I think I’m a touch on the hypochondriatic side.
A month shy of my 19th birthday, I learned that my roommate had a rare disease that killed her hair. The following morning I about died of shock when I washed my hair and a handful of my already too-thin hair clung to my hand instead of my scalp.
Even after Stephanie repeatedly reassured me that the loss was normal (she being the resident expert), I freaked out. Surely I had that incurable, albeit extremely rare, disease. Stephanie and I were practically sisters, so it could happen that each of us were plagued with this troublesome disease.
Of course, my brain’s smoking some high-dollar crack. I don’t have alopecia. My hair’s still sitting atop my head. If anything, it’s thicker than it was way back in 1998.
Roughly five months after my short battle with baldness I read a story in a teen magazine about a young woman fighting depression. Less than two weeks later I was clinically depressed. My eyes took on a permanently red, swollen gaze. Splotches tattoed my cheecks from never-ending crying jags. My boyfriend hated me; my friends hated me; I hated me. That was the worst. All because I read some stupid article.
But that’s not the end of my hypochondria. A couple of summers back I read an article about a man whose I.Q. dropped because he was having a multitude of miniature strokes due to stress.
Could this be why I can’t seem to remember anything anymore? The simplest facts elude my brain’s grasp. Most of my useless trivia has become mere trivia to me.
My recent mental decline could be explained by these strokes. I’ve been the Queen of Stress all my life. At five I developed an ulcer. At 16 it returned with a painful vengance. Always striving for academic excellence, I’ve stressed myself silly. Even now, out in the “real” world, I’m constantly worrying and plagued by drama. Sure, some of the blame is mine for choosing such a taxing vocation. My environments have been killer, but that comes with the territory when your jobs include being a dorm mom to 25 high school girls, running residence halls filled with students who are just starting to fend for themselves, writing story after story for a newspaper, and you think it would be smart to get a master’s degree.
Could I really be afflicted by mini-strokes? Will I one day be left with the I.Q. of a radish? How does one find this out without sounding like a psychotic? Do I just keep growing dumber as each day passes?
Oops, now I think I hurt my brain.