Calling Doctors of Interplanetary Craft

Oh, genetics.

How I love thee. What fun you’ve had constructing an immune system from defunct parts, every conceivable recombination long past warranty.

Making me grow up envying Tiny Tim’s health, rolling my eyes while watching him hop around on his little crutch, being all like, “Look at me, I’m sickly.” *Cough cough*

Dramatic little poseur.

“Look, you know you catastrophize illness. It’s not like you won’t recover from this,” Andy, the voice of reason, chides.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I protest, rearranging my black lace garb and reaching for my smelling salts.



I acquiesce.

Perhaps I do read too much into illness. But I get it naturally.

Aside from the fact that my pediatric file was about six inches thick, and I do actually get sick fairly often, I’m sure my paternal grandmother’s robust hypochondria-informed catastrophizing is hard-wired into my DNA.

“How’re you doing today, Mom-Mau?”

“Oh, my eye hurts. I think it’s The Eye Cancer.”

That was an actual conversation.

But rarely is it the case that the malady we think will take us down actually does. This has been true with every family member who’s passed, including Mom-Mau.

And I’m sure I’ll be no different.

I’ll probably dab my nose with a tissue, look up at a beautiful sky and curse my luck with my latest plague, glance over and see a new antique shop across the street, start crossing, and not even hear the Prius coming, because it’ll be in electric mode. I’m not saying Andy will be behind the wheel, having grown exhausted from 40 years’ worth of my crazed malady ramblings. But he does have a Prius.

It’s probably no help that, while infirmed, I watch movies I really shouldn’t. Like earlier this year, when I had some bizarre pneumonia-bronchitis combination and watched Contagion.

Or yesterday, when I watched Outbreak. And then started feeling worse halfway through. Which meant I had the virus in the movie–not my doctor’s sinus infection-strep throat diagnosis–and the Army was going to “clean sweep” my apartment.

Fine. I didn’t really think that was going to happen. But I did start feeling bad about myself, about missing work, being lazy, gross, and completely useless.

So I watched Mommie Dearest. After which I ran to my closet, ensuring I had no damned wire hangars!

But then Andy came home with dinner after a ridiculously hectic work day, and I felt much better. Mostly because all I’d had for sustenance was Gatorade.


So, I channeled my best Rene Russo, smiled at him, coughed, and mentally chided myself.

You’re fine. Now that you’ve got all your antibodies. 

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