Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Worst Case Scenario

I'm going to share a little secret. I have always had a tendency to immediately assume the worst when confronted with a situation. Very few people who know me would suspect this because I almost never tip my hand. That's because the disaster thoughts pierce through my brain at warp speed, where they are promptly processed and quarantined in a specially coded file. If I've already imagined the worst, the reality can only improve. That's why my demeaner is usually calm and collected, at least to the rest of you. This deft psychic maneuver keeps me composed and realistically optimistic about most things.

Take yesterday. My first deep breath of the day was worrisome. My chest hurt. I immediately thought: pnuemonia. Before leukemia, this would not have been my first thought. It probably wouldn't have occured to me at all. But since I'm currently at moderate risk for bacterial and fungal pnuemonia, that's where my mind went. I quickly checked for symptoms: I had no fever; I wasn't coughing; I was breathing normally. It was highly unlikely I had pneumonia, but I monitored myself throughout the day for any suspicious activity, such as suddenly coughing up a lung.

Ah, the joys of obsessing over health issues. Will I ever view a sneeze as merely indicative of dust, a stomach woe the result of something I ate, hot flashes a sign of menopause/global warming? As time goes by, perhaps.

I felt much better this morning. To put the final kibosh on my pnuemonia diagnosis, I went out for a morning jog. I figured if I had rare symptomless pneumonia, this would crank it into high gear. Nothing. Running felt great. I did the rooster route, past the chickens and goats, breathing effortlessly. The worst case was the best case which was no case at all. Pneumonia file: deleted.

1 comment:

Ann said...

The same thing happened to me a few months after transplant. I immediately drew the same conclusion. It's funny that you've written on this as I've been wondering how much time will pass before I can take a sneeze or cough at face value, too. Keep doing what you're doing and you'll be just fine.