on the "right" word for a particular situation, leading to a veritable lexicographic genocide of the more obscure parts of my verbiage. (This last one is particularly annoying.) Those seizures I had as a kid? Dead ringers for strokes.
Researching these queer biological tics has proven both a boon and a bane. Google, or as I have rechristened it, "The Affable Dr. Noinsurance For Whiny Fucks Like Me", has with macabre dutifulness pointed out how I may be afflicted with cancer of every flavor, AIDS, MS, MD, tapeworms, aortic aneurysms, neuropathy, etc. For the sake of my own sanity and to avoid any more unsightly panic attacks, I instead keep trying to bludgeon the three most benign causes into my skull: fibromyalgia, stress, and myofascial trigger points. I'm particularly fond of the last one, and can be found at any particular time of day jabbing and poking and massaging the muscular culprit nearest at hand. It makes the most sense in lieu of proper medical tests, which because of my brilliance in abandoning my job in the midst of an economic depression and corollary inability to find gainful employment with medical insurance is the only option I presently have. I was sedentary for months, and felt several shades of "physically normal"; it was only after getting a new lease on life and beginning an exercise routine to counteract my laziness that most of these problems began cropping up, which in turn led to more months of doing nothing out of fear of exacerbating them. Oh, Lord Irony, was I not searingly correct to prostrate myself before your wry omnipotence? You're a cruel God, but a funny one. I really fucking hate you.
To be honest, I'm not sure I like the new me very much. Not as much as the old, completely fucking crazy me. Even if he didn't have any grasp of the concept of life and death, I'd much prefer to own his body over this new, sickly, timorous thing that I own now. The flash of embarrassed revulsion one feels at coughing up a large, gelatinous glob of mucous onto their hand in public before hurriedly wiping it on their coat and hoping no one saw them is indistinguishable from my own towards this new psychological affront. I'm not supposed to be a fucking hypochondriac. That's for asthmatic accountants. Cubicle junkies in passionless, one-sided marriages. Some guy that eats the world's shit for forty years without skipping one apathetic beat on his tinny, empty drum. You know, pussies. Not me.
Anyway, just thought I'd let you know what's up. Just in case I sit on the toilet and pick up a cheap, bland homeowner's magazine to read during my bodily business, and my abdominal aorta explodes violently through my stomach, spraying gallons of blood everywhere while I screech like a woman for five seconds before keeling over and succumbing with my tongue sticking theatrically out one side of my mouth in a pool of my own urine and fecula. It could happen. I have a realistic grasp of the concept of life and death now, remember?