The Good News Is, There’s Something Wrong

At first I thought I was crazy. The feeling crept in, tiptoed for a bit and started hammering the walls. I didn’t know what to do. It was small things. I’d be awake at night, on my back and aware of my heart beat. “I can’t sleep, that’s why I feel terrible.” The next day wired, eyelids twitching, alert and unpresent. At 20 I’d been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I figured I was just having a bad spell with it – it came and went as an adult, anyway. Work is stressful. I live in New York. It will calm down, eventually. In the meantime I paced the confines of my apartment – from bed to bathroom to bed to check the freezer to bathroom to bed to kick the sheets in frustration. I was hot. I have to pee. There’s never enough water in my glass. The anger festered.


I stopped calling my mom after work. I looked down at the floor to text. But I stare at a screen all day so no wonder my eyes hurt. I’ll use homeopathic drops and take ibuprofen. Tomorrow will be better, I just need to exercise and get some rest. As soon as my headache is gone. The headache. It greeted me with the day, not quite in the middle of my head, but deep, in the low center. I started to twitch. First a small pulse in my right rotator cuff, then a jerk, from my elbow. When I did talk to my mom it would be to tell her that I hated everyone. I still have to pee. My neck went out. Do I have laryngitis?

On a Wednesday afternoon I walked out of work and into an urgent care. If they can’t fix it, I can’t make it. The next day I saw a Russian Primary Care Physician who ordered bloodwork and watched me cry. He wanted me to pick up my records from another hospital. “Fuck you I can’t walk around.” He handed me the card of an endocrinologist and I didn’t apologize. It was the first weekend since my mid 20s I wanted to drink on both weekend nights. The whiskey cooled off my central nervous system. It did not help me sleep. By Monday afternoon, I had an 82 year-old doctor, two pill bottles of drugs to be taken in timed increments and something resembling a sense of relief. I have Grave’s Disease.

Maybe I can make it funnier than it sounds.

One thought on “The Good News Is, There’s Something Wrong

  1. I remember the week when I realised there was something wrong with my body. I usually walk everywhere. To work, home, to the market etc. But my body was exhausted and a gentle walk felt like a marathon. I was shaking, my heart felt like it was beating out of my chest. It was not my body. I was diagnose straight away and I’m really glad it was caught early. My mama has Graves disease too so my doctor tested for it as a very likely scenario.

    Alcohol can be a wonderful stress relief. No doctor is going to recommend it, but while I’ve been watching my binge drinking, I’ll allow myself a glass (or two) of wine, once (or twice) a week. But gone are the days of binge drinking 6 or more glasses in one sitting. Hangovers these days are worse. Way worse. I drink to take the edge off, not to feel like death the next day.


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