Friday, October 23, 2009

The Sickly Hypochondriac

When I woke became conscious of the fact that I wasn't sleeping at 4 this morning I realized that I was in bed thinking about my relationship to my overall state of health. Growing up I was the "sickly" one in the family. I am not sure how much I just took this on having heard about how my childhood milk protein allergy affected my family or if I was actually told that I was the sickly one. I remember hearing that the doctors told my parents when they finally diagnosed the milk allergy that it would affect my life by making me get sick a little more often than normal kids. It seemed validated by the fact that I was sick a lot and my sister was barely ever sick. I was the one who got pneumonia twice as a kid and once as a young adult, bronchitis many times, pink eye, mono, asthma, allergies.... It was me who caused family trips to be canceled or postponed because I was sick. I knew every breed of dog because I frequently got sick right when the American Kennel club was having its annual show that was televised (okay there might have been other reasons that I knew every breed of dog). A few years ago at a time when I was feeling particularly self-conscious in general, Sara called me a hypochondriac. This hit me pretty hard and I think I might still be working through it. In addition to feeling like my immune system pretty much sucked now I had to consider that I might be making it all up. It made it hard for me to listen to my body because I didn't want to be a hypochondriac. Twice now when my parents and I have gone to Dana Farber Hospital my dad reminds me how when I was little and had a milk allergy he used to walk me on a certain sidewalk and I puked all over the place. Also my parents talk about when we used to come to children's hospital.

This is a post I started the other day when I was feeling down.... I am not feeling this way right now but the point is....I was feeling down on my immune system.... on the fact that my parents are revisiting things we had to do when I was 16 months old.... because of my immune system....

I am feeling more positive today about my immune system. It is what it i and I do not feel the need to judge its adequacy. I feel able to accept it and nurture it again.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Tami,

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I have been reading it regularly and am grateful for your honesty.

    I haven't seen you since you were a little girl. I am your mom's cousin Elaine. You are a power of example to me. Your courage and sense of humor through all this is amazing. Don't know what else to say, except good luck and thanks for letting me in. Much love, Elaine